Comments from Susanna Bavin and Jen Gilroy on my blogpost about Rosebud Dolls reminded me of my own teddy. I remembered he was quite a large teddy bear and as I got him for my first birthday present he must have been bigger than me!
He needed repairs at one stage and had to go to the Dolls' Hospital.
The Dolls' Hospital where he went to have his eye sewn back was in the County Arcade in Leeds. There's a photo on this website and some nostalgic readers' comments.
One person said the shop had very high counters with stacks of shelves behind that went right up to a high ceiling filled with boxes of trains, railway tracks and accessories. That's exactly what I can remember too but not until I read her description. And she recalled that the man who repaired her doll wore a brown overall coat. So did my teddy's repairer but I didn't remember that until I read the comment either. Funny how memory works!
There's still a Dolls' Hospital in Leeds but it's in the Queen's Arcade and has only (!) been in business for forty years so I don't think it can be the same one that my teddy went to.
The photo was taken a couple of months before my fourth birthday. I love the sturdy shoes and the half mast socks. You can read more about my 1950s memories in my new ebook Cabbage and Semolina available at Amazon worldwide. Cabbage and Semolina is in Kindle Unlimited and if you don't have a Kindle a free app is available for phones, iPad, computers etc.
Me and My Teddy Bear - Rosemary Clooney - 1950
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Do you remember your first doll?
Mine was a Rosebud doll. I didn't need to give her a name because the word Rosebud was moulded into her back. She was made from some form of hard, creamy coloured plastic which we called "pot".
Rosebud had limbs jointed with rubber bands and occasionally one would come off. It was a real struggle to get it hooked back on. Rosebud's hair was moulded onto her head in curls and she had blue, staring eyes with lids that flicked up and down.
My sister had a Rosebud doll too which was the same as mine except it was black with orange eyes. Her Rosebud also had a voice box in the back underneath the moulded Rosebud name-tag. When tilted my sister's Rosebud would make a plaintive sound of "mama, mama" which was rather eerie.
My sister has kept her Rosebud doll for well over fifty years and she rescued it from a cardboard box in her loft at the weekend and photographed it. The rubber that holds the head and limbs in place has perished and so they've fallen off. She just managed to fix them back precariously for this photograph. Fortunately the spooky voice box no longer functions.
Our mum made outfits for the dolls and my sister's Rosebud is wearing the remains of one of the outfits our mum made for her back in the 1950s.
There is a fantastic article on the Petalina: growing up with dolls website. The author's grandfather was actually the designer of Rosebud dolls. You can read all about it here: My grandfather used to model Rosebud dolls.
Did you have a Rosebud doll?
Or were they before your time?
Thanks for reading and hope you're having a great day.
My mother-in-law, Rose Murray, lived until she was ninety eight years old. We often encouraged Rose to write her life's story. She was born in 1908 and, as she frequently reminded us, had lived through two world wars in the heart of London's East End. Aged about ninety two Rose started to record her memories but it was too late. She couldn't sustain the interest or the concentration; all she managed to capture was a short memoir about her childhood.
Rose's memoir is a fascinating document and it's such a pity that we didn't help her to write more of her reminiscences while she was able.
Reading Rose's memoir and thinking about her story made me decide I would record some of my own recollections of childhood while I still could. I started a blog, Cabbage and Semolina, where I captured some of my memories of my 1950s childhood. I've taken some of the blogposts, added a lot more to them and published my recollections as an ebook. It went live in the Amazon Kindle store on Sunday and you can read the free sample here if you would like to take a look. This is the link for readers in the U.S.A. who would like to share my childhood memories of Britain in the 1950s.
My family history collection
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I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK