278 - The Dolls Hospital

Picture David Stephenson writes: "This 'dolls hospital' was the second shop down from Richmond Road. From peoples memories it seems to have been the doll repair business at the front of the shop and a boot repair business at the back. Many young girls took their dolls there for repair for such things as new eyes and repainting of faces The owner also dealt with teddies that needed new growlers, squeakers and paws redone. He provided new sticks for rag dolls and new clothes. Later the boys went there with their action men, the main problem being broken elastic in the arms."

This photo looks up to the corner of Richmond Road and the shop which was a chemist from the Victorian days until quite recently.

Picture Pauline Luscombe remembers: "When we were young, back in the late '40s early '50s, we thought the dolls hospital was a 'real hospital' where you could go if you had a dolly that was 'not well'.

I remember my sister and I playing with our dollies when my sister dropped my precious 'baby', the consequence being that the doll's eyes that opened and closed had dropped back into her head. At that stage all hell broke loose, but my Mum came along with the reassurance that we would take her over to the 'dolls hospital' where they would put her right. Which is what happened - much to my relief. I still have that doll and she is still very special to me.

As you went into the shop there was a large (it seemed large to us at the time) reproduction Victorian dolls house with windows and doors that allowed you to look into the small wallpapered rooms. Seeing this dolls house encouraged any young girl at the time to want to own one."

At the time of writing this shop is Parkside Picture Framers.

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