Southwick Downsway WI

Russian dolls
Russian dolls

TO the strains of Hello Dolly, Peggy Weekes began her talk on the history of dolls at Southwick Downsway WI’s June meeting.

She jogged members’ memories on the many ways the word ‘dolly’ was used, like trolley dolly and dolly tub (an old form of washing tub).

From her many travels, she had examples of old dolls from Mexico and Russian dolls, where ten dolls fitted together, one inside another.

Rag dolls, much loved years ago, porcelain-faced dolls with a clay base, a wood spoon with a face, straw dolls and a puppet on strings were also shown.

On the darker side, Peggy had a voodoo doll, all in black with many coloured pins, and there was also a tiny worry doll.

Other unusual examples included a Shaman doll from Siberia, a dancer doll in feathers from Easter Island, a doll toilet roll holder and a pin cushion.

Mrs Sheila West, one of the members said: “She felt that education was so important and dolls can be used to teach children how people dressed in ages gone by.

“Most important was the vinyl doll that teaches mothers how to hold and care for their own baby. It can also be used in child abuse cases when questioning children.”