Dolwyn’s Dolls

  • Dolwyn’s Dolls–  Bunty:  #1287 (11 Sep. 1982) – #1291 (09 Oct. 1982)
  • Artist: Hugh Thornton-Jones
  • Other Artists: David Matysiak, Norman Lee and Douglas Perry

Plot

Megan Dolwyn owns a small doll shop down a cobbled street. She entertains customers telling them stories about where the dolls come from, some are sad stories, some are mysterious, some have a good moral and some even have a magical element.

When a bored girl on holiday comes into her shop, she tells the story of a doll named Elizabeth. The doll was a birthday present for a  girl Meg, who named the doll after a young princess in 1943. Tragedy strikes soon after as her house is struck by a bomb and her mother killed. Meg was taken to a hospital in a weak condition, and with her father a POW and no other family, she doesn’t have a lot to fight for. But then Elizabeth talks to her and convinces her to fight and even helps her to walk again. Her father returns from the war and Dolwyn reveals to the customer she knows all this, because she was the little girl.

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In another story a woman comments on an ugly doll. Dolwyn tells her the doll called Martha belonged to a girl named Sandra. Sandra’s father was a lorry driver often away, he mother was loving but quite disorganized. Her mother gives her the doll and a nice tea before leaving the family. Sandra stays with several family relatives until her father remarries a woman named Jane. Jane looks after Sandra well and gives her a new toy to replace Martha. But Sandra doesn’t care if Martha is falling apart and that her mother had faults, she won’t give up the last gift her mother got her.  Jane accepts that and brings Martha to be repaired.

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Another girl Sally loves dolls so much and spends all her time with them. She has a near life size doll Sarah Jane  so when her parents plan to go abroad she switches her place with the doll putting it under blanket in backseat of the car. She thinks while their gone she can have fun playing with her dolls all the time but she soon realises make believe isn’t fun when she’s locked in her playroom with no food or bed. Luckily her parents come back the minute they discover Sarah Jane and Sally gives up playing with dolls after that. Someone else that learns a lesson is Maggie, who wishes for the life of child star Goldie. After returning Goldie’s doll she gets opportunity to see how the other side lives but it turns out not to be all that great and quite boring so she is happy when she is home.

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A more tragic tale is servant girl Mary falls in love with a gypsy but he is accused of thievery and leaves. Mary dies of a broken heart, she doesn’t even see the gypsy doll that was sent to her. Years later a girl living in the house finds the gypsy doll and discovers a note and money that is from the gypsy who traveled to America and wanted Mary to join him. Also is evidence that he was innocent of the theft.

Thoughts

Like I mentioned in a previous post, an advantage of these storyteller serials is that you had some familiarity with the serial and a variety of stories so even if one story didn’t appeal to you another could. Although there is some variety, I think having tales just about dolls was restrictive, serials like Jade Jenkins Stall or The Button Box had a much wider scope to play around with. There are some memorable stories like the gypsy doll, from a Bunty picture story library, that is one I enjoyed and remember well. I also liked in  the Martha Doll’s story, how Sandra was attached to the doll that her mother gave her, even though she had left. It did not matter how nice and more organised, an”ideal mother” that Jane was, it didn’t diminish Sandra’s love for her mother and she wanted to keep onto that reminder.

So while there were some stories I liked, a lot of the others didn’t have much of an impact on me. There are some other appealing points to the serial such as the art is nice, Meg Dolwyn herself is quite memorable, as is the look of the shop. Also the backstory of Meg Dolwyn gives us a good insight into our storyteller and would explain her love of dolls.

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List of Appearances

  • Dolwyn’s Dolls–  Bunty:  #1287 (11 Sep. 1982) – #1291 (09 Oct. 1982)

 Other Appearances:

  • Dolwyn’s Dolls – Bunty Annual 1983
  • Dolwyn’s Dolls – Bunty Annual 1984
  • Dolwyn’s Dolls – Bunty Picture Story Library: #246
  • Dolwyn’s Dolls – Bunty Picture Story Library: #378

2 thoughts on “Dolwyn’s Dolls

  1. One Dolwyn story I remember was “Major’s Revenge”, about a rocking horse that Dolwyn won’t put on display because of its story. It is a story about a spoiled, spiteful boy called Toby who is cruel to his sister, animals, servants and the rocking horse, Major, and the weak parents just don’t know how to handle him. Then Toby has a strange accident that leaves him permanently lame – but he becomes more considerate. He claims Major came to life and took him on a terrifying ride in revenge. Delusion, sleepwalking or what? Well, nobody rocks on Major anymore.

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