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28th October 2014
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer: Sean Kelly
(Audio only – no video)

00.07 – Pat: it wasn’t one of my own, it was my sister’s, Buddy, and she gave him to me when I was 7 and we’d moved to Deal and were living in rented accommodation while my father was waiting to come home from sea, and I had measles very badly, so she gave me her teddy bear. He already had a broken growl, and his paw was fraying, so he wasn’t perfect [laughs]

Pat: I didn’t really play with him, he was more of a companion, you know, I mean he was, I suppose a substitute imaginary friend really [laughs], yes he just used to sort of be with me, when I was at home and I was in my room, I mean certainly when I was ill, you know, he was beside me, but he lived on my bed. I don’t remember him ever actually coming out of the bedroom

Pat: he’s got a lot of memories embedded in him, but actually the first – the strongest – memory is the measles, which is quite scary, because there was a lot of whispering outside the door and curtains being pulled because measles is, you know, quite a serious thing in those days, you know. It affected my eyes, and all sorts of things, and I was quite scared, so it was quite nice to have Buddy there and my sister being nice to me, so it’s, there’s a…that’s what’s invested in Buddy.

Sean: What are your best memories of him?

Pat: Yeah, it would be that, I mean it’s definitely the strongest memory I have of him, memories of the illness, and my sister being nice, which is one of the only…I think one of only two times I can actually remember her being nice to me, the rest is not so nice, you know, that’s obviously a childhood-biased memory but it’s…it’s a very strong one. It – it was not only unusual but it worried me. So when I look at Buddy, when I see him, that’s what, you know, that’s what I can see, I can actually see – I can visualise – the bedroom and the drawn curtains, and hear the doctor and my mother whispering outside the door. It’s very powerful.

02.28 – Pat: I never got Meccano, I always used to put it on my Christmas and birthday lists, and then one year when I was…I think…I must have been 8 or 9, I got for one of them I think it was birthday, Bayko building set, which I think at the time disappointed me, I don’t know why I got that instead of Meccano, I still don’t, but actually I learnt, I learnt to love, and I spent a lot of time building with the Bayko set, a lot of time. I was never creative, but I was always very good at copying the designs that they gave you, so that would…that took up a lot of my playtime after I had it.

Pat: The train set, in the living room, as I said, it was a two down, the front room still in those days tended to be kept for guests and that was where the piano was, the back room was where the radio was and where we would sort of read and sit and live, and it had a paisley rug – it wasn’t a lot bigger than this room – it had a paisley rug, and the paisley I made into a town for my marbles, and the marbles were the passengers and the people and the train served that town, so, you know, that used to, I used to almost like always on the paisley rug while everything else was going on all around me, and I would, you know, that was…that was my world.

ENDS – 04.04

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28th October 2014
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer: Sean Kelly
(Audio only – no video)

00.07 – Sean: OK, so where and when were you born?

Pat: I was born in Southsea, 13th of February, 1946.

Sean: Where did you spend your childhood?

Pat: 3 years in Southsea, 3 years in Plymouth, when I was 7 we moved to Deal in Kent, and stayed there.

00.32 – Sean: OK, first I’m going to ask you about teddy bears…did you have a teddy bear?

Pat: Yes, well it wasn’t one of my own, it was my sister’s, Buddy, and she gave him to me when I was 7 and we’d moved to Deal and were living in rented accommodation while my father was waiting to come home from sea, and I had measles very badly, so she gave me her teddy bear. He already had a broken growl, and his paw was fraying, so he wasn’t perfect [laughs]

Sean: [laughs] Can you add any details about age, or…the manufacture, or anything like that that you might know about it?

Pat: No, I don’t know how long she’d had him, she was seven years older than me, so, you know, it was, you know probably at least 5 years before then.

Sean: How did you play with it?

Pat: I didn’t really play with him, he was more of a companion, you know, I mean he was, I suppose a substitute imaginary friend really [laughs], yes he just used to sort of be with me, when I was at home and I was in my room, I mean certainly when I was ill, you know, he was beside me, but he lived on my bed. I don’t remember him ever actually coming out of the bedroom… So it wasn’t a sort of Christopher Robin scenario where I would drag him around by one paw, he lived on the bed, and I would just go to him rather than him come to me.

Sean: And did you play much with Buddy with your sister?

Pat: No –

Sean: …It just shifted from one to the other –

Pat: Yeah, yeah, no…

Sean: How do you feel about him?

Pat: About Buddy? Well he’s got a lot of memories embedded in him, but actually the first – the strongest – memory is the measles, which is quite scary, because there was a lot of whispering outside the door and curtains being pulled because measles is, you know, quite a serious thing in those days, you know. It affected my eyes, and all sorts of things, and I was quite scared, so it was quite nice to have Buddy there and my sister being nice to me, so it’s, there’s a…that’s what’s invested in Buddy.

Sean: What are your best memories of him?

Pat: Yeah, it would be that, I mean it’s definitely the strongest memory I have of him, memories of the illness, and my sister being nice, which is one of the only…I think one of only two times I can actually remember her being nice to me, the rest is not so nice, you know, that’s obviously a childhood-biased memory but it’s…it’s a very strong one. It – it was not only unusual but it worried me. So when I look at Buddy, when I see him, that’s what, you know, that’s what I can see, I can actually see – I can visualise – the bedroom and the drawn curtains, and hear the doctor and my mother whispering outside the door. It’s very powerful…

4.20 – Sean: Unless you’ve got anything else to add about Buddy, I’ll move on to dolls…Did you play with any dolls?

Pat: I had a doll, my father brought it home from abroad, I don’t know where, I’m afraid, it was as big as I was, and I was terrified of it, and I think he must have been very disappointed but I can remember trying to play with it, but I didn’t like dolls and I didn’t really know what to do with them, so, and then a finger got broken off, it was a very soft material, I’d say, it was a big one, it was dressed, curly hair, eyes opened and closed…I tried to play with it but no, it, it disappeared [laughs] all I ever really wanted to play with was cars and the train set and Meccano… Oh, and marbles, yeah…

Sean. Did you have anything else in the way of dolls, or action figures that could be considered…?

Pat: No, I don’t…Were there action figures in those days? Probably, but –

Sean: Or anything that you would define as a doll or action figure?

Pat: No, no, nothing.

05.42 – Sean: OK, well now onto construction toys then, as you mentioned train sets and Meccano, well…which ones did you play with, then?

Pat: I never got Meccano, I always used to put it on my Christmas and birthday lists, and then one year when I was…I think…I must have been 8 or 9, I got for one of them I think it was birthday, Bayko building set, which I think at the time disappointed me, I don’t know why I got that instead of Meccano, I still don’t, but actually I learnt, I learnt to love, and I spent a lot of time building with the Bayko set, a lot of time. I was never creative, but I was always very good at copying the designs that they gave you, so that would…that took up a lot of my playtime after I had it. The train set…yes, I did get a train set, they finally caved and got me a train set, but again it was [laughs] – children are horrible! – it was quite disappointing, because, we lived in a small, you know, we lived in a two up, two down, and there wasn’t room for a train set that would stay up all the time, so it was a, err, they put it on a board, and it just went round and round and there were no sort of extras, it was just a train, and what I wanted was one that, you know, it had a station, but I wanted trees and tunnels and all the rest of it, and, you know, obviously no room, no money for it, and yeah I played with that for quite a lot, I mean I wasn’t displeased with it, but I just wanted it to be more… 00 Gauge.

Sean: So how did you play with the train set and the Bayko?

Pat: The Bayko I just used to build, actually, the, you know, the designs that came with it, it came with a booklet of various designs, and I would build those, because I just didn’t have that sort of imagination, that I could design my own. The train set, in the living room, as I said, it was a two down, the front room still in those days tended to be kept for guests and that was where the piano was, the back room was where the radio was and where we would sort of read and sit and live, and it had a paisley rug – it wasn’t a lot bigger than this room – it had a paisley rug, and the paisley I made into a town for my marbles, and the marbles were the passengers and the people and the train served that town, so, you know, that used to, I used to almost like always on the paisley rug while everything else was going on all around me, and I would, you know, that was…that was my world .

Sean: So how do you feel about uhm, the train set and Bayko as you felt you weren’t being overly imaginative, or creative maybe…what do you feel you got out of –

Pat: Oh no, I – I – they engaged me, you know, even though it was, you know, it was the initial, presentation of them, and the opening was a bit “woah” – you know – “that’s not what I wanted”, as soon as I sort of got into it I was, I was the sort of child who would literally lose myself in a book, so, you know, I – I literally couldn’t hear what was going on around me, so, you know, once I’d started that sort of play, I was gone, and they had to actually physically touch me to…to bring me back out of my little marble train world… [laughs] So yes, you know, I mean I was, you know, they fulfilled a…I mean the train set probably less so, I probably played with that…for not as long, because, you know, because the marbles really, uhm, did everything that was needed, so they…they comprised the townfolk, so the townsfolk didn’t have anywhere to go, because the trains didn’t go anywhere except round in circles, so that probably didn’t…that didn’t last as long, that….I probably only played with that for a few months. Bayko I played with for a good few years.

Sean: So, do, as time went on, did, do you ever continue to wish that you could play with Meccano? Or anything like that?

Pat: I do! [laughs] Yes, yes, I suppose there’s no reason why I couldn’t now, really, without work and all the rest of it, yeah…No, I’ve always…and a train set…but not dolls! [laughs] Yeah, no, I always hankered after Meccano, I just like the whole look of the thing, you know, the concentration that was needed to put it together and make it. I suppose the infinite possibilities, maybe.

11.08 – Sean: What do you, how do you feel about…the construction toys, and your lack of interest in dolls? Favouring Meccano and that sort of thing, and how that might relate to expectations of what each sex would play with and so on?

Pat: I think it’s interesting, given what I know of my parents, that they actually gave me the construction set and the…and the train set …you know, with hindsight, it didn’t seem strange to me, you know, I didn’t feel as if I was different from the other girls, because I really…when you move around a lot when you’re little you don’t really build up close relationships with people, and no intimate, you know, you couldn’t write at 3 when you leave your first town, so you couldn’t write letters…I rarely have anything to compare myself with other than my sister, who was seven years older than me, so I wouldn’t have expected her to be playing with dolls, so it didn’t really occur to me until I was, you know, pretty much an adult that actually we were quite unusual… [laughs] Or might have been quite unusual, I still don’t know, but I wasn’t – I was a solitary child, so it didn’t, you know, I didn’t sort of notice that other people, other girls were playing with dolls particularly, so I didn’t really know any of the girls that closely, and my closest companion was my cousin, who was a boy, so he had stuff probably that I played with as well, although we used to play together more, …, you know, that sort of thing.

Sean: Do feel you played more with your cousin than with your much older sister?

Pat: Yes.

Sean: Was it just the one sibling?

Pat: Yes. I didn’t get to know my cousin til I was, until we moved to Deal when I was 7, so, uhm, yeah…I had one – one friend until then in Plymouth, where I was until 3, it was roughly every 3 years when my father was posted somewhere else, so from 3 until 7 I was in Plymouth, my friend there was a girl, but uhm, she was deaf, so in those days if you were deaf you didn’t really speak either [laughs], it wasn’t, she wasn’t exactly er, you know, she didn’t play with dolls or anything, we used to play together, and it was, you know, keep in her view and so on, and the only thing I do remember playing with there actually was ornaments, we just took the ornaments off the shelf, so it was never…it never seemed strange to me that there weren’t dolls around.

Sean: So did you always feel that playing with toys or especially construction toys was, as you said, a solitary activity, or did you ever particularly seek out playing with your cousin or anyone else?

Pat: No, only used to play with him when we went round there. It was always arranged, and occasionally my mother would arrange, you know, other…and she belonged to something in those days called “the friendly wives”, which was a service institution for the wives of, uhm, you know, the men who were onboard ship, and obviously they all had children, I can’t – I can’t remember ever doing anything other than staying sitting next to my mother at the – on those occasions, so yes when we went to visit my aunt once we moved to Deal I used to play with my cousin and, you know, if he came to us I played, but it wasn’t a case of, you know, seeking each other out to play together. Much happier playing on my own. Still am. [laughs]

14.58 – Sean: Do you have any best memories of Bayko, or the train set?

Pat: I think probably the best memory of the train set was…was first setting it up, because once it’s gone round once there’s not much more you can do with it really, the Bayko? No I mean it’s just long – er – afternoons sort of spent after school probably, just working through the – I, you know, from the beginning of a construction to the end and seeing the final thing, and that was very satisfying, I remember, and then I would show it to my mother and take it to pieces and maybe start on the next one, but by then it was probably time for whatever, supper or homework or…and there’s no, there’s no particular things I can remember making…

16.08 – Sean: You said you combined or used your marbles as passengers in your trains, did you tend to mix things together from time to time? Different types of toys to play – when you were playing with them? Or did you tend to keep things very separate from each other, apart from –

Pat: Yeah, you see I don’t remember having any other toys other than those and obviously it was just after the war, and, yeah, there wasn’t a lot of money in the family, I can see with hindsight, so I don’t, you know, I’ve racked my brain since I knew I was coming to this and I cannot remember anything other the marbles, the Bayko and the train set, and this one doll. Books, I mean I learnt to read when I was 4, and it was always books, you know, and that was basically always what I wanted to do…and some things on the wireless, like Journey Into Space, that sort of thing, so you know, I can’t – I couldn’t dredge up from anywhere any other toys that I played with.

17.32 – Sean: So what became of the Bayko, and train sets, and everything else after you’d grown up –

Pat: The Bayko’s here –

Sean: – Oh everything’s here…

Pat: [laughs] The Bayko’s here, I don’t know what became of the train set, I imagine they probably sold it on, and Buddy’s here as well. I don’t know what happened to the doll, she just simply disappeared, I think she probably didn’t move with us, actually, to Deal …because I didn’t play with her, and I was scared of her, so they wouldn’t have kept her. The marbles… I just remembered something else I used to play with: Dinky Toys. Obviously they were part of the town, yes, yeah…so yeah, they were – again this paisley rug was brilliant for that because it had all, you know, the separate areas that could be, you know, where the cars, the marbles lived and that sort of thing. Yeah… I always wished I’d kept those because they’d be worth something now. Again, I didn’t have very many of them. you know, half a dozen of them, a bus. And I would make a – yeah, it’s interesting, it’s coming back – I would make a garage for them, then obviously I had to take that down to make other things, but then I would remake the garage, so when I was playing – combined play – the cars would always have a garage to go to. Yeah [laughs]

19.02 – Sean: Are there any other memories of bears, dolls, or construction toys that…?

Pat: No, I just, I mean I’ve – I wonder how I knew about Meccano, because there wasn’t a huge amount of advertising, so I must have seen it somewhere, probably saw it in shops, actually, because my mother got a job in a department store, so they would have had a toy store, a toy area. No, I didn’t have any other – I don’t remember having any other soft toys, as I say it was just off the wall, I don’t think there was much around to actually buy, and the Dinky cars, which I just remembered, I didn’t have very many of, I mean you only used to get presents in those days on your birthday, basically, and at Christmas, so…they were, I think the train set and the Bayko were quite big presents for those days, other than that I would always get books and things. There weren’t any other outstanding toys.

Sean: OK, if you don’t have anything else to add, thank you very much for participating…

Pat: Thank you.

ENDS – 20.25

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28th October 2014
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer: Sean Kelly

(Audio only – no video)

Sean: OK, so where and when were you born?

Pat: I was born in Southsea, 13th of February, 1946.

Sean: Where did you spend your childhood?

Pat: 3 years in Southsea, 3 years in Plymouth, when I was 7 we moved to Deal in Kent, and stayed there.

0.28 – Sean: OK, first I’m going to ask you about teddy bears…did you have a teddy bear?

Pat: Yes, well it wasn’t one of my own, it was my sister’s, Buddy, and she gave him to me when I was 7 and we’d moved to Deal and were living in rented accommodation while my father was waiting to come home from sea, and I had measles very badly, so she gave me her teddy bear. He already had a broken growl, and his paw was fraying, so he wasn’t perfect [laughs]

Sean: [laughs] Can you add any details about age, or…the manufacture, or anything like that that you might know about it?

Pat: No, I don’t know how long she’d had him, she was seven years older than me, so, you know, it was, you know probably at least 5 years before then.

Sean: How did you play with it?

Pat: I didn’t really play with him, he was more of a companion, you know, I mean he was, I suppose a substitute imaginary friend really [laughs], yes he just used to sort of be with me, when I was at home and I was in my room, I mean certainly when I was ill, you know, he was beside me, but he lived on my bed. I don’t remember him ever actually coming out of the bedroom… So it wasn’t a sort of Christopher Robin scenario where I would drag him around by one paw, he lived on the bed, and I would just go to him rather than him come to me.

Sean: And did you play much with Buddy with your sister?

Pat: No –

Sean: …It just shifted from one to the other –

Pat: Yeah, yeah, no…

Sean: How do you feel about him?

Pat: About Buddy? Well he’s got a lot of memories embedded in him, but actually the first – the strongest – memory is the measles, which is quite scary, because there was a lot of whispering outside the door and curtains being pulled because measles is, you know, quite a serious thing in those days, you know. It affected my eyes, and all sorts of things, and I was quite scared, so it was quite nice to have Buddy there and my sister being nice to me, so it’s, there’s a…that’s what’s invested in Buddy.

Sean: What are your best memories of him?

Pat: Yeah, it would be that, I mean it’s definitely the strongest memory I have of him, memories of the illness, and my sister being nice, which is one of the only…I think one of only two times I can actually remember her being nice to me, the rest is not so nice, you know, that’s obviously a childhood-biased memory but it’s…it’s a very strong one. It – it was not only unusual but it worried me. So when I look at Buddy, when I see him, that’s what, you know, that’s what I can see, I can actually see – I can visualise – the bedroom and the drawn curtains, and hear the doctor and my mother whispering outside the door. It’s very powerful…

4.16 – Sean: Unless you’ve got anything else to add about Buddy, I’ll move on to dolls…Did you play with any dolls?

Pat: I had a doll, my father brought it home from abroad, I don’t know where, I’m afraid, it was as big as I was, and I was terrified of it, and I think he must have been very disappointed but I can remember trying to play with it, but I didn’t like dolls and I didn’t really know what to do with them, so, and then a finger got broken off, it was a very soft material, I’d say, it was a big one, it was dressed, curly hair, eyes opened and closed…I tried to play with it but no, it, it disappeared [laughs] all I ever really wanted to play with was cars and the train set and Meccano… Oh, and marbles, yeah…

Sean. Did you have anything else in the way of dolls, or action figures that could be considered…?

Pat: No, I don’t…Were there action figures in those days? Probably, but –

Sean: Or anything that you would define as a doll or action figure?

Pat: No, no, nothing.

05.40 – Sean: OK, well now onto construction toys then, as you mentioned train sets and Meccano, well…which ones did you play with, then?

Pat: I never got Meccano, I always used to put it on my Christmas and birthday lists, and then one year when I was…I think…I must have been 8 or 9, I got for one of them I think it was birthday, Bayko building set, which I think at the time disappointed me, I don’t know why I got that instead of Meccano, I still don’t, but actually I learnt, I learnt to love, and I spent a lot of time building with the Bayko set, a lot of time. I was never creative, but I was always very good at copying the designs that they gave you, so that would…that took up a lot of my playtime after I had it. The train set…yes, I did get a train set, they finally caved and got me a train set, but again it was [laughs] – children are horrible! – it was quite disappointing, because, we lived in a small, you know, we lived in a two up, two down, and there wasn’t room for a train set that would stay up all the time, so it was a, err, they put it on a board, and it just went round and round and there were no sort of extras, it was just a train, and what I wanted was one that, you know, it had a station, but I wanted trees and tunnels and all the rest of it, and, you know, obviously no room, no money for it, and yeah I played with that for quite a lot, I mean I wasn’t displeased with it, but I just wanted it to be more… 00 Gauge.

Sean: So how did you play with the train set and the Bayko?

Pat: The Bayko I just used to build, actually, the, you know, the designs that came with it, it came with a booklet of various designs, and I would build those, because I just didn’t have that sort of imagination, that I could design my own. The train set, in the living room, as I said, it was a two down, the front room still in those days tended to be kept for guests and that was where the piano was, the back room was where the radio was and where we would sort of read and sit and live, and it had a paisley rug – it wasn’t a lot bigger than this room – it had a paisley rug, and the paisley I made into a town for my marbles, and the marbles were the passengers and the people and the train served that town, so, you know, that used to, I used to almost like always on the paisley rug while everything else was going on all around me, and I would, you know, that was…that was my world .

Sean: So how do you feel about uhm, the train set and Bayko as you felt you weren’t being overly imaginative, or creative maybe…what do you feel you got out of –

Pat: Oh no, I – I – they engaged me, you know, even though it was, you know, it was the initial, presentation of them, and the opening was a bit “woah” – you know – “that’s not what I wanted”, as soon as I sort of got into it I was, I was the sort of child who would literally lose myself in a book, so, you know, I – I literally couldn’t hear what was going on around me, so, you know, once I’d started that sort of play, I was gone, and they had to actually physically touch me to…to bring me back out of my little marble train world… [laughs] So yes, you know, I mean I was, you know, they fulfilled a…I mean the train set probably less so, I probably played with that…for not as long, because, you know, because the marbles really, uhm, did everything that was needed, so they…they comprised the townfolk, so the townsfolk didn’t have anywhere to go, because the trains didn’t go anywhere except round in circles, so that probably didn’t…that didn’t last as long, that….I probably only played with that for a few months. Bayko I played with for a good few years.

Sean: So, do, as time went on, did, do you ever continue to wish that you could play with Meccano? Or anything like that?

Pat: I do! [laughs] Yes, yes, I suppose there’s no reason why I couldn’t now, really, without 3 work and all the rest of it, yeah…No, I’ve always…and a train set…but not dolls! [laughs] Yeah, no, I always hankered after Meccano, I just like the whole look of the thing, you know, the concentration that was needed to put it together and make it. I suppose the infinite possibilities, maybe.

11.05 – Sean: What do you, how do you feel about…the construction toys, and your lack of interest in dolls? Favouring Meccano and that sort of thing, and how that might relate to expectations of what each sex would play with and so on?

Pat: I think it’s interesting, given what I know of my parents, that they actually gave me the construction set and the…and the train set …you know, with hindsight, it didn’t seem strange to me, you know, I didn’t feel as if I was different from the other girls, because I really…when you move around a lot when you’re little you don’t really build up close relationships with people, and no intimate, you know, you couldn’t write at 3 when you leave your first town, so you couldn’t write letters…I rarely have anything to compare myself with other than my sister, who was seven years older than me, so I wouldn’t have expected her to be playing with dolls, so it didn’t really occur to me until I was, you know, pretty much an adult that actually we were quite unusual… [laughs] Or might have been quite unusual, I still don’t know, but I wasn’t – I was a solitary child, so it didn’t, you know, I didn’t sort of notice that other people, other girls were playing with dolls particularly, so I didn’t really know any of the girls that closely, and my closest companion was my cousin, who was a boy, so he had stuff probably that I played with as well, although we used to play together more, …, you know, that sort of thing.

Sean: Do feel you played more with your cousin than with your much older sister?

Pat: Yes.

Sean: Was it just the one sibling?

Pat: Yes. I didn’t get to know my cousin til I was, until we moved to Deal when I was 7, so, uhm, yeah…I had one – one friend until then in Plymouth, where I was until 3, it was roughly every 3 years when my father was posted somewhere else, so from 3 until 7 I was in Plymouth, my friend there was a girl, but uhm, she was deaf, so in those days if you were deaf you didn’t really speak either [laughs], it wasn’t, she wasn’t exactly er, you know, she didn’t play with dolls or anything, we used to play together, and it was, you know, keep in her view and so on, and the only thing I do remember playing with there actually was ornaments, we just took the ornaments off the shelf, so it was never…it never seemed strange to me that there weren’t dolls around.

Sean: So did you always feel that playing with toys or especially construction toys was, as you said, a solitary activity, or did you ever particularly seek out playing with your cousin or anyone else?

Pat: No, only used to play with him when we went round there. It was always arranged, and occasionally my mother would arrange, you know, other…and she belonged to something in those days called “the friendly wives”, which was a service institution for the wives of, uhm, you know, the men who were onboard ship, and obviously they all had children, I can’t – I can’t remember ever doing anything other than staying sitting next to my mother at the – on those occasions, so yes when we went to visit my aunt once we moved to Deal I used to play with my cousin and, you know, if he came to us I played, but it wasn’t a case of, you know, seeking each other out to play together. Much happier playing on my own. Still am. [laughs]

14.55 – Sean: Do you have any best memories of Bayko, or the train set?

Pat: I think probably the best memory of the train set was…was first setting it up, because once it’s gone round once there’s not much more you can do with it really, the Bayko? No I mean it’s just long – er – afternoons sort of spent after school probably, just working through the – I, you know, from the beginning of a construction to the end and seeing the final thing, and that was very satisfying, I remember, and then I would show it to my mother and take it to pieces and maybe start on the next one, but by then it was probably time for whatever, supper or homework or…and there’s no, there’s no particular things I can remember making…

16.06 – Sean: You said you combined or used your marbles as passengers in your trains, did you tend to mix things together from time to time? Different types of toys to play – when you were playing with them? Or did you tend to keep things very separate from each other, apart from –

Pat: Yeah, you see I don’t remember having any other toys other than those and obviously it was just after the war, and, yeah, there wasn’t a lot of money in the family, I can see with hindsight, so I don’t, you know, I’ve racked my brain since I knew I was coming to this and I cannot remember anything other the marbles, the Bayko and the train set, and this one doll. Books, I mean I learnt to read when I was 4, and it was always books, you know, and that was basically always what I wanted to do…and some things on the wireless, like Journey Into Space, that sort of thing, so you know, I can’t – I couldn’t dredge up from anywhere any other toys that I played with.

17.31 – Sean: So what became of the Bayko, and train sets, and everything else after you’d grown up –

Pat: The Bayko’s here –

Sean: – Oh everything’s here…

Pat: [laughs] The Bayko’s here, I don’t know what became of the train set, I imagine they probably sold it on, and Buddy’s here as well. I don’t know what happened to the doll, she just simply disappeared, I think she probably didn’t move with us, actually, to Deal …because I didn’t play with her, and I was scared of her, so they wouldn’t have kept her. The marbles… I just remembered something else I used to play with: Dinky Toys. Obviously they were part of the town, yes, yeah…so yeah, they were – again this paisley rug was brilliant for that because it had all, you know, the separate areas that could be, you know, where the cars, the marbles lived and that sort of thing. Yeah… I always wished I’d kept those because they’d be worth something now. Again, I didn’t have very many of them. you know, half a dozen of them, a bus. And I would make a – yeah, it’s interesting, it’s coming back – I would make a garage for them, then obviously I had to take that down to make other things, but then I would remake the garage, so when I was playing – combined play – the cars would always have a garage to go to. Yeah [laughs]

19.00 – Sean: Are there any other memories of bears, dolls, or construction toys that…?

Pat: No, I just, I mean I’ve – I wonder how I knew about Meccano, because there wasn’t a huge amount of advertising, so I must have seen it somewhere, probably saw it in shops, actually, because my mother got a job in a department store, so they would have had a toy store, a toy area. No, I didn’t have any other – I don’t remember having any other soft toys, as I say it was just off the wall, I don’t think there was much around to actually buy, and the Dinky cars, which I just remembered, I didn’t have very many of, I mean you only used to get presents in those days on your birthday, basically, and at Christmas, so…they were, I think the train set and the Bayko were quite big presents for those days, other than that I would always get books and things. There weren’t any other outstanding toys.

Sean: OK, if you don’t have anything else to add, thank you very much for participating… Pat: Thank you.

RECORDING ENDS – 20.20

Pat

Pat was born in Southsea in 1946, but as a child moved first to Plymouth and then to Deal. In the short version (4m 4s) of this audio only interview she discusses her teddy bear (Buddy) and Bayko, both of which now live at Brighton Toy and Model Museum, as well as her train set.

In the full version (20m 25s) she also talks about her dislike for her doll and the fact that she really wanted Meccano.