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27th January 2015
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer/Videographer: Andrea Dumbrell

Yolanda: Yes. I had lots of dolls. I had a lot of Barbie dolls. All the different stages of the Barbie dolls. And I had I think it was about five, and Mum and Dad bought me all these tall walkie talkie dolls, that were in fashion that year. And I had one bought for me. But mine didn’t walk, it only spoke. But she was still a big one in a box like a coffin. And I kept her. I’ve still got her as well. I think that her name was Sindy or something. I can’t remember the names because of naming my own kids’ dolls and that.

Andrea: So you said you had Barbies as well?

Yolanda: Yes. I had a set of Barbies. And obviously, used to change them into different clothes and stuff. And have picnics and tea parties.

Andrea: And how did you feel about your dolls?

Yolanda: Well, I liked my dolls. And they all had names. And I used to paint their fingernails and change their clothes and so on and. I remember my cousin had, her mum and them used to get them these dolls with round fat faces kind of, with the kind of button glass eyes. And they were more like baby dolls you know. Big fat legs and in nappies. But mine were always more kind of Barbie dolls and bigger tall dolls and things like that which were quite different. I don’t know.

Andrea: Where did they come from?

Yolanda: Gifts. Birthdays and Mum and Dad would get them when they’d gone on their holidays or you know, from different countries or from England and stuff like that.

Yolanda: I never really had action toys – the boys had the action toys.

Andrea: Did you want one?

Yolanda: Action toys? Not really. When we – when little girls used to play – we used to kind of like to get tea sets, you know, like to have picnics with the tea sets and dolls and all the kind of play secretaries and stuff like that but with the dolls. So it was kind of this theme thing. The boys would have their Action Men and their helicopters and you know, cars and things.

2m 55s

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27th January 2015
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer/Videographer: Andrea Dumbrell

00.05 – Andrea: just want to start by asking you what your name is, when you were born and when you were born.

Yolanda: Right. My name is Yolanda Louise Bath and I was born in South Africa on the 18th of the 2nd 1968.

Andrea: Brilliant. Whereabouts in South Africa?

Yolanda: Natal. A small town called Pietermaritzburg.

Andrea: Okay. Thank you. I may ask you to spell that later. So when you were growing up – did you live there all of your childhood?

Yolanda: Well, lived there right until I was 15 years old. No, 16 years old.

00.46 – Andrea: And when you were growing up did you have a teddy bear?

Yolanda: I had a teddy bear that was given to me when I was two years old. And he was big. About that size. [gestures] So for a two year old he was too big. Bigger than I was almost. So I used to be scared of it. But I kind of grew into it, and it was just kind of my teddy bear all the way through. And my mascot when I got older for all my exams and stuff. And I still got him now. He’s one with like brown leather hands and feet and the kind of brown button eyes. Glass eyes and things. But everyone knew it was my teddy bear. I’d had him since I was two.

Andrea: And how did you come to own it? Was it a present?

Yolanda: Yeah. A present from my dad. And Mum, I think. I’m not sure if he got it from England actually. He may have got it from England. But he was really, a really good repair on him, you know. One of the expensive teddy bears.

Andrea: And how did you play with him?

Yolanda: Well I was scared of him as a two year old because he was bigger than me. And then he just kind of used to be my teddy bear on my bed. All the way through. You know, my mascot. When I used to study and stuff. And my friends knew my teddy bear because it was always there. Like part of the furniture.

Andrea: Did he have a name?

Yolanda: He did have a name but I can’t remember it now [laughs]. But we’ve still got it. I think it was Ben but I’m not sure. I can’t remember. If I think about it I’ll ask Mum. But I can’t remember.

02.56 – Andrea: So what about dolls? Did you have any dolls?

Yolanda: Yes. I had lots of dolls. I had a lot of Barbie dolls. All the different stages of the Barbie dolls. And I had I think it was about five, and Mum and Dad bought me all these tall walkie talkie dolls, that were in fashion that year. And I had one bought for me. But mine didn’t walk, it only spoke. But she was still a big one in a box like a coffin. And I kept her. I’ve still got her as well. I think that her name was Sindy or something. I can’t remember the names because of naming my own kids’ dolls and that.

Andrea: So you said you had Barbies as well?

Yolanda: Yes. I had a set of Barbies. And obviously, used to change them into different clothes and stuff. And have picnics and tea parties.

Andrea: And how did you feel about your dolls?

Yolanda: Well, I liked my dolls. And they all had names. And I used to paint their fingernails and change their clothes and so on and. I remember my cousin had, her mum and them used to get them these dolls with round fat faces kind of, with the kind of button glass eyes. And they were more like baby dolls you know. Big fat legs and in nappies. But mine were always more kind of Barbie dolls and bigger tall dolls and things like that which were quite different. I don’t know.

Andrea: Where did they come from?

Yolanda: Gifts. Birthdays and Mum and Dad would get them when they’d gone on their holidays or you know, from different countries or from England and stuff like that.

Andrea: Do you still have them?

Yolanda: Yes, yeah. I do still have most of my toys which is quite good.

Andrea: And how do you feel about them now?

Yolanda: Still the same. For me now it’s quite good ‘cos you know, it’s nice to know that they’ve been kept and I’ve still got them. I don’t know.

Andrea: So you said you played with them, had tea parties.

Yolanda: Yep. With the Barbie dolls.

Andrea: Did you play with other people with them?

Yolanda: Yes. They’d bring their Barbies as well. Dress them up.

Andrea: So thinking about all the dolls you had, which were your favourites?

Yolanda: Well, the Barbie doll. I don’t know, I always liked the Barbie dolls ‘cos I used to be able to dress them up and paint their nails. Play the picnics. But the tall one I used to like quite a bit as well because your could dress her up as well and make things, little outfits, which was easier to handle because she was bigger.

Andrea: So would you have said they were important to you?

Yolanda: Yeah. The most important one to me was my teddy bear, and I still make sure that he’s not kind of given away or handed down to anyone. He’s not allowed to be [laughs].

Andrea: But you know he’s still there somewhere.

Yolanda: Yeah.

Andrea: Being looked after.

Yolanda: Yeah [laughs]

Andrea: What would you say your best memories are of your dolls or your bear?

Yolanda: Best memories? I’d say – I’d also been given a swan when I was quite young. I don’t forget that because it was a big white swan, and you used to, one that you’d put in the bath, and he used to kind of take up half the bath with me. Which was quite unusual. But I always seemed to get toys that were big, like kind of half my size. Or, you know, so I kind of didn’t forget much. I think dad must have got that when they’d come over to England, when Mum came over to England I got some unusual toys as well that you couldn’t get in South Africa. But yeah, I think the teddy bear still, out of all of them.

08.03 – Andrea: So did you have any action figures? Anything that you could describe as dolls but they weren’t Barbies or . . . So anything like Action Men or Star Wars figures? Anything else that were sort of people?

Yolanda: Um not really. The tall doll was the only one, because she used to talk. I never really had action toys – the boys had the action toys.

Andrea: Did you want one?

Yolanda: Action toys? Not really. When we – when little girls used to play – we used to kind of like to get tea sets, you know, like to have picnics with the tea sets and dolls and all the kind of play secretaries and stuff like that but with the dolls. So it was kind of this theme thing. The boys would have their Action Men and their helicopters and you know, cars and things.

09.14 – Andrea: So the other thing we’ve been asking people about is construction toys. Did you have anything you could describe as a construction toy?

Yolanda: Lego. Yeah. I had Lego. Lots of Lego

Andrea: What did you make with it?

Yolanda: I used to always like kind of, we used to put together things like aeroplanes and houses and things like that.

Andrea: And did you play with just the Lego or did you put it together with anything else, like your dolls?

Yolanda: I think no – with Lego it used to be more serious, because we had to, we used to be more concerned about constructing a car or a home or a boat or something out of it. So we didn’t really mix it with other toys. It was just the proper kind of putting them together to make up something. But we used to make up quite big things, you know. Big houses and stuff.

Andrea: And where did your Lego come from?

Yolanda: I think from South Africa. But it was a good set, yeah.

10.36 – Andrea: So thinking about how you got your toys, were all of them presents or did you buy any of them yourself?

Yolanda: No, they were all gifts. I never bought any of mine [laughs].

Andrea: So did you ever want a doll or a bear or a construction toy or any other toy that you didn’t get?

Yolanda: Probably. I can’t remember. [Long pause]. I don’t know. I can’t remember actually.

Andrea: If you can’t remember it obviously wasn’t . . .

Yolanda: There probably was something

Andrea: Obviously wasn’t that important if you’re not now sitting here going ”Ah, there was this thing I really wanted and I never got it.”

Yolanda: ‘Cos I was quite – you know, when Christmas came and stuff, I was quite kind of . . . Mum never really used to ask me what I wanted so I was, you know, to a certain age anyway. When I got older, like the first time I started getting jewellery and older gifts was when the toys and things stopped.

Andrea: What age was that?

Yolanda: I think I got a watch, my first watch, when I was about eight. And you know, things like earrings and necklaces and signet rings and bracelets and all kinds of things like that. But. Yeah, I did start getting jewellery at quite a young age. But that was straight after the toys.

12.37 – Andrea: So when you were playing with toys, did you tend to play with them inside or outside?

Yolanda: I think we spent a lot of time with our toys inside. But we had – that was because we had outside toys. I had outside toys. Which were – like we had a – my granddad had made this like really big rocking horse that you’d sit on each side and you’d rock and stuff and these were the ones that were outside. But it used to be quite dangerous because we used to end up flying off and getting hurt. And then swings. We had the swing set as well. And tennis. Swing tennis. I’ve forgotten what it’s called now.

Andrea: Swingball.

Yolanda: Swingball was it?

Andrea: The one with the string

Yolanda: Yeah. All those were the outside games. But. So all the indoor things were just the dolls and . . .

Andrea: So were the outside toys bought rather than handmade?

Yolanda: No the – well, the swingball and swing was, the swings, was bought. But the rocking horse was made. And that used to be a favourite. All my friends always used to want to go on it. But a lot of us used to end up getting carried away and flying over, flying through the air!

Andrea: So I’m visualising it as wooden. Was it wooden?

Yolanda: No. It was made out of like iron, but like bent, like that, really big. And four people could sit on it at once. So you’d rock on each side. And then obviously you could go higher. You know. But especially if there was only two of you, one of you would normally go flying. [laughs]. But that was a real favourite amongst the kids. I think ‘cos nobody else had anything like that, and it was just popular. But . . .

14.45 – Andrea: So just to take you back to your dolls once more. The reason I’m asking this is because quite a few people that we’ve interviewed have said that they found dolls a bit creepy. You didn’t have that?

Yolanda: Oh yeah. I mean in later life I’ve had the porcelain style dolls which could, which are a bit more creepier for me, I find them sometimes a bit weird. But I like porcelain dolls. But I never had any problems with any others.

Andrea: The porcelain ones were a grown up …

Yolanda: The porcelain ones I’ve had in later life. I like to keep as a collection, and I’ve also got a really big teddy bear collection as well, for my little girl. But you know, the kids have got them now. But those were the only kind of creepy ones really for me.

Andrea: And they’re not for playing with really are they?

Yolanda: No, they’re more for show aren’t they?

Andrea: So, any other memories? Anything else you think you haven’t said about your toys that you’d like to say?

Yolanda: I’m just trying to think of what else. No. I mean I used to have things like tills, a nurse set and pram sets and all the little doll things which I used to really like. My nurse set and my till set and the pram set. ‘Cos we used to play secretaries and nurses and it used to be quite fun. We used to have the uniforms and all the outfits and stuff. Yeah, it used to be really good. So yeah, good time.

Andrea: So very much little girl toys?

Yolanda: Yeah, yeah. You know, the typical. I think so many kids had the nurse sets and the pram sets and the tills and things. And they were very popular.

Andrea: Okay. Well in that case I’m going to say thank you ever so and I’m going to turn the recorder off again.

INTERVIEW ENDS 17m 10s

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Read the transcript of the audio track

27th January 2015
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer/Videographer: Andrea Dumbrell

Andrea: So. Thank you ever so much for coming in. It’s really nice to see you again. I just want to start by asking you what your name is, when you were born and when you were born.

Yolanda: Right. My name is Yolanda Louise Bath and I was born in South Africa on the 18th of the 2nd 1968.

Andrea: Brilliant. Whereabouts in South Africa?

Yolanda: Natal. A small town called Pietermaritzburg.

Andrea: Okay. Thank you. I may ask you to spell that later. So when you were growing up – did you live there all of your childhood?

Yolanda: Well, lived there right until I was 15 years old. No, 16 years old.

00.47 – Andrea: And when you were growing up did you have a teddy bear?

Yolanda: I had a teddy bear that was given to me when I was two years old. And he was big. About that size. [gestures] So for a two year old he was too big. Bigger than I was almost. So I used to be scared of it. But I kind of grew into it, and it was just kind of my teddy bear all the way through. And my mascot when I got older for all my exams and stuff. And I still got him now. He’s one with like brown leather hands and feet and the kind of brown button eyes. Glass eyes and things. But everyone knew it was my teddy bear. I’d had him since I was two.

Andrea: And how did you come to own it? Was it a present?

Yolanda: Yeah. A present from my dad. And Mum, I think. I’m not sure if he got it from England actually. He may have got it from England. But he was really, a really good repair on him, you know. One of the expensive teddy bears.

Andrea: And how did you play with him?

Yolanda: Well I was scared of him as a two year old because he was bigger than me. And then he just kind of used to be my teddy bear on my bed. All the way through. You know, my mascot. When I used to study and stuff. And my friends knew my teddy bear because it was always there. Like part of the furniture.

Andrea: Did he have a name?

Yolanda: He did have a name but I can’t remember it now [laughs]. But we’ve still got it. I think it was Ben but I’m not sure. I can’t remember. If I think about it I’ll ask Mum. But I can’t remember.

Andrea: So what about dolls? Did you have any dolls?

Yolanda: Yes. I had lots of dolls. I had a lot of Barbie dolls. All the different versions of the Barbie dolls. And I had I think it was about five, and Mum and Dad bought me all these tall walkie talkie dolls, that were in fashion that year. And I had one bought for me. But mine didn’t walk, it only spoke. But she was still a big one in a box like a coffin. And I kept her. I’ve still got her as well. I think that her name was Sindy or something. I can’t remember the names because of naming my own kids’ dolls and that.

Andrea: So you said you had Barbies as well?

03.55 – Yolanda: Yes. I had a set of Barbies. And obviously, used to change them into different clothes and stuff. And have picnics and tea parties.

Andrea: And how did you feel about your dolls?

Yolanda: Well, I liked my dolls. And they all had names. And I used to paint their fingernails and change their clothes and so on and. I remember my cousin had, her mum and them used to get them these dolls with round fat faces kind of, with the kind of button glass eyes. And they were more like baby dolls you know. Big fat legs and in nappies. But mine were always more kind of Barbie dolls and bigger tall dolls and things like that which were quite different. I don’t know.

Andrea: Where did they come from?

Yolanda: Gifts. Birthdays and Mum and Dad would get them when they’d gone on their holidays or you know, from different countries or from England and stuff like that.

Andrea: Do you still have them?

Yolanda: Yes, yeah. I do still have most of my toys which is quite good.

Andrea: And how do you feel about them now?

Yolanda: Still the same. For me now it’s quite good ‘cos you know, it’s nice to know that they’ve been kept and I’ve still got them. I don’t know.

Andrea: So you said you played with them, had tea parties.

Yolanda: Yep. With the Barbie dolls.

Andrea: Did you play with other people with them?

Yolanda: Yes. They’d bring their Barbies as well. Dress them up.

Andrea: So thinking about all the dolls you had, which were your favourites?

Yolanda: Well, the Barbie doll. I don’t know, I always liked the Barbie dolls ‘cos I used to be able to dress them up and paint their nails. Play the picnics. But the tall one I used to like quite a bit as well because your could dress her up as well and make things, little outfits, which was easier to handle because she was bigger.

Andrea: So would you have said they were important to you?

Yolanda: Yeah. The most important one to me was my teddy bear, and I still make sure that he’s not kind of given away or handed down to anyone. He’s not allowed to be [laughs].

Andrea: But you know he’s still there somewhere.

Yolanda: Yeah.

Andrea: Being looked after.

Yolanda: Yeah [laughs]

Andrea: What would you say your best memories are of your dolls or your bear?

07.08 – Yolanda: Best memories? I’d say – I’d also been given a swan when I was quite young. I don’t forget that because it was a big white swan, and you used to, one that you’d put in the bath, and he used to kind of take up half the bath with me. Which was quite unusual. But I always seemed to get toys that were big, like kind of half my size. Or, you know, so I kind of didn’t forget much. I think dad must have got that when they’d come over to England, when Mum came over to England I got some unusual toys as well that you couldn’t get in South Africa. But yeah, I think the teddy bear still, out of all of them.

08.05 – Andrea: So did you have any action figures? Anything that you could describe as dolls but they weren’t Barbies or . . . So anything like Action Men or Star Wars figures? Anything else that were sort of people?

Yolanda: Um not really. The tall doll was the only one, because she used to talk. I never really had action toys – the boys had the action toys.

Andrea: Did you want one?

Yolanda: Action toys? Not really. When we – when little girls used to play – we used to kind of like to get tea sets, you know, like to have picnics with the tea sets and dolls and all the kind of play secretaries and stuff like that but with the dolls. So it was kind of this theme thing. The boys would have their Action Men and their helicopters and you know, cars and things.

09.18 – Andrea: So the other thing we’ve been asking people about is construction toys. Did you have anything you could describe as a construction toy?

Yolanda: Lego. Yeah. I had Lego. Lots of Lego

Andrea: What did you make with it?

Yolanda: I used to always like kind of, we used to put together things like aeroplanes and houses and things like that.

Andrea: And did you play with just the Lego or did you put it together with anything else, like your dolls?

Yolanda: I think no – with Lego it used to be more serious, because we had to, we used to be more concerned about constructing a car or a home or a boat or something out of it. So we didn’t really mix it with other toys. It was just the proper kind of putting them together to make up something. But we used to make up quite big things, you know. Big houses and stuff.

Andrea: And where did your Lego come from?

Yolanda: I think from South Africa. But it was a good set, yeah.

10.38 – Andrea: So thinking about how you got your toys, were all of them presents or did you buy any of them yourself?

Yolanda: No, they were all gifts. I never bought any of mine [laughs].

Andrea: So did you ever want a doll or a bear or a construction toy or any other toy that you didn’t get?

Yolanda: Probably. I can’t remember. [Long pause]. I don’t know. I can’t remember actually.

Andrea: If you can’t remember it obviously wasn’t . . .

Yolanda: There probably was something

Andrea: Obviously wasn’t that important if you’re not now sitting here going ”Ah, there was this thing I really wanted and I never got it.”

Yolanda: ‘Cos I was quite – you know, when Christmas came and stuff, I was quite kind of . . . Mum never really used to ask me what I wanted so I was, you know, to a certain age anyway. When I got older, like the first time I started getting jewellery and older gifts was when the toys and things stopped.

Andrea: What age was that?

Yolanda: I think I got a watch, my first watch, when I was about eight. And you know, things like earrings and necklaces and signet rings and bracelets and all kinds of things like that. But. Yeah, I did start getting jewellery at quite a young age. But that was straight after the toys.

12.38 – Andrea: So when you were playing with toys, did you tend to play with them inside or outside?

Yolanda: I think we spent a lot of time with our toys inside. But we had – that was because we had outside toys. I had outside toys. Which were – like we had a – my granddad had made this like really big rocking horse that you’d sit on each side and you’d rock and stuff and these were the ones that were outside. But it used to be quite dangerous because we used to end up flying off and getting hurt. And then swings. We had the swing set as well. And tennis. Swing tennis. I’ve forgotten what it’s called now.

Andrea: Swingball.

Yolanda: Swingball was it?

Andrea: The one with the string

Yolanda: Yeah. All those were the outside games. But. So all the indoor things were just the dolls and . . .

Andrea: So were the outside toys bought rather than handmade?

13.38 – Yolanda: No the – well, the swingball and swing was, the swings, was bought. But the rocking horse was made. And that used to be a favourite. All my friends always used to want to go on it. But a lot of us used to end up getting carried away and flying over, flying through the air!

Andrea: So I’m visualising it as wooden. Was it wooden?

Yolanda: No. It was made out of like iron, but like bent, like that, really big. And four people could sit on it at once. So you’d rock on each side. And then obviously you could go higher. You know. But especially if there was only two of you, one of you would normally go flying. [laughs]. But that was a real favourite amongst the kids. I think ‘cos nobody else had anything like that, and it was just popular. But . . .

14.48 – Andrea: So just to take you back to your dolls once more. The reason I’m asking this is because quite a few people that we’ve interviewed have said that they found dolls a bit creepy. You didn’t have that?

Yolanda: Oh yeah. I mean in later life I’ve had the porcelain style dolls which could, which are a bit more creepier for me, I find them sometimes a bit weird. But I like porcelain dolls. But I never had any problems with any others.

Andrea: The porcelain ones were a grown up …

Yolanda: The porcelain ones I’ve had in later life. I like to keep as a collection, and I’ve also got a really big teddy bear collection as well, for my little girl. But you know, the kids have got them now. But those were the only kind of creepy ones really for me.

Andrea: And they’re not for playing with really are they?

Yolanda: No, they’re more for show aren’t they?

Andrea: So, any other memories? Anything else you think you haven’t said about your toys that you’d like to say?

Yolanda: I’m just trying to think of what else. No. I mean I used to have things like tills, a nurse set and pram sets and all the little doll things which I used to really like. My nurse set and my till set and the pram set. ‘Cos we used to play secretaries and nurses and it used to be quite fun. We used to have the uniforms and all the outfits and stuff. Yeah, it used to be really good. So yeah, good time.

Andrea: So very much little girl toys?

Yolanda: Yeah, yeah. You know, the typical. I think so many kids had the nurse sets and the pram sets and the tills and things. And they were very popular.

Andrea: Okay. Well in that case I’m going to say thank you ever so and I’m going to turn the recorder off again.

INTERVIEW ENDS 17m 13s

Yolanda

Yolanda was born in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa in 1968 and lived there until the age of 16. A lot of her toys came from England. In the short version (2m 55s) of her interview she talks about her dolls, especially her Barbies. In the full version (17m 10s) of her interview she also talks about her teddy bear, Lego and outdoor toys.