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25th November 2014
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer: Holly Parsons
Videographer: Sean Kelly

00.06 – Holly: Can you tell me about your teddy bear?

Zoe: Yes. I dressed him up in the pyjamas and dressing gown, and he’s still got the pyjamas and dressing gown on. And he’s very, very sweet. I don’t have him on display now, I’ve got him tucked away in a box, but I’ve still got him anyway so…

Holly: Yeah. Can you describe him, his name, age, materials, condition?

Zoe: Yes he’s in good, condition, he’s as old as I am which is 54 and umm I don’t think I ever gave him a name, I just, he’s just a teddy bear, and umm I just, Teddy, Teddy I suppose, I used to call him teddy and yeah, yeah

Holly: Do you remember how you came to own him?

Zoe: I think he was probably given to me as a child when I was born or one or two years old. So yeah

Holly: How did you play with him? What sort of games did you play? Or who with?

Zoe: Sometimes I used to have like school lessons, and sit them round in a circle with the other dolls and give them pieces of paper and things to do. And just like you would do at school.

Holly: Can you tell me about one of your dolls?

Zoe: Yes. I had a rag doll called Meg. and I used to play with that a lot, and dress it up in costumes and I think latterly I gave it to my mum when she was poorly and I think eventually I gave it away to a collector, but it was, it got ruffled, a bit tatty, and I put it in the washing machine and it got a bit tatty in the end so I think I got rid of it, but yeah I really used to enjoy playing with Meg, used to be one of my favourite dolls.

Holly: So how about construction toys, did you play with any construction toys?

04.16 – Zoe: Yes I had a Betta Bilda set, It was like Lego but was called Betta Bilda

Holly: Can you tell me about it, what was it made of?

Zoe: Yes it had those little plastic white bricks with green for the tiles and red doors and windows.

Holly: I think they have got some of that in the museum as well.

Zoe: Probably have yes, it’s quite a collector’s item now.

Holly: How did you come to own it?

Zoe: Again it would have been a present. It’s, it was a bit like a Lego but it wasn’t made by Lego so it was called Betta Bilda.

Holly: Yeah. How did you play with it? What sort of games?

Zoe: I used to make, build houses, and a garage, and build a garage and the houses and walls and things. So we played with it a lot because the blue box got broken so.

Holly: How did you feel about it?

Zoe: Yeah, yeah I used to enjoy playing with it.

Holly: How important was it to you?

Zoe: Yeah, I mean I, I, I enjoyed; yes I used to like playing with it.

Holly: Do you still have it?

Zoe: No.

Holly: what were your best memories of it?

Zoe: Just, I used to like building the houses. And umm it was again something I always had as a child so, I used to like playing with it.

ENDS: 02m 58s

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25th November 2014
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer: Holly Parsons
Videographer: Sean Kelly

00.04 – Holly: So, Hi Zoe. Today we are going to interview you about your memories of toys, bears and.. . Teddy bears, dolls and construction toys. So where were you born and when?

Zoe: Brighton, July 1960.

Holly: Ok then, and where did you spend your childhood?

Zoe: Woodingdean.

Holly: So did you have any teddy bears?

Zoe: I had a teddy bear that I’ve still got, I had it when I was born and a rag doll as well, I haven’t got the rag doll but I’ve got the teddy bear.

Holly: Can you tell me about your teddy bear?

Zoe: Yes. I dressed him up in the pyjamas and dressing gown, and he’s still got the pyjamas and dressing gown on. And he’s very, very sweet. I don’t have him on display now, I’ve got him tucked away in a box, but I’ve still got him anyway so…

Holly: Yeah. Can you describe him, his name, age, materials, condition?

Zoe: Yes he’s in good, condition, he’s as old as I am which is 54 and umm I don’t think I ever gave him a name, I just, he’s just a teddy bear, and umm I just, Teddy, Teddy I suppose, I used to call him teddy and yeah, yeah

Holly: Do you remember how you came to own him?

Zoe: I think he was probably given to me as a child when I was born or one or two years old. So yeah

Holly: How did you play with him? What sort of games did you play? Or who with?

Zoe: Sometimes I used to have like school lessons, and sit them round in a circle with the other dolls and give them pieces of paper and things to do. And just like you would do at school.

Holly: How did you feel about him? Do you remember?

Zoe: Yeah, yeah I love my teddy, he was lovely. Yeah.

Holly: How important was he to you?

Zoe: Ah yeah fairly important, yes, yeah yeah, something precious to have as a child. You know, childhood teddy bear is always something special.

Holly: Yeah, Do you still have it?

Zoe: Yeah, yeah.

Holly: what are your best memories of it?

Zoe: Just that he was rather, associated with my childhood, and just that he’s a lovely 1960s bears, a bit hard, bit hard, but very nice, he’s lovely.

02.22 – Holly: So did you play with any dolls?

Zoe: Yes dolls, yeah yeah.

Holly: Can you tell me about one of your dolls?

Zoe: Yes. I had a rag doll called Meg. and I used to play with that a lot, and dress it up in costumes and I think latterly I gave it to my mum when she was poorly and I think eventually I gave it away to a collector, but it was, it got ruffled, a bit tatty, and I put it in the washing machine and it got a bit tatty in the end so I think I got rid of it, but yeah I really used to enjoy playing with Meg, used to be one of my favourite dolls.

Holly: So can you describe Meg?

Zoe: Yeah. She was, pink arms and soft body and individual arms and legs, and yes quite a character.

Holly: How did you come to own Meg?

Zoe: I think probably again it was a childhood gift, I can’t remember exactly but I think again it was probably a childhood gift.

Holly: Excellent. How did you play with it, what sort of games did you play? And who with?

Zoe: Just sort of, again like the rest of my dolls I used to play, give, give them lessons. But umm I think I just used to cuddle Meg, You know, and because she had gold, ginger hair so, yeah.

Holly: How did you feel about Meg?

Zoe: Yeah I liked her, she was lovely, lovely doll.

Holly: Do you still own Meg?

Zoe: Not now no.

Holly: What are your best memories of Meg?

Zoe: I just, she was, always seemed to be part of my childhood, she used to go along with my teddy and another dolly I had.

Holly: Did you have any action figures?

Zoe: Action Men, no not Action men.

Holly: OK. Sorry I have too scoop ahead in my questions. So how about construction toys, did you play with any construction toys?

04.16 – Zoe: Yes I had a Betta Bilda set, It was like Lego but was called Betta Bilda

Holly: Can you tell me about it, what was it made of?

Zoe: Yes it had those little plastic white bricks with green for the tiles and red doors and windows.

Holly: I think they have got some of that in the museum as well.

Zoe: Probably have yes, it’s quite a collector’s item now.

Holly: How did you come to own it?

Zoe: Again it would have been a present. It’s, it was a bit like a Lego but it wasn’t made by Lego so it was called Betta Bilda.

Holly: Yeah. How did you play with it? What sort of games?

Zoe: I used to make, build houses, and a garage, and build a garage and the houses and walls and things. So we played with it a lot because the blue box got broken so.

Holly: How did you feel about it?

Zoe: Yeah, yeah I used to enjoy playing with it.

Holly: How important was it to you?

Zoe: Yeah, I mean I, I, I enjoyed; yes I used to like playing with it.

Holly: Do you still have it?

Zoe: No.

Holly: what were your best memories of it?

Zoe: Just, I used to like building the houses. And umm it was again something I always had as a child so, I used to like playing with it.

Holly: We’ve gone through my questions very quickly is there any other toys or more stories you can tell me about some of the toys?

05.40 -Zoe:Yeah I used to have liked a Sindy Doll but I had another doll called Mary Make Up. And that was a similar sort of doll but I used to put lipstick on it. And Mary Make Up and a Tressy Doll with the hair that, growing hair. And another doll that I used to call Angela but it had black curly hair. And two coloured dolls and I used to call them Mellissa and May. And I had those as well, they were twins. And another doll called Goalie that was a goal keeper. And umm that was dressed in a football shirt and a top. And I actually gave that to the same collector in Leeds that took, brought Meg off me. The other dolls were called Gordon after Gordon Banks. And another doll called Susanne that I had as well.

Holly: So how did you play with all your dolls?

Zoe: I used to sit them all in a circle and talk to them and play games with them. I used to have doll birthdays and give them the party. And used to make up stories for the dolls. And that so yeah.

Holly: And did you have a favourite doll?

Zoe: Yeah, I used to like Susanne, and I used to like playing with her quite a bit. And I had all the dolls’ clothes, and sets of dolls’ clothes. And again they have all gone now, But yeah I used to have quite a bit, And mum made some dolls clothes and I brought some dolls clothes and things, so yes, [noise of the audio recorder being knocked over] So yeah.

Holly: So what are your best memories of playing with the dolls?

Zoe: Yeah just that they were always part of my childhood and I just enjoyed playing with them. I just think they were, they all got individual characters, you know and that’s what, the thing I remember about them. In all different avenues and individual personalities and names like little people.

Holly: excellent. So did you ever see a teddy bear, doll or construction toy that you wanted but never got?

Zoe: I suppose I could have said that with Tiny Tears, I don’t know because I never had one of those, But when I was growing up I was Meccano and Lego but, no, I think I was OK, don’t think I really yearned for anything else. And jigsaw puzzles as well I used to do those.

Holly: Are there any other stories about your toys that you would like to share with us.

Zoe: I had a Sooty puppet, and a Big Ears, and I used to have a plastic Noddy and then I also had a couple of garden gnomes that I had as well. But the dolls particularly I used to like changing them giving them, sitting them in a circle and giving them pieces of paper to read and write, and changing their clothes. And giving them yeah, that was good really.

Holly: Excellent, that is the end of my questions, we have gone through them very quickly unless there is something else you wanted to talk about?

Zoe: Well no, does that cover it or do you want to know anything else.

Holly: No that covers it but if you want to talk about a different toy you are welcome too.

Zoe: We have left the doll toys, and umm, I didn’t have a… I used to have wooden puppet, I used to have a wooden puppet and I used to play with that.

Holly: How did you used to play with your wooden puppet?

Zoe: We used to get it out and play with the strings. And umm, so that I use to enjoy playing with fuzzy felt, I used to be a fuzzy felts, that used to be quite fun.

Holly: Yeah I had fuzzy felt. Excellent thank you for participating.

INTERVIEW ENDS: 09m 57s

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Read the transcript of the audio track

25th November 2014
Location: Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Interviewer: Holly Parsons
Videographer: Sean Kelly

Holly: So, Hi Zoe. Today we are going to interview you about your memories of toys, bears and.. . Teddy bears, dolls and construction toys. So where were you born and when?

Zoe: Brighton, July 1960.

Holly: Ok then, and where did you spend your childhood?

Zoe: Woodingdean.

00.20 – Holly: So did you have any teddy bears?

Zoe: I had a teddy bear that I’ve still got, I had it when I was born and a rag doll as well, I haven’t got the rag doll but I’ve got the teddy bear.

Holly: Can you tell me about your teddy bear?

Zoe: Yes. I dressed him up in the pyjamas and dressing gown, and he’s still got the pyjamas and dressing gown on. And he’s very, very sweet. I don’t have him on display now, I’ve got him tucked away in a box, but I’ve still got him anyway so…

Holly: Yeah. Can you describe him, his name, age, materials, condition?

Zoe: Yes he’s in good, condition, he’s as old as I am which is 54 and umm I don’t think I ever gave him a name, I just, he’s just a teddy bear, and umm I just, Teddy, Teddy I suppose, I used to call him teddy and yeah, yeah

Holly: Do you remember how you came to own him?

Zoe: I think he was probably given to me as a child when I was born or one or two years old. So yeah

Holly: How did you play with him? What sort of games did you play? Or who with?

Zoe: Sometimes I used to have like school lessons, and sit them round in a circle with the other dolls and give them pieces of paper and things to do. And just like you would do at school.

Holly: How did you feel about him? Do you remember?

Zoe: Yeah, yeah I love my teddy, he was lovely. Yeah.

Holly: How important was he to you?

Zoe: Ah yeah fairly important, yes, yeah yeah, something precious to have as a child. You know, childhood teddy bear is always something special.

Holly: Yeah, Do you still have it?

Zoe: Yeah, yeah.

Holly: what are your best memories of it?

Zoe: Just that he was rather, associated with my childhood, and just that he’s a lovely 1960s bears, a bit hard, bit hard, but very nice, he’s lovely.

02.18 – Holly: So did you play with any dolls?

Zoe: Yes dolls, yeah yeah.

Holly: Can you tell me about one of your dolls?

Zoe: Yes. I had a rag doll called Meg. and I used to play with that a lot, and dress it up in costumes and I think latterly I gave it to my mum when she was poorly and I think eventually I gave it away to a collector, but it was, it got ruffled, a bit tatty, and I put it in the washing machine and it got a bit tatty in the end so I think I got rid of it, but yeah I really used to enjoy playing with Meg, used to be one of my favourite dolls.

Holly: So can you describe Meg?

Zoe: Yeah. She was, pink arms and soft body and individual arms and legs, and yes quite a character.

Holly: How did you come to own Meg?

Zoe: I think probably again it was a childhood gift, I can’t remember exactly but I think again it was probably a childhood gift.

Holly: Excellent. How did you play with it, what sort of games did you play? And who with?

Zoe: Just sort of, again like the rest of my dolls I used to play, give, give them lessons. But umm I think I just used to cuddle Meg, You know, and because she had gold, ginger hair so, yeah.

Holly: How did you feel about Meg?

Zoe: Yeah I liked her, she was lovely, lovely doll.

Holly: Do you still own Meg?

Zoe: Not now no.

Holly: What are your best memories of Meg?

Zoe: I just, she was, always seemed to be part of my childhood, she used to go along with my teddy and another dolly I had.

03.54 – Holly: Did you have any action figures?

Zoe: Action Men, no not Action men.

04.02 – Holly: OK. Sorry I have too scoop ahead in my questions. So how about construction toys, did you play with any construction toys?

Zoe: Yes I had a Betta Bilda set, It was like Lego but was called Betta Bilda

Holly: Can you tell me about it, what was it made of?

Zoe: Yes it had those little plastic white bricks with green for the tiles and red doors and windows.

Holly: I think they have got some of that in the museum as well.

Zoe: Probably have yes, it’s quite a collector’s item now.

Holly: How did you come to own it?

Zoe: Again it would have been a present. It’s, it was a bit like a Lego but it wasn’t made by Lego so it was called Betta Bilda.

Holly: Yeah. How did you play with it? What sort of games?

Zoe: I used to make, build houses, and a garage, and build a garage and the houses and walls and things. So we played with it a lot because the blue box got broken so.

Holly: How did you feel about it?

Zoe: Yeah, yeah I used to enjoy playing with it.

Holly: How important was it to you?

Zoe: Yeah, I mean I, I, I enjoyed; yes I used to like playing with it.

Holly: Do you still have it?

Zoe: No.

Holly: what were your best memories of it?

Zoe: Just, I used to like building the houses. And umm it was again something I always had as a child so, I used to like playing with it.

05.37 – Holly: We’ve gone through my questions very quickly is there any other toys or more stories you can tell me about some of the toys?

Zoe: Yeah I used to have liked a Sindy Doll but I had another doll called Mary Make Up. And that was a similar sort of doll but I used to put lipstick on it. And Mary Make Up and a Tressy Doll with the hair that, growing hair. And another doll that I used to call Angela but it had black curly hair. And two coloured dolls and I used to call them Mellissa and May. And I had those as well, they were twins. And another doll called Goalie that was a goal keeper. And umm that was dressed in a football shirt and a top. And I actually gave that to the same collector in Leeds that took, brought Meg off me. The other dolls were called Gordon after Gordon Banks. And another doll called Susanne that I had as well.

Holly: So how did you play with all your dolls?

Zoe: I used to sit them all in a circle and talk to them and play games with them. I used to have doll birthdays and give them the party. And used to make up stories for the dolls. And that so yeah.

Holly: And did you have a favourite doll?

Zoe: Yeah, I used to like Susanne, and I used to like playing with her quite a bit. And I had all the dolls’ clothes, and sets of dolls’ clothes. And again they have all gone now, But yeah I used to have quite a bit, And mum made some dolls clothes and I brought some dolls clothes and things, so yes, [noise of the audio recorder being knocked over] So yeah.

Holly: So what are your best memories of playing with the dolls?

Zoe: Yeah just that they were always part of my childhood and I just enjoyed playing with them. I just think they were, they all got individual characters, you know and that’s what, the thing I remember about them. In all different avenues and individual personalities and names like little people.

07.46 – Holly: Excellent. So did you ever see a teddy bear, doll or construction toy that you wanted but never got?

Zoe: I suppose I could have said that with Tiny Tears, I don’t know because I never had one of those, But when I was growing up I was Meccano and Lego but, no, I think I was OK, don’t think I really yearned for anything else. And jigsaw puzzles as well I used to do those.

Holly: Are there any other stories about your toys that you would like to share with us.

Zoe: I had a Sooty puppet, and a Big Ears, and I used to have a plastic Noddy and then I also had a couple of garden gnomes that I had as well. But the dolls particularly I used to like changing them giving them, sitting them in a circle and giving them pieces of paper to read and write, and changing their clothes. And giving them yeah, that was good really.

Holly: Excellent, that is the end of my questions, we have gone through them very quickly unless there is something else you wanted to talk about?

Zoe: Well no, does that cover it or do you want to know anything else.

Holly: No that covers it but if you want to talk about a different toy you are welcome too.

Zoe: We have left the doll toys, and umm, I didn’t have a… I used to have wooden puppet, I used to have a wooden puppet and I used to play with that.

Holly: How did you used to play with your wooden puppet?

Zoe: We used to get it out and play with the strings. And umm, so that I use to enjoy playing with fuzzy felt, I used to be a fuzzy felts, that used to be quite fun.

Holly: Yeah I had fuzzy felt. Excellent thank you for participating.

Zoe

Zoe was born in 1960 in Brighton. In both the short (02m 58s) and full versions (09m 57s) of her interview she talks about her teddy bear, her dolls and Betta Bilda.