Throwback Thursday 11: Toys & Pastimes

This week I’m joining in with Maggie one of the two hosts of Throwback Thursday. The topic is toys and pastimes so how could I resist that. Naomi and I love dolls, bears, and toys.

We did have a lot of toys as children. We had our own individual toys and some that we shared. I had different favourites over the years. As a young child there was James, my teddy bear and then my big baby doll Theresa and walking doll Christine. When I was a bit older mum gave me fashion dolls. I especially remember being excited to get Sindy and Patch. We also had paper dolls that we played with a lot. I’ve written a lot about our childhood dolls on our doll blog and there are photos of many of them there. Here are some of the childhood dolls that I still own. The paper doll set is a replica

We didn’t just have dolls and “girls’ toys” though. We had Lego and other types of building blocks. We had Matchbox and Husky cars. One year I had a set of Corgi vehicles in my Christmas stocking. Another favourite toy was my Triang train set. Naomi and I loved playing with that and when we had a dedicated play space, we would set up our toy farms and zoos with the train running around them and our dolls houses looking down on them as they were massively out of scale. We spent hours playing with those things.

A Triang Hornby model railway. I had a building like this as a child

I do remember saving up to buy toys, mum encouraged that. I’d either save up my pocket money until I had enough or take my two shillings to the shop every week to pay for the desired item. I remember a set of plastic cyclists riding metal bicycles that took my fancy and a hard plastic doll in historical costume as toys that cost ten shillings or more and had to be saved for. There was one type of toy that I did always dream of owning but never did and that was a pedal car. I did understand that it was beyond our parents’ budget and that I had a lot of other wonderful things, so I didn’t get too upset about it.

Today, both Naomi and I have many vintage toys that we bought because we used to own them or wanted to own them. My doll collection started from wanting to replace childhood favourites and buy dolls or outfits that I would have liked and didn’t have as a child. Although I had many fashion dolls which were often given to me as presents, I didn’t often get the genuine fashions as they were deemed too expensive, so I bought generic clothing with my pocket money or had home-made clothing. Naomi often complains that where I would be given a genuine name brand fashion doll like Sindy or Skipper she, as the youngest, got clone dolls except for her Penny Brite doll, so she has bought a few of her own. Sometimes we do buy replica toys especially paper dolls as the fragile nature of them means that vintage ones are rare in good condition and therefore expensive. Below are some toys that we used to own as children that Naomi has bought for her toy collection. The little washing machine belongs to me. I used to have one just like it in my dolls house. The dolls house on the left is one Naomi bought which is similar to my childhood dolls house.

Even as adults our toys have brought great pleasure to our lives, and we intend to go on collecting them.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. As the “middle” child in my family, I didn’t get new toys almost ever. I got books — and every year, on my birthday, a brand new and high end doll, usually from Mme. Alexander or one of the other upscale manufacturers. My brother — older by four years — go new stuff because he was the only boy and he came first. My sister got new stuff because she was the youngest and the old toys passed down by my brother were pretty worn out by the time they drifted to her.

    But I did get books. By the time I was 7 or 8, it was obvious that reading was my “thing.” That and dolls. I got many, many books and I read everything. I probably read more as a kid than anyone else I knew, though Garry was pretty much the same in his home. Would I have liked new toys? Probably. But it was a different time, too. It wasn’t unusual to get one special gift rather than a stack of stuff. So much of the stuff I see parents giving their kids is plastic junk. All it will do it become trash and so quickly. I was a bit of a solemn child. I was always a bit more serious than other kids my age and all that reading didn’t make me very popular, either.

    On the other hand, would have have traded my books for other toys? Most unlikely 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t mention books in my post but I did have a lot of books. Mum often bought me books or I bought them with my pocket money, back when you could buy a hardcover book with a paper jacket for under a dollar. I still have some of them too.


  2. Please forgive me for the time it has taken for me to respond. I am so glad you decided to join us on the post this week. What a lovely collection of dolls and toys you have. It must mean you have a special place to store and display them. With four children in our family, we did not each get an abundance of toys. Your dolls each have such a personality!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maggie. I used to have my dolls in my spare bedroom. My sister’s house was a former bank and had a big area at the front which she turned into a toy display room. Now both houses are sold and we made sure we bought a house large enough to hold both our collections although it is a tight squeeze. Eventually we will line the walls of our garage to hold larger items like pedal cars and prams but for the moment it is chaos here. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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