An Introduction

The 1930's ..... long before my time but it was the decade in which my maternal grandparents were married and set up home in a traditional 1930's semi-detached house. A house in which I spent the majority of my childhood and which was the hub of our family life. It was a safe-haven where my Granny and Papa would indulge us, a place where family members came and went ... and the kettle was always on!

The house was sold when my Grandmother died in 1995 but I often visualise myself walking through the house and remembering every little detail from the front porch, to the art deco inspired bathroom, to the shell shaped wall lights and fly-catcher lampshades and the understair cupboard where we used to hide and where my Papa kept our bowls of hyacinths in the dark for the annual school competition!

I drove past the house recently and it has changed beyond all recognition. I fully understand the new owners wanting to update the house but part of me wanted it to be preserved as it was and as how I remember it.

My name is Allison and this is the story of my endeavour to recreate a piece of family history and a nostalgic return to the home known as 'Annfield.'

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Sunday 23 January 2011

This makes me smile!!!

Oh has been so long since I updated this blog and sadly things are no further forward with this house, although I still think about it often and continue planning it in my head. Nevertheless, I decided to add this post because I think it relevant to the history of Annfield.
Although my Grandmother died 15 years ago there are still boxes of her possessions in my parents loft which haven't seen the light of day...until now. I was passed a biscuit tin full of old photographs, and I mean old! I date some of them to the 1920s, perhaps earlier as my knowledge of military history is a bit ropey! The 'newest' one I could find was taken on Christmas Day 1985 (I only know this because it was my Grandfather's 80th birthday!)
But two photographs which bring a smile to my lips every time I look at them are these.....

Mrs Cowan & Mrs McDowall

Silly hats and handbags!!

Mrs Cowan & my Granny
Sunglasses and sunny smiles!!

I guess these photographs were taken very late 1950s or early 1960s - obviously on a day trip away!

I remember these ladies from my childhood in the 1970s when they would meet my Gran either at the shops, at church or at 'The Guild' although they seemed to me to be very, very old then!

I always remember them as being 'ladies' and it seems so out of character for them to don silly hats and sunglasses. But I guess it does the soul good to act daft every once in a while!

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Sketchy Details

First of all thank you for following this blog, slow though it is. This house is definitely going to be another long-haul project so I hope you'll bear with me. So, finally here is the sketch of how I plan this house to be.

This house is going to be quite big, approximately 2 ft square. Luckily my talented son had built a table a couple of years ago as part of his Standard Grades and guess's a near-perfect size on which to sit this house!

I'm hoping to do a dry build this weekend when it shall be revealed in all it's masking taped glory! Until then x

Wednesday 11 August 2010


Real life is getting in the way of building Annfield and I haven't yet drawn out my sketch for you but in the meantime I have bought this fabulous little book....

It's only a little A5 sized book with 40 pages in it but those pages are a mine of information about housing in the 1930s. For anyone embarking on a similar project I would certainly recommend it!

Sunday 1 August 2010

Grand Designs!

I'm more than a little excited about this project for some reason...perhaps because it will be more personal being modelled on an actual family home, perhaps because it's my first dolls house with a layout like a real house and definitely because it's something new!

My mind is racing with ideas for this house but I need to rein myself in and work in a methodical fashion so the first thing to plan is the layout.

I know straight away that having an external door off the dining room is not going to work neither is the side window. But the kitchen needs a back door and window so that solves that problem. Hopefully it will simply be a case of swapping over the panels because I so dislike having to cut MDF!

I don't want an open-plan kitchen and dining room so that will have to be partitioned off - perhaps with a serving hatch?

And my Granny's house had glass sliding doors between the living room and dining room so that's what we'll have too! I remember the glass as being like a washboard, with ridges running horizontally - that might be challenging to make or find in 12th scale. Oh, and she always had loads of ornaments on a shelf above the doors - must remember that!

Upstairs, there are four rooms and a landing. The bathroom will be at the back of the house, above the kitchen (to keep the plumbing simple!) and the other three rooms will be bedrooms.

And finally...the chimney will be repositioned to sit above the actual fireplace. It drives me crazy to see chimneys sat on top of dolls houses when there is no obvious fireplace beneath them.

I think I'll make a sketch to help you visualise this house. Back soon x

Thursday 29 July 2010

In the Beginning.....

I have just taken delivery of my latest project. Not my next project because I never finish one before moving onto the next! So my latest project will run alongside all the others.

Here it is .... the Mountfield kit from The Dolls House Emporium. In two boxes? It's going to be big!