The Haslemere Sindy Exhibition 2011

In the Summer of 2011, Johnny Clarke took his beautiful collection to Haslemere Museum. It was a wonderful, carefully considered and curated exhibition and it was a joy to visit. The effort he put into creating the exhibition was extraordinary. Johnny had lovely dolls and they were always beautfully dressed.

This is what Laurie Isherwood had to say about her visit in 2011.

As a new and very keen collector of Sindy, I was thrilled to see that Johnny Clarke (of the fantastic ‘Sindyourpedigreegirlofthe60s’ website) had put some of his amazing Sindy collection on display at the Haslemere Education Museum. A great opportunity for me as someone who has only ever seen their own dolls.

Located on Haslemere High Street on the ground floor of the museum, the exhibition is an extensive and beautifully laid out collection.

I took my sister and niece along. My sister, no longer a huge doll fan, said it brought back fond childhood memories, particularly the pink 60’s bath, early pink wardrobe and ‘Sleepy-Time’ outfit, which she remembered once owning.

My 12 year old niece who has recently started showing an interest in my small (but growing!) collection at home, was particularly smitten with Patch, Sindy’s naughty sister’s clothes, but her favourite was a 1984 ‘Beach Party’ doll with her long straight hair.

Highlights for myself included the two earliest Sindy horses, stunning ‘Come Dancing’ dress with stole and extremely desirable ‘Paul’s Scooter’.

Museum note – the Sidepart wearing 1968 ‘White Winter’ shown left was a gorgeous, waxy faced Sidepart. Johnny called her ‘Clarrisa’ and would say that she was entitled to look snooty because she was so fabulous and she definitely got the best of everything. So obviously she got a great outfit and a boyfriend for the exhibition.

The exhibition provides a wonderful treat for original 60’s girls, current collectors, future collectors and those who may no longer consider themselves Sindy fans, but who may simply need reminding.

Many thanks to Johnny and Haslemere Education Museum. The exhibition runs until Saturday 27th August 2011, it is free entry to the Museum and exhibit, but donations are always welcome.

Johnny passed away in 2021, this is our original obituary carried forward from our old museum.

In memory of Johnny Clarke

It’s with great sadness that we have learned that Johnny Clarke has passed away. Johnny was very personable; unfailingly kind, great fun and with a wicked sense of humour. He was a good friend to the museum and a number of his contributions can be found filling in gaps that we had. We will always remember him with affection for climbing into his loft at very short notice (i.e. the night before) to retrieve his horsebox so that we could use it in for our main exhibit on Sindy horsies for a Toy Museum for a Day pop-up charity event in Alresford. He only meant to drop by to give us the horsebox, but stayed until he had to go to work, brushing dolly hair for the displays and chatting with visitors.

His gorgeous ‘Sindyourpedigreegirlofthe60s’ website was an inspiration for many of us. His dolls were always beautiful, they were immaculately dressed and he had a great eye for detail. In 2011 he took his collection to the Haslemere Museum for a summer exhibition. If you have never seen Johnny’s Sindy dolls, Laurie Isherwood wrote a lovely article including many photos which you can see here.

Johnny’s Sindy website has gone now, but he was also passionate about Mary Quant’s Daisy and the Disco Girls and those websites are still running for now.

Johnny was also renovating a dolls house, 12 Worthington Road, and this is a lovely article about him and his interest in the miniature, be it dolls or dollhouses.

Real life happens, email addresses change and you lose touch with folk. After resuming the work of the Museum last year, I had been trying to contact him without success. I wish now that I had tried harder.

Thank you Johnny for the joy you gave us with your beautiful websites; and the interest, care and friendship you showed to many.