A picture of the Sidepart Sindy can be found in Colette Mansell’s “The History of Sindy” on pg 59. In the book she says these puppets were sold at Hereford Dolls’ Hospital between 1971-3. But, we have always wondered if these dolls were more widely available given that although they are rare, they do pop up from time to time across the UK. This is what the owner of these puppets says:
“I actually found the puppets in a cardboard box in a Toy Master shop in Hyde near Manchester in 1995. The faces were greening then so I picked out one of each of the best ones. I was intrigued to know where they had come from but the shop assistant said it was old stock and there was no one in the shop who could tell me anything about them.”
Perhaps the Hereford puppets were a donation from such a toyshop or from the manufacturer (if they were still in a box in a toyshop some twenty years later maybe they didn’t sell very well), or perhaps like other dolls’ hospitals they operated as a toyshop too and these dolls were just part of their normal stock. Mansell suggested that perhaps Pedigree were using up old stock, and that could well be the case. Alternatively, perhaps following the collapse of the Lines Bros. empire in 1971, the liquidators broke up and sold off component parts of the Lines Brothers Group and perhaps this included some of the stock also.
But, we think these puppets were made by Good-Wood Toys Ltd (marketed as Goodwood Playthings) which did have a connection with Pedigree, because this little company was set up by Walter Lines when he retired from Lines Bros in 1962. Perhaps they saw a use for these surplus Sindy heads and made these puppets for sale.
The theory that these puppets were actually made by Good-Wood would tie in exactly with the Good-Wood Sindy Jack in the Box which is wearing exactly the same outfit, and we know that the Good-Wood Jack in the Boxes were shown in the 1970 Tri-ang Christmas Catalogue and the 1970-71 Hamleys Catalogue. We believe the puppets were made around the time as the Sindy Jack in the Box in the early 1970s, which would accord with the three dolls’ heads used for the puppets below.
The Sindy Jack in the Box is also on display in this Museum and we know Good-Wood also made Sindy’s fabulous wooden Four Poster Bed.
Here are three beautiful Sindy puppets, and we can confirm that they are all absolutely authentic and original.
The puppets are all slightly different sizes. The Marilyn Sindy has an 10¼ inch stick, the Sidepart head has an 8½ inch wooden stick, and the Centrepart head has a 10 inch stick.
Their dresses and cloaks are made of the same material and are glued to the neck of each doll. The cloaks are cotton, the starched 1970’s type, and the dress underneath is seersucker cotton. The ribbon is a satin/silky type. The clothes are stuck round the pole with a strong glue which has dried out a bit and become brittle. There are no labels on the clothes.
Here are the Sindy doll heads in release order. From left to right, Marilyn 1967, Sidepart 1968 and Centrepart 1970. The Marilyn Sindy, of course, does not have ‘real’ eyelashes, but she has the four painted lashes. The Sidepart and Centrepart heads have their long ‘real’ eye lashes as well as 4 painted eyelashes at the corner of the eyes. All their lips are bright red and the eyes glance sideways. They have lovely soft hair. The Sidepart doll is platinum blonde whereas the Centrepart doll is golden blonde. The Marylin has a shade of hair which the owner describes as being a shade in-between the other two dolls’ hair – white blonde she thinks. It is also of a different texture. All the puppet heads are marked Made in Hong Kong in capitals on the neck.