Mary was made and donated by the late Esther Simpson, a regular visitor to the museum during its early days.

“In 1983 I was given this porcelain head, arms and feet on condition that I made a DOLL! As I was a student of Anne Dyer‘s at Westhope College near Craven Arms I was instructed how to make the body, stuff it with sawdust, attach the arms after the porcelain hands had been sewn in, then the legs and feet. I then measured up and designed the Victorian type underclothes, dress, jacket and hat. The hair was clipped from a young Negro man friend (who contributed his curls). I dearly love my ‘little lady’.”

We used Mary in the story of ‘A Ticket to Heaven’ where her true love, Jack, meets the King of the Fairies and is given a ticket to heaven so he can ‘buy’ the hand of Mary in marriage from her miserly father. Jack gives two thirds of the ticket to the miser and keeps the final third. Follow the instructions below and you’ll realise why Jack ended up in Heaven while the miser found himself in an altogether different place.

  1. Take a sheet of A4 paper and fold it 4 times as pictured below.
  1. Now rip the folded piece of paper into 3 pieces as below.
  1. Unfold pieces 1 and 2 and assemble as below.

Well, that certainly isn’t a “Ticket to Heaven”.

  1. Try unfolding piece 3 as below.

We think Jack definitely kept the correct piece!

Esther also donated the exquisite ‘Welsh Pedlar‘, which she had made earlier and had spent some time in Llanidloes Museum where she had volunteered. She was a very early donation to Mythstories museum and was featured alongside our Shropshire reference books as a cherished frequent visitor to be seen in the Stiperstones area of South Shropshire where she plied her wares.

Both dolls are now in Canada with Esther‘s granddaughter Rachael. The ‘King of the Fairies‘ is now part of the Mount Pleasant Primary School mini-museum in Shrewsbury.