Sunday 26 February 2017

A very modern view of Victoriana.....

At Christmas we had a peek into the Victorian world of the Walmer dollshouse.   Now it is time to take a look at that same era in a very different sort of house.

Our family has been collecting Playmobil, aka Playpeople, more or less since it appeared on the market in the mid-1970s.   We first met it in Germany and started off with the knights and Native Americans - and really we have never stopped collecting it.

We ended, some forty years on, with a whole town layout which occupied the spare room in our previous house.   This is now all sadly packed away, waiting for the next generation of children in the family to enjoy it as my children and grandchildren have done.

But there is still one item on display and that is the Playmobil Victorian House which my granddaughter has kindly allowed Small Worlds to borrow on a long loan.  

Each house in Small Worlds has a detailed description next to it in both English.....

.....and of course Czech - my thanks to Jana in Prague for her flawless translations.

The house has already made a brief appearance in a post about the Town Room three years ago but now that it is in Small Worlds I thought it deserved a little more attention.

Despite being the only house in the museum made entirely of plastic it has fitted in beautifully.  The detail is both astonishing and delightful.

On the front steps we have Mr and Mrs Bellamy arriving home from a shopping expedition...

....whilst on the balcony above their heads the resident peacock spreads his wings in the sunshine.
Nanny is making sure that the Bellamy baby is also getting his fair share of Vitamin D on the other balcony.
Meanwhile, on the somewhat inaccessible roof garden, Mr Cook the Gardener is tending his roses.   
We are not quite sure who the blonde female is - she stops by periodically to receive a red rose from him.

Inside there are 8 rooms including a conservatory.

At the top of the house is the nursery - in tune with the Victorian belief that the children should be kept as far away as possible from Papa, in order not to disturb him.   But this suits Ellie and Georgie very well since they have no more wish to be disturbed by him than vice versa.

Clearly, however, no one is very worried about disturbing Grandpapa since he is on the floor immediately below the children.  

He does not complain though - he is just very happy that he has the bathroom right next door to him!

Mr and Mrs Bellamy's bedroom is below Grandpapa's - they can often hear him snoring, in chorus with his beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog.

Rather unusually, the laundry, staffed by the cheerful Daisy, is right next to the master bedroom.  

Handy for gathering up the sheets and towels for the weekly wash.

In any Victorian household, one of the most important rooms is, of course, the kitchen so we have a number of pictures of it.

Cook is very busy at the stove undisturbed by the presence of her children...

...the red-haired Jill....
...and little Jack.   The Bellamys are kind employers and allow the children to visit Cook frequently. 
And finally we have the elegant drawing room with Molly the maid ready to serve the Bellamys their afternoon tea as soon as they shed their coats.

The Walmer house stands directly opposite this one - I wonder whether sometimes, at dead of night, the two Victorian families visit each other?   I do hope so.....

Butterfly and I are heading to Small Worlds and the Stables at the end of March where we intend to play to our hearts' content.   

We will be joined for some of the time by Andrea Small.  Those of you who have followed my blog from the beginning will know that she has been one of the most faithful commentators, continually coming up with challenging ideas, some of which I have attempted to realise.  This will be her first visit to Small Worlds, and I am both much looking forward to welcoming her there, whilst at the same time dreading what further challenges her fertile imagination may produce.....

Watch this space to find out in the months to come! 

Thank you for following and see you soon.