Thursday, 30 January 2014

Who Are The Bryn Derw Kids?

The Bryn Derw kids are predominantly Trendon Sasha and Gregor dolls from the late 60s through to the 80s, but there are one or two exceptions. They live together in an old, white cottage at the bottom of Bryn Derw ( Oak Hill). Many are thought of as waifs, those sweet souls who have been loved by children of years ago and suffered rough, if affectionate, play in their lives. Some have been so damaged that they have been left without features, with loose limbs or with bald heads.  They have needed, or will need, help to be restored to full glory . Others were just from the later production years, so are not highly collectable and came with a lower price tag.

You may have guessed, I have a particular weakness for those dolls who are in the most need of a new, permanent home. Because of the long-held preference of most doll people for girl dolls, the boys often languish longer than their sisters, waiting for a new home. That, and the fact that I have always found it easy to enjoy the company and challenge of teaching boys that some of my colleagues were longing to have out of their own classrooms, has drawn me to them and, ultimately, meant that there would be more boys than girls living here.  Yes, the Gregors are in a slight majority at Bryn Derw - an unusual occurrence in the Sasha world.

The first of the family to meet you is Octavia. She was a damaged doll with many issues and was restrung, repainted and wigged by Kelly Wenarski. If you look closely, you can see that she retains a ding to her nose.
I  love her mohair wig which, though short, is very versatile.  She has a slightly old-fashioned look about her and I like to dress her in 50s style clothing, though she does rebel and insist on living in the 21st century from time to time.

In these photographs, taken last summer, she is wearing a Boneka smocked dress, a vintage Sasha mackintosh and beret set, commercial shoes  and lemon, hand knitted socks, though I don't know who made them.
Octavia was named by Kelly. She is an appealing girl who stands well and is easy to pose. Here she is with some of her friends.
You can see that she is a little shorter than her friend, Connie, in the pink dress because she is from an earlier production year.

Well, I said there were more boys than girls here, and then let a girl start things off! Watch this space, if you'd like to meet some of the other kids soon. There will be boys, girls, toddlers, babies and a few non-Sashas to meet too.


  1. Oh what a lovely post indeed, although I had to magnify it significantly as I found it difficult to read the font.
    Interesting that you ended up teaching predominantly boys as I did as well! Although I don't have as many boys as I do girls, I wouldn't have minded! Still if you add up the other males in this household (animals and human) it probably almost balances out ;-)

    Octavia is absolutely gorgeous!

  2. Hi Lorraine!
    Well this is finally under way, though I do find it hard to photograph my kids well, so it may not be a daily blog.
    I changed the font style and size to make it easier to read and easier to correct my errors in the text! With my vision, that font was a no-no though it was chosen by my little friend next door, who will be a little disappointed. Sorry, Rosie Posie!
    J xx

  3. Lovely first post Jenni, Look forward to dropping by to see how the waif and strays at Bryn Derw are coming along
    Dee xx

  4. Welcome to blogging Jenni and what a great start - Octavia is lovely.

  5. What a great start you've made on your blog Jenni, Octavia is really pretty....I love her hair. She looks such a dainty little thing. I really look forward to reading all about your dolly family!
    Bighugs, Sharon xx

  6. FINALLY I've managed to actually find this super blogspot that I had heard mentioned but couldn't locate the link.
    Well done and congratulations. Rest assured I'll be a regular visitor here.

    Really enjoyed your first introductory post and adore Octavia. (I've had many of Kelly's lovely and unique customised girls pass through here.... especially at the beginning of my collecting when she was at the height of customising the Sashas..

    Great to hear that you have more of the Gregors than the Sashas. A rather unusual but terrific choice for us that especially love the lads.

  7. Very nice! I have never had a Sasha doll, but have always admired them. Its fun to enjoy them by reading about them and seeing lovely photos.