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Woman who has spent decades fixing toys puts own ‘doll’s house’ on the market for £700,000

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 07:08 02 July 2020

Margaret Pooley in her shop Margaret's Doll World, at her home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Margaret Pooley in her shop Margaret's Doll World, at her home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A lady who has put a smile on the faces of generations of children by mending their toys is now selling the home - and former workshop - where it all began.

Margaret Pooley, 73, from Bacton, has put the beautiful arts and crafts, seven bedroom home she’s lived in with husband Chris, 74, for nearly 40 years in Coast Road on the market.

Included in the sale is her beloved little shop Margaret’s Doll World. But it is only the building she’s selling, as she plans to relocate her business to the new home they’re hoping to move to, not far away in North Walsham.

From her home she taught herself how to sew and mend toys and porcelain dolls to build up a business which now receives items sent from around the world for repairs.

The business has grown so much that Mrs Pooley recently had to pause orders from her website to catch up.

The Arts and Crafts house at Bacton which is up for sale including the shop building and workshop, but not the business Margaret's Doll World which will relocate to Mrs Pooley's new home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Arts and Crafts house at Bacton which is up for sale including the shop building and workshop, but not the business Margaret's Doll World which will relocate to Mrs Pooley's new home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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It began when Mrs Pooley, a hairdresser, began to make porcelain dolls herself more than 30 years ago and painstakingly taught herself how to mend soft toys, particularly much loved teddy bears.

The Arts and Crafts house in Bacton which is up for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Arts and Crafts house in Bacton which is up for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Neighbours used to bring toys round for repairs, but it slowly grew into a business which received orders from as far afield as Russia, the US, Germany and France.

But over the years less people have come into the shop, with the majority of Mrs Pooley’s orders coming in online and toys sent in the post.

“Every single item is special and very different, I’ve repaired a lot of expensive Steiff bears, each one is unusual,” she said. “When someone emails me, I usually ask for a photograph of the toy so I have a pretty good idea what to expect but it’s always exciting to unwrap it and find a teddy bear that needs a new ear or eye.”

Mrs Pooley offers various services, from mending holes to restuffing bears and repairing shattered porcelain faces of dolls. She even used to repair intricate ‘growl’ mechanisms in teddy bears.

A real doll's house replica of Margaret's Doll World shop at Margaret Pooley's home in Bacton which is for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA real doll's house replica of Margaret's Doll World shop at Margaret Pooley's home in Bacton which is for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She does all the work herself, much by hand and also using her sewing machine.

As a child herself, Mrs Pooley never used to play with dolls – she had a train set instead - and said she has never found them scary. At one time, she had a collection of about 600 dolls around the house but has since sold most of them off.

Margaret's Doll World shop building at Margaret Pooley's home, included in the sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMargaret's Doll World shop building at Margaret Pooley's home, included in the sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Some of the dolls on sale at Margaret's Doll World shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSome of the dolls on sale at Margaret's Doll World shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Some of the teddy bears on sale at Margaret's Doll World shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSome of the teddy bears on sale at Margaret's Doll World shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Margaret Pooley in her workshop where she repairs dolls and teddy bears at her home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMargaret Pooley in her workshop where she repairs dolls and teddy bears at her home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Margaret Pooley. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMargaret Pooley. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Margaret Pooley.Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMargaret Pooley.Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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