We took the long route from Tegfan (Dinas) to Ty Twt (Newport), going up the mountain behind Dinas, along the ridge to Carningli and then down to Newport. It was a wonderful walk and at the very end, as we passed through the boundary between the the common land and the town we had to say ‘goodbye’ to the horses that had been our companions up the mountain when they handed us over to their friend who would guide us for the last part of our journey to Ty Twt.
The Dolls’ House and Toy Museum is run by Val and Pam Ripley. Their own collection is housed within and visitors are welcomed (during opening hours in school holidays or otherwise by appointment) and treated to an absorbing and scholarly commentary on the exhibits.
Val and Pam’s collection started with an 8th birthday present in 1932 but all the family’s toys were crated up at the outbreak of war in 1939 and were not rediscovered until the 1970s. Since then the collection has been tended and grown so that now you can see a doll’s house of every period from 1840 to the present, each furnished only with items from the date of the house. In addition to the traditional houses there are also stables (for Victorian boys), shops, schools and roomfuls of other toys and games.
Pam and Val returned to Newport, where they had spent childhood holidays, to home and display their toys. The small museum was opened in 2010 and we are privileged to have such generous and knowledgeable enthusiasts in our area. Pam and Val are both well known collectors and long-standing members of the Doll Club of Great Britain. Val is a member and a past President of the Doll’s House Society.
This museum is worth a visit even if you didn’t think you were interested in Dolls’ Houses. I’m sure that Val and Pam could find an aspect of their miniature world to fascinate you.
Sadly I never got round to visiting this before we left Pembrokeshire. Maybe on a future visit, I hope.
I suggest going outside the school holidays – ring to arrange. The owners are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable that it’s a real pleasure to have the expert commentary that turns into a conversation to follow your particular interests. Combine your visit with something to eat at Blas – 30 seconds’ walk away.
It’s a fascinating place and Pam and Val are so enthusiastic – a real labour of love for them and well worth a visit.
It took us so long to look at the dolls’ houses that we didn’t have time to go upstairs and look at the other toys. We’ll go again.