Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire: gratefully avoiding a high hill walk to look at Weebles and golliwogs


A week last Sunday Franc and I set off to walk up some steep Derbyshire hills. His idea; not mine. I can walk for miles but any hint of an inclination brings about a mood swing to rival PMT. Anyway, I am married and one must make comprises so we set off with a picnic on one of the hottest days of the year. As it turned out Ironman was on (the athletic event not the film) and the road we required was blocked off both ends with unclear signage to get around the problem.


This caused some ranting out of windows at road attendants on the part of drivers for their stupidity (including Franc) as we drove around unnecessarily for almost an additional hour. I spotted the majestic Sudbury Hall from my window and I pleaded a viewing as its banner boasted a Museum of Childhood. Anything retro and I am happy.


So, we turned and headed for the late 17th century residence in impressive grounds with me punching the air in exultation at the prospect of flat land and vintage toys (silently in my head as Franc remained in a considerable state of disappointment for a while).


We decided to take the middle-aged plunge and join The National Trust. As we filled in the form I told the National Trust representative about my husband’s plan to walk up big hills in this heatwave. She agreed it was a dumb ass idea too.


The day we visited the big house all rooms had been put back to 1967 which was when the National Trust took over the gaff once the Vernon family moved out. This theme was a rather controversial one since artefacts and furniture added after that time were covered up with sheets. Visitors will not getting their moneys worth during this exhibition.  

The National Trust tagline for Sudbury Hall is “Late 17th-century house with lavish interiors and the Museum of Childhood”.

This is the ceiling design as you enter the property. God as the archetype bloke riding on a cloud (like Monkey). Here is the Divine bollocking a lady for some innocent nipple slippage.


An anti Feng Shui bed. All that enclosed chi during ones most important 8 hours. Yuk.


Just as we were commenting how unattractive ancient human beings were, we came across this dandy, Henrie Vernon brother of George Vernon who built Sudbury Hall. Had I been a teenager in 1660 I would have been making enquiries.


On to the Museum of Toys. I had this very Girl’s World to provide entertainment in the 1970’s. The make up crayons were useless. They did not glide on smoothly so mostly I styled its hair. A lot more creative than this offering may I add.  


I love gollies. My grandmother once bought me one for Christmas He wore stripey trousers and a manic expression.

Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down“. I owned this Weeble park set and my favourite activity was to spin the ginger one off the roundabout.


Here is Ondine, a clockwork swimming doll from 1880. No chance of getting her hair wet, although she does appear to be knee-capped.


A replica of the Brownie uniform I wore, complete with seconder stripes, though I achieved no badges whatsoever because I was too busy playing up.  


Sudbury is small village and was pleasant to walk around. The highlight of the area was a bus shelter with two bins. One modern and one in the 1970’s style. No explanation was provided. It still didn’t prevent someone dropping a crisp packet nearby.  


Creepy dolls have a milk drinking race in a Victorian machine that still works in a village retro shop.


All Saints Church is adjacent to Sudbury Hall and has an upside down angel on the font. The fallen Lucifer?

The church feature stained glass of evacuees who were taking in by locals during the second world war.


A resident has stocks in his front garden. I bet his kids were well behaved growing up.  






  1. Highly amusing! My granny made golliwogs, too, and we have some little model ones to offer a collector…?! Also I had that Brownie uniform, too, and the handbook is still on my bookshelf. Ahem. Nobody would buy me a head to play with, sadly… Looks like a great day out!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! I used to play with my (second hand) Girls’ World on the front lawn and the local gay boy would skip across the street to join in 😀


    1. There are two in London – let me at em! What was your favourite toy growing up? I had a little doll Sweet April which came with a pink swing and you could box her in it for a carry case. No-one ever knows what I am talking about. She smelt wonderful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A nice, humorous look at Sudbury Hall. I enjoyed your narrative and your photos are wonderfully bright and clear compared to our very ‘glary’ ones. You evidently have a good camera. 🙂 We enjoyed our day out there last year and the grounds are pleasant to walk around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fun to see others’ accounts. I only use my IPhone for photos and edit them where necessary. Thank you for stopping by 🙂


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