Cafe proprietors – and there are several excellent Shaftesbury venues within a couple of minutes’ walking distance of Gold Hill Museum – need have no fear of added competition. The Tudor Tea Rooms in question are no more than three feet high. They were hand-built by a Dolls’ House enthusiast and fitted with exquisitely detailed interiors. Claire Ryley, who has been preparing the models for exhibition, reports that “There is a wood-panelled tea room and cake shop downstairs, and another room and kitchen upstairs. There are literally hundreds of accessories for the tea rooms including crockery, cakes and cooking equipment, and I greatly enjoyed exploring all the boxes of tiny objects.”
Childhood is the theme for 2021’s displays in the Large Exhibition Room. Here there is space to do justice to the marvellous Dolls’ Houses hand-crafted by the late Tryphena Orchard. There are also four miniature room settings in individual boxes, ranging from a Roman interior to a lavishly furnished Victorian drawing room occupied by authentically costumed residents.
Claire hopes to offer local schoolchildren an “Amazing Spaces Challenge” to make a “box room of a room, a shop, a garden or an imaginary place, using a shoe box or similar, and everyday things easily found at home. Each Amazing Space should have a story too. We should be able to exhibit some of these at Gold Hill Museum when we re-open.”
Tryphena generously gave the Museum three much larger model buildings: two semi-detached houses in 1920’s style with roof terraces, planters and garden furniture, as well as the Tudor Tea Rooms. All three buildings are connected by an imaginative backstory which inspired the superbly detailed internal decor and furnishings. Please visit once we are open to discover this backstory, together with other nursery and childhood-related artefacts and activities.
Please click here for Claire’s interview with ThisisAlfred’s Nick Crump.