Georgian dolls house is a great grandfather’s legacy

Dolls' House replica of Tweedmouth House residential home
Dolls' House replica of Tweedmouth House residential home

Four generations of one family have played their part in constructing a dolls house based on Tweedmouth House, near Berwick’s old Bridge.

Inspired by Brian Long’s book on making dolls houses ‘The Authentic Georgian Dolls House’ 84 year old Bob McDuff, started work on a hand-crafted dolls’ house for his great-granddaughter, Daisy, in 2008.

Before he got to work on the dolls house Bob, from Hereford, visited his daughter Della Triggs in St Abbs, and she took him down to Berwick to see one of the houses that features in Brian Long’s book - Tweedmouth House.

Bob’s granddaughter Heidi explains: “The Georgian villa Tweedmouth House, now a residential and nursing home, is in Berwick-Upon-Tweed and overlooks the old bridge crossing the River Tweed. After he had told them about the project, the staff invited him in to see the internal construction of the house.

“Seeing this beautiful house gave him the motivation he needed to start work.

“Bob was very creative and from an early age he was able to sew, crochet and make things, taught by his mother who believed men should be able to look after themselves.

“He built the dolls’ house by hand, rather than using a kit, constructing two floors containing a hall, living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. He used his experience in electrical engineering to wire electric lighting into each room.

“Sadly, with his health deteriorating, he became unable to work on the dolls house in the months before his death in 2010 and so it was left unfinished.”

However, that was not to be the end of the dolls house.

A year later Della persuaded Heidi and husband Karl to take it on as a tribute to Bob.

They spent three months working on the house in their spare time; building a detachable grand portico frontage and fitting Georgian-style wooden windows and doors; adding red pan-tile roofing, chimney pots and white external render to match its real-life counterpart in Berwick.

The dolls’ house was given to Daisy in October 2011 for her birthday, and since then Heidi has worked on its, curtains, blinds, cushions and pictures, finally completing the work in early 2013.

It has been a real family project, involving four generations of the family - one generation starting it, the next generation supporting the work, the third generation completing the house and the fourth generation enjoying playing with it!