Bletchley Park is a wonderful place, the home of the code breakers and now rightly being given the funding it deserves to renovate and improve. On the same site, the National Museum of Computing, full of nostalgia and vintage functioning computers and equipment, including a magnificent rebuild of Colossus.
But, one potentially overlooked exhibit is the wonderfully nostalgic Toy museum. There are an abundance of toys and games (e.g. original meccano), clothing and ornaments, wartime propaganda and toys, austerely made - “Make and Mend”.
What really caught my eye was the dolls.
There was something haunted about them, sometimes they were sinister. Maybe the decades without the love of a child has slowly emptied them. Perhaps a hug will make them glow again.
Decide for yourself, a selection of photos I took with my iphone. (all photos © Mel Melis – all exhibits hosted at Bletchley Park – reproduced without seeking financial gain)
This poor doll sat staring from her pram, looking up into space. She never cries.
Mamma bear’s gonna mess you up.
They’re waiting, they’re watching in the cabinet.
Strange, none of them seemed to be smiling.
And when they do smile, it’s hiding some terrible tragedy. I imagined this clown was visiting the grave of his wife.
Did she chew those bear ears off? Is she still hungry? The bears have been injected with a paralysis venom. She can take her time to consume them.
Scary. Atomic Kitten 1940.
This little lad has seen terrible things. I hope that’s not a garrotte.
An angry gnome (or an Amish farmer forced to wear tartan). Something simmers behind those eyes.
Just faces. Peeled off faces. No biggie.
This embryo terrified me.
Needle toothed golly, hung out to dry.
She made me want to cry!
The furious death stare.
A fragile girl. Fractured.
This made me laugh, he’s a bloody lipped vampire yokel
* – In all seriousness this is a lovingly preserved collection, the slow bite of time adds to the poignancy of any visit. Go! I implore you! Go to Bletchley Park! You wont regret it.