Friday, 2 November 2018

Norah Wellings 'Harry The Hawk', A Very Special Mascot

Remembrance Day is nearly upon us and I have been holding back this very special story about a  Norah Wellings Harry The Hawk Doll that was used as a Mascot in the Second World War. I am very  grateful to Gerry Burke who contacted me through this blog as he saw a photo of a Harry The Hawk that I had written an article on. It answered a question he had and I am very pleased he was able to share his information and the wonderful photographs and has allowed me to share them with you. I thought it better to copy part of the two emails Gerry sent me below.

   ' I came across your website whilst trying to determine what 46 squadrons mascot was in 1940-41.
It seems that they had a Harry the Hawk doll.
46 squadron flew Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain and it's quite possible that their mascot, Harry the Hawk, flew in a hurricane with one or more of the pilots during the Battle of Britain.
I have attached some photographs for your interest. The first one is a bit dark but Harry is hanging by his parachute.'

You can just see Harry Hanging up in the background

Of course I can hear you all say where is Harry now and Yes I did ask the question.

' I have no idea what eventually happened to Harry the Hawk. I always thought that he had been made by one of the squadrons wives of girlfriends until I saw your web site.
The photos were sent to me years ago when I was looking for photographs of Battle of Britain airmen for a book I was assisting with '

Maybe someone out there has this particular Harry the Hawk it would be wonderful to think he has survived.. What a great job Harry The Hawk and Max the Dog did as Mascots for the 46th Squadron.
If you would like to know more about Harry The Hawk please take a look at my article on this link, you may need to copy and paste the address if the link does not work

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Norah Wellings Novelty Animals , Bears

I wrote an article on Norah Wellings Teddy Bears  in 2009 on this blog,  I can't believe it was 9 years ago. I have been asked if  I have more information so this time I am including other Bears that Norah Wellings made. The first one had the name 'Bruno' but  the following year his name was changed to 'Bear' as were all the following models that Norah Wellings made.  Most were made of wool plush which unfortunately does not seem to age very well . The Traditional Fully Jointed Teddy Bear does not feature in any Norah Wellings Catalogues or any of my research. I often wonder if she ever made one as a Proto Type,but never produced it or for a  Special Order. So far I have no evidence of this. If anyone has any other  Norah Wellings 'Bears' they would like to share please email me.

Please Note all photographs used and all articles are copyright by me unless otherwise stated. If you wish to use anything please ask.

Not a very good picture I am afraid but this is from a photo copy in the 1929 Norah Wellings catalogue. This is the first bear  Norah Wellings made and in 1929 his name was 'Bruno' but the following year it was changed to  'Bear', still with the same model number.  Norah Wellings  included him in her  'Mascot Animal' Range, he was model 163 and only came in one size. The catalogue description says he is 6 inches in length and was made of Art Silk . From this photo he appears to have boot button eyes,  He does not appear in the 1933 catalogue .

I must give a Big Thank You to Steve of Woodenhill Bears for allowing me to use these wonderful pictures of  an early 'Bear'. He measures 6 inches in length, filled with kapok and woodwool and has boot button eyes. His little felt ears have been a little nibbled but they are there. He has his Norah Wellings label inside his back leg. Thank You Steve.

This is a picture from the 1936 Catalogue of  'Bear', he is a similar design to the earlier one but has a new model number 5116 and  appears in the Norah Wellings 'Novelty Animal' Range. He looks darker in colour and is now made of Mohair Plush. He has felt ears and felt circle eyes with embroidery. He continues to be made to the end of the 1940's.

In 1933 Norah Wellings introduced another 'Bear' to her 'Novelty Animal' Range he was model 570. Made in quite a few different sizes 8", 9 1/2 ", 11 1/2", 14", 19", 20 1/2" and a massive 36 inches . This style 'Bear' was made until the end of the 1940's.

Here is the early 'Bear' looking very similar to his catalogue photo. The outfits did vary sometimes in colour. He is 19 inches tall with wool plush head, arms and feet, hand paw pads are felt. He has glass eyes and only his head is jointed. His velveteen pants and cotton top are an integral part of his body, velveteen jacket can be taken off and ties with a ribbon at the neck. Often this jacket goes missing. He has gold buttons sewn down the front of his top. Label on the bottom of his foot.

Three more 'Bears'. It is interesting to note that the middle bear is the only one I have seen made of mohair the others have been wool plush. He stands 16 inches tall. The bear in the mustard is the smallest size made 8 inches tall and the one in red the next size up 9 1/2 inches tall. All three bears have velveteen tops instead of cotton, cotton appear to be the first ones made . They all have a label to the bottom of the foot.

This is the earliest example of the 'Bear' Nightdress Case introduced around 1935. he is model 973. This particular one is just how he appears in the 1936 catalogue. He is 17 inches tall with his head, hands, feet and trim down the skirt in wool plush. The rest is made of velveteen with silk pompoms. Opening at the sides with poppers and lined inside. He also has glass eyes. Once again different colour variations made. Label is on the bottom of the foot.

Another slightly later 'Bear' Nightdress Case, this time cotton is used for the top and body with felt used for the skirt and shawl around her neck. Not only different colours  used but also materials due to shortage in the War Years . They were made until the late 1940's. Label on the bottom of the foot.

The Polar Bear was made in the late 1930's and is model number 5142. He is made very like the 1936 'Bear'. Made of wool plush he is 6 inches in length, felt ears, embroidery eyes and shaved muzzle. His label is on his tummy. He was made right up until the 1950 catalogue but  his number changed to 5169.

The last 'Bear' made by Norah Wellings was made in the 1950's. This particular 'Bear' was given  to Mrs Hassell who worked at the Factory by Norah WEllings when the Factory closed down in 1958 . Mrs Hassell kindly allowed me to use this photograph. He is 16 inches tall, fully washable plush, glass safety eyes and wears printed cotton dungarees with a ribbon around his neck. It is interesting to note that the Norah Wellings  round paper label has changed to show a Rabbit on the front rather than a Doll that was previously used.

I hope you have enjoyed finding out more about the Norah Wellings 'Bear' and do not forget to email me if you have any you would like to share. I can add photo's and information to this article. I hope to hear from you. Happy Hunting

Monday, 22 January 2018

Rare Norah Wellings Goblin Dolls

Happy New Year Everyone.

I thought I would start the year with these fabulous Very Rare  Special Order Goblin Dolls by Norah Wellings. I purchased one of them many years ago on ebay and the under bidder who collected Goblin items said she thought it may have been made for Goblin, a Company that made electric products and probably for the Teasmade ( electric tea maker). I could not find him in any of my research or catalogues and thought the information might be correct. You can imagine how excited I was to be offered another Goblin and this time from the Niece of the Original Owner and she was able to give me more information.  Her Aunt worked for the  Goblin Company and Goblin had a stand at the 1939  Ideal Home Exhibition , these dolls were used as a promotion. Not only that but the two staff including her Aunt had to wear Goblin Outfits while demonstrating Goblin Vacum Cleaners to potential customers  ! Makes me smile as I can just picture them ! As you can see one of the Goblins has  the original paper tag from the exhibition. I am so pleased I am able to share this with you. It is not often we see Special Order  Dolls by Norah Wellings  made for a Company and here are two of them. The Goblins

Made in a similar style to the Norah Wellings Pixie Dolls. These Goblins are both 9 inches tall, heads and hands made of felt with painted features.  The body is an integral part of the clothing and they have felt shoes , hands and felt hats. Both have white Norah Wellings labels under their shoes with brown writing.The one with the original paper label belonged to the Aunt who worked at Goblin