Helen and i left the exercise yard. We discovered a room with an exhibition in honour of Flora Thompson the author of Lark Rise to Candleford.
In this room there is also some lovely lace and a beautiful hand made child’s gown. Lace was produced locally in Buckingham.

Flora Thompson was the eldest of 10 children of whom 6 had died very young. Her father was a stone mason and her mother was a former nursemaid.
Flora Thompson is famed both for her literary skills and for the valuable contribution she made to social history. her acclaimed trilogy “Lark Rise to Candleford” tells of the rural community in North Oxfordshire where she grew up in the late 19th century.

Above is a photo of Flora Thompson and below is a map of Fringford and Buckingham.

Just before we left Helen and i signed the visitor’s book.

The last door you go through before you leave the Old Gaol brings you into a quaint antique shop. I found three lovely litle bears for sale which i purchased and one of them will be going into helens aution next year. Here are some photo’s of the rear view of the Old Goal and also a statue of the swan girl that stands at the front of the Old Gaol.

Well that concludes Helen’s visit to The Old Gaol and below is a photo of the souvenirs that i will be sending to Wendy to commemorate Helen’s visit. They are a leaflet about the Old Gaol, a booklet on Flora Thompson. a magic slate,a red teddy bear with a garnet around its neck and a porcelain thimble with a picture of the The Old Gaol on it.


by twizeltheresa Pro @ 2014-08-20 – 21:00:28

Today Helen and i decided to visit Buckingham which is approximately 7 miles from where i live.
Buckingham Old Gaol is located in the centre of historic Buckingham. Gaol is the old English way of spelling Jail, so the old Gaol is the old Jail in Buckingham.
Buckingham Old Gaol
Located in the heart of historic market town of Buckingham, the iconic Old Gaol was built in 1748 in the style of a castle, with later additions in 1839 by the famous local architect George Gilbert Scott. It is one of the key visitor attractions of Buckingham.The outside of the building looks just like a little castle.
Entrance to the Old Gaol is through the governors house. The walls on the stair case up to the 1st floor have some enchanting paintings on them.
At the top of the stairs there is along corridor with various different rooms. Each room has something different inside.
The first room contains fossils and various bronze age tools that have been found in Buckingham.
The next room featured the Tudor period, in particular Henry the V111
first wife Katherine of Aragon whi is said to have introduced the craft of lace making to the women of Buckingham.
The next rom we encountered was the medieval room that had a show case of various buckles and buttons of that time.
There was also a man in this room who was working very hard, Helen decided to give him some encouragement and shouted at him “hit it harder”
From the look on the mans face he was not impressed.
At this point Helen decided it was time we moved on so she went to the doorway and then stopped, “she said oh,oh i think we are in trouble.”
Out on the landing was a Victorian policeman. I reminded Helen that we were in a jail so it would be best if we kept a low profile from here on in.
Another room had some lovely examples of lace and i found out where the term looking for a “needle in a haystack” came from.
Another room was all about the civil war and did you know that the Royal Mace has very humble beginnings before it became the ornate mace it is today.
Out onto the landing before we descend the stairs to the cells and you can really get a feeling for what it must have been like for the poor inmates with no electricity or running water.
Helen and i entered one of the cells which contained a prisoner and two other men.
Helen decided to take a closer look at prison life.
We moved out of the cells and into the exercise yard.
Helen tried out the stocks
Buckingham held different markets on different days.
This visit is in two parts so if you would like to see what else Helen got up to then tune in tomorrow.

Nearly everyday at work i pass through Berkhamsted station. Berkhamsted station is a lovely Victorian station, on one side there lies the ruins of Berkhamsted Castle and on the other the grand union canal.
Berkhamsted reminds me of a chocolate box cover as it doesn’t matter what season it is it always looks enchanting.
This is Helen’s final visit with me before she moves on to pastures new. Helen travelled by train to Berkhamsted and of course she went first class.
Helen thought the train was great fun, she got quite excited and jumped on the table before gazing out at the window shouting faster,faster.
We got off the train at Berkhamsted station and headed towards the castle ruins.
At first glance you may be forgiven for thinking that Berkhamsted castle was just a pile of old ruins.However, the castle is one of the oldest motte and bailey castles in England!

The story begins with Duke William of Normandy. After the defeat of Harold at the battle of Hastings on 14th October 1066, William marched with his army through southern England, pillaging as he went. Crossing the Thames at Wallingford, he reached Berkhamsted.
Here he was met by Archbishop Ealdred, the Bishops of Worcester and Hereford, Earls Eadwin and Morcar, and the chief men of London, who swore allegiance to him, and offered him the crown.William proceeded to London where he was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066.
Helen and i started our exploration of the castle ruins.
Above Helen is not finding the seating area to comfortable.Helen said she wanted to climb the big hill called the motte and on the way we found an old well, which would have been used to provide fresh water for the castle inhabitants.
As we walked towards the motte we could see where the moat had been, once filled with water and Helen also enjoyed climbing up the castle walls.
The nearer we got to the motte the higher it became. It must have been a great look out post in its day. Helen assured me that she could make it to the top,so off we set.
As Helen bounded up the stairs she shouted “come on slow coach”
We finally reached the top and the views were spectacular!
It was time to tackle the descend, which i must say for someone who is scared of heights,seemed like a long way down.
Once again on firm ground Helen did a little more exploring in the castle kitchens.
Helen and i made our way out of the castle passing the custodians cottage on the way.
Unfortunatley the visitor’s centre is only open at the weekends so there was nowhere to buy a souvenir of our trip to Berkhamsted, not to be deterred i decided to look in the town. We walked over the grand Union canal via a little bridge and came across a curiously named house.
A little further down the road was an antique shop, surely i might find a souvenir in here.
Nothing Sasha sized here I’m afraid, but i was lucky enough to find a very small pair of pinking shears, just what i have been looking for, for ages. So our search for a souvenir continued. A little further up the road we came across Berkhamsted’s private school, which dates back to Henry the V111 and a lovely church.
After a bit more walking around we finally found something for Helen to have as a souvenir from her visit to Berkhamsted. A packed lunch and an English phone box.
We headed back to the train station just as the train was arriving and went home to pack.
Its time for Helen to say goodbye, it’s been great having her stay and she is now off to meet her next host.
Who will it be and where will she go, well you will just have to wait and see!!
“Bon Voyage Helen”

The news of Sara Doggarts passing has been felt throughout the Sasha World. But her legacy will live on in the wonderful Sasha dolls that were very dear to her heart.


I thought you might like to see this. It is an email that i received from a lady called Sue Thornes, who was a friend of Doreen Bell the eye painter at the Sasha factory. Sue was the sand blaster at the Sasha factory.
At the time i received this email from Sue she did not know that Sara Doggart had passed away and i found it so heart warming in the way she spoke about her.

(I was friends with Doreen Bell who we used to call her ding dong … I joined there 1979 and left to have my first child 1982 my mum worked in the canteen there a year after me and stayed for a long time …. Sarah Doggart was a lovely lady and was quite elderly back then … but she was a worker and that i admired … not many owner bosses roll their sleeves up and work amongst the shop floor staff but she did … those dolls were her babies each and every one of them..and she would be so excited when a new outfit was designed or hair colour …
I myself worked upstairs where sasha was born so to speak in the moulding room … on this floor i was the sandblaster that stopped them being the shiny plastic … i would have to check each and every limb so there was no shine on them .. if one slipped through it would be returned and would have to go through again … my machine needed cleaning out on a regular basis by the mechanics … so then i woud go and work down stairs for a couple of hours filling in where ever i was needed … so i did the ironing of the pretty dresses even sarah doggart would iron or show me exactly how she wanted the pleats … the worst for ironing i found was the silk dresses … i would presstud the shoes … there was a person for every step of the way …
When i knew i was pregnant … my supervisor took me off my blasting job as it was quite heavy work lifting heavy jigs .. she put me on the next process which we call flashing … we would trim all the plastic off the rims of the bodies legs and arms and heads with a scalpel knife so everything was smooth .. then off they went in boxes down the conveyor belt to down stairs where they was put together )

What a lovely person Sara Doggart was, she will never be forgotten.


Yesterday as most of you know Sara Doggart was laid to rest. Myself and Sarah Price attended the funeral and we met up with Kendal Hackney,Brenda and Fred Walton.
The service was lovely, Sara’s,sons,daughter and Grandchildren all paid tribute to her.Sara’s Jewish heritage was also celebrated, with a Rabbi singing a prayer for her which was very moving. Sara’s son also thanked the Sasha world for all the tributes that had poured in for her,which totalled 12 pages.
After the service we went to visit John Doggarts grave where Sara’s ashes will be interned and to lay flowers.
Sarah Price and i were very fortunate to be invited to lunch with the family after the service.
The lunch was wonderful and it was lovely to speak with Anna Doggart. Anna had displayed lots of photos of Sara for everyone to look at.
After the lunch Sarah Price and i made our way to the site where the Trendon factory (thank you to Brenda for printing off the directions for us).

By the time we reached the Trendon factory site we were beginning to lose the light and it was raining,but i was determined that on this poignant day to take some photos.
Part of the factory had been turned into gated apartments and as the gate was open,we took our chances and headed in. Sarah and i thought we had better talk to the concierge in case we got arrested for breaking in.
We found the concierge and sweet talked him into letting us take some photos, to which he agreed, although he warned us not to try to enter the part that is due to be turned into apartments as the building was not safe.
Sarah and i had bought along some Sasha dolls to mark the occasion, i had bought my new lad, Ruth my 68 Kilt and Todd the toddler wanted to see where is cousins had come from. Sarah had bought her beautiful NP,Lilly.


Above are two photos of the Trendon factory site, to the right of the tower in the first photo, is the part of the factory that has been developed and in the second photo is the part that is due to be developed into apartments.

Sarah and i thought we would mark the occasion by having a photo taken in front of the tower.



Above the first photo is Sarah Price and the second photo is me.

In the factory grounds there was a small play area with some mushrooms in it.



Todd the toddler decided to jump onto a mushroom with the help of the new lad and Ruth, however once he was up there he was a little worried as to how he was going to get back down.




After much discussion a voice of reason was heard coming from another mushroom.


It was the beautiful Lilly, who announced that as she aw the oldest and obviously the most sensible that she would take care of Todd and so she did.


I hope Sara Doggart would of approved of our little tribute to her. We managed to take photos (excluding Todd) of Sasha dolls from the start of production, from the popular 1968 period and from the end of production outside the site of the Tendon factory.
We would have like to have taken more photos but we were all wet and cold so we re-treated to the car and set off to Kendal’s to enjoy a wonderful evening with our Sasha dolls
Thank you Sara Doggart for all the joy you have bought to us, long may it continue.

Eastwood and Caleb were in the back garden with Nag their horse causing a bit of commotion, so I had to go and see what they were up to.
Caleb and Eastwood were both riding Nag and chattering about Sheep rustling.


Ssh,”says Caleb I know he’s around here somewhere”, I was wondering who or what they were referring to, but i decided it was probably best just to watch.
Look, said Eastwood, there he is!

Sure enough as i followed their gaze i could see Sean the sheep up on the rocks.

The two lads put their heads together to discuss tactics.


Right says Caleb,” you go around the back and I will go around the front.” Oh, say Eastwood,” how come I have to go up top.” “Well”, says Caleb,” you are the one whose good at using a lasso.”
Whilst the boys are chatting Sean the sheep is keeping his eyes on them.


The boys attempt to catch Sean the sheep.


Eastwood tells caleb to creep quietly around the back of the rocks so he That the sheep will not see him coming.


Caleb agrees and tells Eastwood to get the lasso ready and head for the rocks.


Eastwood gets into position.


Caleb shouts to Eastwood that he can see the sheep.


Eastwood throws his lasso,but misses the first time so he tries again.


“Great stuff!” shouts Caleb you got him. Proudly the two young cowboys collect Sean the sheep and secure him on a rope behind Nag.


“Ok, Pardner”, says Eastwood to Caleb “give me a leg up and we will get this sheep back to its pen.”


“Hang on a minute”, says caleb “does that mean I’m riding shot gun again.” “Afraid so replies” Eastwood


Caleb takes his place behind Eastwood on Nag the horse with Sean the sheep nicely secured they head off into the sunset.


Caleb and Eastwood would like to wish everybody at the Sasha Festival in Texas a great time and like me they wish they were there with you.I would also like to thank my co-director on this project, as you can see he is a litte shy.







Polly is very excited today her best friend Milly has come to stay.
The two girls greet each other.







It’s so good to see you says Polly and you says Milly, but my tummy is rumbling as it was a long journey and i am a bit hungry.





Well, says Polly, Mum will make you some breakfast soon, You can share my chair if you like. Oh yes, please says Milly. Is this your chair she says, as she reaches up and places Ted on it.



Yes, says Polly that’s my chair.



Polly tries to help Milly into the chair.





Thats it says, Polly now put your other leg up, don’t worry , I have got you.





Phew, made it says Milly






After a couple of minutes of waiting patiently for her turn, Polly shouts up to Milly.” Hey, aren’t you going to help me up then?”




Oh, says Milly ,”I’m sorry Polly but there is only room for one up here, will breakfast be long?”



Polly starts Shouting at Milly and trying to shove her out of the chair.



Get out of my chair Milly!, you are supposed to be sharing.







Both girls are being very stubborn with Milly refusing to budge out of the seat





Polly decides to stage a sit in underneath the seat.



After not doing anything for a while the two girls decide to hug and make up, as being best friends and sharing is so much better than being on your own and bored!



So they hug, make up and wander off together.


Kids hey…..


Thanks for looking