PIERCE BROSNAN AND SALLY SCARECROW
In March 2010 ‘Knitting’ magazine included a feature titled ‘Stealing the Scene’ which was all about knitted items being worn in movies and the garment designers who created them. This reminded me of some of the films, television programmes, stage shows and magazines where my dolls and toys have made appearances.
Perhaps the most surprising example was the film ‘Evelyn’, starring Pierce Brosnan and my knitted Sally Scarecrow. It isn’t possible to summarise the film’s plot in a Newsletter, but Mr Brosnan’s wife left home leaving him with three children, two boys and Evelyn. Sally was Evelyn’s favourite doll and she appeared in numerous scenes with the child.
Sally had a key role in the film because the children were subsequently sent to church-run orphanages and Evelyn had to leave her doll behind. There was eventually a happy ending when Evelyn was reunited with her father, brothers and Sally who she is cuddling in the last scene of the movie.
The film is set in Ireland in 1953, which was quite amusing because thousands of knitters would most certainly recognise my doll, knowing that Sally’s pattern wasn’t published in Woman’s Weekly until 1987!
Sally also appeared on the stage in the UK tour of ‘Passport to Pimlico’. In this production, the adult actors also played the parts of the Pimlico children and Sally was starring with them.
My Traditional Favourites doll Emily appeared in several episodes of the EastEnders soap as Phil Mitchell’s daughter’s doll. In one episode the doll was on the dining table and Phil was seated at the table with the child on his knee. She kept reaching out for what was no doubt her very own doll, not just a prop. Obviously, this was not part of the proceedings and in a future episode the child had a Tellytubby replacement which she threw away – clearly the swap didn’t work!
We also have a long list of well-known people who own my dolls and toys, as pictured in various magazines and newspapers. But the most famous has to be Princess Diana who was presented with a ‘Jean’s Teddy Bear’ from Traditional Favourites when she visited Bolton in Lancashire. Unfortunately, the lady who knitted the bear had turned up on the wrong date and having come from afar, the press got hold of the story. On the day of Diana’s visit the press took photographs of the lady presenting Diana with her teddy and she sent us copies for our album.
We also have photographs of the Duchess of Kent being presented with my knitted Lifeboatman from Mascot Dolls, by a lady who was honoured for her fund-raising efforts for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).
In magazines featuring celebrities’ homes we have discovered that James Galway the famous flautist owns Godfrey Gadabout from Knitted Clowns.
Ronnie Corbett was also pictured in a Christmas edition of Homes magazine with his family, including Binky Bunker from Golfing Clown. Mr Corbett is known to be a keen golfer! Also spotted in a magazine, Sally Scarecrow quite at home in actress Maureen Lipman’s study.
We had no knowledge of any of these celebrity connections until they just ‘turned-up’. But there are so many millions of Jean Greenhowe reproductions out there that the ‘famous’ connections are inevitable. As one TV executive put it, ‘Jean’s dolls and toys are ubiquitous’ – in other words, they are everywhere!
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