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News!

Find out below more about our latest news and acquisitions for St Hilary's Miniature Church. 
(latest events from the top)

 

This was the glorious scene which greeted us on our visit to Jephson Gardens one sunny Saturday in July 2009!

The many yellow and orange blooms just dazzled the eye and provided us with THE inspiration for our Flower and Music Festival in St. Hilary's!

 

Jephson Gardens in Leamington Spa during July 2009.
Catherine, my sister, was very happy to agree to make us a cross shaped coffin wreath for Ernie's Thanksgiving Service.  See it here in her hand and visit her News page for more information about this project as she gives full details on how she created it........and VERY time consuming it sounds too.......

See - left - completed work, far left - work in progress - minus the flower middles!  

Completed wreath cross the cross wreath........work in progress
Close up of Miss Enid's face and porcelain eyesMiss Enid is enjoying a spot of piano practice as she prepared to arrive at St Hilary's and see if the vicar would like her to become the church organist!)Miss Enid was commissioned by us from Jane Davies.  Unlike all of our other dolls made by Jane, Miss Enid is actually made out of paper clay and is a new venture for Jane. 


See Miss Enid (right) before she left Jane.  She was enjoying a spot of piano practice as she prepared to arrive at St Hilary's and see if the vicar would like her to become the church organist - photo provided courtesy of Jane Davies - thanks Jane for letting us use it!  Click your mouse on Miss Enid's face to see a detailed close up of her beautiful porcelain eyes mentioned by her below - opens in a new window.

Jane tells us more about Miss Enid in a recent email to us after we received her and I had congratulated her on her work whilst mentioning that my sister, Catherine, had spotted the clever touch of arthritis in Miss Enid's hands.......and we quote

"I am so pleased that Miss Enid is a success.  She represents a whole new way of working to me.....not only is she one of the very few Paperclay dolls that I have made but she is the only one so far with porcelain eyes.  Those eyes were so difficult to make she could be the only one ever, but I hope not.  Catharine is right, she does have a touch of arthritis.  My only regret was that her clothes are not removable but it had to be that way.  

The armholes of her blouse would have had to be so big to go over the spread fingers and the skirt could not have fitted so neatly over her seated behind if not moulded to her shape."

See below our "Miss Enid" VERY much "in the making"..........work in progress...........as Jane wanted to see the unfinished doll sitting at the organ so that she could ensure she fitted perfectly...........making sure her fingers were spread at JUST the right angle to fit the keys (we had to measure the distances for her!) and that her feet and toes touch the pedals.......clever stuff!

Incidentally Miss Enid would, if she stood up, be exceptionally tall.  This is simply because Jane had to ensure that she fitted the organ stool perfectly!  If challenged about her height Miss Enid is quick to say that she wanted to be a ballerina when a child but sadly grew too tall.......but it DID mean she could reach the organ pedals so became a qualified church organist instead!

See below left: Miss Enid with no arms in "the raw".  Jane was able to see her at the organ and made the right adjustments to ensure a perfect fit.
See below right:  Miss Enid in her wonderful finished state as she plays to Alice!

John displays the new brass and wood altar rail he has made for St. Hilary's

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John displays the new brass and wood altar rail he has made for St. Hilary's
John shows the altar rail here with the centre bar removed.  This will be very useful as we evolve new storylines for our "Sunday School children" and "congregation".

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John shows the altar rail here with the centre bar removed
We were most thrilled to be approached by David Bridgeman-Sutton who writes a page per month for the New Zealand website www.nzorgan.com about the possibility of them using our miniature pipe organ for a competition on their website.  Naturally we agreed to their request immediately!  The competition included four photographs, five of which were genuine full size pipe organs and one was of our miniature organ.  People were invited to identify which was the 1/12 scale miniature.  Only ONE person chose right!  Find out more by visiting the puzzle page on this website here.

Thanks to Jenny Baxter(the webmistress) and David Bridgeman-Sutton for featuring our miniature organ and providing a link to our website - much appreciated!

We were most thrilled to have further contact with Christiane Berridge, the editor of The Dollshouse Magazine a few months ago letting us know that she very much wished to put an update on our St. Hilary's Miniature Website in one of her magazine editions.  We are now delighted to tell you that we have been given a super three page spread as a "feature" in the October 2007 edition which was released for sale on 6th September 2007.  Anyone wishing to buy it whilst it is available will usually find copies of this magazine in the stationer, WH Smith.
We have always wanted a proper two manual pipe organ for St. Hilary's Miniature Church.  It was with great joy that we were able to commission John Cheal to complete this task for us.  He has now finished the project and we went to his home on 6th January 2007 to collect the organ.  It is based on the actual two manual pipe organ in St. Mary's Church, Cubbington, England.  
John is seen here posing with his creation.  He has even created some miniature music based on a real score too.  Notice that he also has given us a hymn book that can either be open or closed on the music stand.

For the musical amongst you, the organ piece is actually "Priere" by Langlais.  The hymn book is "Ancient and Modern, Revised".

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The organ is seen in John's home here complete with some of our St. Hilary's characters.  Amelia is "playing" the organ whilst Miss Esther, Adele and Ambrose are looking on.

To see more of this little organ and John's other model work visit his website, www.savedintime.co.uk

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We were lucky enough to meet Dave and Lil Tayler at the Rugby Miniatures Show held in The Holiday Inn, near Rugby, on Saturday 14th October 2006 in order to raise funds for the Alzheimers Society.  Dave and Lil are now retired.  Dave has made full sized cameras earlier on in life so it was natural that he should decide to start making miniature 1/12 scale ones for dollshouses in his retirement.  He, together with his wife, are members of the Rugby Miniatures Club alongside Catherine Davies who is my, Sarah's sister.

I, Sarah, had unfortunately broken the strap of the miniature SLR camera he made for us whilst putting it over our doll, Tom's head.  Dave was kind enough to not only repair it but to also attach a longer strap on to the camera so that it would go more easily over all of our dolls' heads.  Thanks Dave!

 Dave seen here holding one of his model SLR cameras for us! 

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Notice the scale and detail of this tiny camera as I photograph the camera close up on Dave's hand!

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We have been thrilled that St Hilary's Miniature Church has generated so much interest in the media both in the UK and, most recently, in the USA as well.

We were VERY excited to be asked if we would like our little church and community to appear in "The Dollshouse Magazine". People can see the original request made by Christiane, on our guestbook.  We were, therefore, delighted to be interviewed by Karen Bamfield on the phone for what, so my (Sarah)  mother in law told me, was 1.15 hours whilst we were visiting her and Dad a few months ago.  The article was published in the "At Home" section of the magazine in their September 2005 edition published on the 4th August 2005.  The article spanned SIX pages complete with narrative and photographs.  Many thanks to Karen for doing a most wonderful job.  She didn't miss anything out and, most importantly, captured the very essence of our St Hilary's Church and our ministry on the internet via this website.

Penny Herbst, a member of the senior staff of the American magazine, "Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine" recently approached us with the intention of featuring St Hilary's Miniature Church.  Naturally we were delighted for a second magazine to show such an interest in this, our most special project in memory and honour of my mother, the late Hilary Davies.  Many many thanks to Penny who has enthused so greatly over our project.  We have exchanged many emails and I have answered many questions posed to me by Penny.  We pay tribute to her for her dedication, interest, enthusiasm and personal attention in this task.

For those of you in the United States who may be interested we understand that the article appeared in the February 2006 edition.

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Our porcelain doll, "Emily" is one of our original Sunday School children.  She is particularly special to us because she was chosen by the late Hilary Davies to join her Jane Davies' doll collection that had pride of place in her Welsh cabinet in the hallway of her home.  Imagine, therefore, my, Sarah's horror, when I accidentally dropped her on the floor.  I was particularly unfortunate in not only dropping her, but in the process, ensuring her leg hit part of the MDF framework of the church and breaking off. 
Fortunately Jane Davies, the maker of "Emily" was only too pleased to have me send her back for repair.  Jane had to advise me that she would have to make her a new body, arms and legs but the original head would remain the same.  "Emily" would still have to have a new hair style since the old hair would have to be removed in the process of rewiring the doll.  

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Stephanie poses with our Rev Ponsenby-Smyth now resplendent in his new surplice WITH lace.  Stephanie (first cousin of Sarah's) is an experienced dress maker and was delighted to "frock" our vicar!

Our lucky vicar received this from Stephanie on Thursday 1st September 2005.

  The pattern was taken from the dollshouse magazine,  "Dollshouse World" magazine and is by Sue Harrington.

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Rev P poses in front of the books on the bookshelf in Steph's home.

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On Friday, 2nd September 2005  we officially received an amazing addition to St Hilary's Miniature Church.

John Cheal, an experienced model maker, agreed to make us a 1/12 scale replica of the brass eagle lectern in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon where he is a parishioner.

John arranged for me (Sarah) to officially receive this wonderful solid brass lectern in front of the full sized original in Holy Trinity Church.  John can be seen here in a poster within the church itself on a pillar opposite the full size lectern posing with his 1/12 scale model.

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John is holding the scale model and much of the detail of his work can be seen.  He actually carved this out of solid brass!  The feathering can clearly be seen on the wings of the eagle.

(Many thanks to Jan Craven for allowing us to use this,  her photograph, to demonstrate the amazing detail of this model)

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The original full size eagle lectern can be seen here contrasting with the 1/12 scale model on a pew behind.  Our St Hilary's vicar was pleased to receive this lectern and can be seen posing next to it!

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Reverend Gyles Ponsenby-Smyth is VERY proudly posing here in front of his new lectern complete with a gold leaf bible which is open at Psalm 139.

It is just as well that he had only just received his new surplice on the day before wasn't it?

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Alice poses on a special box made for her and the children by John.  

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John poses with me, Sarah for the myriads of photographers that were with us for this occasion.

Even the local free press arrived in the form of "The Observer" and took loads of photos!

Photos were also taken for the church magazine which will feature this amazing occasion.

I don't think my cheek muscles had ached so much from prolonged laughing and smiling since Andrew and I had got married!

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Andrew joined me for a final pose taken for us using our camera by Jan Craven.  Thanks Jan - a great job well done!

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