About Peggy Nisbet
A short Biography
Peggy Nisbet, (nee Peacock), was born in Bristol in 1909 and moved with her widowed mother to Weston-super-Mare when only a few months old. Peggy was educated at La Retraite Convent in Weston, and later, in France. Her education finished, Peggy took a job as a secretary at Weston-super-Mare Town Hall. She lived in Weston until 1929, then moved to London to work as a secretary with the London Omnibus Company. When the company was reorganised as London Transport, Peggy became secretary to the Chairman, Lord Ashfield.
In 1934, Peggy married William (Bill) Nisbet, an accountant. In 1939, at the outbreak of World War Two, the Nisbets moved back to Weston-super-Mare, where Peggy became the first lady cashier to work at Barclays' Bank. In 1952, Peggy started to make dolls, supported by her husband, who remained committed to the business until his death in 1959.
In those early days, Peggy designed the dolls and her Aunt Kitty, (an able seamstress), made the prototypes. Peggy made figures dressed in national costumes, historical costumes and dressed as famous historical figures. Through exhibiting at toy fairs in Britain and America the demand for Peggy Nisbet dolls grew. One of Peggy's strengths was her talent in research - each costume and character was designed with great accuracy; there was wide variety ‑ from Henry VIII and his six wives, to Tutankhamen, and the doorman at Harrods. Later, Peggy regularly attended collectors' conventions in America, which further promoted the dolls. Collectors worldwide would eagerly wait to see the new dolls produced by the House of Nisbet. At its height, the House of Nisbet was the second largest doll manufacturer in Britain. The success of the business was entirely due to the enthusiasm and drive of Peggy. In 1979 Peggy was awarded the MBE for her services to export trade - a fitting tribute to someone who put Weston-super-Mare on the map, especially in America.
Peggy Nisbet died on 9th October 1995, aged 86. Tributes poured in from all over the world, and especially from within the doll making industry, and collectors worldwide mourned the passing of England’s premier dollmaker. It is fitting that her dolls still remain as collectable as ever.
The memory of Peggy Nisbet lives on.