Peggy Nisbet as as Business woman

The Whitecross Road Fire, (© Western Daily News)

Peggy was energetic, determined and confident. She had lots of flair and lots of ideas which she tackled with enthusiasm, seeing them through to the very end.

On 14th May 1970 disaster struck. The factory at Whitecross Road was burnt down. Pattern books, customer details, supplier's information and stocks were lost. It was thought the business would end, but Peggy was determined to carry on. With the support of Weston Borough Council, land was given on the Oldmixon commercial estate, and a new factory opened in January 1971.

In the early 1980s Peggy handed the business over to her son‑in‑law and daughter, Jack and Alison Wilson, although she continued to take an active part for some while. The company moved again, this time to a campus in Winscombe. The new site was spacious enough to cope with what was by now a comparatively large and busy enterprise. At this time a contract was signed with Royal Doulton to clothe their china dolls, in a "Birthday" range, (based on the well known nursery rhyme).   Also there was more emphasis on the making of soft toys including lovely, cuddly, good quality teddy bears.

Peggy had by now retired, and immediately turned her energies to writing a book about her life, her experiences and of the many who helped her, and the interesting people she met through her dolls.   Over the years she became a well known personality in the international world of dolls, especially in the USA, where she was in great demand to speak at doll collectors' conferences.   She also gained a national reputation as being an expert on national and historical costume, and was regularly consulted on the subject.

Peggy had a presence, and was never backward in coming forward.

"She started out when there weren't many woman business people around, and became well‑known all over the world. She was a large‑built lady with a presence to match."    quote from the obituary printed in the "Bristol Evening Post", October 1995.

Peggy Nisbet's OBE


31st October 2015

New updates added - We have added a new page on the Isle of Wight dolls, which were produced for the Liliput doll Museum, on the Isle of Wight.   These dolls have mystified us for some time, but an opportunity to do some research through the archives, an email from Graham Munday, (owner of the Lilliput Doll Museum), and an email chat with author and Shallowpool Dolls expert sue Brewer, have allowed a partial reconstruction of their fascinating story.   There are still some gaps in our knowledge, so if you can fill in any of the missing details for us, please do get in touch!

19th September 2015

New updates added - Our thanks to correspondent David H, who has sent us two interesting pictures - The first is of a very rare Nisbet First Doll.   This is the doll that started Peggy Nisbet's dollmaking career, and you can read all about her on this page : dolls/special-collectors-sets-limited-and-signature-editions/SCE-P1953 Replica Edition of the First Nisbet Doll.  David's picture of his original first Nisbet is shown below the article on the replica doll, and below that, is shown a unique 18" porcelain doll that also shows the Queen in Coronation robes, and was used in displays and exhibitions.   This doll is also shown in the book, "The Peggy Nisbet Story".  Other updates added today are the BOAC and BEA dolls, Madam Tussaud Dolls, Wax Dolls, and a Porcelain statuette issued as a tribute to Peter Bull, which is shown under Dolls/Porcelain Dolls/Irish Dresden - Tribute to the Late Peter Bull

12th September 2015

New updates added - Apologies to all our visitors for the long delay in adding some updates and new information - we hope that the items listed below will be of interest!   Many kind thanks to numerous correspondents, for their kind offers of pictues and other information, to fill in the gaps in various galleries :  To Barbara T, for her stunning pictures of H/214 - Queen Elizabeth I, wearing a rubber crown.   Pictures appear in Historical Gallery 1, and in "Know your Nisbets/Headgear/Crowns".   Frank T sent two excellent pictures of Vera Evelyn Samuel, and you can see the pictures and read all about her here - "Porcelain Dolls/Doulton Nisbet".   Penny D has sent in some pictures of her magnificent early P/618 - Robbie Burns - See him in Portrait Dolls Gallery 1.   We have used another of Keith P's pictures in a new gallery just added - "Know your Nisbet/Body shape and pose".   Finally, we have added a new page on Walt Disney dolls, which may come as something of a surprise to many collectors, as the dolls are not typically Nisbet in appearance!


3rd January 2015


Exciting New updates added for 2015 - Correspondent Michael A contacted us last year to ask about his mother's "Beatles" Nisbet dolls - Collectors of long standing may have heard of this almost legendary set of dolls - Thanks to Michael, you can now learn all about them here : /dolls/the-dolls-that-never-were/the-beatles/   

A recent contact from author Ian Price, who writes for the "Fashion Dolls Quarterly" magazine, (, enquired about Nisbet's Christmas themed dolls - We were delighted to assist his researches in compiling this article on Peggy Nisbet's "Legends of Christmas" dolls.   Ian has very kindly allowed us to make a copy of this article available for download - Please go to the Downloads/Miscellaneous/ page, and click on the link to "Styling Santa", by Ian Price, to see the article.



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