The Outworkers

Many of Peggy Nisbet's employees were outworkers.   They formed part of the army of skilled needlewomen and artists who helped make Peggy's stunning dolls, whilst working from their own homes.   This arrangement had mutual benefits - The Nisbet business could increase its output by taking on more workers, without the need for larger premises to accommodate them, (and all the extra running costs that would have entailed).   The Outworkers had the doll bodies and ready cut pieces of the costume delivered to their door, as a kit of parts to make a set number of dolls.   These would be collected as finished items, a few days on, and a new kit of parts left in their place.   They could work from the convenience of their own homes, and this allowed mothers with young children, and those looking after sick or elderly relatives, to have a chance to earn some extra income.   In fact, Peggy Nisbet led the way in employing the disabled, who, because of their mobility problems, might otherwise not have been able to obtain, and hold down a job.

If you, or one of your relatives was involved in the manufacture of Peggy Nisbet Dolls, we would love to hear from you, to hear your reminiscences, and perhaps to see any photographs you may have.   Please get in contact, if you think you can help!

Mrs Edna Peacock, working on a batch of H/233 Horatio, Lord Nelson dolls

One of our correspondents, Keith, has sent us a lovely picture of his mother, Mrs Edna Peacock, (see above), working at the dining room table of their home in Exeter Road, just around the corner from Peggy's first factory, in Whitecross Road, Weston-super-Mare.

If you look carefully, you will see that she is working on a batch of H/233 Horatio, Lord Nelson dolls.   Perhaps Edna's skilful hands dressed the Horatio in your collection!   (This doll was in production from the 1960's, and only discontinued in 1975).

The Whitecross Road factory was burned down on the 14th May 1970, and Keith, (only a young boy at the time), remembers the fire well.

 He made a very interesting and significant comment in one of his emails to us :

"I remember that homeworkers were a very important part of the recovery after the fire.   All was not lost on that terrible evening, as it would have been if all work had been done in the factory.   So many homeworkers, (including my mum), had so much stock in their homes, (the kits of doll bodies and fabric for the costumes), that the business was able to continue almost immediately, using Peggy's own home as a temporary base, until the new factory was found".

So you can see what a benefit it was for Peggy, that so much of her production was supported by Outworkers like Edna.


21st September 2023


Important Announcement


My dear wife, Christine, passed away on the 8th December, 2021after 8 weeks in hospital. I was by her side, when she slipped away from me peacefully, with no pain or suffering.


Chris had been struggling with a slow decline in health, associated with a progressive, untreatable, and ultimately terminal lung disease, and finally succumbed to her old adversary, Pneumonia.


We had been friends for 55 years, together as a couple for 50 years, and married just a month short of 48 years, when she died.   


This website was Chris's idea, and I did all the technical stuff, to make it work.   After news of Chris's passing reached her close friends in the doll collecting world, I was deeply touched and gratified to hear their tributes to my dear wife, and I must thank them all for their kindness and support.   Ultimately, it was her doll friends that gave me the courage to continue with the website.


In the months before her eventual hospitalisation, Chris had outlined a number of additions and changes she wanted to make to the website, and it is my intention to honour those wishes, and to implement the changes we had considered, over the coming weeks and months.


I must apologise to all those who have written to us via the website, only to have your emails go unanswered.   Unfortunately, the email system had been hacked aroung the time Chris was going into hospital, and many emails must have been lost, as a result.


As you might imagine, I felt completely broken by Chris's loss, and it is only now, almost 22 months after her passing, that I have felt strong enough to even look at the website again.   


My aim is to continue with the website, and to implement Chris's aims for her many new ideas as soon as I can.   In the meantime, I have hopefully got the email system sorted out, and I will attempt to answer any enquiries as soon as I can, and to send replies with the same high degree of accuracy that a reply from Chris would have had.


From now on, I will be flying solo, whilst my co-pilot and guide will be soaring much higher, (though she is always in my heart, and in my thoughts).


My thanks to all our website visitors for your continued support


Dave (also known as Arthur), and Chris, (my lost love, Guinevere)


Christine Poulten

25th December 1949 - 8th December 2021