Tucked away in rural Ekatahuna is “Dolls of Joy”, Joy Cole’s much loved collection of 2000 dolls beautifully displayed in four rooms. This collection started slowly, as most do, and Joy started collecting dolls from markets and op shops. They usually needed new clothes, and the knitting needles were kept busy producing beautiful woollen garments to dress these dolls. Prams, pushchairs, cribs and highchairs were collected too, and once Joy and hubby Bruce retired, they discussed how best to display the collection for people to view when visiting their other love, Waieka Country Garden. The one room planned was not big enough, and this increased to four rooms, packed with dolls of all shapes, sizes and colours.
There are some family heirlooms on display too. This pretty blue dress was worn by Joy’s grand-daughter when she was flower girl at a family wedding.
And here is Joy standing with a doll wearing the flower girl dress from her own wedding many years ago. How special is that?
I’m sure we all can remember the inevitable tea parties we enjoyed with our dolls. Our dollies were arranged “just so” and were always well behaved, as I remember.
We loved looking at the beautiful knitted outfits, the tiny hand smocked dresses, pretty dresses with ruffles and lace, and a collection of wedding dolls too. The “Twin Room” had twins galore, plus a smattering of triplets as well. Dolls were arranged by country, then by manufacturer. There were several little quilts hanging up on the wall adding another touch to the collection. We had a lovely time admiring Joy’s collection. Our visit there was rather like walking into girly heaven.