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Tyne and Wear HER(5936): North Shields, Customs House Quay, wooden dolly 1 - Details

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N Tyneside

North Shields, Customs House Quay, wooden dolly 1

North Shields


Gardens Parks and Urban Spaces



Early Modern


Destroyed Monument

The original wooden dolly was a figurehead from a collier brig named the 'Alexander & Margaret', named after the owner Alexander Bartleman, North Shields shipbuilder, and his wife. They erected the dolly in their front garden at No. 23 Front Street, Tynemouth as a memorial to their son, David, captain of the brig, who was killed in battle off Yarmouth in 1781.He was defending his ship against Captian William Fall in the 'Fearnought'. In 1814 the wooden dolly was moved to the entrance to Custom House Quay to prevent people from backing carts into Bartleman's property. Local historian Paul Trumpeter described the dolly as 'no slim, simpering, Goddess-looking creature, but a bluff, saucy, hearty-looking hussey, with a full flaunting petticoat something in the style of good Queen Bess'. After being chipped and pared by seamen (the face of the doll was disfigured as sailors carved off pieces before their voyages to bring them luck), a group of drunks finally destroyed her in 1850.




Keith Armstrong (ed.), 1994, The Wooden Dolly - the story of the North Shields Wooden Dolly

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