Search

Famous (and valuable) BBC Playschool Humpty Dumpty toys found in Gospel Oak toyshop – 40 years after they were made

PUBLISHED: 16:27 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:42 20 July 2018

Humpty and Jemima toys from BBC's Playschool at Kristin Baybar's Toyshop in Gospel Oak. Picture: Harry Taylor

Humpty and Jemima toys from BBC's Playschool at Kristin Baybar's Toyshop in Gospel Oak. Picture: Harry Taylor

Archant

Two stars of hit vintage BBC children’s show Playschool have been found in a Gospel Oak toyshop – 50 years after they first graced TV screens.

David Ward, a volunteer at the toy shop with Humpty, Jemima and an owlDavid Ward, a volunteer at the toy shop with Humpty, Jemima and an owl

Several Humpty and Jemima dolls from the 1960s programme were found in the storeroom of Kristin Baybar’s toy shop, which has been open since the early 1980s. Kristin, who is now 84, made and supplied the iconic toys to the show.

The dolls were a favourite for youngsters during the show’s run between 1964 and 1988.

They were unearthed by David Ward, who has volunteered at the treasure trove for 20 years.

Humpty and Jemima were found alongside several owls. “Kristin was looking for a particular piece of sheepskin for something, and I remembered seeing this sheepskin fabric poking through a bag in the storeroom,” said David.

When he went upstairs to check, he found the bag of unstuffed owls, who have sheepskin around their eyes, and on further discovery found the Humptys and Jemima.

“I knew straight away what they were,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. It felt like I’d gone back in time. After 40 years in a plastic bag, they looked like new.

“I felt an overwhelming urge to bring them back to life.”

The Humpties were produced in different colours in the 1960s when the BBC was looking for new toys.

An original Humpty from the show was sold at auction for £6,000 in 2014.

The Humptys were chosen as the BBC sought to positively portray racial diversity in the 1960s: despite being different colours, the toys were otherwise identical. They, along with the owls, were made by Kristin from Heals fabric, when she worked at the firm.

The Aladdin’s cave, in Mansfield Road, has become a Hampstead institution over the years. Kristin still owns the shop and lives in the area.

David, who started volunteering there when he was 14, told the Ham&High: “Last week we had four generations of one family in here, wanting to buy the same toy they’d had before. It’s amazing how many people keep on coming back, it means that much to people.

“So many people in Hampstead have a memory of us from their childhood.”

As well as selling children’s toys, the emporium also stocks miniatures and dolls houses.

Since the discovery, some of the toys have been stuffed and sold.

One of the new Humptys is also being raffled off, with proceeds going to Foal Farm Rescue Centre.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:39

The killers of Camden model Harry Uzoka have been jailed for a combined total of more than 60 years.

Yesterday, 14:33

High Court judge Sir Ross Cranston, who last week blocked Transport for London’s (TfL) plans to begin building the CS11 cycle superhighway in Swiss Cottage, has denied TfL permission to appeal his judicial review ruling.

Yesterday, 12:40

Seven months to the day after a single winter night saw two young men stabbed to death, Camden’s youth safety task force – led by Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer and Cllr Abdul Hai – last night recommended a series of measures to arrest the alarming upwards trend in youth violence in the borough.

Thu, 17:30

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

There are more than 3,000 homeless families housed by Haringey Council in temporary accommodation in the borough and more than another 1,000 housed outside the borough according to Trust for London.

Thu, 15:23

A woman from Temple Fortune turned have-a-go-hero and chased a pair of criminals – causing them to drop a wad of stolen cash – after an elderly woman was robbed at a nearby cashpoint.

Thu, 13:15

Haringey Police are appealing for infomration after a 40 year old woman was sexually assaulted on a Muswell Hill Bus.

Thu, 12:53

Two rogue swans rapidly regretted the decision to land on the Hampstead Heath ponds when the resident swan family chased them off the water and left them “a bit battered” on a grass verge.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now