Not too long ago I wrote up a blog about the James Tattersall figure which came back to the Ventriloquist Central Collection I inadvertently made statements on his not allowing any figures outside of this one which I now have. Well I stand corrected and I am happy to say it. I was just contacted by his daughter Heather and she has set me straight about the facts.
Here is the email she sent me:
Hello, I am James Tattersall’s daughter and I read with interest your article on my father and the vent doll that you recently added to your collection of his. I am very pleased that you regard him so highly. I would just like to correct you on a couple of matters and add some more info. My father did make vent dolls for other ventriloquists and even made one for Jack Jones when he was a boy. I have a photograph of them together. Also one for Rochester. He made the drunk doll ‘Wee Willy Drinkall’ that made Jack Beckett famous. He made one of the talking shoes (the better one) for a vent- (can’t remember his name) and many more.
Dad went into model village making in his later years, as you will see in the video clip. He developed the model village at Haigh Hall, Wigan and each Christmas built a special Christmas grotto with live size dolls such as Father Christmas or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I don’t know what happened to those. He also built some models for Ken Dodd: The Jam Butty factory with its diddy men and a coal mine with Diddly men.
My brother has the organist from Dad’s act, Tony and the old man and the old woman. Unfortunately, Dad sold most of his dolls as he got older such as the drunk doll and the dog and the duck. Where are they now? I have Hoppy and Rosabel, which were the main characters from the Scottish TV children’s series Mr. Fixit that he was involved with for 3 years in the 60s.
He made all the puppets and scenery for that. I have many photographs of his act and other famous acts he worked with, as well as newspaper cuttings and many old theatre bills. As to who the ‘best friend’ was who had this doll I don’t know and I certainly don’t recognize this doll but he made so many. Hope this helps. I do enjoy reading your news letters when I get chance but I fear I may have missed some that mentioned my father.
Kind regards, Heather Brookman (nee Tattersall)
Thanks Heather for all the information and now I am sure everyone will be searching for more of James’ figures.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2011 by Dan Willinger
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