Dinky Dickens is at home in pensioner’s dolls house tribute

Vena Bartlett (82) has created a miniature dolls' house version of Charles Dickens' birthplace in Portsmouth
Vena Bartlett (82) has created a miniature dolls' house version of Charles Dickens' birthplace in Portsmouth

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STANDING at his writing desk, next to his chair and slippers, Charles Dickens looks right at home in his miniature abode.

Inspired by the writer’s birthplace in Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth, the dolls house, pictured above, was created by Vena Bartlett.

A tiny Charles Dickens stands by his desk

A tiny Charles Dickens stands by his desk

It took the 82-year-old more than two weeks to make the house to mark Dickens’ bicentenary this year. The writing desk and chair are replicas of his original items.

Although some of the other pieces of furniture are not historically accurate, Vena, of Lakeside Road, Copnor, has used her artistic side to fill in the gaps as she believes Dickens would have liked.

Vena, who has been making dolls houses for more than 10 years, said: ‘With all the Dickens celebrations going on this year for the 200th year anniversary, I just couldn’t resist making a house for him. It’s not exactly like his house on Old Commercial Road, but it’s as close to it as I could get.

‘There are some things in there that I know he wouldn’t have, like the greenhouse and deckchairs, but that’s just my artistic interpretation.

‘I don’t think he would’ve had a toilet inside his house either but I kept it in because I like it.

‘I gave him an outside toilet too.’

The home is filled with miniature objects from Dickens’ era, including a mangle, stove and a tiny pie on the kitchen table.

Vena added: ‘I get a great deal of pleasure out of making the houses. I’ve always been quite artistic so it satisfies that part of me.

‘They all have their own little stories going on inside them and I get very attached to them – I feel like Charles is my friend now.

‘I was thrilled when I saw him, he’s such a good model. He looks exactly like the pictures I’ve seen of him.

‘And he’s got a friend in the attic of the house. I put a model of Elvis up there because he’s going to be my next project, I’m going to make Graceland next.’