Small is beautiful as des-res dolls’ house is auctioned

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this doll’s house has got it all – down a tiny tea set, dining table and chairs, lamps and lights.

It was created by Harry Dinsey, 75, and his wife Sheila, also 75.

Harry and Sheila Dinsey of Portchester, who are selling a dolls' house to raise money for The Rowans Hospice. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150440-17)

Harry and Sheila Dinsey of Portchester, who are selling a dolls' house to raise money for The Rowans Hospice. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150440-17)

They gave it to The Rowans Hospice in Purbrook and now it’s being auctioned on eBay to raise money for the charity.

But it’s not just been a labour of love for the Dinseys.

It has an interesting background, including long periods of hibernation, and two escapes from being put on to the bonfire.

Mr Dinsey started the house with his first wife Maureen, in 1976, but stopped in 1998 when she died aged 72 of breast cancer.

Inside the dolls' house.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (150440-13)

Inside the dolls' house. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150440-13)

The couple enjoyed making things and were inspired to make the house by a photo of a New England house they liked.

After the heartbreak Mr Dinsey, of Portsview Avenue, Portchester, wanted to burn the house.

He said: ‘A friend persuaded me not to do that, and it went into hibernation in the shed.

‘Some years later I met and married Sheila in 2002 and during a “sort out” I found the house again and told her I was going to burn it.’

But Mrs Dinsey, whose first husband Peter died aged 54 of a brain tumour, decided it should be completed.

She said: ‘I saw it and so much work had already been put into it I thought it should be finished.

‘As both of our partners died of cancer we wanted to donate it to a charity.

‘As soon as it was finished we had a garden party and that raised £55, then we decided to donate the whole thing to The Rowans.’

Mrs Dinsey made the curtains, blinds, and bedding, while Mr Dinsey made most of the furniture.

It is three storeys high, 52in wide, 36in high, and 27in deep, made of birch plywood.

There are 12 rooms, including four attic rooms, fitted wardrobes, hidden back stairs, and a pillared hallway and staircase.

Andrew Cordery, eBay manager at The Rowans Hospice Trading Company, said: ‘It’s unique, and although it is lit, decorated, furnished and ready to move in, there is still plenty of scope for new owners to put their own stamp on it.

‘Thanks to this lovely couple, you could be the lucky new owner collecting it from the hospice very soon.’

Visit stores.ebay.co.uk/therowanshospice