Dolls house Bill mourned
HE brought a smile to the faces of underprivileged children for many years, but much-loved craftsman Bill Bloomfield has died.In the last nine years Mr Bloomfield made more than 80 handcrafted dolls houses and donated them to children's charities.
By Jessica Nicholls
By Jessica Nicholls
HE brought a smile to the faces of underprivileged children for many years, but much-loved craftsman Bill Bloomfield has died.
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In the last nine years Mr Bloomfield made more than 80 hand-crafted dolls houses and donated them to children's charities.
He loved children and is famed for his painstaking building of the dolls houses from reclaimed wood as a therapeutic hobby.
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Mr Bloomfield suffered from angina and nine years ago underwent a quadruple heart by-pass at Papworth Hospital. He died on November 20, just two days before his 76th birthday.
His wife Audrey, 75, said: "Building the dolls houses used to take his mind off things.
"He was very fond of children and we were lucky enough to have five grandchildren of our own.
"Our grandchildren were all healthy and happy and he liked to think that he was helping someone less fortunate.
"He was a very kind person."
His work was so well known that instead of throwing wood away people would often take it to Mr Bloomfield to use for his dolls houses.
The couple met when they were working at the shoe manufacturers, Britin and Bannister which was at the top of Argyle Street in Ipswich.
She was 22 and he was 23. They married in August, 1950, and this year celebrated 52 years of marriage.
They had two children, Julie and Ian who still live in the town.
From the shoe manufacturers, Mr Bloomfield went on to work for Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies but took early retirement because of his heart problem.
Many of his dolls houses were donated to the NSPCC but one was recently given to the Children's Hospice in Ipswich and another was auctioned by Radio Suffolk for Children in Need.
Mrs Bloomfield said: "Someone paid £210 for it.
"He was so pleased about that. In the finish that made some little girl somewhere very happy."
Over the years, other houses were given to the Thomas Wolsey and Heathside special schools and to the centre for sexually abused children and the home for battered women.
There are still three dolls houses left and Mrs Bloomfield said she is giving one to the NSPCC and another to the Make A Wish charity but is going to keep one for herself in memory of him.
The couple made a lot of friends through donating Mr Bloomfields dolls houses.
Mrs Bloomfield said: "I am left with a lot of happy memories from him. We made some nice friends through his work and they always keep in touch."