Small Dalmatian figures are needed for Sudbury Heritage Centre’s Dodie Smith display

Author Dodie Smith. Picture: MICHAEL HALL.

Author Dodie Smith. Picture: MICHAEL HALL.

A museum is on the look out for small figures of dalmatians for a display that is part of a tribute to Hundred and One Dalmatians author Dodie Smith.

Figures of Dalmatians are part of a tribute to Hundred and One Dalmatians author Dodie Smith at Sudb

Figures of Dalmatians are part of a tribute to Hundred and One Dalmatians author Dodie Smith at Sudbury Heritage Centre. - Credit: Contributed

Sudbury Museum Trust is hoping to add to the miniatures it already has and create a litter of puppies in a new extension to Sudbury Heritage Centre, located behind Sudbury Town Hall.

Museum trustee Val Herbert said: “So far we have a small figure that looks like Pongo and would fit into a mug and tiny miniatures of three puppies but we would love to have more either to borrow or as a donation.

“The pups need to be around 2cm high and ideally we would like a mate for Pongo who is about 9cm tall.”

There will be the opportunity to preview the display and other changes to the re-modelled heritage centre on Saturday, September 9, when the town hall opens from 10am to 4pm as part of the national Heritage Open Days. Entry is free and the centre is designed to appeal to a wide range of interests and ages.

The tribute to Dodie Smith highlights her strong connection with Sudbury. She moved into a thatched cottage at Finchingfield in the 1930s and from then on, apart from the war years, she shopped and banked in the town.

Hundred and One Dalmatians was her first book for children, published in 1956, and generations of readers and filmgoers know how Dalmatian parents Pongo and Missis run through Sudbury in the search for their stolen puppies.

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Now a plaque on the water trough opposite the town hall records how they paused there hoping for news.

Her own Dalmatians were the inspiration for the story - the hero Pongo was her first.

Disney bought the rights to the book and adapted it for the two film versions.

The Sudbury Museum Trust has the two typewriters on which Dodie wrote her successful plays and books. In the roller of one is a poignant comment she typed at the age of 86. She died in 1990 at the age of 94 and her last dalmatian six weeks later.

Mrs Herbert said: “I don’t think we could accommodate 101 [figures] but it would be nice to have a few more.”

Anyone with Dalmatian figures can call her on 01787 372097 or drop them off at Sudbury Town Hall wrapped and with a name, address and contact number provided.

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