Cheshire Regency, 1981, George and Sally Hoffman, 1:12 scale
Narrator: In the 1960s the Arnell family lived in a large house on Regents Street in London. The house was across from Regents Park and just down the street from the London Zoo. In the 1980s Pat Arnell commissioned George and Sally Hoffman to build a miniature thatresembledthe house.The miniature version has the same number of floors and the same rooms but it is free standing. The actual house had joined walls with houses on both sides.
Pat Arnell: Lucky for us the man who lived on the right side of our house played loud music at night which could be heard through the walls in my daughter Sarah’s room.
Narrator: At the time Sarah was an infant. She had the smallest room in the house.
Pat Arnell:When we put Sarah to bed she would stare at the ceiling and her eyes would follow something that seemed to be moving around on the ceiling. Whatever it was upset her and sometimes she would cry. We decided to have her swap rooms with her older sister Vicky. Vicky didn’t seem notice anything on the ceiling and she didn’t seem to mind the neighbor’s music either. Sarah slept sound in her new room.
Narrator: If you look in the attic rooms you will find a couple of ghosts roaming around.
Pat Arnell: Before we moved intothe house we had lunch with the people who had been renting it. They told us that the house was haunted. It didn’t deter us from renting it; lots of old houses in London are supposedly haunted.
Narrator: The house had an enormous door and you could hear it open and close throughout the house.
Pat Arnell: My husband Walter, was working on his PhD at the time.Walter would stay up late working on his dissertation. While working he would hear the front door open and close,so he would go down to the door and check the locks. Each time they would be secure.
Narrator: You’ll notice that the attic is also a miniaturist’s studio.
Pat Arnell: At the time I lived on Regents Street I wasn’t making dollhouses, but I always had an interest in miniatures and began collecting little items I found in London shops.