Lucia was a treasured cloth doll handed down through generations of the Appleby family. In 1924 she became the beloved possession of nine-year-old Poppy Appleby, who kept her in a metal trunk with her best treasures.
In December, 1925, the Appleby home was destroyed by fire that started when a coal fell out of the parlour fire and quickly spread. Poppy and her Aunt Matilda were the only survivors..........apart from Poppy's trunk of treasures which miraculously came through the fire reasonably unscathed.
Poppy and her Aunt Matilda (who was a wonderful seamstress) set up a new home in a small cottage not far from their old home and traumatic scars notwithstanding, managed to live a long and happy life together. Poppy always had Lucia, smoke-damaged as she was, to remind her of her family and the terrible night she lost them. Under Aunt Matilda's instruction, ten-year-old Poppy made new clothes for her doll to replace the ones ruined by smoke and her face and limbs were gently cleaned to remove as much of the discolouration as possible. Nothing could be done, however to remove the stains from Lucia's cloth body.
(Of course, this story is pure fabrication, but I had to think of some explanation for the stains on this doll's body! I was attempting to add just a little staining using walnut ink, but it just came out of the spray bottle way too fast. Ya gotta laugh!)