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Toy story gets happy ending as Dolls Hospital finds new home

THE much-loved Dublin Dolls Hospital is set to come to life again.

The hospital, which closed its doors last month, has found a new home in the city centre.

The Herald was invited along to get a sneak peek of what visitors can expect when it re-opens in the Powerscourt Centre. Owner Melissa Nolan, who has been caring for dolls and teddy bears for three decades, was overseeing preparations last night for the official opening on Sunday.

"One of the most difficult aspect of moving was transporting the cabinets from the [previous store in] South Great George's Street," Melissa told the Herald.

"They're mahogany, from the late 40s and very heavy, so it took six men to carry each one up the staircase to the second floor of Powerscourt Townhouse Centre."

The Dolls Hospital dates back to 1938 but it nearly faced extinction this year when Melissa and her husband Chris decided to turn it to an online business as they faced increasing overheads.

"We're very lucky to have found a new home, we really thought we would have to run the business online only because we were being pushed out of the market really," Melissa explained.

"The bills, rent insurance, everything had gone up. We had to make a decision, we didn't want to turn a successful business in one that would end up in debt.

"And now, we're delighted to have found this place -- it's just the ideal room."

Powerscourt Townhouse Centre has organised a children's day for Sunday's launch, with three Disney characters welcoming visitors, another playing music, and balloons, bubbles, face-painting and life-size teddy bears greeting young ones.