The Artarmon Library has a small children's reading desk with a plaque that reads: 'Donated by Miss M Piddington 1958'. The librarian, Suzanne Cavanagh, asked the Heritage Committee to investigate who Monica Piddington was. So far we know that she was born in Narrandera in 1899 and lived at 112 Artarmon Road. She was a kindergarten teacher who became the first director of the Playways store in the city (Playways was a toy shop owned by the Kindergarten Union). Monica travelled the world to bring toys of 'superior design, craftsmanship and quality' to Sydney.
She collected toys, and on her death in 1967, she bequeathed her toy collection to the Powerhouse Museum. Her own toy collection and a Trust established in her name resulted in the beginnings of the toys and juvenalia collection at the Powerhouse.
The Heritage Committee is in discussions with her family, the Powerhouse Museum and the Mitchell Library to discover more about this remarkable Artarmon lady.
We will be publishing the full results of our research about Monica Piddington in the May issue of the Gazette. Meanwhile, if any readers have personal memories of Monica , we would love to hear them. Email Marianne Nestor - firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help us.