On my fifth birthday (April 26th, 1975) I was given my first Sindy doll. This was the first year that Pedigree sold the Active Sindy ballerina doll, and in 1975 and 76 she was dressed in a white leotard, white tights, mauve lace skirt and white ballet shoes which tied on with little strings. This red-haired doll was the most beautiful object I had ever seen. A few days after my birthday my mother, Sindy and I were out shopping. We stopped to rest on a park bench, and I noticed a merry-go-round a short distance away. I asked my mother if I could ride on it. She gave me the money for it (5 pence? I don't recall now) and I ran away, leaving Sindy sitting next to Mummy. After a few minutes, my mother got up and followed to watch me on the merry-go-round. When the ride had finished I asked her to give Sindy back to me, and we realised that she had left her on the park bench. I ran back, but Sindy was gone! Some other little girl had probably taken her, since that doll was a highly desirable possession -- the London 1975 equivalent of the Tickle Me Elmo in 1996 USA... I was inconsolable. My precious, lovely Sindy -- stolen!
Mum suggested that we ask a nearby policeman on foot patrol if anyone had handed the doll to him. I was so hopeful, but my hopes were dashed. The policeman had seen nothing, and no one had handed a doll to him. But he was a very nice man, and it was clear that I was very upset. He sat down with us on another park bench and took a full incident report from me. He carefully wrote down a description of the doll in his notebook and a timeline of the events of the crime, and took down my name and address. Can you imagine it? This kindly London Bobby taking down an incident report of the theft of a Sindy doll -- at the time it seemed deadly serious, but in retrospect it is kind of comical. I bet that policeman had daughters of his own, and he must have been a wonderfully understanding father.
That doll never turned up again, but my parents bought me a replacement. That second Sindy never left my side, and I still have her (packed in a box in my parents' attic). Her joints are now all loose or broken, and she developed a highly unflattering mohawk due to years of being carried around by her hair... but I still love her! Compared to the MIB, NRFB Sindys I now collect she's not very attractive, but as far as I'm concerned she's the best doll in the world.