The Real Tinker Bell Comes to Moat Brae

The real Tinker Bell – a delightful piece of theatrical history will be on display at the new National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.

Moat Brae house and gardens in Dumfries, which opens to the public in spring 2019, was where the teenage JM Barrie and his friends played the games that inspired Peter Pan.

When the play was first staged, at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, in 1904, the mischievous fairy Tinker Bell was represented by a spotlight and the ringing of a small bell.

Barrie had bought two bells for the purpose on a trip to Switzerland. Though tiny, they had a clear and distinctive sound that could be heard in every part of the theatre.

Elias Elias

One bell was given to Elias Elias, the theatre’s foreman and scene changer and became a treasured family heirloom.

A descendent of Elias Elias was so interested when she discovered that the house where Peter Pan began was being restored that she offered to loan it to Moat Brae for public display.

Visitors will be transported back to the earliest days of the Peter Pan story, with the chance to see the bell and hear recordings of it ringing.

Simon Davidson, Moat Brae’s Centre Director, said:“It’s quite magical to have the original Tinker Bell here at Moat Brae.

“It’s a very special piece of literary and theatrical history and I’m sure people will be charmed to see, and hear, the actual bell which JM Barrie chose to represent a character who came to be loved by generations of children all across the world.”

Latest Articles