Veteran craftswoman welcomed back

The manager of Middlesbrough’s Dundas Indoor Market said he’s delighted to welcome back a woman who’s been practising her craft for nearly three quarters of a century.

Camera-shy Trid Bailey said she took up sewing when she was just seven to grab the attention of her seamstress mum ahead of her 10 brothers and sisters. 

Trid – now 78 – has no intention of stopping, and knits and sews all the clothes and accessories for the lifelike baby dolls sold in her daughter-in-law’s shop Baby Beautiful.  

“I was the middle one at home – the cheeky one – and decided to show off to my mum,” said the mother-of-three who has eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Even when she was busy at home, Trid worked in numerous shops and bakeries in Middlesbrough.  She also helped out a trader in the Dundas Indoor Market before Baby Beautiful opened there in 2017. 

The shop has been a fixture in the run-up to Christmas every year since, selling the much sought-after Reborn Baby Dolls.  Trid knits their cardigans, hats and mittens. 

“I love making them,” she said. “I can’t sit at home watching television all day.  I’ve always kept myself busy, even though I don’t do as much as I used to.  I made wedding cakes, fitted my carpets and decorated.”

As people try to spread the cost of Christmas, Baby Beautiful decided to open a few weeks earlier this year.

“I think that’s a sensible move,” said Market Manager David Harris.  “We seem to have said this a lot recently, but people will be watching the pennies in the coming months and really looking for value for money.”

He added: “Trid is remarkable.  She’s making tiny baby dolls’ clothes, but the detail is incredible.  It’s great to welcome back Baby Beautiful.”

In recent months the Dundas Indoor Market has seen an influx of retailers and services. As well as Baby Beautiful, Toni’s Gift Boutique, The Protein Café and Bubble ‘n Sweet have all opened for business.

Pop-up pals Sharon’s Homemade Crafts, Woolgathering, Joanne’s Floral Crafts and Creations and Heaven on Earth trade every week in the nearby mall and the market is home to well-established traders such as Alta Ego, Leo Libra Pet Supplies, CAM Family Meats and the longest-running business at the market, Jean’s Kitchen, which opened more than 20 years ago.

It has just been named as one of the five Middlesbrough eateries to be awarded the highest rating for food hygiene and safety.   

The café’s owner Jean Hall said: “The team and I just work so hard to achieve these ratings, and that gives us the confidence that the food we serve to customers is stored and prepared to the highest possible standard.

“It gives us real job satisfaction that we are doing things properly – that’s how passionate we are about it.

“More and more people are checking ratings before deciding where to take their custom, so that’s all the incentive we need to aim for a 5 rating and stay there.”

Councillor David Coupe, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member with responsibility for Public Protection, commented: “Congratulations to the latest five business which have achieved the highest rating– where they are leading I hope others will follow.”