An old spinster died and left her clothes locked up in wardrobes. They have been in their lockers for more than 70 years. The catch in the whole saga is that the clothes were never worn at all.


For many years, Miss Vervia Todd collected clothes on overseas trips and kept them in lockers without wearing them. The wealthy girl had a fiancé who died in the Second World War. She lived with her father since then and never married until her death in November, 2013. On visits to other continents, she would go on shopping sprees and she had an eye for clothes. On arriving home, she rarely wore the clothes and many remained in the trunks she traveled with.

Some of the clothes

For over a century, the clothes have remained out of sight, only to be discovered after her death. Restorers accessed her house later and what they found had their jaws open in surprise. Hats, shoes and dresses have been found by friends and relatives as they came to empty her house after the death. Her father was a dental surgeon who did not have much time to go through the house either.

A reporter wearing a dress from the trove and displaying another

Plans are underway to sell the whole trove for a little over a million pounds. Vervia’s best friends have spent months uncovering trunks full of clothes in her house. They hope that the clothes will get a new lease of life from their new owners. They describe her as a glamorous lady in her younger years with a good figure and very trim.

Some more clothes from the discovered collection
Some more clothes from the discovered collection

Her favorite holidaying spots were in Italy. Paula Donaldson, dealer and owner of a vintage shop, Dregs of Society, in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, has been helping to organize the clothing for the upcoming sale. Paula has been dealing in vintage clothing for around ten years and has never come across such a colossal collection.

A vintage mirror is among the items
A vintage mirror is among the items

She said: ‘Nobody knew that she had these. ‘She just loved to shop. Even when she was in her 80s, every Thursday or Friday she would go on the bus to Newcastle. Now her memory will be preserved in a thousand ways and in many minds of the buyers of the clothes.

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