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Saturday, 14 November 2015

What's Happening in the Museum in December?

Our next PlayDay is on 13 December so I bet you’ll never guess what the theme is going to be. That’s right, IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!

We’ll be hosting an afternoon of festive fun with all our usual attractions, including face-painting, arts and crafts, toys to play with and a story teller. The story will naturally be on a Yuletide theme and the crafts will centre around making Christmas decorations, including the basics such as paper chains and snowflakes to garlands, angels and stars. Face-painting will be on a similarly festive theme, unless you want something else, we can paint you up to look like anything you want.

If you want to join in then you can come to the Brighton Toy and Model Museum any time between two and five. Children's Playdays are held every second Sunday of each month. Admission is £5 per child and groups of up to 4 children can bring an adult for free, any additional adults would have to pay the regular price of adult admission.

In other news, it’s not too late to book tickets for Harry’s Tricks. Harry’s Tricks play 1920's, 1930's and 1940's popular music from Britain and America. They are led by the unique vocal and guitar style of Mike Potter, who combines the influence of Fats Waller, Al Bowlly, Slim Gaillard and Billie Holiday. They’ll be playing in the museum from 7pm November 21. It’s a child friendly event so you can feel comfortable bringing the whole family. Tickets for the Harry’s Tricks performance will be £8.00 for adult audience members, £5.00 for children.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

November's Playday Won't Be What You Expect

Brighton Toy and Model Museum’s Last Playday was a Hoot, a Scream, And a Bump in the Night

We had a great turn-out of visitors who all got into the dress-up spirit and enjoyed all kinds of creepy games and activities on a Halloween theme. November’s Playday is going to be the same, but different.

Because it’s taking place on the second Sunday of November you’ll be thinking fireworks and bonfires, gunpowder, treason and plot, right? Well, actually, you’d be wrong. As we haven’t had an opportunity to mark the occasion until now, we’ll be celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland.

Crafts will include colouring blow-ups of artwork by John Tenniel that was used in the first iterations of Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, making masquerade masks and crafting sculptures from play-dough. As well as these activities there will be the other regular diversions that Playdays are known for. And, as always, if you feel like dressing up, you’re free to do so! We’ve always found that putting on a costume helps to create a fun atmosphere and lets you show off your haberdashery skills. So if you feel like being Alice, the Mad Hatter, a White Rabbit or even the Queen of Hearts, then November’s Playday is the place to let yourself go!

If you want to join in then you can come to the Brighton Toy and Model Museum any time between two and five. Children's Play-days are held every second Sunday of each month. Admission is £5 per child and groups of up to 4 children can bring an adult for free, any additional adults would have to pay the regular price of adult admission.

Another event that we’ll be hosting in the environs of the Museum will be a performance by Harry’s Tricks, playing popular British and American music from the height of the Jazz Age. We’ll be opening our doors at 7pm November 21, tickets for the night’s performance will be £8.00 for adult audience members, £5.00 for children. To get a taste of what Harry’s Tricks we’ve added a little video. Seeing the band live is an altogether different experience, especially in the setting of the Museum.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Ghastly Ghostly Goings-On Will Feature in this Month's PlayDay

It surely goes without saying that October’s Playday is going to be Halloween themed. Because Halloween’s so much fun! It’s always been a favourite with kids as there’s so much to do, with games, crafts, dressing up and scary stories. And that’s why we’re going to be pulling out all the stops to make our Halloween Playday extra spooky!

If you’ve been to one of our Playdays before, then you’ll know that we like to make the event special and different from the last. The staff dress up, there are stories, facepainting, crafts and toys to play with. Because of the Halloween theme in October there will be pumpkin classes where you can learn how to safely carve a Jack o’ Lantern, traditional Halloween games like Snap Apples, Nelson’s Eye and everyone’s favourite: Eating A Chocolate Bar Using A Knife And Fork While Wearing Gloves.

Unfortunately, because of the inherent mess involved in pumpkin carving, we won’t be doing that. On the other hand we will be helping design pumpkin templates and masks which children can wear or put on pumpkins to carve at home. (We were going to blame Health and Safety, but here at Brighton Toy and Model Museum we encourage putting sharp objects in sticky little hands, we just don’t want to have to clear it all up afterwards!)

Because we’re an inclusive bunch here we won’t just be sticking with the traditional British and American Halloween entertainments, we’ll be drawing Sugar Skull designs, facepainting, telling stories, and a host of other traditional Halloween inspired crafts and entertainment. To find out more, you’ll just have to come along! There’s no need to book in advance and you can turn up any time between two and five. Children's Play-days are held every second Sunday of each month. Admission is £5 per child and groups of up to 4 children can bring an adult for free, any additional adults would have to pay the regular price of adult admission.

Saturday, 19 September 2015


Brighton Toy and Model Museum will be holding a train running day on the theme of "The Flying Scotsman” on Saturday October 17th. The Museum's "0" gauge layout will feature models of locomotives and trains which operated as "East Coast Joint Stock" and "Special Scotch Express" from 1862, and from 1924 under the LNER, as the "Flying Scotsman".  The museum’s finest 0 gauge models of this iconic train will feature on the day, these models include many rare examples not often seen running.  The Museum's refurbished 00 layout will also feature more recently manufactured representations of the period’s rolling stock and locomotives.

"The Flying Scotsman" ranks alongside "Mallard", "Concorde" and "QE 2" among the pride of British transport achievements, and it should not be forgotten that we have Sir William McAlpine to thank for  returning it to the UK, in 1973, following a tour of the USA. The Brighton Toy and Model Museum is proud to have Sir William as Honorary Patron. Next year the Museum celebrates its 25th year of being open to the public, a series of special events being planned.

As well as Running Days the museum will be hosting a wide range of events over our jubilee year including PlayDays, a new dolls house exhibit, live events, guided tours and parties. The week of the anniversary itself will start off with a private function to thank all the people who’ve supported us over the past 25 years and will end with a party where we can thank all of our visitors, and those who have enjoyed the museum and made that work worthwhile. In between those events we will be holding guided tours around the museum. We’re currently looking for suggestions from our visitors, telling us what they would most like to hear about. To submit your suggestion tweet us using the hashtag #mytoysuggests or write a comment on our facebook page.

The Museum is directly below Brighton mainline railway station. Admission for the Running Day is: Adult;£10, child ;£5.(see our website for regular admission costs)The Museum is open 10.30 to 5.00, the train running times on the day will be :11.00 to 1.00 and 2.30 to 4.30.
Tel 01273 749494 ( )

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Once Upon A Dream In A Toy Museum

Brighton Toy and Model Museum is the venue for another Playday on Sunday, this time it will be all about myths, monsters, fairytales and fables. 

Monsters. Some Scary, Some Not So Much
The theme for Play-Days different every time. The last Play-Day held on 16th August was called "To Infinity and Beyond" and focused on space and science fiction. The dozens of children present that day had a lot of fun and we expect the same from the next event which will be held on 13th of September. The theme of this one will be fairytale and myths, the title is "Once upon a dream..." Expect to see Hansel and Gretel, ogres, monsters and many other fairy-tale characters helping out around the museum.

Playdays have been an on and off institution at Brighton Toy and Model museum for several years but in advance of our 25th anniversary, we are aiming to make them into a regular feature of the great variety of things that the venue has to offer to the local community.

The Play-Days are aimed at children aged between 3 and 12 years old. The activities on offer include face-painting, storytelling, arts and crafts, colouring sheets, building sets and plenty of other games. The volunteers of the Museum help the kids with their creation in a friendly atmosphere and everyone is invited to dress up according to the theme.

The children's Play-days are now held every second Sunday of each month from 2pm to 5pm. Admission is £5 per child and groups of up to 4 children can bring an adult for free, any additional adults would have to pay the regular price of adult admission.

Did you also know that it’s possible to book the Museum for corporate events or as a venue for your various functions? If you’re looking for a totally unusual place to hold a meeting, party, conference of stage any other kind of event, then talk to one of our managers in person, over the phone on 01273 749494 or email us at for prices and availability.

Saying Sayonara To Our Japanese Exhibit

Nothing is certain except change and that maxim is equally true here at Brighton Toy and Model Museum. Always a point of discussion among staff and visitors, the collection of Japanese dolls that were displayed in the cabinet at the north end of the museum’s first gallery are currently being replaced. 

After years on display the dolls are being removed and returned to their owner. Some people will be sorry to see them go while others welcome the chance to put a new display into the cabinet. Debate was often centred around these dolls, some thinking that they were ornaments rather than toys, and as such, didn’t really deserve their place in a toy and model museum. Those on their side maintained that they were models of human figures and, as such, deserved their place among the dolls houses, domestic playthings and scale figures.

A Taste Of Things To Come? A Glimpse Into Chris' Workshop.
However, as with any museum, space is at a premium so the decision had to be taken to remove them. Having been with us for such a long time, they had become something of an institution, but now they have been removed it’s given us the opportunity to carry out long overdue maintenance of the cabinet where they were homed. Gordon, maintenance expert, is taking advantage of their absence to properly damp-proof and tank in the cabinet, meaning that if anything goes wrong (such as the flooding we once experienced several years ago) the objects we have on display won’t be in any danger.

As well as damp proofing the space, Gordon also has to build shelving to fit and provide a new lighting solution which will show off the new attraction to its best advantage. It’s anticipated that this work should be carried out and completed well ahead of our 25th anniversary next year and the exhibit will be well established as a favourite among our visitors by then.

So, what is the new exhibit going to be? 

Brighton Toy and Model museum has for a long time, had a wide and varied collection of dolls’ houses and dolls’ house furniture. There has always been a yen to increase the amount of space that is devoted to exhibiting our collection of antique furniture, buildings, and oddments you would expect to find in a well loved doll house, the only problem we had was finding the necessary space to display it. So once the decision was reached to return the Japanese dolls to their owner, it was clear what to do with the room that became available.

Brighton Toy and Model Museum thank Anne Paige-Phillips for allowing us to borrow and display her collection of Japanese dolls for such a long time and hope that they are looking forward to their rest and retirement.