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Monday, 19 January 2015

As Heard On BBC Sussex

If you’re listening to the BBC’s Sussex station then you may have heard one Mr Chris Littledale waxing lyrical about the toy museum, its history and the exhibits that it currently has on display.
Simon Jenkins, the BBC Sussex reporter telephoned Chris this morning and asked for an interview. Chris leapt at the chance to take advantage of this fantastic piece of media exposure and so Messrs Jenkins and Littledale spent a few hours walking around and talking about the museum, its history, and the many toys it has on display.

By all accounts Simon Jenkins was extremely interested in everything that the museum has, the trains, the Corgi cars, the stuffed toys, in fact everything that you know the museum for.
If you would like to hear the interview then you can hear it throughout the day today (19/1/2015) and tomorrow and then on the BBC’s Listen Again service for another week.

If you don’t get a chance to listen to the interview though, don’t worry. You can always come along to the museum and see what it is that we have on display that gets everybody so excited! 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Hello and Welcome to 2015!

We hope you had a good Christmas and New Year and that you’re looking forward to an even better year in 2015.

Here at the toy museum we've got a lot to look forward to and can’t wait to tell you all about it. We’re looking forward to a new website which we hope will make the museum a much easier resource to use. With clearer layout and new links to the Toys in the Community project and educational resources we think that it will really be something we can be proud of.

Biscuit Tins As A Zoo Train
Speaking of the Toys in the Community project, most of the filming has been completed, we've interviewed young and old, people from abroad and those who've barely ever left the Sussex region and from all walks of life to hear about what they remembered about their toys. There are a couple of interviews left to do and then Andrea will be editing them all down and putting them up online in advance of the book and mobile exhibition that will be appearing as a part of the Toys In The Community project. When I say there are a couple of interviews left to do, that doesn't include the interviews that we’re hoping to conduct during Brighton’s Festival Fringe. If you keep an eye out for the bathing machine the Fringe has generously offered to let us borrow, you could still be an interviewee if you have any toys you’re particularly keen to tell us about.
The Corgi Car Extention

If you are still interested in sharing your memories of toys and you live in the Brighton area you can still get in touch. We can film or record your words at home, in the museum or anywhere else that suits you. You just have to let us know. To book a time to talk about your memories of toys and play you just need to contact Andrea on 01273 749494 or email on and we’ll take it from there.

 As well as these exciting new developments it’s important to remember that we’ll still be doing the our tried and tested events too; the museum’s booked up right through to Spring with school visits and then there are Playdays to keep in your diaries too, the next being on the 8th of February, so expect a love theme there then! We’ll be doing all the usual activities, including facepainting, crafts and art as well as getting out our trainsets, car layouts and construction toys.

I took a look around the museum earlier on today and noticed a number of new things that weren’t here last year. For instance there’s a new exhibit of biscuit tins. These days we’re only used to biscuits being sold in square or oval tins for special occasions so it’s surprising to see the array of different tins it used to be possible to put biscuits into: aeroplanes, mushrooms, birds’ nests, even a steam loco pulling a number of carriages!

Double O gauge Funicular Railway
Opposite the biscuit tins Gordon has built a new cabinet which is going to facilitate our growing display of Corgi cars. I spoke tto Glenn, the owner of the exhibit who was setting out the new cars. Over 20 years collecting Corgi cars means that he is able to share hundreds of cars and trucks through the museum. Many of them are special editions, Corgi exclusives or export editions which come in different colours, have different features or are in many other ways special and unique.

As well as the new exhibits, it’s also good to see some of the older exhibits’ refurbishments are nearing their completion. The 00 gauge train diorama is coming on, featuring as it now does a few local sites of interest such as the Hastings Funicular Railway and the Longman of Wilmington.

I’d just like to add that everyone here is missing our fantastic museum manager Tigger. She’s under the weather and hasn’t been able to make it in to the museum recently so everyone here would like to take the opportunity to wish her a speedy recovery. Get well soon Tig!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Toys Of 100 Years Ago

We've just received the posters that the children of Firle School were good enough to draw for us and may I say how impressed I was with the pictures? They're so much fun and colourful, opening the mail with them in really brightened up a gloomy winter's day.

The children came in a couple of weeks ago to take part in a school's museum visit where they get a chance to look around the museum, find some some particular object including a bear, a doll, a Meccano windmill and even a circus. Once these toys have been identified we have a chance to talk about them, how old they are, what they were made of and how different, or even how similar they are to toys that we can still find in our own toy boxes today.

We discovered that Meccano was hard to make although you can still get it and in the old days toy horses were made of real horse! (Well, their tails and manes were made of real horsehair anyway.) It's sad that we don't have the names of the children on the posters they made or we could thank them individually, however, they really are a great job and we want to thank you all for all your great effort and hard work.

This afternoon we have been been laminating the poster's we've got here and we're going to put them up in the museum. If you can't make it into the museum though, I've attached the pictures we received from Ms Ricca so that you can see them anyway.
Thanks again to reception and years one and two and all the staff and helpers who came along, we loved your visit and hope you can make it along again some time soon.

Thanks To All Who Came To Our Christmas Playday

We here at the Toy Museum just wanted to say a big thank you to all the visitors who came along to our Christmas themed Playday last weekend.
We all had such a great time welcoming all the visitors, children and adults, who all seemed to be having a great time with the trains, making Christmas cards, snowflakes and glittery gifts, we enjoyed ourselves so much it was hard to get the last visitors to leave, but leave they must. So we hope that they will all come along to the next Playday which is scheduled for February, a time of year  when thoughts turn to love. And Spring. And warmer weather.
In the meantime, all of the staff and volunteers at the museum would like to wish all of our visitors the best of the season, a Happy New Year and most of all, that you get lots of fun toys in your stockings this Christmas!
And just to remind you that Brighton Toy and Model Museum will be close from the 23rd of december until the 26th and then again for New Year from the 28th until the second of January.

Friday, 21 November 2014

December’s Christmas Themed Playday Sunday 7th 2pm - 5pm

It’s almost time for another of Brighton Toy and Model Museum’s Playdays. December’s Playday takes its theme from Christmas so there will be lots of seasonal things for kids to get up to.
As usual, there will be toys to play with, arts and crafts to create, including greetings cards and a story performed by one of our fascinating storytellers. As well as these activities there will also be a facepainter making children into elves, princesses, pirates and penguins and a Loom-Bandologist teaching us how to make beautiful pieces just in time to give us plenty of ideas for things to make for Christmas gifts. Each child can take their bracelet or Loom gift away with them.

The Playday is on Sunday December 7th and starts in the museum at 2pm and finishes at 5pm, although the doors will be open throughout. Admission is £6 for this event and includes craft materials, loom bands and light refreshments. Naturally, since the Playday is taking place within the museum, children have access to all of the exhibits as well as taking part in activities. This includes our model railways, stuffed toys, construction kits and model aircraft. As usual, the museum shop will also remain open, with a great selection of toys and models, including pre-owned trains and trackwork, Star Wars toys, buses, cars and tanks as well as new toys and seasonal gifts.

Each child or group of up to four children will be entitled to have one adult guest come along free to accompany them. The Playday is targeted at children from 3 to 12 years of age, children under 8 will have to bring someone over 18 to look after them. Faces cost an extra pound to paint and some activities may cost a little extra if additional materials or products are used. Healthy refreshments will be made available too.

Admission to this event is half price for Junior Members.

Museum Junior Membership is £20 per annum for children and includes access to running days and other special events hosted by the museum including free access to the museum on all ordinary days of business. If a Junior Member brings along an adult, on an ‘ordinary’ day, who isn’t also a member then the adult pays £1.00 instead of the normal admission price of £4.50 (£3.50 for students and senior citizens).

Saturday, 8 November 2014

When Brighton Went To War

A view of the First World War from some local people who fought in it

To remember the sacrifice of the local men who fought on the front and the women who had to watch them go, knowing that they may never see them again, Brighton Toy and Model Museum will be holding an event focusing on the very personal experience of those who went, those who never came back, and the ones they left behind.

It was a Tommy from Brighton who pulled the trigger on the first British shot fired in anger

On 22nd of August 1914 a German officer was unhorsed by Pte Ernest Edward Thomas, a 4th Dragoon Guard who lived on Southdown Avenue. After experiencing several adventures, the decorated and Promoted Sgt Thomas survived the war and died 25 years later, still living in Brighton, on the eve of the Second World War.

Fascinating details like these, the letters shared between those at the front and their wives and sweethearts at home in Brighton And Hove, even songs written by the girls of the local munitions factory: Light and Co of Circus Street will be recited, affording an insight into the attitudes of all those involved in the war effort, both at home and facing the enemy. 

The Pavilion as a Hospital

Recognition will also be made to those who came from the furthest reaches of the Empire to fight for King and Country and, once wounded, found themselves recovering in The Royal Pavilion. Letters from officers and other ranks recruited in India describe the reception they received from the people of Sussex, especially girls, cheering their arrival and inviting them into their homes for comfort.
The evening’s schedule remembering the efforts of those from Sussex will start at 7.30pm in the Museum. Admission costs £8.00, 50% of the ticket proceeds will go to veterans’ charity Combat Stress, a UK charity supporting ex-service personnel and their families who are suffering from depression, stress and other trauma related mental health issues. Tickets are available on the door or by booking in advance here.