Search This Blog


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Toys in the Community Launch Event, 27th January

Today we held the official launch party for our two-year Toys in the Community project.

One of the project "theme" posters
The event was a "thank you" for the volunteers and interviewees, and a chance for them to meet and see the finished work, and share their experiences.

The project's outputs are available online on the project website and on the dedicated Toys in the Community YouTube channel, and the project will also be holding an exhibition on the 28-29 May, a Study Day on 11th April, and the main exhibition on 12th May, during the museum's week of 25th Anniversary celebrations.

Friday, 1 January 2016

2016 - The Museum's 25th Anniversary

Brighton Toy and Model Museum opened at its current location under Brighton Railway Station way back in 1991, making 2016 our 25th anniversary.

The museum has come a long way since a band of friends first got together to gut a series of derelict arches under the station and create a time capsule to hold and display the cream of late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century toy and modelmaking.
From a Dream to a Gem, Chris Littledale

To commemorate the year, we've been planning a series of new exhibits and display updates which will be appearing during 2016, including a number of new exhibits and display improvements, some of which that have been planned almost since the museum's inception. To prepare, we spent most of 2015 improving the museum's general background infrastructure, so that this year could be all about New Things to Look At.

Major 2016 upgrades will include:

  • An overhaul and upgrading of the large Meccano Ltd. display's contents, to include some desperately rare pieces that we've had in storage (or under restoration) for years. 
  • The completion of a brand new display of Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Century dollhouse furniture (currently being constructed).
  • The overhaul, reorganisation and expansion of the toy theatres section, to include some additional rare pieces.
Provisional schedule of events for the year
As well as these new displays, we'll also be holding a series of anniversary year events and adding a number of new individual exhibits to some of the other displays, including the hanging of an additional large Denis Hefford model airplane in the Museum foyer and the display of a beautiful exhibition-grade 3/4-inch scale Bassett-Lowke model traction engine in the Toyshop Steam cabinet. The anniversary year also marks the culmination of our Toys in the Community project, and we'll be having a special celebration week in May with guided tours and talks.

Our big restoration project for 2016 is the exacting restoration and display of a prototype 1930s gauge 0 model of the Brighton Belle Pullman Electric train.  This is an important piece in its own right, but its restoration and public showing is especially appropriate given that the completed restoration and public running of the real Brighton Belle is expected to take place this year. 
Outside the museum, 2016 is also the 175th anniversary of Brighton Station (built 1841), and should see the inauguration of the i360 observation tower at the site of the old West Pier

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 ( )