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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. 
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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

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