Well, it’s a New Year and time for a rethink of where things go in order to maximise the space that we have available here at Brighton Toy and Model Museum. The first thing you’ll notice when you enter the museum is that the model of the Sir Granville traction engine has been moved to a position just behind the steam roller Castor in the foyer. Once the plinth that the Sir Granville usually stands upon has been fully repaired, it will return to service in this new location. In the meanwhile, a new display for shop sales has taken the place that the Sir Granville used to occupy, meaning that we can lay out more vintage treats that you can buy and take away to enjoy at home.
The Sterling Steam Loco
Changes to the museum’s exhibits continue. Once you’ve bought your ticket and made you way up the steps into the museum proper, the Sterling, which currently stands at the head of the steps into the museum will be moved to a new location. It will soon sit upon its own section of bridge, which will span the passage from the central O gauge display to the OO gauge at the back of the museum.
Where The Sterling Will Go
Once the display cabinet in which the Sterling steam locomotive currently resides has been freed up, we’ll be able to put out other displays for which we don’t currently have a secure, protected place to exhibit.
The Bridge, Under Construction
Changes aren’t only afoot in the world of steam. Museum staff Andrew and Jordan have been carefully cataloguing and recording a number of different puppet theatre backdrops. Now that stage of the museum’s housekeeping work has been completed, it will soon be time to put them out for the public to enjoy. Of course, it’s not so simple when you’re always having to invent new ways to maximise the use of the limited space for all the beautiful things we have to show. But somehow Gordon, the museum's handyman extraordinaire, always manages to amaze the rest of us by coming up with ideas and constructions that do just that. He is currently building the section of bridge upon which The Sterling will be displayed, and he is also creating a set of unique shallow cabinets that will make the most efficient use of space in Puppet's Corner, in which the now catalogued puppet theatre scenery will be exhibited.
Yesterday, as a favour to our chums at the BBC, we closed our doors unusually early.
They brought down a film crew and made themselves free among our many exhibits of toys and models. They interviewed Chris Littledale, curator and founder of Brighton Toy and Model Museum, about all things model train and model for a few minutes and then got on to the real interviews.
Theo Pathitis was interviewing Giles Chapman for The One Show, BBC 1’s flagship teatime talk show, about his latest book on Corgi cars. And what better place to carry out such an interview than in front of our huge collection of Corgis, Matchbox and Dinky Cars. Glenn Butler, owner of the collection that Brighton Toy and Model Museum hosts was also on hand to give a few extra details on the finer points of the history of British made toy cars and trucks.
We’re always happy to play host to any TV companies who need a
venue to record interesting TV shows about toys and models. Chris and his collections have appeared in several TV shows about the Golden Era of models and toys, and being an expert in this field, he’s always happy to chat about the subject with more authority than just about anyone. The interviews were filmed between 2pm and 4pm with the crew finally finishing filming all the cutaways and establishing shots at about 6.30.
Even if you’re not a with a TV production company you can get that VIP experience. While Chris won’t always be on hand to give a lecture, we do offer free guided tours of the museum. If you’re in a group at the museum on a Thursday afternoon, all you have to do is ask. One of our trained members of staff will be able to take you around all of our displays, talking about the history of the items and maybe bringing back many of your own memories of the playthings you had as a child.
At the time of posting this blog we don’t have the precise airing date for the segment that was filmed with Messrs Pathitis and Chapman, but we’re told some time in February.