Saturday, 27 October 2018

Monday Motion In The Museum

Did you come to the Kinetic Carousel event we held on Monday?

Last week Brighton Toy and Model Museum opened specially on a Monday. It was half term and we had a Brighton Science event so we thought 'why not open all day?' And it was a great success for all involved, and, as often happens, the adults actually outnumbered the children!

The Kinetic Carousel is a rubber band powered toy which, once you have wound it up, spins wildly. The toy is designed to achieve several principles of science, including stored potential energy being converted into mechanical energy, and the spectrum. The theory being that if you colour in the roof all the colours of the rainbow, when it spins they merge together and appear white.

The design in the manual suggested the traditional horse motif for the outside of the carousel, but Brighton's children are a little more imaginative than that, so, we had a variety of carousels, including Abstract Pattern Carousels, and a designer who clearly had little faith in the project, who created a Flying Pig Carousel.

We regularly take part in local and national events, including Museums at Night, Brighton Science Festival, Half Term and school holiday events, and exhibitions by the students of the Brighton MET college.


Brighton Science Festival






The October VIP Running Day Photo Blog

It’s been so busy here at Brighton Toy and Model Museum that it hasn’t been possible until now to share the pictures we took during our last running day.

We love our running days, it’s so good to see the trains going through their paces and get a really great view of the models and layouts without the Perspex. It seems like such a minor thing, but without the screens all of the trains, buildings, bridges and cars seem just that little bit more visceral.
The running day was a VIP event, meaning we had a roped off area for our special guests where they could chat and enjoy the cakes and pastries laid on for us by Real Patisserie. 
































Saturday, 20 October 2018

A Pie And A Pint And Museums At Night


We just wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Higgidy Pies and Bedlam Brewery for the generous donations they’re making for our Museums at Night event, Two Halves of Guinness.

The idea for a pie, a pint and a performance came from Trevor Littledale, the star of the show (and our founder Chris’ brother) and since we all at the museum love to watch a show with a pie and a pint in our hands, we thought this was fab!

A Life Examined


The show centres on the well beloved actor Sir Alec Guinness’ introspection at the time of the release of Star Wars. Sir Alec himself was in no way fond of the movie, and worried that it would be his lasting swansong. He dreaded being remembered for a part he had no liking for. He’d had a career which had lasted several decades, and included roles such as the entire D'Ascoyne family in Kind Hearts and Coronets, the eponymous Man in the White Suit and Colonel Nicholson in Bridge on the River Kwai, the role for which he won his first Academy Award. 

Being immortalised as a mystic who spouted “florid, breathless and embarrassing” lines was something that made him “shrivel up a little.”

Guinness had converted to Catholicism in 1956 and tended to consider the role of a Jedi mystic something of a fraud. He said in an interview with Talk magazine while promoting his autobiography ‘A Positively Final Appearance’ that it was his idea to kill off Ben because: "I just couldn't go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines. I'd had enough of the mumbo jumbo."

The show Two Halves of Guinness is Brighton Toy and Model Museum’s Museums at Night event. In the past we’ve had great fun with Museums at Night. It’s an opportunity for museums to do something a little out of the ordinary to appeal to people who might not necessarily be interested in museums and galleries to come along and get involved. One year your correspondent bought up all the Barbies and Sindys he could find in every charity shop so that we could make dresses, give them makeovers and make them a little more relatable.

It’s important that we thank our sponsors too. What would a pie, a pint and a performance be without a pie and a pint?


Higgidy Pies are a local pie company who make a variety of delicious pies and pastries, and they’ve given us enough pies (both veggie and meaty) to sustain the hungriest of audience member for the evening. (check out their website, they’re not stingy with their recipes for all kinds of pies, pastries and confectionary either!)

Likewise, Bedlam Brewery, again a local company making fine bitters,ales, and lagers who’re helping us out by letting us have crates of the stuff to share with our visitors on the night.

We really are grateful, as it’s contributions like these that let us do things that would otherwise be outside our scope thanks to expense and inconvenience. You guys are great and we’re looking forward to putting on many more events with your help.

To book your ticket, please follow this eventbrite link


Saturday, 25 August 2018

Opening Night at The Toy Museum Folk Club

The Toy Museum Folk Club kicked off last night with two brilliant sets, first from Jack Harris, and then the headline act Jess Morgan.


Jack Harris is an accomplished singer songwriter with a number of well regarded albums under his belt. Haunting vocals and enchanting lyrics, telling stories that everyone could easily relate to.

Jess Morgan is widely regarded as one of the finest and most uncompromising performers on the British folk scene today. She tours relentlessly (even in Whitby) and her engaging, thought provoking songs are welcomed wherever she goes. Her songs are acutely observed ballads concerning love, loss and redemption, and it was a joy to see her playing live in such an intimate venue as Brighton Toy and Model Museum.In the run-up to Christmas we have many more confirmed shows taking place at the Toy Museum Folk Club, each will be appearing after an appropriate support act who will be confirmed as each date approaches. To stay informed about who will be on, do follow our facebook events page (which includes details for all other events happening at Brighton Toy and Model Museum) or join us on Twitter where we regularly share updates and news. We look forward to many more fabulous nights at the Toy Museum Folk Club and sincelerly hope you will join us too!

Monday, 20 August 2018

Alive with Music, History, Science and Theatre

We’re pleased to announce our summer/autumn schedule of events. After such a successful and full spring/summer we needed a little break, but now we’re back with a completely different flavour. During the Brighton Festival Fringe we hosted a number of different shows, including comedy, magic and authors. The staff played a huge role in making this a successful Fringe, with many of the shows selling out. Buoyed up and excited with that under our belts, now on with the new.


Brighton Toy and Model Museum is now working closely with Folk Room, a part of Folk Room Records, hosting many of their signings’ live events in our upper arch. The space is perfect for unplugged folk as it is so intimate, and the acoustics so rich that many previous performers have commented on what a great place to play it is.

All the information on the performances from August through to November can be found on our Facebook Events Page, but for quick reference they are:

*August 24, Jess Morgan
*September 7, Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith
*September 22, Ewan McLennan
*October 6, Emily Mae Winters
*November 9, Mairearad & Anna

Folk Room have done so much it’s been incredible. It’s a privilege to work with people who have such commitment and dedication to folk music.

Heritage Open Day


As well as these fantastic gigs, we’re also putting on several other events which should be of interest to all, not just those who are folk fans. Firstly we’re putting on anther Heritage Open Day on September 15 where you will be able to take a guided tour around the museum by people who know much more about the building and its history than just its toys. You can find out about the building’s history as a stables and depot for Bass Breweries, how it was bought two and a half decades ago by our founder Chris Littledale and converted into the museum as it is now. And of course you’ll find out about our favourite pieces in the collections. Tours will take place at 5.45pm 6.15pm and 6.45pm

Brighton Science Festival


If heritage were to have an opposite, it would surely be looking into the future, and that’s exactly what he try to do when we host Brighton Science Festival’s 'Kids In Science' events. This spring we had an absolutely fantastic time with our balloon car races and making moving images. With that in mind, we’re especially keen to open our door yet again to the kids, and their parents, who make this such a great event. Brighton Science Festival exists to show that the sciences can be fun, and make up every part of our lives, rather than being the preserve of the chemistry or physics laboratory. This autumn's Kids in Science events will take place on October 22, with a 'Kinetic Carousel's' theme.

Two Halves of Guinness


And Last, but far from least, we have the intimate portrayal of Sir Alec Guinness in Two Halves of Guinness, a one man show by Trevor Littledale. The play looks, from his own point of view, at the career of Alec Guinness shortly after the release of Star Wars. He worried that this blockbuster might define his career, leaving his performances in films such as The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Man in the White Suit, and Kind Hearts and Coronets forgotten.

For all booking details visit our Facebook events page or call us on 01273 749494 for further details.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Get Aboard the Community Rail Partnership

Brighton Toy and Model Museum is enjoying some fantastic publicity thanks to our new sponsors and the Sussex Community Rail Partnership


Earlier this year we were incredibly proud and privileged to sign up with Brighton Station, becoming the first signatory to their Community Rail Partnership Agreement. Under this agreement we get to display a banner at the station entrance directing visitors and residents of Brighton and Hove to our venue, so whether you’re looking for us specifically, or you’re just visiting and looking for something to do, you know where we are. We also have a Swan Neck, a portable billboard which stands on the station concourse which directs visitors to Brighton toward our location.

We also have display cabinets in the booking office containing several items of our collection. Nobody likes queueing, and these displays offer a little something to look at and attract interest as you wait your turn. And it’s these display cabinets we’re looking to find sponsors for.

Annual Sponsorship Deals Bring Excellent Returns


We’re currently offering a one year sponsorship deal for £500. For this, not only will you get to display your company name in a location that is normally unavailable for advertising and marketing, you get a place on the Brighton Toy and Model Museum Sponsor’s Page (through testing we’ve found that links from our official museum site are incredibly good for SEO).

Jan Etches, Deputy Museum Manager and driving force behind getting Brighton Toy and Model Museum on board the Community Rail Partnership Agreement said “This is a fantastic opportunity to let people know where the museum is whilst creating partnerships with Brighton Railway Station and other local businesses.”

Extraordianary Opportunities


Brighton Station is the 9th busiest in the UK, outside London, and sponsorship would mean placing your company name on one of the cabinets. This space isn’t available to traditional display advertising as it is only for the use of Network Rail and their partners such as Govia Thameslink and Southern Rail. However, through your sponsorship you will be contributing to a Sussex Community Rail Partnership member, thereby allowing you to have your business name displayed alongside our exhibit.

To take up sponsorship, please call the Deputy Museum Manager, Jan Etches on 01273 749494 for more details and restrictions.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Two Halves of Guinness at the Museum

Anyone less than 50 (and many people older) will have seen Star Wars. As well as seeing the movies, most of us will have collected the toys, models and other merchandise which went along with the film’s success.

Trevor Littledale by remyhunterphotography.co.uk
One of the film’s main protagonists (the donor/mentor according to Todorov and Propp) was Obi Wan Kenobi, a mystical wizard cum knight tutor played by famed British character actor Alec Guinness. Despite having worked on stage and in film for decades, Guinness was famously worried that his part in Star Wars would be his defining role, leaving his portrayal of the entire D’Ascoyne family in Kind Hearts and Coronets, of Sidney Stratton in The Man in the White Suit, and even his playing of Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai, for which he won an academy award, forgotten. According to Guinness’ son Matthew, when Sir Alec met a child fan who said he had seen the Star Wars ‘a hundred times’ he said to the young chap “Well, do you think you could promise never to watch it again?”

The one man play Two Halves of Guinness, performed by Trevor Littledale, finds us meeting Guinness in a cosy bar as he faces crippling insecurity after taking part in the creation of the Sci-Fi epic. Not only does it inspect the actor’s personal anxieties, it also looks at the relationship he had with other British acting luminaries such as Olivier and Coward, his conversion to Catholicism, his upbringing, the war, and the premonitions he often had, leading to the warning he gave James Dean on the night before his fatal car accident.

Littledale characterises Guinness perfectly, using miniscule body movements and changes in expression and voice to become another character within the monologue. The ‘two halves’ of the title refers to the two distinct sides of Guinness’ personality; the dark, anxious, insecure side brought about by being born illegitimate to an alcoholic mother and never really knowing who his father was, being taken constantly from digs to boarding houses while he was growing up, adding to his sense of vulnerability. The other half, the lighter side, looks at his life as an entertainer. How, once he’d decided to become an actor, he simply looked up John Gielgud in the directory and phoned him to ask for acting lessons. Gielgud was unable to oblige personally, but the two became firm friends.

The play is being performed in Brighton Toy and Model Museum, a space which lends itself well to the performance as Trevor feels that the proximity of the audience to the actor adds vital intimacy to the play as it unfolds.

For booking information and to buy tickets for the show when it is staged in October, simply follow the link to Eventbrite

Blog by Dan Cash, opinions are author's own.

Monday Motion In The Museum

Did you come to the Kinetic Carousel event we held on Monday? Last week Brighton Toy and Model Museum opened specially on a Monday. It wa...