Saturday, 24 March 2018

Brighton Toy And Model Museum is Well MET

Brighton Toy and Model Museum isn’t just a repository for old toys. The idea that museums are just a place for old stuff to collect dust should be consigned to the museum! Today museums all around the world are thinking of new ways in which to connect with the communities which they represent. Museums aren’t just a collection of other people’s antiques, they contain objects of our history; relics that are part of the culture to which we all belong.

I always loved museums, that’s why I work in one now. But there are other people who felt that going to a museum was almost a form of punishment when they were at school and consequently they wouldn’t willingly set foot inside one now. And that’s an attitude which is up to all of us as museum workers to try and change. A trip to the museum should be not only educational, but fun, entertaining and informative; a treat that everyone can look forward to. Museums used to be like libraries, you had to hush, look hard at exhibits which were often poorly displayed in badly lit cabinets, and NO TOUCHING!

Brighton Toy and Model Museum has always striven to dispel this image of reliquary. Toys are made to be fun, and while we can’t let everybody play with all the models we have, we do have interactive toys and machines, and during school visits children can play with some of the toys we keep as resources. We use that play to teach about several key stage subjects, such as the science and technology involved in construction, motion and propulsion. We don’t just exhibit old toys to conjure up memories. We also get involved in educational programmes such as Brighton Science Fest, where all kinds of learning is cleverly disguised as play! During SciFest kids thought they were playing making balloon powered race cars out of recyclable odds and ends and moving images from zoetropes. In fact they were learning about planning, strategy, construction, friction and drag, stored energy, optics and the persistence of vision.

It’s not just the young learners who we want to get more out of our museum. We want older children and young adults to think of the Toy Museum as something that they can get involved with too. This year we’re taking on work experience staff members so they can get a feel of the way a tourist attraction is run as a business, and exhibiting work by Brighton MET College art students. We are looking forward to providing space for artists from Brighton MET to exhibit their work as we feel this is a brilliant opportunity for artists to display their work in front of an audience made up not only of their peers, but of the general public who might not usually make it to exhibitions held on the college premises.

And we’re very excited about the Community Rail Partnership we’ve signed with Govia Thameslink as it will enable us to promote the exhibitions, such as those we’re working on with Brighton MET, to commuters, visitors, and all those who pass through Brighton Station. The Community Rail Partnership will mean that we can put up posters promoting the events which we are hosting, on the station concourse. We will also be able to provide two display cabinets in the booking office so people will have the chance to have a taste of our locally themed exhibits while they wait to buy their train tickets.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Brighton Toy and Model Museum In Ground-breaking New Community Rail Partnership With Brighton Railway Station

At midday 21st March 2018 Brighton Toy and Model Museum founder, Chris Littledale signed up to the Community Rail Partnership agreement, along with Anthony Dowsett, Govia Thameslink Railway Station Manager, and Catherine Simmons, Sussex Community Rail Partnership. Brighton Toy and Model Museum is the first organisation that this programme has taken on board and the staff at the toy museum are all very excited about what the project will mean for the museum and the wider Brighton and Hove community in general.

What It Means For Us

As part of the agreement Brighton Toy and Model Museum will gain access to advertising and promotional space all over Brighton Station, including 'Swan Neck' poster displays on the main concourse and banners on the station railings, visible as you leave the station and head down to the beach. We will also be displaying pieces from our collection in cabinets in the ticket office so travellers will have something interesting to look at and spark their enthusiasm as they wait to book their tickets. This is a great opportunity for Brighton Toy and Model Museum as it allows us to reach local people and visitors to Brighton alike. So many people say “I go past the museum every day, but I've never been in,” and now we can reach out to them, giving them a little bit of the museum while they do something else.

What It Means For The Railway Station

Because we're located directly underneath Brighton Railway Station, it's always been an ambition of ours to form a friendly relationship with the station owners. The station isn't just a place you pass through on your way somewhere else, it's a place to meet, to part, and to spend time together with friends and family as you see one another off, or have a coffee while you make plans for your visit to our beautiful city. Our commitment to Brighton Train Station will mean that we supply an exhibition which is entertaining and interesting, which reflects the role played by rail in the development and popularity of Brighton and Hove, and where that relationship between trains and the people they serve is headed in the future.

What It Means For You

Brighton Toy and Model Museum is working hard to become the best quirky, unique venue for arts and entertainment in the city. As well as corporate events and special days geared to model rail enthusiasts, we are now a venue for Brighton Festival Fringe. This year we are playing host to a plethora of performers from comedy to theatre including local talent from Hubble Bubble Productions, Adriano Fettucini and the well-loved children’s author Jane Hissey. As well as being a performance space, we will also be hosting an exhibition of work created by students at Brighton MET College. This will give the young designers the perfect opportunity to design, create and curate an exhibition of their work to the general public during the Fringe Festival.

Having this agreement with Brighton Railway Station means that we will be able to promote, market and display all these activities to the community as they pass through the train station, and as we're so conveniently located, we hope that they will all come down and support us and the work that we do to preserve childhood memories and local railway heritage.