Friday, September 17, 2010

Pollock's Toy Museum, A Step to the Past

Toy store and museum entrance next door (brown doors)
Before computers and even before batteries, many of us grew up with toys that used simpler methods to entertain. Such is Pollock's Toy Museum, a small attraction devoted to a huge collection of toy theatres, teddy bears, china dolls, board games, doll's houses and more. Every nook, corner, hall and stairway is filled with these amusements of yesterday. Since it was a little more than a couple hours before dinner, I had time to check out this attraction near my hotel.

The museum was originally opened in 1956 in Covent Garden as a seller of toy theatres, one of the museums most unique exhibitions. Eventually the museum collection grew and moved to its present location on Scala Street in 1969. The museum is two adjoining houses from the 18th and 19th centuries with collections on three floors. Walking on the creaky floors through each room is like walking back to the past. The museum will likely be fascinating for those who grew up with similar toys rather than to the game boy/console/computer generation. The collection is best enjoyed by reading the brochure given to visitors.

Toy store on ground floor.
Equally fascinating is the toy shop on the ground floor. Looking at all kinds of toys for sale that appeared to be long gone, it reminds us of the fascination in our youth with things simple and in essence recalls how life was as well.

Museum is open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Located at the corner of Scala and Whitfield Streets. Admission: Adults £5, Kids £2.Tube: Goodge Street. More info at

Photos below: selection of cards, space ships, rocking horse and toy theatres. Bottom right photo is view through toy theatre on the bottom left.


scott davidson said...

Very effective stylization of the attractive woman, absorbed in her sewing. Nice flowing purple cloth leading into the distance. Quite different, and somehow the same, as this woman resting from her sewing in a sunny garden, painted by American impressionist artist Frederick Carl Frieseke, The painting can be seen at, and ordered as a canvas print.

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