kids encyclopedia robot

Brighton Toy and Model Museum facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Brighton Toy and Model Museum
Brighton Toy and Model Museum, wheelchair entrance.jpg
Brighton Toy and Model Museum, with Brighton Belle mural
Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 420: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Established 1991
Location 52-55 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4EB, England
Type Toy museum, Model museum
Accreditation Arts Council England
Collections pre-1900, 1900-~1960s
Collection size 10,000
Founder Christopher Littledale
Public transit access Brighton station, beneath the station cab rank. Exit the front of the station (Queens Road), and locate the "tunnel" entrance to Trafalgar Street between the railings outside Marks & Spencers.
Brighton Toy and Model Museum, map
Brighton Toy and Model Museum's layout, its main display areas and their ID numbers
Brighton Toy and Model Museum - Lego model
The museum and its internal layout, with around seventy display areas rendered in Lego
Gottschalk dollhouse and dollhouse miniatures, 2016 (Brighton Toy and Model Museum)
Moritz Gottschalk dollhouse and dollhouse miniatures, 2016
Brighton Toy and Model Museum, Arch One
Museum entrance space, Collector's Market, shop and second-hand bookshop, and entrance to the ticketed area (left)
Brighton Toy and Model Museum, Arch Two interior
Inside the museum's ticketed area
1930s model railway layout, Brighton Toy and Model Museum (~177 Megapixel)
A composite multi-focus image of the museum's period 0-gauge layout
BTMM zero-gauge 002
Another area of the 0-gauge layout

Brighton Toy and Model Museum (sometimes referred to as Brighton Toy Museum) is an independent toy museum situated in Brighton, East Sussex (registered charity no. 1001560). Its collection focuses on toys and models produced in the UK and Europe up until the mid-Twentieth Century, and occupies four thousand square feet of floor space within four of the early Victorian arches supporting the forecourt of Brighton railway station. Founded in 1991, the museum holds over ten thousand toys and models, including model train collections, puppets, Corgi, Dinky, Budgie Toys, construction toys and radio-controlled aircraft.

The display area includes large operational model railway layouts (in 0- and 00-gauge), and displays of period pieces from manufacturers and brands including Bing, Bassett-Lowke, Georges Carette, Dinky, Hornby Trains, Märklin, Meccano, Pelham Puppets and Steiff. It also includes individually engineered working models including a quarter-scale traction engine, steamroller and Spitfire fighter plane in the lobby.

Museum lobby

Entrance to the first arch of the museum, containing the foyer/shop area and the Brighton Visitor Information Point, is free. This area provides free maps and brochures, and has a small "stocking filler" toy shop used by visiting school trips, secondhand books, and a set of "Collector's Market" cabinets containing collectables that are sold on a commission basis.

It also contains the "Glamour of Brighton" exhibition, whose Brighton-related models and displays include the Brighton Pavilion, Magnus Volk's electric and seashore electric railways, the old Brighton locomotive works, and the Brighton Belle Pullman train.

The largest exhibits in the foyer are a quarter-scale coal-fired traction engine, a large motorised Meccano Ferris wheel, and an overhead quarter-scale radio-controlled Spitfire model aircraft.

The first arch also contains offices and construction and restoration workshops that are not open to the public.

Ticketed main area

The main area of the museum fills the next three arches and contains a large 1930s 0 gauge model railway layout, 00 gauge model railway town and countryside layouts, and collections of model locomotives, soft toys, puppets and marionettes, construction toys, building construction sets, model ships, radio controlled model aircraft, and farm, circus, zoo and ship toy sets. It also includes displays of diecast models including Matchbox, Dinky Toys, Corgi Toys and Spot-On.

Exhibition displays draw on outside guest collections and on varying selections taken from the Museum's core collection.

Events and temporary exhibitions

The museum is a venue for the Brighton Science Festival and the Brighton Fringe. Public train running days are typically held twice a year (Spring and Autumn), and the museum's Education section organises school visits with optional puppet shows and talks.

Temporary themed exhibitions usually coincide with an anniversary – 2012 exhibitions addressed the centenary of the launch and sinking of RMS Titanic (April to August), the centenary of the Leeds Model Company (September to October) the 75th anniversary of the 1937 Coronation Scot streamlined steam bullet-train (November to December).

Non-public areas

Workshop areas

As well as a carpentry workshop that produces the museum's cabinetry and displays, the museum also has a world-class toy repair and restoration workshop, with tinsmithing tools and its own sample library of parts and reference paint finishes.

The reference library is the centre of most of the historical research that takes place in the museum, and a source of material for the museum's online knowledgebase.


The museum became the first community rail partner to Brighton Station in March 2013.

In 2013, the museum announced a twinning with the Rahmi M. Koç Museum, Istanbul.

Heritage Lottery Funded projects

Frank Hornby 150th anniversary project, 2012-2013

FH150 Poster A4
Poster, Frank Hornby 150th Anniversary celebrations (2013)

A 2012 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund helped the museum to coordinate, publicise and organise celebrations and events during 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frank Hornby.

The grant funded an expansion of the Museum's online coverage of Meccano, Hornby trains and Dinky Toys, a public wifi access point, and the installation and ongoing development of a touchscreen information system to allow members of the public to retrieve information on exhibits from around the museum.

The Brighton Toy and Model Index

The Brighton Toy and Model Index (ISSN 2399-1798) is an online resource on toys and models made up until around 1960, maintained and updated by the museum. The "Index" runs on the MediaWiki platform, and as of March 2018 has over seven thousand content pages and a similar number of images.

Opening times

The museum is usually closed on Mondays for maintenance work and cleaning, and for larger school visits that would be disruptive during normal public days. Its standard opening times are:

Tuesday to Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

(last admission at 4:00pm)

Sunday and Monday Closed

Admission to the shop area and information point is free. Admission to the museum area is ticketed and prices (as of August 2015) are:

Adult £6.50
Senior (60+) £5.50
Disabled + one carer (free) £5.50
Student (under 20) £4.00
Child (ages 4 to 15) £4.00
Family (two adults + three children) £14.00
Schools and Groups (10+) P.O.A.

The building has been adapted for wheelchair users but the museum requests advance notice if any member of a party requires wheelchair access. [1]

School visits can be organised through the Education Officer. Advance notice is also requested for other group visits to avoid scheduling conflicts.


Brighton Toy And Model Museum is an independent, non-profit organisation and a registered charity. The museum's Trustees are:

  • Vic Michel - Chairman
  • Chris Littledale - Director/Founder
  • Neil Bennett - Secretary
  • Hugo Marsh, Milan Simek, Anthony Capo-Bianco, Peter Bryant, Ray Child


The museum was featured in episode 2 of the Sky Atlantic series "Urban Secrets" (2012), in which Alan Cumming presented an unconventional view of Brighton.

  • Robert Nemeth, Building Opinions: Brighton Toy and Model Museum, Latest Homes magazines no.512 (8-14 Feb 2011)
  • The Hornby Railway Collector magazine, No 458, November 2010 - cover article and two two-page spreads on the Museum, and Museum Director Chris Littledale

Images for kids

kids search engine
Brighton Toy and Model Museum Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.