The Mettoy Metal Dollhouse marked the Mettoy company’s 1954 attempt to use their skills in lithographed tinplate design to enter the 1:24 scale dollhouse market. The Museum’s example still looks factory-fresh with vibrant colours, and is displayed with lighting on a revolving turntable, operated by a pushbutton. The dollhouse was supplied with six roomsworth of plastic Mettoy-branded furniture manufactured by Kleeware, which we also have, along with their original (very fragile) boxes.
The museum (in conjunction with the Railway Heritage Trust) has applied for planning permission for a proposal to reface some of our arches (and the adjacent boarded-up arches) with new framed glasswork, designed to restore some of the 1920s/1930s “look and feel” of this section of the building.
Fundraising efforts are now underway to upgrade this important tourist gateway to the North Laine, and turn it into something that the city can be proud of. JustGiving.com/campaign/TrafalgarStreet / more details / proposal doc. (pdf) .
The museum was featured on Susan Calman’s Grand Week by the Sea, TV series, in the “Brighton” episode (Series 1, Episode 2). https://www.channel5.com/show/susan-calmans-grand-week-by-the-sea/
The episode aired on Channel 5 on 29th June 2021, and is still available on My5 Catchup.
Museums (COVID Level 3) are allowed to reopen from Monday 17th May, which makes our first day Tuesday 18th. Social distancing restrictions are still in place, so pre-booking is very much recommmended.
Reprising one of the museum’s most popular exhibits when we opened in the 1990s, we’ve now found the space for a brand new Britains Floral Garden display.
The much-loved Herald/Britains Floral Garden range was created by acclaimed sculptor-designer Roy Selwyn-Smith, and rapidly earned a place in the hearts of many small children and a significant number of their parents during the 1960s.
The innovative range allowed owners to design and build their dream gardens in 1:32 scale plastic, and replaced the earlier 1930 lead-based Britains Miniature Gardening series.
Probably the rarest of the products produced by Meccano Ltd., almost none of these leatherboard clip-together dollhouses have survived, and very few collectors have ever even seen one. The Dolly Varden dollhouse was launched in the summer of 1936 alongside four matching roomsworth of diecast Dinky Toys dollhouse furniture, which are also really, really rare.
We are now lucky enough to be able to display a surviving example of the dollhouse, kitted out with the Dinky furniture, and four additional sets of the furniture, boxed. The dollhouse is displayed intersecting two cabinets, straddling the Dinky Toys cabinet and the new 2021 dollhouses and dollhouse miniatures cabinet.
The Museum’s infrastructure has now been updated in accordance with Visit Britain‘s guidelines for heritage attractions, and reopened on the 28th July 2020.
Payments are now card-only, there is now also a timeslot booking system to keep visitor numbers under control, and visitors are asked to wear face coverings in accordance with government rules.
A new temporary exhibition on display from Saturday 29th June 2019.
Based on the Hatley Lego Collection, “Lego before Lego” showcases some of the earlier products of the Lego company, including early Lego sets and wooden toys produced before the company decided in 1960 to completely dedicate itself to the ubiquitous studded plastic brick.
This is a rare opportunity to see some of these products outside Denmark.