From a Dream to a Gem (Chris Littledale)

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It would be an understatement to say I did not dream of a place to display the beautiful toys, models and particularly the trains I had amassed since I was at school in Southsea.

Many years were to pass during which modeiwork, collecting and devotedly restoring some of the uncared-for pieces was achieved. It was not until the late 1980's that what we now lovingly know as the Brighton Toy and Model Museum was conceived. Best known as founder members are Ken Mathews, Michael and Audrey Gilkes, Roger Tuffin, Fred Burridge and many others including Peter Palmer and even my brother, Trevor. All worked round the clock during 1991 in our newly acquired premises under Brighton Railway Station.

The Museum was launched on a wing and a prayer. I knew this was to be an uphill struggle, and indeed the first years were. I was advised by many to give it up and as they put it, "live a life" – oh yes, well-meant, but being a very stubborn Taurean individual I would not hear of the idea. I knew and believed that despite all our worries, lack of finance, low visitor numbers and others, that we would succeed and grow strong. Indeed the last seven years have seen our tide of stability and success turn and what a turn, due to a relatively small number of extremely generous and well intentioned Sponsors and Trustees.

Let us just say that the present well lit and properly organised Museum we now have is lightyears from its dull "make-do" presentation of the early years, based on what could be obtained on less than a shoestring.

The collection, now more extensively developed, is widely acknowledged to be second to none on public display in Britain. It is also a matter of some pride that the Museum is now high on the list of Brighton's tourist attractions, and has been widely featured in various television documentaries.

Here we are now – we have an excellent team, shared passions, IT and educational expertise, financial and progress stability and above all – a future. My thanks go to not only the people without whose help the start could not have been made, but equally importantly to those whose invaluable help, by way of time devoted and financial contribution given, paves the way to the future. Let us all help to improve people's quality of life! Please bear in mind that we get no financial support from Government or other Public bodies and that Museums such as ours continue to need your goodwill to survive.

— , Chris Littledale, , December 2015