Toys in the Community, book, Andrea Dumbrell (BTMM 2016)

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A copy of the book, "Toys in the Community: Valuing Memories of Teddy Bears, Dolls and Construction Toys", compiled and edited by Andrea Dumbrell (Brighton Toy and Model Museum, 2016).

Along with exhibitions and online videos, this book was the culmination of the museum's two-year "Toys in the Community" project (2014-2016), funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Toy Types:
  – Teddy Bears
  – Dolls
  – Construction Toys
  – Acquisition
  – Play
  – Emotion
  – Identity
  – Loss
Project credits
Interviewee photographs


This book is the result of a two year project run by the Brighton Toy and Model Museum and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project collected memories of teddy bears, dolls and construction toys from a range of people. The youngest interviewee was 19 years old and the eldest was 99. Although the people we interviewed grew up in a range of places, both in the UK and abroad, they all lived in the Brighton and Hove area at the time of their interview. A number of them had current or past experience of homelessness.

Their memories provide a valuable insight not only into the types of toys that people owned, but also into the relationships between people and toys, in both childhood and adulthood. A number of interlinking themes emerged during the review of the interview material. These were acquisition, emotion, play, identity and loss.

In the writing of this book there were a number of approaches we could have taken. However, given that the purpose of the project was to value the memories of those who chose to share them with us, we decided that the most appropriate approach was to let these voices largely speak for themselves, although we have arranged them according to toy type and theme. In the process we hope that this will help people to reflect on their own memories of toys, and what they mean to them.

The full interviews, as both videos and transcripts, can be found on the project website –

— , Andrea Dumbrell, , Toys in the Community: Valuing Memories of Teddy Bears, Dolls and Construction Toys, , 2016

External links