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Founded in 1991 by our Director and some of his close friends including some of our Trustees, Brighton Toy and Model Museum is home to an amazing collection of toys and models that extends under four of the Early Victorian arches supporting Brighton Railway Station’s forecourt. The Museum has over ten thousand toys and models in its catalog, including priceless model train collections and many period antique toys. Exhibits also include two large working model railway layouts (in ‘0’ and ‘00’gauge) from a range of classic early manufacturers including Bing, Dinky, Hornby, Marklin, Meccano, Pelham Puppets, and Steiff. The Museum also includes individually-engineered pieces such as the quarter-scale traction engines, and a range of other scale models throughout the Museum.
The exhibits are housed within 4,000 square feet of exhibition space, including the foyer which also houses the Museum Shop and Tourist Information Point where you can pick up local maps, brochures and leaflets for other places of interest to visit in Brighton and the surrounding areas.
You can easily find us. The Museum is located directly under the east side of Brighton Station’s forecourt. The Museum’s wall on Trafalgar Street is a mural harking back to the days of steam. The mural was designed by the Museum’s Founder and Director, Chris Littledale, and was painted by sign writer Terry Smith.
We are constantly striving to improve both the museum as a visitor attraction and the housed collection so don’t be surprised if you find some work being carried out during your visit. Ask any of our staff and we will be happy to tell you about what’s currently happening.
The Museum is an independent, non-profit making organisation.
It was founded and registered as a charitable trust in 1990. The trust was originally known as the Sussex Toy & Model Museum and was based on several important collections. Since 1990 these collections have been refined and enhanced to bring the museum to a point where it houses one of the finest displays of model trains, tinplate toys and other related exhibits on public view anywhere in the world. For this reason the museum is well patronised by collectors and experts from near and far.
Research students and school parties are frequent visitors, since toys are included in the National Curriculum. The majority of our visitors are the general public who come to see the collections and marvel at their diversity and quality. “I used to have one like that!” is a frequently heard cry.
The Museum is staffed by our Managers, Education Officer and a dedicated group of volunteers; without whose enthusiasm and hard work, the Museum could not survive.
Toy and model restoration is undertaken by the Museum’s founder, Chris Littledale , one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject.
One of the principal objectives of the charitable trust is to ensure that the collections remain together and live on in perpetuity for the benefit of future generations.
Chairman: Alan Pett
Director: Chris Littledale
Trustees: V. Michel, H. Marsh, K. Mathews, M. Simek
Secretary: K. Mathews
Chairman: A. Capo-Bianco
Trustees: M. Foster, E.A. Manthos, V. Michel, B. Potter, C. Littledale
Secretary: C. Littledale
The Collections Trust is the custodian of the collections. The Museum Trust provides the facilities and public access to the exhibits. The Museum Trust is neither owner nor beneficial owner of any of the collections housed at the Museum.