Central London’s wonderfully quirky toy museum has been forced to close after it was unable to secure a new lease with the landlords.

The museum, just off Tottenham Court Road, as with many organisations, struggled during the pandemic but seemed to have recovered and along with its associated toy shop seemed to be recovering well. The museum, housed in an old Georgian building, had closed for its Christmas break, seemingly expecting to open this week, but the museum is now half empty and the doors are locked.

Just yesterday they were saying that “due to problems with the buildings  the museum will remain closed for the next few months.”

However, that changed overnight.

A message on Pollock’s website now explains that “due to a change in circumstances regarding the ownership of the buildings, we have not been able to negotiate a sustainable future for the museum collection at its current premises”

The museum is now no longer able to open at its traditional home.

Once they find a new long-term home, the museum says that they expect to need a major fundraising appeal to cover the cost of the new building.

However, apart from the charm of the collection, much of the appeal of the museum was the delightfully old building itself, with its odd little rooms and staircases. Hardly suitable for a modern museum and not at all accessible, but it was wonderfully appropriate for the collection as you stepped back in time to a fantasy wonderworld.

In the meantime, the museum owners say that their collection of toy theatres, elderly teddy bears, dolls, games and toys is in storage and they are looking for another long-term home for the museum, although they are also fundraising to cover the unexpected cost of the storage facility.


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  1. John Rayment says:

    Very sad. I went there as a small boy for a birthday treat – bought one of their toy theatres. Quite incredible place.

  2. Kevin Batchelor says:

    A very sad day,yet another of our wonderful celebrations of britishness, a unique museum unchanged since my childhood.
    I find it incredulous that the national lottery heritage fund has not offered to help, alternatively, those who insisted that the museum of london move to smithfields( a great move in my opinon)could perhaps offer a space in one of the old units, a fitting new home for a place that inspired childhood memories.

    • Juan Lopez Carrasco says:

      What a very bad news.This museum it was superb.I think the Government must buy this shop because it’s a very nice memorial of the past times.

  3. Martin Marguerie says:

    the collection could be added to the V and A childhood museum

  4. Luke says:

    Part of Londons history sorry agree with tom should be helped

  5. Chz says:

    I feel a right mug for working ’round the corner and always thinking “Next week, I should really try the Toy Museum”. Ad nauseam for years on end. Thought it would be there forever.

  6. john edwards says:

    How dreadful ~~~ it should be preserved by any owner of buildings ( As famous BAR PJ Clarkes in NYC & Formosa Cafe L.A. Both were preserved as a new building was erected around them ) Why not the stupid foresight of realising the magnetic attraction worldwide for decades ~ & EVOLVING ! NOT DESTROYING ! Let us know ASAP if we can accesss & buy ~ Grandson loves trains ============[ | *** ) ================= X

  7. Cam says:

    This museum gave me a childhood I never had at home. I remember the people who worked their were so kind. I would watch toy theatre shows performed in the loft.
    Please don’t send toys to V and A it needs to have the whole experience recreated somewhere in London, the toy shop the printing press printing the toy theatres and the museum packed to the rafters.
    Someone buy them a building. Preferably some rambling house with shop front.

    • Sue Saunders says:

      You’re so right! It was the whole place and experience… it’ll be hard to recreate..

    • Deborah Brown says:

      Dear Cam, Thankyou for your very touching message. Several of us would have been there when you used to come to the museum as a child, both as toy theatre performers and staff.
      If you would care to contact us I’d love to talk to you-

      info.pollockstoymuseum and address to curator/ Debby

  8. Deirdre Lewis says:

    This darling wonderful shop should continue and have a preservation order on it and even be saved financially by the government (such as it is !)it’s a treasure and I do know how many many so called treasures are not.

    • Mark says:

      This museum is a part of national heritage.In this case the Government should provide financial help.Permanent closure would be an obvious sign of destruction of the British heritage.

  9. Juan Lopez Carrasco says:

    What a very bad news.This museum it was superb.I think the Government must buy this shop because it’s a very nice memorial of the past times.

  10. Chris says:

    This is so sad! I visited the museum a year ago and loved it. The character and charm of the building is so special. I really hope a new home is found in an equally quirky new location.

  11. Katie Green says:

    This is SO very sad, is there no way to save it? What about English Heritage? Or The British Museum helping out. It should’ve had a preservation order placed on it? I wonder if it is a Listed Building? I was born and lived in Tottenham St, so used to visit all the time as a child. I am heart broken by this.💔🥲

  12. Steve Ehrlicher says:

    Arts Council is funder for museums now – step up and step in! Save this perfect anomaly in the 21st Century. Visited when a student and then took daughters there. Never managed to explore it fully – did anyone?

  13. Lizebeth says:

    Who can we write to on the Arts Council, or the government, to request that this wonderful museum be placed back into its permanent home? Our little institutions are going to die one by one, if someone doesn’t step in to recognise how precious they are. We voted in our Government — they should take some responsibility for preserving our heritage.

    My guess is that the building will now either stay empty or be sold and demolished. Heartbreaking. Can we reverse this??

  14. Grace says:


  15. JOSETTE says:

    Such a sad upsetting situation. A few days ago I walked by hoping to see a sign saying “The Pollock’s Toy Museum will open in a near future” Sadly it wasn’t. The door is closed, the bicycle is still chained to the side, I could see, through the window, a beautiful toy horse waiting to be packed up, and the iconic mural is slowly peeling away.
    this London British heritage must be saved, the museum as well as the Georgian building.

  16. Ruth says:

    Has there been any more recent news? I am so SAD for Pollock’s that the landlord doesn’t see the importance and wondrousness of that place. I pray that a benefactor will be found to save it whole, as it is, Shop, Museum and all. London is really quickly losing its personality – the specialness of Pollocks worth fighting to preserve. I expect the people there have been staving this off for a long time. Property ‘values’ in London are RUINING the whole place.

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