Hidden away in a warren of side streets, two old creaky buildings are home to one of the delights of London, a curiously old fashioned toy museum.

Named after Benjamin Pollock, who married into a family that was already printing, and he diverted into making toy theatres for sale in homes, which far many years kept the firm going, but in the 1950s, the firm finally closed down.

The a few years later, the BBC journalist Marguerite Fawdry wanted a spare part for her son’s toy theatre, and ended up buying the entire business, opened up the shop again, and started the original toy museum.

They also set up a shop in Covent Garden, which still sells traditional toys, and is now under different ownership, but the museum also survived and is run by Fawdry’s grandson.

To step inside then is to step back in time, to a world of old cabinets and creaky floorboards, of narrow doors and iron fireplaces, of wonders and delights. A pamphlet is handed to visitors, and the contents are replicated on small boards in each room, which explains the core themes of each of the displays.

While the collection, mostly Victorian and Edwardian toys is a delight to visit, what makes a visit such a pleasure is how the museum is structured. In that it is barely structured at all. Cases fill every little corner and space that can be found. Look up and see things in dim recesses, peer down and find objects cowering under the cabinets. Staircases barely wide enough to walk down thanks to more cabinets on the walls packed full of things to look at.

Old teddy bears, tin plate cars, plastic soldiers, lead battleships, wax dolls, cardboard games, and theatres, oh so many wonderful theatres all over the place.

Some rooms are decorated, most are not. Look closely and you see two old building propping each other up and probably giving a professional curator a mild sense of panic. Yet that’s the delight. A museum can be overly sanitized, with the dedication of preserving rare objects.

Pollocks is not sanitized at all.

To visit Pollocks isn’t to visit a museum, it’s more than that, it’s a visit inside your grandparents memories as they dream of their childhood.

Utterly wonderful.

The museum is open Mon-Sat and entry is £7 for adults or £4 for children.

Tagged with:
SUPPORT THIS WEBSITE

The ianVisits website has been running now for just over a decade, initially as a news blog, later adding the events listings guide to the offbeat and geeky events in London.

Advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, but doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It’s very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether its a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of the ianVisits website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what IanVisits provides, then please support the website here.

Thank you

One comment on “Sink into Victorian nostalgia at Pollock’s Toy Museum
  1. Jo W says:

    How have I missed this? I will put this on my ‘to visit’ list straight away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*