A TOY museum marked its thirtieth anniversary with a special VIP event.

Guests at the Brighton Toy and Model Museum in Trafaglar Street were delighted by the running of a range of trains on a model railway track at the heart of the museum, including a model of the Brighton Belle.

The museum was founded by Chris Littledale, who wanted to share his passion for models and toys with others.

He said: "People can enjoy it, appreciate it, study it and become familiarised with the things of the past. They might hopefully even take a deeper interest and start their own collection and start conserving them to return them to good standards."

Chris said he worked around the clock in 1991 to fulfil his dream of having a place to display his collection, and that the museum has seen visitor numbers soar as the attraction becomes increasingly more recognised.

Addressing the crowds of visitors, he said: "This has been a labour of love - it was an enormous project to clear out the premises, paint it and fitting it out. It was a huge task but we managed it through a lot of determination.

"Thank you to everybody for being part of us."

Museum chairman Vic Michel said he was "very excited" that the museum has survived 30 years and to have got through successive lockdowns during the pandemic.

The museum is working with architect Benedict O'Looney to bring new life to an underpass outside the museum. Plans aim to replace graffiti and old posters and fill the Victorian arches with glazing in a style reflecting blueprints of the area from the 1920s, helping bring daylight into the museum.

The museum boasts one of the finest exhibitions of toys and models in the world, with some rarely seen on public display as collections of their quality often end up in private hands.

Among the toys are thousands of exhibits from the ‘golden age of toy making’ from the late 19th century to the 1960s, alongside a range of rare and unique models.

These include Meccano sets, dolls houses, Dinky Toys, and a replica of the East Hill Cliff Railway in Hastings.

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