Special Exhibitions

Each year the museum has a special exhibition usually based on the theme for Museums Month (May). It is realised not everyone can visit in May so the exhibition usually continues to the end of the year.

The theme for Museums Month (May) in 2005 is

"Objects of Desire"

To celebrate this theme the curator and his wife have placed a friendly T Rex (see below) next to those toys they really wanted when little. We did get one or two of them but not all by any means. Visit the museum and see if those toys you wanted are on display. The chances are at least some of them will be, ask at the desk if you cannot find them and we will point you at the right showcase or, if it is not on display we may have it in the reserve collection.



Previous years


This year was the 200th anniversary of steam railways. Richard Trevithick built the first steam loco to run on rails in 1804 to pull coal wagons at Pen-y-darran in south Wales.

Placed around the museum are models of old locos, including the 1804 one, for you to find. Note that several models of slightly later vintage locos have also been put on display. To help you find them all our friendly T-Rex is there to help - not to show you where they are but to indicate the showcases containing some of the smaller locos.

Oops! Wrong T-Rex. It looks like this one is about to rampage over the trains.


Not this one either which must be a young one being helped across the road on its way to school.


This is the one who will help.

2002 / 2003

2002 was Royal Jubilee year and 2003 is 50 years since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. To mark these special occasions you had to find all the toys on display that had a Royal connection. Here is one made by Britains' for the Coronation in 1953. On display are at least 30 more toys including one of the million or so small Coronation Coaches made by Matchbox.

There is also a........., but you will have to come and look for yourself and see if you can find more than those on the list made by the curator.


The Royal Mail

One of the special set of stamps issued in 2003 featured toys. A booklet was issued by the Royal Mail listing the commemorative sets issued throughout the year. Unfortunately the toys to be shown on the stamps and the pictures used in the booklet were not from this museum. However, the toys mentioned in the booklet time line text were and those not featured elsewhere on the museum web site are shown below.

The museum featured in the stamps launch and three of the four large 'stamps' produced by the Royal Mail for publicity are now in the museum.

The Keil Kraft Hawker Hunter as built from a 1950's kit. It was made in the traditional way using a built up Balsa wood framework. It is then covered in lightweight tissue and doped using cellulose nitrate which tightens and proofs the tissue making it air tight. This model is one of a series of reasonably scale Jetex powered aircraft produced by Keil Kraft in the 1950's. Four of the range were later reintroduced.

(Click here for more information on Jetex)

Underneath view showing both the jet motor and the small size of the model. The motor currently fitted is a modern Jet-X, rather than the original Jetex made in the 1950's, which runs for about 6 seconds. It flies best in calm air accelerating swiftly leaving a trail of white smoke. The original thin asbestos sheet heat deflector has been replaced by metal foil, note the scorch marks on it. Having an extremely flammable structure many Jetex models such as this one were accidentally set alight either when lighting the motor fuse or whilst in flight!

The home made steam roller, c1942.

Toys were in very short supply during World War II, even in the first year or two. The Government subsequently banned new toy production in 1942 followed in 1943 by a ban on metal toy sales, both new and second hand. This roller was made out of old tins, the paint on the boiler being so thin it is possible to read they contained dried milk from the Ministry of Food.







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