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But Pollock’s Toy Museum, a researcher’s gem tucked away behind Goodge Street in the centre of the capital, needs only £12,000 to secure its future.

The museum, which is housed in a pair of unrestored period town houses, has been at 1 Scala Street since 1969. Its collection encompasses a fascinating range of objects dating from around 2000 BC to the 1980s.


Toy theatres

The collection started life back in 1955, however, when Marguerite Fawdry inherited a unique stock of toy theatre paraphernalia as a result of buying out the bankrupt Pollock toy business.

She recreated the business in an attic near Covent Garden, realising that it had failed partly because toy theatres on their own were too specialised for a general public.

This led her to begin selling other toys, before creating a museum from the gifts and loans of friends. She named it the Pollock Toy Museum in honour of Hoxton shopkeeper Benjamin Pollock, who died in 1937, aged 80, from whose business her own later flourished.

Without ongoing funding, part of the museum’s collection, which has been on loan from the Fawdry family, will go on display with other toys at Thirlestane Castle instead, but the part of the collection belonging to the Pollock's Toy Museum Charitable Trust will be put in storage. The hope is to create a new set of exhibitions when new premises can be found. However, it means the end of the collection as a single entity.

Although the trustees accept there is little hope of the museum remaining in its old home, they are looking for donations to help keep as much of the collection together and on display as possible.

They can be contacted at Pollocks Toy Museum, 1 Scala Street, London W1T 2HL.

Those who would like to visit the museum can do so from Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm. Entry is £3 for adults, with concessions at £1.50. For more information visit the museum website at www.pollockstoymuseum.com or ring 020 7636 3452.