“ Palace Building / Grand Parade / Tynemouth / North Shields / Tyne and Wear / NE30 4JH / „
Tynemouth Toy Museum
On a recent visit to Tynemouth, it was very cold so as a brief reprieve from the biting wind, we decided to visit the Toy Museum. Little Miss had been before but was keen to go again, so in we went.
The museum is situated right on the sea front and there is plenty of pay and display parking on the opposite side of the road, which is handy if you don't want the bracing walk before or after the visit.
The toy museum is the only one of its kind in the North east of England and has over 7000 toys on display from the 1890s to the 1980s. The entrance door is brightly decorated with pictures of toys and on entering the double doors, we come into a room which is unlike any museum I have been to before. As soon as we enter, there is a small desk at which we pay and toys jumbled around us, which children can play with.
When we pass through the entrance area it is actually one large room with a huge array of toys- lots of dolls in prams, mechanical toys, puppets and a large boat filled with soft toys. Some of the displays are in cases with a very brief explanation of the date of the toys but most are there to be touched and some even to be played with.
As we wandered round the room, it was more the adults who took delight in the toys, since it gave us a real trip down memory lane. However, that said, the children found some of the toys we played with quite fascinating given that they have such different toys. Some of our toys were even described as being "from the olden days".
Entrance fees are very reasonable; I think we paid £1.50 for adults and 75p for children, and given that it took us over an hour to have a look round, then this is great value.
Opening times vary so it's worth checking on the website, www.tynemouthtoymuseum.co.uk or calling 0191 2591776
A small museum but one which is worth a visit if you are ever in Tynemouth. It is cold inside the museum and not all glitzy like some museums. The fact that the exhibits don't have lots of information about them is not a problem at all because the people who run the museum are really knowledgeable and can answer questions about all of the toys, as well as having endless patience when showing the children how to use some of the toys. It seems to be a labour of love for them as they also restore any toys people take in to them.
A recommended place to visit for a trip down memory lane- I liked the smurfs!!
Thanks for reading
I first visited Childhood Memories Toy Museum, Tynemouth when I was child. I went with my parents and we all really enjoyed it. I wanted somewhere to drive to during my time off so my friend and I decided to go here. I cant remember anything from my first visit except what my parents have told me so it was almost like visiting here for the first time (though once I entered the museum there was an air of familiarity)
Before visiting the museum I looked at their website online and I found out that it is the only Toy Museum in the North East with over 7000 toys on display dating back from 1890. I cant say I remember seeing any toys this old (Im not saying there wasnt) but I do remember looking at annuals dating back from the early 1900s. I found it really interesting that the annuals were so old (even older than my 83 year old granddad!). These annuals looked like they were in very good condition considering their age.
There are loads of toys on display, so if you go as a family, there is sure to be something for everyone. I really enjoyed looking at the older toys and seeing how they have changed over the years. There were even toys there that I played with when I was a child, which shows that the museum are updating their collection all the time. However, it does seem like they are still old when you think that the toys I am referring to are about 10 years old! There are toys from the film Toy Story and there was a Furby (which was different to the one I had when I was a child but made me remember mine)
The toys are all set out in one large room; some are behind glass and some are just behind a rope barrier. There is a large collection of toys, including clockwork and mechanical toys, prams and dolls, toys, puzzles and games. There are toys from films and TV such as ET, Star Wars, Doctor Who and Sooty and Sweep. There is something for everyone on display. Emma and I both said that it was better than we had expected it to be.
There is a large dolls hospital with a toy car outside of it. I really liked this and I enjoyed looking through the window and seeing the dolls.
On our way out Emma pointed out the rocking horses, which I hadnt previously noticed. I then told her about my old rocking horse, Dobbin, and how I only got rid of him a few years ago, as I couldnt bear to part with him. My dad used to feed him bread and I used to think that he really ate it, as I didnt see what my dad did with it. As I was telling Emma this, the lady who runs the museum was looking at us and smiling and she started talking to us about our experience of the museum. I think she was smiling because the museum had done, for us, what it is set out to do bring back memories of your childhood.
There were lots of toys in this museum that made me think of my childhood, as well as use my imagination about the toys which my parents and grandparents would have played with when they were children. There were a few toys that I recognised that I used to have that my sister gave me (she is ten years older than me so I got lots of her toys) including Barbie and Cindy. Whenever I saw a toy that I recognised I felt a sense of excitement and I smiled to myself. I couldnt help but point out the toys to Emma and we talked about a lot of them. We were in the museum nearly an hour and a half but I think it would be easy to spend longer if you looked at all the toys in detail. My sister said they spent about an hour in there. I talk a lot though (as anyone who knows me well will verify!) and Emma and I talked about loads of the toys! As well as pointing, Ooh look at this! and Ahh, have you seen that one!
There was a train set (behind glass) and if you inserted a 20p piece the trains moved. Emma put the money in and we watched the trains go round. It seemed to last a while (a good few minutes) and I think we started looking at something else before it stopped. My sister and her husband took their three children here last weekend and the train set was the first thing my eldest nephew told me about (he is interested in trains.)
I took loads of photos in the museum and when I was showing them to my parents they said there are lots more toys in the museum than when they were last there. They seemed to enjoy looking at the toys in the photos. I wasnt sure if you could take photos but there were no signs up saying that you couldnt. My sister, her husband and nephews enjoyed looking at the photos as well as they hadnt taken any when they were there.
Parking is available in several places in Tynemouth along the sea front. We parked in the nearest bay to the museum (just across the road) and I believe it cost 80p for up to 2 hours.
The museum is located in Tynemouth, The Palace Building, Grand Parade. It is located on the sea front and once you are in Tynemouth, if the sea is in view you will come to it. It costs £1.50 for adults and 75p for children and concessions. They are open from 10.30am til 5pm. June-September Tuesday Sunday (except bank holidays) April-May September-November Weekends only.
The website states that the museum doubles up as a Dolls hospital and once repaired they go onto display in the museum. The staff are friendly and willing to chat, making for a pleasant atmosphere. The museum was quite quiet when we were there with only about another 5 people visiting. We signed the visitors comments book before we came out :-)
I really enjoyed looking in this museum and I would certainly go back in the future. As we were looking round we twice thought we had looked at everything but then we realised that we had missed some toys out and went back to look at it. The museum also sells sweets and drinks in the entrance though Im not sure you are allowed to eat and drink when looking around the museum. (The sweets were something else that my nephew told me about!)
Thanks for reading! bluejules x
Small Toy Museum on the seafront at Tynemouth.
At a Glance: yes there are he-men, star wars and Thomas the tank engine toys...
Top 5 things about the Toy Museum at Tynemouth>>>
1. Friendly, family run concern - Even has a 'Toy Hospital!'
2. Huge array of older toys.
3. More smurfs on display than ever appeared in the smurf village.
4. Unbelieveably cheap; one of those places you kinda feel like saying - "erm; have you not short changed yourself..."
5. It is almost impossible to not find something that at some point you have owned, or played with.
Bottom 5 things about the Toy Museum at Tynemouth>>>
1. Massive lack of space; unit is basically a converted shop, or similar.
2. Few toys from the seventies onwards, most appear from the twenties to the sixties.
3. No Transformers!
4. Aesthetically, sadly lacking investment - The sort of thing the local council should take a pride in.
5. Some of the older dolls are a little creepy...
Sadly not what it could be, due to location but I'd implore anyone local to the region, or visiting to give this hidden treasure trove a glance.
When you walk into the barn-like space that is Childhood Memories Toy Museum the overall effect is of a chaotic bedroom thats had a last minute tidy up for visitors. The name really fits, as soon as you come in the door its like being a kid again, looking at a whole heap of exciting things and wondering what to play with first.