New museum has a toy story
A new visitor attraction and community hub which showcases toys and dollhouses from throughout the years has opened in Banff.
Little Treasures Toy and Dollshouse Museum was formerly based near Kemnay but owner Emily Innes decided to move it to a permanent home in Banff – and began a long process of packing up and transporting more than 350 dollshouses – dating from 1865 – and thousands of toys to the new setting of the former Methodist Church in Seafield Street.
The seed of this incredible collection was sown when Emily was a small child. Living in Hong Kong, as the Japanese closed in during World War II, she was evacuated to Sydney, Australia with her mother and sister and only allowed to take one small suitcase.
All of her much-loved toys, including her new Shirley Temple doll, had to be left behind.
Much later in life, Emily started to collect, then decided to share her little treasures with the world.
She said: “As a result, there’s something for everyone in a museum packed with exhibits, from toy cars to Barbies to vintage tinplate to elements of a Victorian childhood. And so much more – including a Shirley Temple doll.
“Visitors can learn more about familiar toys, explore new areas, or simply take a trip down memory lane to their own childhood, however long ago or recent.
“A rolling system of temporary exhibitions is planned, starting with one on Tri-ang Toys.”
The museum welcomes coach trips and school visits, and Emily is happy to liaise over personalising talks or putting together a selection of materials that tie in to the current curriculum.
The museum also has a party room that will be available, with kitchen, for group, meeting and party hire.
It is open through to the end of October, Wednesday to Sunday every week from 10am to 4.30pm.