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Toy story continues for visitor attraction

By Kyle Ritchie

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Banff’s newest visitor attraction is getting set to welcome schools and community groups this autumn.

Little Treasures Dollshouse and Toy Museum opened in Banff’s former Methodist Church on Seafield Street earlier this year.

It was formerly based near Kemnay but owner Emily Innes decided to move it to the 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.

With the summer holidays now over the attraction is open to school trips and other groups that have started up again for the autumn after the break.

Pupils from Fyvie Primary School have visited the Little Treasures Toy Museum in Banff.
Pupils from Fyvie Primary School have visited the Little Treasures Toy Museum in Banff.

Phyll Smith, who helps Mrs Innes, said: “We have had great feedback from everyone who has visited us..

“We are keen to welcome more schools and community groups through the doors.

“We have had a number of schools visit already, including Easterfield, New Deer and Fyvie primary schools.

“There has also been interest from groups including the Garmoth and Kingston Over-50s Club and Netherdale SWI.

“Any school or group that would like to visit should not hesitate to get in contact.”

The seed of the incredible toy collection was sown when Mrs Innes 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.

As a result, there’s something for everyone in a museum packed with exhibits, from toy cars to Barbies to vintage tinplates to elements of a Victorian childhood.

It also has a room that is available, with kitchen, for groups, meetings and party hire.

Any school or group interested in visiting the museum can contact its volunteers by calling 01261 390391 or online through its Facebook page.

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