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Toy Museum (Somerset)

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Toy and Model Museum, Cheddar Models, Rose Cottage, The Cliffs, Cheddar, Somerset. BS27 3QA
Tel: 01934 743244

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      21.01.2002 22:12
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      Hidden away amongst the many attractions of Cheddar Gorge in Somerset is the Toy and Model Museum. This museum is set back from the road behind a model shop, in a quaint cottage built in 1667. This very small museum only consists of two rooms of the cottage, although you do get the impression from the outside that it is much larger. Admission is £1.50 for adults and 75p for children. I know this is not a lot of money to pay, but it did seem a little bit dear for the size of the museum, I think £1 and 50p would have been more realistic. The museum has a collection of model cars, trains, dolls houses and old metal toys, mostly dating from around 1950 – 1980. When I was young, my brothers and I bought and played with a large number of matchbox and similar model cars. As we looked around this museum all I seemed to keep saying was ‘I had that one’. Of course the cars in the museum are in very good condition, many with their original boxes, compared to the ones that we had that became very battered and scratched. The cars are well displayed in glass cabinets, but what we did find disappointing was that there was no information given about any of the cars. I would have liked to have seen such information as the year of production, the original price, where it was made and details of any limited editions. Maybe this information was not available for all of the toys, but I am sure they could have found out some of the information. By using the name ‘museum’ it does imply that it will be a source of information, not just a collection. There are model trains set up on two track layouts, with the trains running continuously and these layouts have been very well made with many accessories added to make them look realistic. There are also additional models (of different scales and gauge) displayed on the shelves around the layouts. In the display of old metal toys there are model metal soldiers,
      Meccano sets, a tin typewriter (I had one of those!) and a number of other intriguing toys from about 30 – 40 years ago. It only took us about 20 minutes to see everything in the museum and although it brought back a lot of childhood memories for me, overall it was a little disappointing. There did seem to be plenty of models and toys in the collection and I feel these would have been better displayed in a larger environment. I would like to think that in time the museum would grow and more information would be added, but I got the feeling on our visit that this was not going to be the case. If you played with model cars when you were young, or if you now collect cars, then I think you will find this museum interesting. Just don’t expect to stay for too long.

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