Museum reopens with childhood memories

Launch of new floor of the Museum of Childhood - Poppy Willis, 8
Launch of new floor of the Museum of Childhood - Poppy Willis, 8
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ALL our childhood memories are back on display at the Museum of Childhood.

The world’s first ever museum dedicated to the history of childhood has reopened following a five-month and £200,000 revamp to its main ground floor gallery, the building’s first revamp in 30 years.

The museum, situated on the Royal Mile, opened in 1955 and boasts an impressive collection of toys, games and artefacts relating to British childhoods spread over five floors.

The makeover features a colourful ‘building blocks’ design features interactive exhibits tracking changing childhoods while a dressing-up area and tee-pee in a new imaginary play area offers families the chance to play together.

There are also 60 newly displayed objects documenting blasts from the past like Muffin the Mule, the first star of children’s television, to favourite toys that have lasted the test of time, including a Buzz Lightyear action figure from 2000 and a Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone from 1979.

Stark reminders that Britain was the last country in Europe to abolish corporal punishment in schools are provided, with a tawse leather strap used in Scottish schools on display, while a cabinet of children’s clothing highlights changing fashions, with a Victorian Little Lord Fauntleroy suit, girls’ corset from the early 20th century and a 1950s summer dress, taking centre stage.

Lyn Stevens, Museum of Childhood Curator, says, “What is childhood, when does it end, and how has it changed over the decades? These are the questions we asked ourselves as we delved into the city’s collection of over 60,000 objects to choose 60 for the new entrance gallery. We hope the new space will serve as a place to reflect on these questions, and learn about key moments and turning points which have led us to where we are now and how we experience life as a child, parent, and grandparent today.”

The Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile, Wednesdays-Sundays, 10am-5pm, free