PHOTO GALLERY: Toy museum to close in Todmorden

Mike Wollerton in the Todmorden Toy & Model Museum, which is to close after 20 years.
Mike Wollerton in the Todmorden Toy & Model Museum, which is to close after 20 years.

Todmorden Toy Museum is to close after 20 years.

Mike Wollerton, 74, has amassed a marvellous mixture of toys at his premises on Rochdale Road, but now feels the time is right to close the museum.

“I will be running a toy refurbishment and repair business,” said Mike.

“I’ve already had 300 jobs in the last two-and-a-half weeks.

“I’ll be concentrating primarily on model railway die casts using my model engineering skills to make a living.

“I’ve done the museum for 20 years but it’s hard work buying, valuing and then placing and selling items. My workload will be lower from now on.

“I’m keeping the shop and the showroom and downstairs will be residential.

“There’s been a lot of sadness because people have enjoyed it, and I’ve had people here from all around the world.

“The Derren Brown programme brought in visitors from Australia, New Zealand, China, South America, Europe and America.

“The visitors book is jam full of glorious comments.

“I didn’t charge for admission, and if there weren’t many people at one time, I would give them a guided tour and tell them stories.

“I’m sure I’ll still be telling stories because that’s me!”

Colin has already been selling off items from the museum, some of which won’t be going too far away.

He added: “My favourite item has probably been the French trapeze clown from the 1900’s, which we’ve also sold.

“Another treasured item is a talking pelican which repeats what you say. Whenever I say goodbye to a visitor, it says it twice - ‘goodbye, goodbye’.

“I’ve already sold the biggest railway we had, which was a scenic railway model of the Yorkshire Dales and was 16 foot long.

“We’ve also sold models of the Arc Royal and Fearless ships, which were seven foot long and build by local model engineers.

“I’ve also sold a Prisoner of War model railway train, which is very collectable.

“The model funfair is a very popular item and that has been sold. That’s actually going to Colin in the bookshop next door!”