Celebrating toys and pastimes

Toys that will be part of the Bailiffgate Museum's Batteries Not Included exhibition.
Toys that will be part of the Bailiffgate Museum's Batteries Not Included exhibition.

A new showcase exhibition celebrating toys of all genres launches at an Alnwick attraction this week.

Bailiffgate, Alnwick’s award-winning local museum, will host Batteries Not Included.

Toys that will be part of the Bailiffgate Museum's Batteries Not Included exhibition.

Toys that will be part of the Bailiffgate Museum's Batteries Not Included exhibition.

The exhibition, celebrating the toys we love, will change over the next few months as more fun, games and happy memories are released by a series of special events.

The exhibition will be formally opened on Friday by Christine Lawson, co-founder and managing director of Eduk8, a leading UK toy manufacturer.

Coun Alan Symonds, Mayor of Alnwick, will present prizes to winners of the 2018 Bailiffgate Schools’ Art Competition. With more than 350 entries, choosing the winners was not an easy task, but as usual, every single entry will be displayed digitally on the museum’s large screen to the sound-track of children singing much-loved nursery rhymes.

Harry Henderson, volunteer, who digitised the artwork, said: “We have acquired some very rare music from the British Library, recorded many years ago by a husband and wife team, of children singing traditional nursery rhymes and songs. These Opie tunes are definitely worth listening to as visitors of a certain age are likely to remember many of them.”

The Baili Teddy that will lead the Bailiffgate Museum Bear Hunt.

The Baili Teddy that will lead the Bailiffgate Museum Bear Hunt.

The exhibition will be full of activities, including dressing up, puppet shows, games and photo opportunities. A special bear hunt has also been created using Baili Bear, the exhibition mascot.

Hilary Waugh, volunteer and one of the driving forces behind this amazing exhibition, said: “Most of us had a bear as child and it’s great that Bailiffgate now has its own bear. Over the next few months we have planned a number of adventures for him. He makes a star appearance at our special Teddy Bears’ Picnic on April 21, but he can be found in all sorts of surprising places every day in the museum.”

Baili bears can be purchased in the museum shop.

Mick Grant, who has scoured the museum archive and collections store in search of toys that have been donated, has organised something quite special by asking visitors of all ages to curate the objects, which will appear in the cabinets.

Jane Mann, volunteer, said: “Everyone had toys, even homemade ones, and we know this exhibition will be a wonderful experience for everyone.

“It will be fun to see which generation thinks its toys are the best. It could be a pretty fierce competition.”

Visitors are advised to buy a Friends pass for the museum, which gives two adults and three children a year’s entry for £25.

Alongside the Teddy Bears’ Picnic in April, the May Bank Holiday weekend will see three days of Build It, all about Lego, Meccano and more.

The exhibition will run until September 2.