The Wonderful Pollock's Toy Museum Has Closed

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 18 months ago

Last Updated 19 January 2023

The Wonderful Pollock's Toy Museum Has Closed
A pretty green and red museum on the corner a a picturesque street
Pollock's Toy Museum has closed its doors, but will hopefully reappear elsewhere in London. Image: duncan cumming via creative commons

Anyone who's been to Pollock's Toy Museum can't have failed to have been enchanted by the array of retro robots and Matchbox cars, flooded with nostalgia at the sight of Sooty puppets... and — let's face it — felt a little uneasy in the rooms inhabited by vintage dolls, all of them shooting you glassy stares.

Pollock's is one of those higgledy piggledy museums of another era, where you navigate creaky staircases to discover room after crooked room lovingly stuffed with toys, teddies and games that've made a lot of children very happy over decades and even centuries.

Sooty, Sue and Sweep
Wanna feel old? Sooty started out in 1948! Image: Londonist

So it's with a heavy heart that we report Pollock's has closed its doors with immediate effect. A statement on the website explains that this closure is owing to "a change in circumstances regarding the ownership of the buildings", meaning that it isn't sustainable for the museum to carry on at its Scala Street address, which is just around the corner from Goodge Street station.

As for the toys, says the museum, they've been put in temporary storage.

However, it sounds like this could just be au revoir — because the museum also reports that it is actively seeking a new, long-term home for the collection where it can once again welcome visitors. And on that note, they are seeking storage space at a favourable rate (get in touch if you can help). You can also make a donation towards Pollock's future on the museum website.

An old make your own Tower Bridge set
Image: Londonist

The museum is especially well-known for its collection of toy theatres, and in fact, that's how Pollock's started out — printing and selling these cardboard creations, from the 1860s until it closed as a commercial business in 1952. Enter Marguerite Fawdry, who bought out all the stock, and set up a shop-museum in Covent Garden, which later moved to Scala Street, where it's been since 1969.

We shot a video at Pollock's a few years back, and enjoyed every second of it.