Exhibition highlights vintage toy stories

An exhibition of vintage toys is now on display at Peterhead’s Arbuthnot Museum.  The toys on display date from the Victorian era to the mid-20th century and include a rocking horse over 150 years old, a Russian pecking hen set, and miniature vehicles by Corgi and Dinky.

The display shows the different materials which were used in the making of toys with wood being the most common up until the 1850s.  Thereafter the Industrial Revolution gave rise to new technologies. Tinplate became the preferred material and, by the mid-20th century, plastic was in common use.

Fiona Clark, Aberdeenshire Council’s Museums Development Coordinator said: “This exhibition brings together toys of bygone days from the collections of Aberdeenshire Council Museums Service, many of which have been donated by local people.  Children have always valued their toys as playthings and companions to be loved, abused and discarded according to mood and whim.  But it is adults who have elevated toys to the display cabinet.”

David Cook MBE, Live Life Aberdeenshire’s sub-committee chair, said: “This is a nostalgic exhibition and I’m sure many will recognise some of the toys on display which reflect not only changing technology, but also the society in which these toys were first popular.”

Councillor Anne Stirling, Communities Committee chair, said: “It is interesting to see items indigenous to the North East on show and there is a fine example of a gird and cleek, a popular street toy among working-class children.  I hope everyone will get a chance to come along and enjoy the exhibition which runs until mid-June.” 

The display is on show from Friday 22 March until Saturday 15 June. Admission is free.