Edinburgh Museum of Childhood reopens after £200k revamp

The world’s first museum dedicated to the history of childhood has opened its doors again, following a five-month refurbishment.

The £200,000 revamp of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Museum of Childhood is the first major upgrade to the Royal Mile-based attraction for more than 30 years.

Opened in 1955, the museum houses a collection of toys, games and artefacts telling the story of British childhoods.

The makeover of the main ground floor gallery has added new display cabinets with exhibits such as Muffin the Mule, a Buzz Lightyear action figure from 2000 and a Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone from 1979.

A new digital display enables visitors to view archive images and photographs donated by local families from across the city.

A reminder that Britain was the last country in Europe to abolish corporal punishment in schools is provided, with a tawse leather strap used in Scottish schools on display, while a cabinet of children’s clothing highlights changing fashions.

Councillor Donald Wilson, the council’s culture and communities convener, said: “With over 225,000 visitors every year, the museum is one of Edinburgh’s flagship venues.

“Its impressive collection of more than 60,000 objects reflecting childhoods from the 18th century to the present day has been recognised as of national importance by the Scottish government, which has generously funded much of the refit.”

The reopening of the museum is a highlight in the Scottish government’s Year of Young People 2018.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “This reopening provides the opportunity for the museum to engage with new young audiences, making the most of a collection which has been awarded recognition status due to its national significance.”

Pictured at the opening, from left: Ollie Mackenzie-Paterson, Elise Blair and Thomas Bird.

edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/museum-childhood