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It’s that magical time of year again when the children throughout district start to get excited for Christmas and a visit from Santa bringing toys.

This Meccano gears set dates back to 1953. Meccano, the modelling construction set, was created by Frank Hornby in Liverpool in 1898 and, in 1908, he formed the company Meccano Ltd.  Over the decades sets have included working trucks, cranes, gearboxes and even clocks. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
This Meccano gears set dates back to 1953. Meccano, the modelling construction set, was created by Frank Hornby in Liverpool in 1898 and, in 1908, he formed the company Meccano Ltd. Over the decades sets have included working trucks, cranes, gearboxes and even clocks. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

Newry and Mourne Museum is home to a wonderful collection of old toys, which every year form the ‘Christmas Exhibition’ where children visit and play with toys from our past. They let their imaginations run wild playing with the doll’s house and in the dress-up and puppet show areas. 

One of the oldest toys in the Museum Collection is a clockwork duck from the 1920s. It was made by Lehmann, a German company which produced colourful and highly mechanised toys, many of which had very engaging names. The example in the Museum is a mother duck pulling her ducklings along in a water-filled basket and is known as “PAAK-PAAK”. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
One of the oldest toys in the Museum Collection is a clockwork duck from the 1920s. It was made by Lehmann, a German company which produced colourful and highly mechanised toys, many of which had very engaging names. The example in the Museum is a mother duck pulling her ducklings along in a water-filled basket and is known as “PAAK-PAAK”. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

Unfortunately, this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Museum is unable to hold the exhibition, so instead the collection will be shared virtually via the Museum’s Facebook page, showcasing the amazing toys of yesteryear. This article features some highlights from the toy collection. 

Jigsaws continue to be a popular Christmas gift for both young and old alike.  Indeed, Lockdown saw a resurgence in jigsaws.  This one of Inverness Castle was part of the famous castle series from Philmar puzzles. With 400 pieces, it was aimed at older people. Philmar produced puzzles from the 1940's until they ceased trading in the early 1980s. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Jigsaws continue to be a popular Christmas gift for both young and old alike. Indeed, Lockdown saw a resurgence in jigsaws. This one of Inverness Castle was part of the famous castle series from Philmar puzzles. With 400 pieces, it was aimed at older people. Philmar produced puzzles from the 1940's until they ceased trading in the early 1980s. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

The Museum’s Facebook page can be accessed at WWW.FACEBOOK.COM

Newry and Mourne Museum is temporarily closed.

The famous nursery rhyme character, Humpty Dumpty, is one of the most creative toys in the Museum Collection.  It was made by a local lady in the 1950s for her daughter.  Handmade from various pieces of colourful fabric, he is very popular with the children who visit our Christmas exhibition.  Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
The famous nursery rhyme character, Humpty Dumpty, is one of the most creative toys in the Museum Collection. It was made by a local lady in the 1950s for her daughter. Handmade from various pieces of colourful fabric, he is very popular with the children who visit our Christmas exhibition. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

A doll’s house like this would have been a high priority on many letters to Santa in the 1960s. Purchased in Lockhart’s toy shop on Hill Street in Newry, it has a hinged front and removable back to reveal the rooms inside. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
A doll’s house like this would have been a high priority on many letters to Santa in the 1960s. Purchased in Lockhart’s toy shop on Hill Street in Newry, it has a hinged front and removable back to reveal the rooms inside. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

The Museum Collection is also home to a Silver Cross-inspired doll’s pram which dates from the 1960s. It is smaller replica of the full-size version. Many a little girl would have dreamed of Santa leaving this for her on Christmas morning. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
The Museum Collection is also home to a Silver Cross-inspired doll’s pram which dates from the 1960s. It is smaller replica of the full-size version. Many a little girl would have dreamed of Santa leaving this for her on Christmas morning. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

The Museum’s toy collection includes an array of famous faces from comic strips and cartoons. Garfield first appeared in 1978 in an American comic strip created by Jim Davis. Since then he has appeared in cartons, movies and has been the basis for various types of toys.  The Museum’s Garfield is a stuffed toy from 1981.  Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
The Museum’s toy collection includes an array of famous faces from comic strips and cartoons. Garfield first appeared in 1978 in an American comic strip created by Jim Davis. Since then he has appeared in cartons, movies and has been the basis for various types of toys. The Museum’s Garfield is a stuffed toy from 1981. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

Snoopy is another famous comic strip character. Created by Charles M. Schulz, he made his first appearance in the Peanuts comic strip in 1950.  Dressed in a fine sweatshirt and jeans, the Snoopy toy in the Museum dates from the 1960s. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Snoopy is another famous comic strip character. Created by Charles M. Schulz, he made his first appearance in the Peanuts comic strip in 1950. Dressed in a fine sweatshirt and jeans, the Snoopy toy in the Museum dates from the 1960s. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

The Dalek from Dr Who is an enduring toy that continues to be popular with young and old alike and early examples, such as this one which dates from the 1960s, is especially sought after by collectors. The Daleks first appeared on our television screens in 1963 and are one of the most famous and most recognizable of all science fiction creations. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
The Dalek from Dr Who is an enduring toy that continues to be popular with young and old alike and early examples, such as this one which dates from the 1960s, is especially sought after by collectors. The Daleks first appeared on our television screens in 1963 and are one of the most famous and most recognizable of all science fiction creations. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
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