Historical toy exhibition set to delight at Derbyshire visitor attraction

A new mini-museum at Gulliver’s Kingdom showcasing an impressive collection of historical toys is set to delight the young and young at heart.

The Matlock Bath theme park resort has setup a room to display the collection, which includes cars, trainsets, ships, planes and model soldiers from brands like Corgi and Dinky from as far back as the 1940s.

Entrance to the mini-museum is included with the purchase of a theme park ticket.

The collection belongs to Chris Hamby, 58, a semi-retired entrepreneur from Dodworth, near Barnsley, who previously ran Hamby’s footwear shops and worked in property development.

Chris with some of his collection

Most Popular

    Chris, who also set up The Hamby Foundation, a charity which in 20 years has raised £1 million to support disadvantaged people in Romania, said: “I grew up in the 1960s and 70s, before video games and mobile phones and when kids still played with toys like this.

    “I started collecting properly in my early 30s, replacing toys I’d had as a child. Wandering around car boot sales and visiting toy collector fairs tempted me to expand my collection, tracking down rarer items and interesting models.

    “When Gulliver's Kingdom approached me to ask to show my collection for guests, I gladly accepted. If you are of a certain age, you will enjoy taking a stroll down memory lane. For children and grandchildren, I hope they enjoy seeing the childhood toys Mum, Dad, Grandma and Granddad used to play with.

    “Collecting can become an obsession, but sharing it with others, bringing them joy and seeing them experience that pang of nostalgia, is very rewarding.

    People get quite attached to toys and you can see some get quite misty eyed when they see something they either had as a child or that they always wanted.

    “There are all kinds of things in the collection and I hope the guests at Gulliver’s enjoy it.”

    Hannah Marsden, resort manager at Gulliver’s Kingdom, said: “We’re so grateful to Chris for lending us his unique toy collection to display in our mini-museum at Gulliver’s Kingdom.

    “There are so many special pieces and we know guests of all ages are going to love seeing them.”

    For more information or to book tickets to Gulliver’s Kingdom, visit: www.gulliverskingdomresort.co.uk