A fundraising campaign to save a popular local museum has become a runaway success after a crowdfunding effort pulled in nearly all of the target funding in a single weekend.

Jack Fawdry up a ladder painting outside of museum.
Jack Fawdry has been campaigning to save the museum he and his father run.

Pollock’s Toy Museum and shop on the corner of Scala Street and Whitfield Street in Fitzrovia is under threat of permanent closure due to a huge loss of income as a result of the ongoing pandemic and restrictions on trading.

The museum relies on income from visitors from all over the world to maintain the unique collection of toys and Victorian dolls.

Inside Pollock's Toy Museum.
The museum has a unique collection of toys and toy theatres.

It dates back to the 1850s when the printer Benjamin Pollock created the famed toy theatres which have become its hallmark. Since the 1950s it has been an independently run museum with support from the Pollock’s Toy Museum Educational Trust.

It is now run by Eddy and Jack Fawdry, the grandson and great-grandson of the museum founder, Marguerite Fawdry.

“If the museum were to close, London would lose something irreplaceable,” says Jack Fawdry.

“The unique collection is a treasure trove of folk toys, dolls, puppets and playthings from around the world arranged in colourful and eccentric cases. Favourites include ‘Eric’, one of the world’s oldest teddy bears at 115, and a toy mouse from ancient Egypt, made of clay from the banks of the river Nile and over 4000 years old!

“Our collection of curiosities has inspired icons such as David Bowie, Robert Louis Stevenson, Serge Dhiaghilev and Angelina Jolie,” he says.

Emily Baker painting the outside of Pollock's Toy Museum.
Emily Baker worked with her partner Jack on the crowdfunder and social media.

With the threat of closure imminent, Jack and his partner Emily Baker set about creating a social media and fundraising campaign. The plan was to launch the crowdfunding campaign on Saturday and follow up with news media release a few days later when they hoped a few donations would have tumbled in.

But they were stunned to find that in the first 24 hours it had become a “roaring success” with more than half the £15,000 target reached, and by Monday evening when the press notices were sent out more than 80 percent of the target had been secured.

Now they have set a new target. “We have created a stretch target of £25,000 so we can be resilient in the face of these difficult times,” say Emily and Jack.

Crowdfunder: Save Pollock’s Toy Museum.