Five months ago the council closed the doors at the Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile in a major refurbishment programme.
The museum which first opened in 1955 held a celebration yesterday with families from across Edinburgh who took part in a Golden Ticket competition to have the first look at what’s new.
There are five floors of toys, games and artefacts with new display cabinets on the ground floor where there is also improved lighting.
The building blocks design tracks the history of childhood in Scotland with a dressing up area among the interactive exhibits. There is a digital display with family photographs donated by families from across the city allowing visitors to flip through the archive.
Initially the museum will be open Wednesday to Sunday, but following the council’s budget for 2017-18 passed last month, the museum will ,along with all others owned by the council, open seven days each week.
Councillor Donald Wilson, the City of Edinburgh 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 through Museums Galleries Scotland grants.
“The refurbishment allows us to tell the story of childhood in new ways, and engage young people in Edinburgh in the history of these objects and how they relate to Scotland’s shared social history. It has also provided us with an opportunity to include local families, who have donated many personal photographs and memories towards a new digital photo album display.
“I am particularly pleased the opening hours of the Museum of Childhood – and our other city centre museums and galleries – will be increased later this year thanks to the Council’s Coalition Budget commitment towards the venues just last week. We have agreed the Museum of Childhood will be open seven days a week, from this summer, which means everyone will be able to enjoy the new space all year round.”
The reopening of the Museum is a major highlight in the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland has a rich cultural heritage and our many wonderful museums play a vital role in telling that story. Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood is a fantastic example of that and I am delighted that the Scottish Government, through Museums Galleries Scotland, has been able to support the redevelopment of this much-loved museum through funding.
“2018 is the Scottish Government’s themed Year of Young People and 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.”
Golden Ticket winners on why they love the Museum of Childhood
Our family loves the Museum of Childhood because…
Its the one place where all the generations can share their stories, for young to be interested in old, for old to feel they have something in common with the young. (Willis Family)
It holds wonderful memories for us all. My mother took me as a child and also my two children age 8 and 11. It would be wonderful to take my Mum and children to see the revamped exhibition and see how it’s changed. (Fraser Family)
It makes us glad for a rainy Saturday! (Parke Family)
There is something for every kid to enjoy (big kids included). My mother took is as kids and I have taken my own kids. We also use the Museum a lot through the holidays with the kids I childmind. Would love to be among the lucky people who get first look at what has been done. (Patterson Family)
My Grandad worked in the postal department of the Council and whenever there was a new display in any of the museums he would take us (me and my sister) along to see the exhibits. Our favourites were the Museum of Child hood and the Brass Rubbing Centre which was across the road. It would be lovely to bring my Grandad (now 84) back to see it with my two children now. (Kelly Family)
… well to be honest I loved going to the museum as a child and would love the opportunity to take my girls as I think they are now at an age where they would really enjoy it (3 and 8). (Simpson Family)
Its a wonderful resource for all generations to share one of the most central things in life – play! We are three generations and also a lesbian family (Mum Lin, her partner Fiona, Gran Hazel and Angus aged 9) so we hope we represent the new modern definition of a family unit. (Watson Family)
We once spent five hours there without a single stress. And it’s a bit scary that toys from my childhood are in a museum already! (Susan Family)
It has something for everyone to enjoy and brings us closer together. Nana hasn’t been able to wait to take her granddaughter to the re-opened Museum. (Blair Family)
It takes Granny back to when she was the same age as our wee girl, and lets us all see how much and how little has changed. (Scott Family)