Toy museum to commemorate 50 years since end of Brighton Belle

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Founder of the Brighton Toy Museum Chris Littledale with the model of the Brighton Belle
Founder of the Brighton Toy Museum Chris Littledale with the model of the Brighton Belle

A TOY museum will be commemorating a historic anniversary of the Brighton Belle with the running of a newly-restored model of the train.

The Brighton Toy Museum in Trafalgar Street will mark 50 years since the train was decommissioned in a special event next weekend, which will also feature a special display of memorabilia, including a table setting, lamps, menus, and other intriguing items, courtesy of the curator of the Pullman Society Antony Ford.

The museum’s founder, Chris Littledale, acquired a model of the train in a terrible state of disrepair some 40 years ago, a decade before the museum opened.

It languished in that state until the last few years when Mr Littledale completely restored the model and embellished it with tables, lamps, seats and even mirrors in the interior.

The Argus:
The Argus:

Mr Littledale, the museum’s founder, said: “Keeping memories of our transport heritage is important both historically and from a nostalgic point of view.

“The Brighton Belle certainly carried many of the famous characters that are so much part of Brighton’s past.

“Laurence Olivier was a regular traveller on the Belle. He famously created a row with Pullman when they took kippers off the menu for breakfast. They were soon to be reinstated.

“Dora Bryan, Terrance Rattigan and Nigel Green were but a few of the famous names to travel in those beautiful umber brown and cream carriages. Our display will hopefully remind people of those bygone days.”

Norman Baker, former MP for Lewes and ex-transport minister, will be attending the event to celebrate the occasion in his new role as chair of the Sussex Downs Lane.

The museum’s event begins at 11 am on April 30.

The Brighton Belle ran from January 1933 to April 1972, running from Victoria station in London to Brighton.

The service offered drinks, meals and snacks on board during the one-hour, 50-mile trip.