Ask someone if they know Pollock's Toy Museum and they may or may not answer in the affirmative. If however, you say 'do you know that delightfully creaky, slightly spooky, rickety building filled with wooden toys in Fitzovria?' they will nod furiously. Everyone knows that place. Not only is the 170-year-old museum the oldest venue of its kind in the UK (and there can't be many older in Europe), its also home to one of the world's most ancient teddy bears, Eric.
You don't want Eric to die, do you? Because that's exactly what will happen if Pollock's is forced to close as a result of lost earnings from a year of zero footfall. The museum started a crowdfunder a few weeks ago, and soon hit their initial target. But as is always the way, the initial target only goes so far. If we want to secure Pollock's future we'll have to dig a little deeper.
'All money raised with our stretch target will go into securing the buildings and making sure we can keep our doors open even if we have low visitor numbers or have to limit numbers for social distancing,' said a statement from the museum's current owners. 'We also have a long term aim to build a public programme of events and opening our print studio for open-access use and educational, printmaking workshops.'
The museum began life in 1850, when artisan Benjamin Pollock began selling printed toy theatres. Today it houses thousands of exhibits, including board games, marbles, money-boxes, puppets, wax dolls, toy theatres, dolls houses and a 4,000-year-old clay mouse. There are all sorts of cool rewards available for people donating to the crowdfunder, including, at the highest tier, your own one-off printed toy theatre.
Contribute to the Pollock's Toy Museum crowdfunder here
The summer music festivals to book for 2021 right now
Al fresco dining is coming back to soho in April