Sidmouth Toy & Model Museum is a hit with Toto

Toto of Sidmouth

Sidmouth Toy & Model Museum was a hit with Toto - Credit: Toto of Sidmouth

I love a bit of town exploring, me. OK, I know I look like a wild wolf of a chap, but at heart I’m very much an urban sophisticate. Sidmouth town is where it’s at, and what I love most is doing a tour of the blue plaques. Of course, I have no idea what they say. Read? Of course I can read. I can write, can’t I? Well then. No, the problem is that most of them are too high for me to see. Something for you to think about, Sid Vale (whoever he is. He must be quite something – he’s got a whole association named after him). What I love is that it keeps my human nice and busy, which means I can busy myself snuffling for something interesting in a nearby bush while the old plum gets his plaque fix. His favourite one is outside Sea Salt. Who knew that the upper floor used to be called The Assembly Rooms? Who knew that Franz Liszt performed there in 1840? And who knew that a dog would know who Franz Liszt was? Not me, mind - I’m more of a Bach chap. Anyway, I’m still waiting for my plaque to go up outside my shop. Only a matter of time. It’s not like I’m any less worthy than… 

…Max the Miracle Dog. This practically perfect pooch became an international megastar courtesy of his daily walks in the Lake District, watched online by fans galore around the world. Admirers from as far away as Australia (is that far? No idea) and soldiers in Afghanistan (great hound country, of course) have tuned in to get their dose of therapy dog Max, and lockdown loneliness has been eased by the crusading critter. More than that, during a lifetime of shaking paws with over 10,000 people, the Springer Sensation has raised over £300,000 for charity. No wonder the PDSA gave him their Order of Merit. I gather there’s an equivalent human honour called something like an OEB or an EBO, so you get the idea how big a deal this was. Max’s crowning glory was the erection of a statue in his hometown of Keswick, the £26,000 cost being raised via crowdfunding in a single day. So, come on people, we can get my plaque up in no time if you all dig deep.  

Have a break. Have a Lily’s Break Biscuit. Go on, pour yourself a bowl of water, grab a Lily’s, put your paws up and watch Loose Bitches. Perfect.  

One of my humans said ‘I’m going to the toy museum. Game?’ ‘Don’t play around, Mr Potato Head. You’ve got some NERF’ I said. But he was actually on about Sidmouth Toy & Model Museum. I had no idea about it: I didn’t have a clue - doh! Didn’t even know if it had a loo - doh! As soon as you go in, you know you have to Lego of your inhibitions and get ready for action, man. It’s full of a fantasia of fun things from teddies to toy cars (including my favs – Corgis). What’s amazing is how few there are of these museums around. A quick Matchbox calculation tells me that this is the only one for miles. OK we’ve all heard of the Barbie Ken Centre in London but in terms of the local area this place has a Monopoly. And it’s no Trivial Pursuit, this game. Going to this museum is like a pilgrimage. Like Mecca, no? So, Snap to it. Throw the dice. Take a Risk. Join the Happy Families getting th’airfix. I went, I loved it and didn’t want to Go. And when I was finally dragged out there were a few Tiny Tears at end of Play – Doh!

Toto out 

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