I’ve been a fan of vintage toys all my life – at the age of 3 my favourite game was pretending to be a wax doll. Anyway, one of my most treasured childhood memories is visiting Pollocks Toy Museum on Scala Street, W1. Benjamin Pollock’ss Toyshop in Covent Garden is another branch of the same toy theatre family tree, although they are separate concerns nowadays. It’s run by Louise Heard, an artist who has made the shop into a gorgeous place to visit, an attraction in its own right, as well as being one of the tiny handful of truly independent shops that’s survived in Covent Garden since the Piazza’s relaunch in the early 1980s.
I was delighted to be invited to do some storytelling among the antique paper theatres as part of the launch event for this amazing iPad app by Zuztertu:
I was a bit worried at first when I was asked to use the app while storytelling- I struggle with the buttons on my mobile phone and was sure I’d make a mistake, but in fact the thing was dead easy to use and a lot of fun. Just right for children, actually. I love the old-fashioned look of it – it seems like paper on the screen. So contradictory and yet it works.
Not only did I get the chance to dress up in my best vintage and tell stories to a lovely crowd of children, but they also had free champagne and cupcakes. The one thing I regret was that I forgot to take off my wooly hat for the photos.