Billed as Three Floors of British Nostalgia, this is an exceptional and charming museum. See, Smell & Hear the busttle of the Bygone Museum's life-size Victorian Street. There are fifteen different shops to explore as well as nine different period rooms packed full of authentic dispalys. Immerse yourself in a genuine experience of the past. From the cobbled floor to the original signs and shops brimming with products, there's so much to see at the General Store, Sweet Shop, Lace shop, Blacksmith, Haberdashery & Milliner, Post office, Apothecary, Toy Shop, Bakery, Jeweller, Ironmonger, Grocer, Dolls Store, HMV Shop, Pawnbroker and Pub. Above the Street, you'll discover even more of the Victorian age as you walk through themed rooms from Nursery, Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen and Parlour. You can even visit the Victorian dentist and see a prison cell from the past. Did You Know? Lemonade bottles were invented by Mr. Codd, hence the term ‘Codswallop'. DO NOT MISS The organ grinder and his monkey with 9 different tunes. Look out for the rats (only models).
Experience life as a Second World War evacuee at the genuine Station display with booking office and real steam engine from Falmouth docks. See the original retro railway posters, beautiful pictures by George Heiron and brass nameplates from engines of the past. You can meet Peggy and the other child evacuees at the Station (the museum is liberally sprinkled with charcters in dress), press the buttons and watch the model railway or lookout for Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. Journey through life during the war. Hear the sirens of an air raid and see a genuine Anderson Shelter. Enter the fully immersive WWI trench - France, 1916 - and discover the daily life of British soldiers in the trenches. Discover the Militaria displays of uniforms, photos, equipment, packaging, signs, ration tins and gallantry medals. Do not miss the playing cards concealing a secret escape map of Antwerp.
Have a go at What the Butler Saw. Challenge your friends and family to a game of football or pinball. Dare to have your fortune told. When you've finished playing on the vintage amusements, wander through the fantasy world of miniature mechanical displays. Press the buttons to bring each scene to life - iconic sights of the world, ski village, fairground, circus and castle on the mountain - all awaits. Take in the style of the fifties - from homeware and fashion to food, drink, toys and magazines. Admire the colourful fashion of the day from restrictive corsets to costume jewellery. There is one of the first bakelite TVs and the iconic kitchen cupboard of the post-war boom. Shopping was still a leisurely activity in the fifties where you were served with goods by an assistant and never helped yourself like today.
There are designated disabled parking spaces and a buggy service operating daily. Adapted toilet next to the main toilets The Abbey is on steep slopes with some uneven paths. There is a ramped main entrance. Wheelchairs are available. The Ground floor is accessible by wheelchair - stairs to other floors. 119 steps on normal visitor route. There is a Voucher for the restaurant or shop for those arriving by bicycle or public transport. Guide dogs are permitted in the museum. Wheelchair access is restricted to the Ground Floor - please phone 01803 326108 for further details.
Location : Fore St, Torquay, Torbay TQ1
Transport: Torquay (National Rail) then bus. Bus Routes : 22 from Paignton and 32 from Torquay stop outside.
Opening Times : Daily 10:00 to 17:00. June/July/August until 18:00
Tickets : Adults £8.75; Child £6.50; Concessions £6.00
Tel: 01803 326108