Meet the Toys of Christmas Past at the Centre for Computing History


As Christmas draws closer and a wave of new toys hit the market, the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge is taking a glance back to remember the toys from yesteryear with a unique hands-on event - Toys of Christmas Past – that will run for one night only.

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A unique, private collection of vintage toys, dating from the 70s and 80s, will be on display on the evening of 17 December. Visitors will be able to play with most of the toys and games in this temporary exhibition, as well as the Centre’s usual selection of retro computers and game consoles.

Director, Jason Fitzpatrick said: “Anyone who was a child in the 70s and 80s will love this special event. If names like Meccano, Sindy, Weebles, Scalextric, Downfall, Stylophone, Mastermind, Snuggle Bumms, Lego, Polly Pocket, Crossfire and Cascade rekindle fond memories of family Christmases for you, then here’s the chance to relive those moments. Toys from Christmas Past offers a rare opportunity to indulge in nostalgia and share a retro-flavoured experience with the whole family.

 “To add to the atmosphere, we will also have a range of vintage televisions showing classic Christmas TV shows from the period. It’s going to be wholly immersive and a lot of fun!”

The Centre’s Head of Learning, Anjali Das said: “While for some this event will be a chance to learn about what was, for others it will definitely be an affectionate trip down memory lane.”

Toys of Christmas Past will run for one night only on 17 December, 6pm – 10pm.

Spaces for this nostalgic night are limited, so booking is required. Entry on the door will not be allowed.

 Image: CCH Head of Learning, Dr Anjali Das and volunteer, Lukas West take a closer look at some of the collection.

The Centre for Computing History (CCH)
Established in 2006 and based in Cambridge, the Centre for Computing History is a charitable heritage organisation with learning at its heart.

The Centre’s core purpose is to increase understanding of developments in computing over the past 60 years by exploring the social, cultural and historical impact of the Information Age. The fast-paced nature of the computing industry, along with its tendency to discard old technology as soon as it becomes outdated, means that the heritage around its origins and development is at risk of being lost. CCH aims to preserve this fundamental part of the UK’s heritage and it has an internationally significant collection of vintage computers, memorabilia, documents and an inspiring collection of interactive artefacts.

The heritage is particularly valuable because computers have transformed the world we live in – computing has been responsible for wholesale social and cultural transformation on a speed and scale unparalleled in human history. Innovations in home computing have irreversibly changed our ways of thinking, communicating, organising, working and playing.

Much more than a museum, it hosts hands-on exhibitions, learning workshops – it has pioneered the teaching of coding and electronics to both primary and secondary schoolchildren - and a wide range of events to make the history of personal computing relevant and fun for all ages.


For further information please contact:

Elaine Symonds
Tel: 01223 214446 M: 0733179293




The Centre for Computing History was established to create a permanent public exhibition that tells the story of the Information Age.

The Centre for Computing History