WE'RE hearing a truly heartwarming toy story in this week's Looking Back.

Antique toys which emerged unscathed from a Second World War bombing have been handed over to Weymouth Museum.

The toys at Holy Trinity Primary School in Weymouth, including a beautiful Victorian rocking horse, have been loved by generations of children since the 1800s.

They originally belonged to the infant class when the school was in Chapelhay.

After the Chapelhay bombings the school was eventually rebuilt in Cross Road, Weymouth and these toys were moved to the new infant school when it opened in 1953.

Geoff Pritchard, who was written a book on the school, said his research revealed that after the school was all but destroyed in the bombing, Miss Seaford the headmistress, managed to salvage all the undamaged desks and children's toys from the building, including the ones mentioned.

This very paper, when it was known as the Daily Evening Echo, reported on the new school in Cross Road, in an article on April 28 1953 and showed a picture of a child riding the rocking horse in one of the new classrooms.

The teacher in the photo is Vi Chinchen, Mr Pritchard says.

It is believed that there are earlier photographs of children with the rocking horse at the original Chapelhay school.

Holy Trinity Infant School was amalgamated with Holy Trinity Junior School and moved to a new building on the Cross Road site in September 2007.

The rocking horse and other antique toys have been enjoyed over the last 20 years as part of children’s topic work comparing toys from Victorian times and toys of today.

When Holy Trinity Primary School learnt that Weymouth Museum was keen to increase its collection of childhood toys and items, it was felt that these special items should be able to be enjoyed by the public.

Staff at the museum were delighted to receive the rocking horse and other toys, which will become a special feature of a new display.

The display of toys can currently be seen in Weymouth Museum at its location in Brewers Quay.

Erica Cousins, of Holy Trinity School, said both the school and the museum would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has any more information about the horse, particularly its name, or have memories of it from their school days.

Both the school and Weymouth Museum are very interested to hear of any memories that readers may have that can be recorded for future generations to learn about.

*If any readers have more information and photographs about these special toys, contact Looking Back on 01305 830973 or email joanna.davis@dorsetecho.co.uk


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