Toy Museum announces it is shutting down

19/3/11- Opening of the new toy museum at The Mill, Northiam.   Phil Collins.  Photo by Steve Hunnisett ENGSNL00120110321081156
19/3/11- Opening of the new toy museum at The Mill, Northiam. Phil Collins. Photo by Steve Hunnisett ENGSNL00120110321081156
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One of the Rye area’s top attractions has shut its doors four years after opening.

Phil Collins has announced he is shutting The Mill Toy and Pedal Car Museum he opened at Northiam.

The attraction, which housed Phil’s record-breaking collection, has attracted thousands of visitors over the years.

It holds a Guinness world record certificate for the largest collection of pedal powered model vehicles on display.

People flocked to the attraction when it opened in spring 2011.

Phil, 63, who ran the attraction with partner Kathy, said: “We recently announced on our website that the museum will be closed until further notice due to unforeseen family commitments.

“It is now with great sadness that after much deliberating and careful consideration, we have decided to retire and subsequently close the museum and tea rooms, with immediate effect.

“This has been a very difficult decision for us, however we now feel ready to retire in favour of spending more time with the family and pursuing other interests.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support in the past.

“We have had a truly fantastic experience during our time here and in particular, we have enjoyed meeting a vast array of different and interesting people from all over the world.”

Opening the museum was the culmination of a hobby which turned into a passion for Phil.

The first pedal car he bought was an E-Type Jaguar model from a local antiques dealer.

His collection eventually grew to more than 400 pedal cars and antique toys ranging from the massed produced Austin J 40, from the 1950’s to the rare 1936 Triang Streamline.

He once admitted: “It has turned into an addiction for me.

The museum was situated in the Rother Valley at Northiam in a large Edwardian mill.