Muswell Hill Toy Library packs up for the last time – 33 years later

Liz Luxmore founded the Muswell Hill Toy Library 33 years ago. Picture: Lindis Dockeray

Liz Luxmore founded the Muswell Hill Toy Library 33 years ago. Picture: Lindis Dockeray - Credit: Archant

After 33 years, the Muswell Hill Toy Library has packed away its wares for the final time.

Since 1985, the toy library has offered children and parents the ability to loan toys for a three week period, and it has also provided all manner of children's entertainment.

However, with demand waning, its trustees and founder have decided the time has come to close its doors.

Hilary Cook, one of the trustees, told this newspaper: "It's just not needed in the way it once was.

"Now many more people in the area have different kinds of childcare, and it's just seen the need for it diminish.

"I got involved a year or so after Liz started it, in about 1987, when I stopped working and had my own kids. Liz, who was the children's librarian at the library, had this idea - that it was a good thing to set up a community resource and help people with their children!"

Hilary also paid tribute to founder and former children's librarian Liz Luxmore.

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She said: "As well as running the Toy Library three times a week, Liz has been tireless in organising fund raising and applying for grants. Perhaps what is most amazing is that she has continued to do all this for the 28 years since her retirement as librarian."

The toy library went out with a bang, though. On August 30 it held a puppet show and friends and supported celebrated the charity's history and showered Liz in gifts incuding flowers and a very special thank you cake.

The event also included a puppet show, given by Kate Harper and Pippin Puppets, which was followed by a presentation of flowers, cards and a book of photographs.

Then Liz was then joined by Toy Library members and volunteers past and present who thanked her personally and saw her cut a celebratory cake.

Muswell Hill Toy Library opened in 1986 and has always been based alongside the Children's Library in its historic Queens Avenue building.

Many parents also reminisced about how Liz's work had been "a lifesaver" and how she had created the "most incredible resource" for families with toddlers.

However, Liz will be continuing to run storytime sessions and other events for children at Muswell Hill Library, Hilary confirmed.