Arthur Benson, who was known as "The Toyman" through his work as a curator at York's Castle Museum, also played a leading role in the Scouting movement.

He was Group Scout Leader of the Lord Mayor's Own Scout group, based in Bootham Terrace, and was awarded one of Scouting's highest awards, the Silver Acorn, for his services to the organisation.

Now the Lord Mayor's Own group is organising a memorial service on Sunday, at 3pm, at Clifton Methodist Church.

Tony Wilcock, who is the current Group Scout Leader, said Scouts were expected to attend from across Yorkshire.

But he stressed that members of staff from the museum were also being invited along. He said the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Janet Hopton, had also been invited.

He added that a tree would also be planted earlier in the day in a private Scouting ceremony at the organisation's campsite, Snowball Plantation, at Stockton-on-the-Forest, with members of Mr Benson's family being invited.

Mr Benson, who died last autumn, aged 79, gave enjoyment to millions of visitors to York's Castle Museum for more than 40 years until his retirement in 1993.

The Press reported last autumn how, with his half-moon spectacles and tweed jacket, he was the epitome of the typical curator.

He worked as an assistant in museums in Leicester and Gloucester, before arriving at the Castle Museum in 1959 to take up the post as assistant curator.

In the early 1960s, the museum had only a small staff, so a curator's duties were many and varied. One minute he might be collecting future exhibits for the museum in his elderly van, the next helping to make the bricks for, and put up shop fronts in, the museum's famous Edwardian street Half Moon Court, which opened in 1963.

He promoted the museum through innumerable talks, lectures and demonstrations across the North of England, and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of children's toys and games.

His nickname, The Toyman, came from a sign over the toymaker's shop in the museum's Victorian street, Kirkgate.

Mr Benson received an honorary fellowship of the Museums' Association in the early 1980s.