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Thread: Toy Shops

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Angry Toy Shops

    Through work I visited the town of Linlithgow(just outside Edinburgh) yesterday. As well as a historic past the town retains an old fashion High Street, butchers, bakers and lots of one off speciality shops including one toy shop " Fun & Games". Over the years it was always worth a browse, especially around Christmas as they kept a good selection of board games. So imagine my surprise and sadness when I found it closed.

    The owners have posted a notice of thanks to their customers and staff over the past 16 years of trading and admit the multi nationals and internet have dented their trade in recent years forcing them to close.
    Its very sad and got me wondering if many more of these type of shops, which every town had in my youth, remain? I know there are a few one offs in the big cities but the towns and villages, in my area, I was struggling to think of any.

    Sign of the times?
    Last edited by sixtyten; 26-06-2007 at 21:50.
    The eyes have it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Taunton, Somerset

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    We had a couple in Taunton, one called Taunton Toys has just closed in Taunton High Street, it was there when we moved here in 1975. The other one called Watkins is still there, a real aladins cave.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    yes as i recall there was one in Andover on union st in the town called the toy shop , but when ever i revisit the town it saddens me also to find it closed down in favour of another take away or swish cheap food eatery

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    One I always used to go in at Rayleigh was Rayleigh Prams. Downstairs was toys and upstairs was bikes and stuff. It also had a bit of a story attached to it in that it was supposedly haunted! Allegedally a woman and her child died there in a fire (when it was a house) and the sound of a child playing upstairs chasing a ball was often heard and sometimes it would be heard bouncing down the stairs and the sound of a child chasing it yet with nobody there.
    It also had a sinister side with an alleged poltergeist which would whisper in the ears of shop assistants and sometimes throw items around, a mate's mum stopped working there because of this. It's now split into 2 shops, one selling double glazing, the other electrical junk.

    Berman's (not sure how it was spelt but it was pronounced as such) in Southend was a great shop, it was when the lower high street was still a road. Downstairs was hardware (like Robert Dyas) and the window was full of hardwarey stuff but always had small boxes with magnetic creatures in (mice, spiders, etc) which would move as they were on a motorised thing. upstairs was all toys, they had the most amazing collection of Scalextric, Tamiya, Hornby, Airfix, Revell, Britains and any other models you could think of. Including Star Wars and Action man, it truly was a magical shop to go into before the days of massive toys r us stores. I'd love to visit it again but it also closed many many years ago even before they paved the high street.

    Wings and Wheels in Leigh was still there last time I went past and was where I used to go to get my skateboard stuff.

    I miss these independant stores, including the old computer shops i used to go in. They had character, something lost in today's chainstores. Same goes for the old cinema's, converted theatres which felt rich inside as if you were going on a magical journey. Maybe i'm just an old romantic inside?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    We had one in Bootle in Liverpool called Bridges - the owner was a nice old man who used to wear a long brown overcoat like the warehouse men from Are You Being Served.

    I was only ever after Star Wars figures and instead of him putting them on the racks he just used to bring out the cardboard boxes the job lot came in and let us root through them - was really exciting as a 7 year old.

    The smell of old cardboard boxes still takes me back...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    We had one here until early nineties. Garnells.
    One mans trash is another mans treasure !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    2 doors down from the chipshop on the left just after you pass the chinese laundry

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    Not many old toy shops left now , used to buy our stuff from woolworths when we where kids, Now we have only one I can think of and thats Hawkins Bazaar, not really on old shop but you can still buy great stuff there , jokes like plastic dog poop and soap that makes your face black, I luv practical jokes me

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    I used to have a practical joke collection when I was a kid. My prize possetion being a wine glass full of "wine" that when you tipped it up nothing came out! I used to go shopping in a town called St Ives (cambs) and spent hours in the joke shop there. That closed down years ago and they sell carpets in there now.
    There was also a large toy shop called, I think, Kennedy Dreavers. I remember the haphazard layout and rickety floorboards. I remember going in for He-man figures and Subbuteo teams. You don't get an atmosphere like that anymore in the bland, generic shops of today - which are all designed by retail psychologist types.
    Its a chain-clothes shop now selling cheap jeans and the like.
    In fact, I'm hard pressed to think of any remaining toy shops in my whole region - unless you count Argos - and even Wollies has gone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Launceston, Cornwall.

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    As a young child the real toy shop was Guildford Dolls Hospital: gone.
    Boys to the left, girls to the right as you went in the main door.

    Much later in London, the all too brief-lived Games Centre set of shops in London. I recall playing a game or two with the staff and friends on a quiet Sunday, before buying.
    Survive! Ace of Aces! Metropolis! Hare and Hedgehog (German version)

    Just Games in Brewer Street lasted longer.
    The original Railway Rivals I got from there, and Continuo and Cathedral.

    But places where people really know their games are now rare indeed.
    "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Toy Shops

    We have a Toys R Us & a Toymaster....all corporate, centralised

    Independent toy shops have gone the way of most greengrocers, butchers etc....

    In Doncaster 1970's we had Dolls Hospital, D.C. Evans ( for model kits), Suggs Sports (Subbuteo), and Stamp Corner (downstairs was FULL of Airfix is still there...I dream of venturing up to the attic & finding some dusty forgotten cardboard boxes still full of Airfix kits & soldiers )

    now where's that time machine?

    Last edited by rossobantam; 20-02-2009 at 00:59. Reason: spelling!


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