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History dude

Barnards News Sweet and Toy shop Manor Top

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I remember this shop very well. It was right next to the bus stops so it was a very busy place. The top part was a newspaper and magazines shop, which also had sweets and chocolate. Mr Barnard was a good man, but most people will remember Joyce better. There was slight drop in floor level to the toy shop the next building below. There had a lot of Matchbox, Corgi and Dinky toy cars. Loads of Airfix model plane kits, the bigger ones were at the back. Dolls for the girls, and bows and arrows and other assorted toys. Come November time the front case near the till in the toy shop, would be fill with Standard fireworks.

Above the toy shop, was a Ladies Hairdresser. My mum would go there to have her hair done. You had to go via the toy shop and go to the back where you went up stairs. If I was off school I would often go with my mum to the hairdressers, not to have my hair cut. But since the toy shop was there, I could nag her into buying some cars or an Airfix kit!

What use to fascinate me most was loads of dark brown shelves on a landing as you turned to go upstairs to the hairdressers. For they were filled with Triang, plus Hornby Dublo model railway stuff. They had clearly been left there from the late 50's and 60's and forgot about by Barnard's people. I use to sit on the stairs and look at them! Eventually my mum asked Mr Barnard what he was going to do with them. So eventually he was persuaded to sell them. I didn't get them all. But I got a great deal of them. There were tracks, some third rail tracks. All mint condition in brand new boxes. There was an American none powered trailer car, Hornby dublo Tender D12, plate layers huts, Triang platforms and steps and loads more. He took them all off the shelves and dumped them in a big cardboard box, in a back room. I then bought some of them, well my mum did! I don't know what he did with the rest.

I gave most of them away to a friend, when I lost interest in model railways. At that time I didn't realise how valuable they were, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.   

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Thank you for this memory! Assuming it's the same shop (on the other side of the road from, for example, the Fifty Shilling Tailor and the library) then I regularly bought my Airfix aeroplane kits there, and I do remember the glass cabinet of fireworks, I bought some of those too.

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