Sheffield’s memories of a magical toy store

Redgates Toy Shop, Sheffield - 1986
Redgates Toy Shop, Sheffield - 1986
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It’s less than four months until Christmas – and for many Sheffielders the looming holiday would always mean one thing; a trip to the magical Redgates toy store.

Hundreds of people poured onto The Star’s Facebook page this week to share their memories of the store, almost 30 years since it closed for good.

“The best toy shop ever, My memories are visiting Santa every year. Loved the place,” said Liza Cole.

“Wish it was still there. We need a good toy shop in Sheffield again.”

James Ducker said: “The memories of this place.

“I still get an excited feeling in my stomach thinking about.

“I remember spending my Christmas money in there on a Burago model car and thinking it was the best thing I had ever seen because the wheels steered and the bonnet opened.

“And every time I went there with my Mum and Dad I used to get a torch that shone three different colours like Jamie and his Magic Torch!”

The huge store, across several floors, was a haven of brightly coloured stacks of Lego, dolls houses, Subbuteo, Meccano, bikes, outfits, Matchbox cars, railway sets, wooden horses and board games.

Staff would be encouraged to play with toys in the store.

The shop was founded on Fargate by Edwin Redgate in 1857, later moving to The Moor.

Sheffield resident Rob Seymour said: “As a boy a group of us would get on a bus at Firth Park, get off at Castle Market and call in Mace’s pet shop.

“Then another bus to The Moor to go round Redgates.

“Once I saw a magician in there doing card tricks.

“When it was raining in the summer holidays we would spend all day on the circular bus (No’2) and see the posh areas of Sheffield. “

Howard Davies added: “This was heaven on earth for every Sheffield Kid.

“The model train the Lego, Action Man the list goes on.”

Wayne Huttley said: Best shop ever, massive selection of Action Man figures.

“My grandad bought me my first skate board from here, great memories.

“It’s a sorry sight now from what it used to be.

With New Retail Quarter coming, will Sheffield one day have a modern equivalent as magical?