Demolition crews get to work on former Sheffield toy shop

Crews on the site on Friday night. Picture: Richard Eyre.
Crews on the site on Friday night. Picture: Richard Eyre.
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Demolition workers have begun knocking down one of Sheffield's most-loved toy shops - but a family member of the former owners hopes that thousands of memories won't be consigned to rubble.

Crews moved onto the site of the former Redgates store, on Fitzwilliam Gate, last month and on Friday night began demolishing the building to make way for a huge H&M store as part of the ongoing redevelopment of The Moor and the city centre.

But Maggie Nunn, who worked at the store with her former husband John, called for the building to known as the Redgate to ensure that the memories of former workers and thousands of Sheffielders live on.

She said: "There is so much love and affection for Redgates in Sheffield that it would be great for the new building to be known as The Redgate Building.

"It would mean an awful lot to the family. There were 52 members of the family involved as shareholders and there were about ten of them who actually worked there so it would be great for them.

"But it would also mean a lot to the people of Sheffield because everyone of a certain age has memories of the shop."

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.

And staff would be encouraged to play with toys in the store - especially in the run-up to Christmas each year when it would come into its own.

The shop was founded on Fargate by Edwin Redgate in 1857, later moving to The Moor and then Fitzwilliam Gate

But the building is being demolished to make way for a new unit for fashion retailer H&M as part of the third phase of the development of The Moor and ongoing development of the city centre.