Memories of Sheffield toy store Redgates could live on as redevelopment work on The Moor continues

The developers of The Moor have vowed to ensure the memories of Sheffield’s Redgates will live on following a campaign by former workers at the site.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 2:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 2:43 pm
Redgates, model railway.
Redgates, model railway.

Aberdeen Standard Investments is continuing work on the Fitzwilliam Gate site, which will be a H&M clothes store, after it closed its doors as a toy shop 30 years ago.

Maggie Nunn, who worked at the store with her former husband John, wrote to the developers calling for its past to be recognised.

Redgates, model railway.

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And now the developer has confirmed it has offered to install a plaque on the site, once building work is complete.

A spokeswoman for Aberdeen Standard Investments said: “We have been in contact with Ms Nunn and we  can confirm that we have offered to put some sort of plaque on the building.

“We don’t know where it will be yet as we are still in the process of building this phase of the development.”

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Children's TV star Leslie Crowther draws a crowd to Redgates in November 1975

Dubbed as the finest toy shop outside London, Redgates closed its doors for the final time 30 years ago and the building was demolished last year.

Work is continuing to build a H&M clothes store and Lane7 bowling alley on the site and Ms Nunn called for the developers to help keep the memories of the store alive.

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 Centre.

Crews demolish the former Redgates 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.

Redgates Toy Shop, Sheffield - 1986

Ms Nunn added: "Kids could go in and touch and play with toys without the need to buy them. I am doing this for my former husband but also for the people of Sheffield.

“I just think that if we had lots of people behind it then we have more of a chance and I think the timing is right as it looks like they’re just about to start building the store.”

The shop was founded on Fargate by Edwin Redgate in 1857, later moving to The Moor and then Fitzwilliam Gate. Redgates Toy Shop, Sheffield - 1986.

Redgates Toy Shop, Sheffield.