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  • In the September issue of Best of British…

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    Best of British is the UK’s premier nostalgia magazine covering every aspect of life from the 1930s to today.

    Each issue encourages you to:

    • Explore readers’ own recollections and memories in our Yesterday Remembered section
    • Discover more about days gone past with stories on everything from vintage transport to great Britons and from Christmas traditions to great days out
    • Enjoy regular reader favourites such as Treasures in the Attic, 1940s Post, Postcard from… and of course our Puzzle Page and Crossword

    We hope you like reading our magazine as much as we love compiling it. In the meantime here is this month’s letter from our Editor, Simon Stabler

    A Rummage Through the Toybox
    I find it difficult to understand why anyone would want to maintain a shop ’til you drop lifestyle, spending money they don’t have on objects that they don’t need. How different to my younger days, when, with birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, I would pester Mum to take me into town; invariably having to scrounge some cash from her to select a toy a little beyond my price range.

    Before the shopping malls and chain stores took hold, we had several independent toy shops round our way. The cycle and electronics department of one of those continued to trade,
    in slimmed-down form, until quite recently. The tweed-wearing owner, with a moustache like his bikes’ handlebars, looked like he belonged to another age but so too was his attitude to customer service. If he didn’t have enough change in the till, he trusted you to “pay me
    tomorrow”. Could you imagine a larger firm going the extra mile like that?

    So as the nights begin to draw in and we dust off the jigsaws and board games, maybe even start work on a model kit (note to self: I will build the kids that model railway I’ve promised them this year), it’s reassuring to see there are still independent toy shops about, where what
    they stock is based on what a customer wants, not what a central buyer thinks they need.

    One is Langleys Toy Shop in Norwich, celebrating its 135th anniversary this year, a milestone marked in this issue’s centre pages. It’s always nice to hear of a small firm beating the bigger boys (or “sheds” as manager Chris Goulding calls them) at their own game. Maybe you have a similar shop near you? If so, don’t keep it to yourself. Write in and let us all know about it.