Mr Remus toys and a dolls hospital - more of your Joseph’s toy store memories

Toys and games galore as the store is pictured in the run-up to Christmas 1992.
Toys and games galore as the store is pictured in the run-up to Christmas 1992.

We thought we had covered it all when we looked back on the great days of the Joseph toy store.

It had Airfix models and a fabulous Subbuteo section we reported on in great detail last week.

The train track in the toy shop in 1980.

The train track in the toy shop in 1980.

But we can always count on our readers to remember even more than we do and they certainly did of the Joseph’s offering.

You gave us a wealth of extra information on the hidden treasures in the former Holmeside shop. Who else remembers these fantastic offers at the store?

l Heather Fagan said: “I seem to remember that they had a ‘dolls hospital’ where you could take dolls in to get fixed.”

Sounds like a great idea and who else remembers that? Get in touch if you do.

The model railway set on the 1st floor.... hours... well minutes before you got dragged away by Mam to carry on shopping

Peter Francis

l Thanks also to Fiona Newton who said: “got my ice skates, Mr Remus kits, Sindy clothes and most of our board games. Fab shop.”

l  Susan Palmer reminded us: “And dolls in national costume!!!” She said she had “quite a collection.”

l Lesley Burt said: “Still got my dragon puppet that I got from there.”

l Peter Francis remembered the “model railway set on the 1st floor ... hours ... well minutes before you got dragged away by Mam to carry on shopping.”

Joseph's store.

Joseph's store.

l David Alfie Leithes recalled: “This place had EVERY Star Wars figure you could possibly want and if it didn’t, it was ordered for you.”

l Jonathan Clint said: “Scalextric and Hornby and Britain’s toys, every visit was like Xmas.”

l Hilary Stephens said her first Saturday job was “selling Matchbox toys in Joseph’s in 1965.”

l Keith Walton told us: “They used to run a Christmas savings club and every month, my mother used to take me and my brother there to pay into it and have a look around.”

l  Shaun Keelan “used to buy all my Aladdin figures here when I was little.”

l Harry Trenholm commented: “Buying Scalextric cars/track/accessories from the upstairs department.. Most of the time just to look and watch the scalextric layout whizzing round or the model train layout behind the glass partition.”

l And Paul Strong bought model Mini Coopers at Joseph’s.

l We loved the comments from Jane Tennant who said: “Spent my pocket money on Paul Daniels magic tricks on a Saturday morning and then spent the rest of the weekend mastering them...such unsung talents.”

In the eyes of some Echo readers, this place will never be bettered including Marie Gowland who said: “Best ever toy shop” and Leslie Yeo who said it would “Never be beaten.”

PatnBrian Brewis and Karen Beck both commented: “Loved this shop” while Alan Vierow called it a “Magical store.”

Gary Edmundson said: “I loved that shop!”

Mark Newton told us: “Spent my childhood in there. Great times and memories” and Trish Robson commented: “My sister Trina Walker worked here.”

Stewart Hardy, who now lives in Essex, said: “The shop I do remember, apart from Joseph’s, which I seem to remember for sports kit as well as toys, was Maxwells in Vine Place.

“That was the shop for buying flying model aircraft we built using balsa wood and tissue paper.”

Our thanks also go to George Wilkinson who remembered the whole of his childhood itinerary on weekends.

“Great days,” he said. “Used to go to the pictures, ABC or Odeon Saturday. When pictures closed, head to Josephs then cut through Woolies.

“Then borrow a few pick and mix, then off to Joplings down the stairs to the toy department or, if you were brave use the lift where the old man used to work, the lift for you. Not me, stairs for me.”

PJ Bald said: “I still have a toy car with the Josphs sticker still on it!”

And Terry Smith recalled: “Spent some time in there browsing after Saturday morning Rink. It was like Christmas.”

And Tony Robson remembered walking to Sunderland to go to Joseph’s – adding: “Uphill both ways.”

We’ve loved your memories and we are wondering which other shops in Sunderland – or County Durham – bring back memories.

Which was your favourite and why? Which shop would you have back in the city in an instant?

You can get in touch by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk

Let’s share those wonderful memories of times gone by.