Was this the best Sunderland toy shop ever?

Josephs toy store
Josephs toy store

Snorkels, steam engines, mini trains and troll dolls. You could get the lot at this Sunderland store.

Josephs was an absolute treasure trove. Just look at some of the amazing toys and gifts you could get there.

Gary 'Nev' Mackinnon bought a Mamod steam engine for £8 40 years ago and remembered that he had saved for ages to get it.

George Pallas recalled how customers had to go upstairs for train sets and downstairs for all the latest Subbuteo sets.

And Deb Brown recalled buying her daughter’s Sylvanian family and Little Bears toys.

How do we know? Because more than 27,000 people followed the Sunderland Echo story on social media and hundreds reacted to it.

Josephs was no ordinary shop. It was ‘an Aladdin’s cave’ said Echo follower Chris Fairley. “Got many a pair of footie boots from the sports shop back in the day.”

When we asked for your memories of it, around 100 people shared their thoughts.

Railton Howes remembered the ‘model aircraft flying days. We used to fly our planes on the site of what now is where Nissan is , the old Sunderland aerodrome, happy days’.

But Josephs wasn’t just a shop where you bought toys. You could watch model trains travel merrily round a track.

Shaun Carroll said he ‘used to put a penny in the slot to watch the model trains go round! When times were so simple.But that was well before the 1980s’.

Andy Reay agreed and said: “Loved watching the train set go round and round.”

But if you were there to spend your hard-earned pocket money, you were spoiled for choice.

Just look at this list of items you remembered buying at Josephs – and this is at a store which shut more than 20 years ago.

There was;

We would love more of your memories of a great store and we’re wondering – was it really the best ever toy shop in Sunderland’s past?

And there are the toys not mentioned by our social media followers. What was that toy or game you remember most fondly from your childhood?

Whatever your view, tell us more by emailing chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk