Youings Toymaster celebrates 60th anniversary

Published on: 4th December 2018

The Barnstaple toy shop is marking an impressive six decades of trading on the high street.

Manager and toy buyer Nicky Tossell; owner Mary Youings; and model shop manager Graham Bice at Youings Toymaster and Model Shop in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah Howells for the North Devon Gazette.

As reported by the North Devon Gazette, Youings Toymaster and model shop is celebrating its 60th birthday from its shop on the corner of High Street and Boutport Street.

Mary Youings, owner of Youings Toy Master, said the shop opened its doors in 1958, opposite where the family first started trading as a tobacconist in 1884 in Boutport Street.

She said: “The family owned all of this property around here, and the model shop was the first thing to open. What is now the toy shop was at the time a restaurant, and when it became vacant I asked the in-laws if we could rent it from them and start to sell toys. I’d never been in retail before, but it was just one of those things. One of those things turned into this and, well, here we are 60 years down the line.”

When Mary’s son Peter finished school he joined the business, and he now runs the wholesale side while Mary continues to be involved in the toy shop.

The toy shop is managed by Nicky Tossell, who has been there 12 years, and the model shop by Graham Bice, who has worked for the business for 26 years. Nicky said the shop has a loyal customer base, with generations of the same family returning time and time again.

Mary commented: “We have a lovely customer base and I think being a small, family-run business helps. We’re very grateful we’re still here.”

Staff went out for a meal to celebrate the shop’s 60th birthday.


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