...and a Partridge bringing toy joy to children at Christmas

Queues outside Partridge's in 1945Queues outside Partridge's in 1945
Queues outside Partridge's in 1945
A new toy store, The Entertainer, has just opened in The Mall Luton, but will it become as popular as Partridge’s in Chapel Street?

For nearly 80 years Christmas was not really Christmas for generations of children without a visit to this toy shop.

Who can remember staring longingly at the Hornby train sets and dolls in the display windows? Or perhaps your parents bought your first bicycle there or you queued in November for the vast array of fireworks on show.

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Santa Claus visited the store every Christmas and a Luton News photographer usually went along to cover the event. The shop, which sold sports equipment, prams and nursery goods as well as games and toys, continued to be a thriving business up to the 1970s, despite competition from the likes of the Co-op and Mothercare.

But when the Bank of Ireland offered to buy the property from owner Mrs Joan Guyver in 1979, it was something she could not refuse.Partridge’s finally closed for business on January 31, 1980.