01223 264674INFO@ROCKINGHORSETOYSHOP.COM

HOMEGIFT VOUCHERSOUR BLOGABOUT THE SHOPFIND USCONTACT

Sue Radford has been running her toy shop, in Barton, for over 25 years. Housed in a former hay barn on the farm where Sue, her husband and their family live, that one shop blossomed in to what is now Burwash Manor - a much loved countryside shopping retreat.

Rocking Horse Toyshop is a source of great joy and excitement for young visitors to Burwash Manor! Filled to the rafters with a wonderful collection of toys, it's a "must visit" shop for birthday presents, Christening gifts, holiday pastimes, school accessories, hobbies, party ware, meal time items and presents for all of the seasonal occasions - a one off shop that is sure to captivate youngsters and raise a smile in grown ups.

Situated in one of two farm retail courtyards, there is plenty of free parking, and the adjoining open green meadows are perfect for children to run around in. There is a play area for them to try out our outdoor TP play equipment. Along with 14 other unique shops to visit, including a food hall and tearooms, a visit to the toy shop can be combined with a very enjoyable outing for the whole family.

Here's what some of our customers have said...

Traditional, charming, timeless, unusual - a real gem!

You're sure to find something unique at Rocking Horse.

A real treasure trove.

How it all started...

When I was young, my Christmas treat was to visit Hamleys' and Harrod's toy departments. I was allowed to choose one small toy. One of my favourites was a small, yellow furred teddy bear which went on to become very worn and much loved. My memories of that - of how magical those trips were - definitely contributed to the idea of opening a toyshop.

It all started in 1986. I was a farmer's wife with two small boys. I had trained as an Occupational Therapist, but I wanted to be able to be at home raising my children - and still contribute to the family income.

My parents opened an antiques business on our return home to England from South Africa. They used to take me along to auctions and this soon got into my blood: I've loved old things - pieces with history and character - ever since.

So, when the boys were little, I got together a collection of lovely old toys for them. I found them pieces of furniture - chairs, desks, even beds - which I restored and painted and stencilled. I thought it would be a good idea to start a business recycling vintage and nearly new items for children.

I would buy in nearly new toys and nursery equipment and sell them on, and I would scour the countryside for lovely old vintage and antique pieces such as rocking horses, highchairs and small chairs.

Rocking Horse has come a long way since its humble beginnings in an unused farm barn in the village.

We lived in a cottage in the village at the time. It had a farmyard behind it with a barn. We applied for "change of use" - and the Rocking Horse Toyshop was born - open 3 mornings a week.

In September 1986, my father-in-law handed the family farm over to us, so we swapped homes and moved into the farm house at Burwash Manor. In 1987 I was able to move the toyshop down to the farm. I applied for a £500 grant to help convert and refurbish the Dovecote, one of the most attractive farm buildings, into a shop.

In the early nineties, my husband converted a whole row of hay barns into retail units. I was able to take the business into a larger space.

At this point, I ventured into the world of brand new toys. I still look for beautifully made, well designed, quality, unusual, characterful, delightful, quirky items.

Two daughters came along sometime later and they greatly contributed to all product choosing and testing - and they often help out with the running of the shop!

If I can find, or am offered, old and unusual toys, I will still add them in - as long as they are safe and useable. They have a special luggage label tag - "Rocking Horse Nearly New" - and they bring a lot of extra character and interest to the shop.

We now employ some of our first young customers!

Hayley, my manageress, has worked with me for over 20 years. She's definitely going for her gold watch! We both still get very excited when a new order arrives and we have to unpack all the boxes.

Susie has worked part time for me since she was 14 years old. She now has two little ones of her own and is a great source of information and research on what's popular and the new "must have" toys! Susie covers all of our social media and advertising.

Bess, the black lab farm dog, likes to come along and sit right in the middle of the entrance and get lots of pats and tummy tickles!

And the future...

I've become a grandmother for the first time, so the cycle of keeping up with all the latest fun new lines will begin again.

We hope you've enjoyed viewing our website, and we look forward to welcoming you in our shop soon.

Best Wishes,

BABY & TODDLER
ART & CRAFT
MEALTIMES
OUTDOOR & FURNITURE
LEARNING
VEHICLES & CONSTRUCTION
DRESSING UP & PRETEND PLAY
ANIMALS
GAMES & MUSIC
DOLLS & SOFT TOYS
BATH TIME
GIFT VOUCHERS
OUR BLOG
ABOUT THE SHOP
FIND US
CONTACT
REWARD CARD T&C
 

© Rocking Horse Toy Shop, Burwash Manor, New Road, Barton, Cambridge CB23 7EY

website by www.mackandme.com