Shock as long-standing Fife toy shop announces closure

Gordon Christie toy shop in St Andrews, South Street, is closing down. (Picture; Peter Adamson)
Gordon Christie toy shop in St Andrews, South Street, is closing down. (Picture; Peter Adamson)

Christmas shoppers in St Andrews have been dealt a blow with the news that longstanding toy shop Gordon Christie is to close.

The store, on South Street, is one of the best-known in St Andrews, having had a presence in the town since the original Market Street shop opened in 1955.

Shoppers were shocked to see notices appear recently on the store front informing them of the closure.

Patrick Marks, secretary of St Andrews Community Council, said: “It’s sad to see any local shop go, so this is a bit of a blow.

“I hope that whatever replaces it offers variety which is what the town needs.

“It’s sad that kids won’t have the chance to go there now and look around as many would have in the past.

“My own kids used to pop in, looking to spend their pocket money.

“The closest place for toys is probably in Dundee now.”

Len Hammond, 74, worked at Gordon Christie for 29 years, later running it until he retired in 2007.

“It’s very sad, but I’m not surprised,” he said.

“People just don’t support small businesses anymore. They’ll say it’s bad that it’s gone but if you don’t support small businesses then it’s no good.

“The shop was known far and wide. We even had kids from Glasgow and down south coming in to spend their pocket money.”

The shop was originally run by Gordon Christie, a local historian, businessman, and community council member.

He left the business when he retired in 1975, and passed away in 2009, aged 94.

“Gordon was pleased that the name of the shop continued after he retired,” added Len. “I got to know him over the years. He was a very nice man.”

Bob Robertson, 79, also worked at the shop from 1980-1988.

He said: “It was a brilliant place to work, with all the bikes and trains.

“We did amazing business in the summer time, it was a real hive of activity.

“I think the downfall was stopping selling model rail and scalextrics. They were always popular.”

St Andrews Councillor Brian Thomson said that he had fond memories of the store.

“It was originally in premises in Market Street. It was certainly one of the best-known shops in town.

“I went in most weekends to spend my pocket money, and to look around.

“There’ll be no opportunity for kids to be able to do that now. It’s sad now it’s closing down.

“I presume it’s just a sign of the times - so many people just go straight online now.”

The current owner of the shop confirmed the closure but declined to comment further.