THE CO-OWNER of one of the best toy shops on the south coast has passed away, aged 91.
Hasle Mary Baldwin used to run Martlet Toys, in North Street, Chichester, with her husband George.
The shop was open in the 1970s and 1980s and people used to come from far and wide to see the treasure trove of wonders.
“It was a long, narrow shop, and was a bit of an Aladdin’s cave,” said her son Clive this week.
He said: “I think what was attractive about the shop to children and their parents was that as well as selling the same standard lines as Woolworths, they used to go to the trouble of finding unusual toys, importing French dolls, for example. This was one reason why they received awards for being the best toy shop on the south coast.”
Prior to opening the shop, Mrs Baldwin ran a branch of Hawkins Clinics – a slimming clinic – based in Crane Street.
“She ran that for several years. Then my parents decided that what Chichester needed was a new toy shop,” remembered Clive.
Mrs Baldwin’s husband had been a captain in the Royal Navy and a CBE. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in the second world war. He passed away in 2005, aged 84.
The couple married in 1947 in West Chiltington and lived in various places in Sussex over the years, including Amberley and Eastergate, where they lived at the time of running the shop. After retirement, they moved to Lodsworth.
Mrs Baldwin is survived by her three sons, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
At the time of her passing, Mrs Baldwin lived in Milton Keynes, in a residential home close to her family.
Her funeral will be at St Peter’s Church, in Lodsworth, on May 12 at 10.30am.