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Independent Norfolk toy retailer scoops national award

PUBLISHED: 18:00 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:49 21 November 2018

Jonathan Starling, managing director of Starlings Toymaster, at their Dereham store.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jonathan Starling, managing director of Starlings Toymaster, at their Dereham store. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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An independent toy retailer has won an award for being one of the best of its kind in the country.

Starlings Toymaster at Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStarlings Toymaster at Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Starlings Toymaster, of Dereham, scooped up the accolade for Best Independent Toy Retailer at the Progressive Preschool Awards 2018 (PPS awards).

Now in its sixth year, the PPS awards recognise and reward excellence in product, retailing and marketing across the preschool sector.

The trade award culminated in an event at the Dorchester Hotel in London earlier this month, and was attended by more than 400 retailers, licensors, licensees and industry executives from across the preschool sector.

Starlings went up against some tough competition in an awards ceremony which boasted representatives from companies such as Tesco, The Entertainer, and Sainbury’s Argos.

Managing director Jonathan Starling attended the awards. He said: “We’ve been nominated for awards before and often we seem to be the ones clapping for the others who win. It was a nice surprise to be the winners for once.

“It’s a nice reward for the staff at Dereham as well, for all the hard work they’ve done over the years.

“It’s also good to support your independent shops at a time when the high street is finding it tough.”

The event was hosted by award-winning comedian Tania Edwards.

Speaking after, was publishing director Rob Willis. He said: “We are thrilled that once again the PPS awards were a fantastic annual celebration of everything that is great in the preschool sector – and there was a lot of greatness this year.

“In a time where new connections and new product are vital, we are honoured to once again host an event that makes all of that possible and our thanks go out to every entrant, sponsor and guest for making this year’s event particularly special.”

Starlings Toymaster, which has shops in Sheringham, Holt, Dereham and Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, has been trading for more than 105 years. It first opened shop on Sheringham High Street, set up by Walter Starling as W Starling Bazaar, selling newspapers, hardware, tobacco, stationary and some toys.

A full list of the winners can be found here .

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