Many children in a Suffolk town are set to receive an Christmas present thanks to the work of the Salvation Army and a soon-to-close toy shop.

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Throughout December people have been donating toys and gifts for children thanks to the appeal by Stowmarket’s Salvation Army.

The owner of the town’s Simpsons Toy Shop, which is due to close before Christmas, have been helping to gather up the gifts by acting as a collection point.

Major Beverley Robilliard, from Stowmarket’s Salvation’s Army, said: “Millions of children and young people have benefited from the gifts donated to The Salvation Army over many years. By giving a gift to our Christmas Present Appeal you can make a real difference in someone’s life at Christmas.”

The toys collected will suit a range of children – up to the age of 16.

The gifts will be distributed to referred children and families in the area through The Salvation Army’s own networks, groups and social services.

Simpsons’ owner Ernest Baker announced in November the shop, which has been trading for more than 100 years, would close on Christmas Eve.

But Mr Baker’s son Phil said the shop was now likely to open in the new year for a couple of weeks in an attempt to sell the remaining toys.

The traditional store in Bury Street was put up for sale as the family had found trading difficult in the preceding months.

The business’s first location was near the current Royal Mail office in Ipswich Street, when it was called W Simpson & Sons.

Following a period of trading there, the shop moved closer to the town centre, near the Market Place, in 1892. It relocated to its home in Bury Street in the 1930s.

Famous sporting faces such as Ipswich Town hero Mick Mills and former boxing champion Frank Bruno paid special visits to the store over the years.

To find out more about the Salvation Army’s Toy Appeal call 01449 614 133.

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