Terri delighted with toy shop treat

IT is every child's dream - free reign of the UK's biggest toy store and a blank cheque to buy whatever you like.

IT is every child's dream - free reign of the UK's biggest toy store and a blank cheque to buy whatever you like.

For brave Ipswich youngster Terri Calvesbert that dream became a reality after TV bosses organised the treat for her.

Accompanied by a helper dressed as a pirate, she dashed around the aisles of London's Hamleys filling trolley after trolley with toys, games and sweets.

Her dad Paul said: “She absolutely loved it. She was allowed to just pick what she wanted off the shelves and she must have come away with about five trolleys full of stuff.

“I don't know where we are going to put it all!”

For the duration of her visit Terri was treated as the guest of honour, and the store even made an announcement over the tannoy to welcome her to the shop.

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She spent hours browsing the store's seven floors before the family were treated to lunch in the shop's café.

Terri, nine, said: “I've got loads of stuff. It was brilliant. I just went straight in and started choosing things.

“I got three or four Barbies, a cuddly dog, a football, a bag of sweets, and loads of other things that I can't remember.

“It was really fun. I loved it.”

The treat was arranged by ITV as a thank you to the family for appearing on the This Morning show with Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton on Tuesday.

Paul and Terri appeared along with Paul's new partner Nicky Lowry, to talk about the fact that Terri has a 'mum' in her life for the first time she can remember.

Paul, 35, has being seeing insurance worker Nicky, 38, for about 18 months after meeting her on the internet.

He said: “The interview went really well. We were all nervous beforehand but Phil and Fern were lovely and really put us at ease.”

After the trip to Hamleys the family took what they could carry back on the train with them but there were so many toys that the remaining ones had to be parcelled up and sent to them.

Terri Calvesbert was asleep in her home in Ipswich in November 1998, when a fire swept through her bedroom.

Then a baby, she was rescued by firefighters but suffered burns to 85 per cent of her body.

It was touch and go whether she would live but she fought for her life and won.

Doctors at Broomfield Hospital's specialist burns unit in Chelmsford have performed a host of skin grafts and other operations on her over the years since.

The Evening Star has followed Terri's progress since the fire, and ran a fund which has raised more than £250,000 for her future needs. Terri's plight continues to touch hearts, and donations have been sent from all over the world.

Donations can be sent to The Terri Calvesbert Appeal, Jane Berry, Editor's Secretary, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

William Hamley, a Cornishman from Bodmin, opened his first toy shop in London in 1760.

He filled the small Holborn shop with every toy he could find - rag dolls and tin soldiers, hoops and wooden horses - because he wanted the finest toy shop in the world.

By 1881 the store was a huge success and William Hamley's grandsons opened a new branch in Regent Street.

By the end of Queen Victoria's reign, croquet sets, cricket bats and footballs jostled with marionettes, magic lanterns and model sailing boats on the shop's packed shelves.

In 1921 Hamleys reopened on six floors but in 1931 the economic depression across Europe forced the shop into liquidation.

Hamleys was saved by a man who had ridden on the delivery vans as a boy - Walter Lines, chairman of the Tri-Ang company, who bought it and rebuilt its reputation.

As toys changed, so did Hamleys - in 1981 it moved to its current location at 188 -196 Regent Street.

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