Busy Bee Toy Shop Co-operative to close

Busy Bee Toy Shop Co-operative

Busy Bee Toy Shop opened nearly 30 years ago, and was run as a small family business until the owners retired in 2009. It was so well loved that the local community invested over £30,000 and set it up as a co-operative. It re-opened in July 2009.

After four years however, the committee has consulted with its 120 members and together we have decided the business is to close. The committee cites two key reasons for the decision:

  • The poor economic conditions in the UK have meant that small independent businesses such as Busy Bee are struggling to survive. Busy Bee has suffered from an on-going drop in footfall with a significant drop since the beginning of 2013.
  • Online shopping for toys has grown exponentially over the last five years, with local independents unable to compete on cost. With competition like Amazon, ebay and large supermarkets, Busy Bee has been unable to offer comparable prices.

It is with great sadness that we will be closing our doors for the last time on Saturday 28th September 2013.

We would like to thank all our loyal customers, old and new for the support you have given us over the past four years.

We will miss Busy Bee Toy Shop Co-operative a great deal.


The Committee


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Happy Birthday to Busy Bee Toyshop Co-operative

Saturday 13th July 2013 we celebrate our 4th birthday. That is truly something to celebrate. Thank you so much to our customers young and old, we couldn’t have done it without you.

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Do you want to be a ‘Friend of Busy Bee Toy Shop Co-operative?’

Do you love Busy Bee Toy shop? Would you like to be our Friend?

As a community co-operative, we are owned by the community for the community. On Wednesday April 17th at 7pm we have the first meeting of our newly formed ‘Friends of Busy Bee Toy shop’. You don’t have to be a member to come to the meeting, just be our friend. (The meeting is to be held above the Co-operative shop on the corner of Hardy Lane and Barlow Moor Road.)

If you have ideas, if you want to be a part of the development of our community co-operative toy shop, if you’d like to volunteer in some way, please come along.  We look forward to seeing you there.

If you’d like more information about it, email us on contact@busybeetoyshop.co.uk


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Proud to call ourselves a Co-operative!

I went to Co-operatives United http://www.manchester2012.coop/ yesterday a week long event which is the World Festival and ‘Global Culmination’ of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.  I walked into Manchester Central (GMEX) and was overwhelmed.

The exhibition had co-operatives from all over the world, some big co-ops and some small.  I really got a sense that for many people in countries such as Uganda, forming a co-operative which then negotiates fair prices on behalf of small farmers is quite literally a matter of life and death.  I’m not exaggerating.

For Busy Bee Toy Shop Co-operative to be part of the global movement of co-operation is humbling.

It is amazing to think there are members of community co-ops just like us, all around the world.

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Temporary Sales Assistant Vacancy

One day per week (flexible) plus possible additional hours

To start immediately

Responsible and reliable person required to work in a Co-operative toy and craft shop

Must be over 16 years, previous experience preferred.

Duties include -

  • Customer service and sales
  • Stock replenishment
  • Processing deliveries
  • Maintaining a clean and tidy shop
  • Other duties as required
  • Pay rate £6.25/hr

To apply – Please submit a CV and cover letter to Busy Bee Toy Shop, 517 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0UF by Monday 8th October 2012.

Please note we will only be able to contact successful applicants.

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Creative Writing Competition Winners

To celebrate the 3rd birthday of Busy Bee Toy Shop, and International Year of the Co-operative, in July we launched a creative writing competition, open to local children.

The task was to write a poem or story less than 500 words on the topic of  ‘What co-operation means to me’. Many thanks to all the children who entered the competition, the winning entries are detailed below.

A Riddle by Elijah Nixey-Paton age 7

  1. They give me support when I need it and I help them as well.
  2. We play together in harmony (most of the time)
  3. We help each other when we need it.
  4. We go to places together and we have fun.
  5. We have arms, legs and kind hearts.
  6. We try to co-operative with each other.


What are we? ………………………

Me and my friends!

Co-operation in an Orchestra by Ella Kaut-Howson age 10 and a half

Bonkers sound of instrument tuning,

Beautiful sound when everyone plays.

The crazy clapping of joyful hands,

The glorious shouting of meaningful praise.

As the conductor leads you in,

And waves his baton in the air,

And as everybody starts to play,

The sound becomes indeed very rare!

What Co-operation means to me by Faizah Aziz age 12

When I think about it co-operation means a lot to me. It means a lot because (to be honest) the world would be a difficult place to live in. And not just for me but for everyone.

It would be a world where people would be constantly arguing, as they couldn’t co-operate and get along with one another. The world would seem grey, slowly crumbling, metamorphising into a parallel world from itself. Slowly deteriorating, worse and worse. Thick cloudy skies would hound over every city, of every country, taking over the world. It may not be literal but it would be how it felt inside me.

It would be a world where people scream and shout when they cannot co-operate. The shouts bellowing through the echoing streets. A world where nobody would be friends simply because they couldn’t get along with each other.

A world where it wouldn’t be safe to lay your trust in anyone because they could turn on you at any minute, lie and cheat.

It would be impossible to live safely and happily. Shop keepers wouldn’t be truthful to their customers, they would sell fake goods or come up with ways to cheat their customers. Footballers couldn’t get along with the rest of the team, making it impossible to play a game of football or any other team sport.

Competitions would be impossible, every contestant would be plotting against the other. Cooking competitions would evolve into a competition of sabotage and cheats. The chances of a fair competition would be futile, fair competition left far behind.

Families simply wouldn’t co-operate. If there wasn’t any co-operation they would fight and argue and lie to one another. To me that is a horrible thought in itself.

But that is one of the main reasons why co-operation means so much to me, because without it you wouldn’t have a kind loving family. And if you couldn’t co-operate with family you wouldn’t stand much chance with anyone else. Simple decisions would turn into pointless arguments, which is scary, really scary.

All these thoughts came to me when I thought about what co-operation means to me. And it turned out that it means an awful lot as a world without it seems terrible. Think about it wouldn’t life be a constant headache of arguments and most of all having no friends or family?

It’s pretty clear that co-operation means a lot to me! As I dread the world without it.


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Part Time Saturday Sales Assistant Vacancy

Part Time Saturday Sales Assistant required to work 5 hours per week
To start in September
Responsible and reliable person required to assist customers on Saturdays. Must be over 16yrs, previous customer service experience would be useful.
Duties to include –

  •  Customer service and sales
  • Stock replenishment
  •  Helping to process stock deliveries
  •  Maintaining a clean and tidy shop
  •  Other duties as required
  • Pay rate £6.25/hr

To apply -
Please send a CV and a cover letter to the Store Manager

Closing date for applications: Saturday 15th September 2012.
Please note due to the high volume of applications we will only be able to contact successful applicants

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Barnabee Club Summer Activities this week

Come along to Busy Bee Toy Shop this summer for free fun activities to keep kids busy over the holidays.

This week:

Tuesday 7th August 2012 11am – 2pm – Make a Monster Competition

Come along to make a plasticine monster and enter our competition to win a Busy Bee goodie bag! All materials are provided, just bring along your ideas.

Plasticine Monsters


Friday 10th August 2012 11am – 1pm – All Hands Together Craft

Join local artist Lisa Watson this Friday for a free community craft workshop.

All hands together to celebrate 500 years of St Clements Church, Chorlton. We aim to collect at least 500 textile handprints from the Chorlton community to include in a celebratory wall hanging. Come along to create your handprint and be part of something special.

Find out more about Lisa and the All Hands Together project.

All Hands Together

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Barnabee Club Swap Event

Saturday 4th August 11am – 2pm

Bring along your duplicate collectables to Busy Bee Toy Shop to swap with other collectors!

You could swap:

  • Moshi Monsters
  • Lego Minifigures
  • Match Attax
  • Gogo Crazybones
  • Playmobil Figures
  • Bumpeez

Plus there will be fun competitions and games, join us for a great day!


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Summer Holiday Activities for kids

Come along to Busy Bee Toy Shop this summer for fun activities to keep kids busy over the holidays.

This week:

Tuesday 24th July 11am – 2pm – Orchard Toys games

Try out some of our favourite Orchard Toys games, well loved at Busy Bee, Orchard Toys are made in the UK  and encourage children to learn through play.


Friday 27th July 11am – 2pm – Make a medal craft

Join us to celebrate the start of the games by making your very own Olympic medal! All material provided, suitable for age 4+



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