Rugger buggers indie

Whitton toy shop to close down after rugby traffic kills trade.
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Robert Charrington's Papillon Toys is set to close after 25 years in business due to a combination of the recession and the impact of rugby games at nearby Twickenham Stadium.

Charrington, who is also stepping down after three years as chairman of Whitton Business Association, said footfall in the shop was almost non-existent after 11.30 on match days, due to traffic in surrounding roads.

The shop owner also criticised the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for scheduling matches on five consecutive Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas. He accused the organisation of turning a deaf ear to traders' pleas for later kick-offs, which he believes would lessen the impact.

Charrington commented: "From 11.30am on match days there are only rugby people in the town centre, which makes the rest of the day a write-off for most retailers.

"We've asked the RFU to consider 5.30pm kick-offs, so we can trade unaffected until about 3pm, but they don't seem to be interested."

Charrington will continue to run his online store www.onlytoys.co.uk, where, among other items, he sells his own range of collectable die-cast vehicles.

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