Business duo step back in time to revamp Victorian toy shop

David Baldwin (left) and Keith Perkins with the shop windows and door they built.
David Baldwin (left) and Keith Perkins with the shop windows and door they built.

A Hartlepool businessman is taking a trip down memory lane – to add some extra polish to a popular culture spot.

David Baldwin, who runs a French polishing and cabinet making firm, alongside business partner Keith Perkins, is giving a new lease of life to a Victorian shop front at Preston Park Museum, in Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees.

The work we do is a bit of a one-off

David Baldwin

The bustling shopping area on the Victorian-era street, that has been carefully created at the visitor attraction, is being handed a revamp to ensure the past is looking its best in the present.

David and Keith, who have operated K Perkins & D Baldwin French Polishers & Cabinet Makers for 27 years, have been called into action to sprinkle some magic on the street’s toy shop.

While the job is far from fun and games – the team have already been hard at work for a month – faded memories are being swiftly freshened up.

Their work is set to be complete in the next fortnight.

Mr Baldwin, from Sandwich Grove, Hartlepool, said: “The old Victorian arcade of shops at the museum are being renewed.

“It was built 15 years ago and is similar to the set-up that you see at Beamish Museum. The wood on the shop had become rotten, it was looking a bit knackered.

“The work we do is a bit of a one-off.

“A Hartlepool firm who won the contract to renew the shops sub-contracted the work on the toy shop to us.

David and Keith have won a strong reputation for their high standards of work. As well as taking on shop refurbishment projects, they carry out building and kitchen work, and bespoke joinery

The business duo scooped a conservation award for their efforts in refurbishing the Keith Walker Optician Boutique in Hartlepool.

Now they are setting their sights on more success, as they add the finishing touches to the toy shop story that is set for a happy ending.