The Peckham Toymaker is a piece of local folklore. Legend has it that he lived in a house beside the old Surrey Canal and ran a toy shop on Rye Lane. The shop was so famous and its toys so exquisite that people came from across South London and even over the river. No one saw the toymaker or his estranged wife after the war when their house was damaged during a bombing raid. The building fell into disrepair and the local children, against their parents’ wishes, played in it on rainy days.
One day, during a game of marbles strange red ones started appearing from a fireplace. Upon hearing this the parents petitioned the authorities to board up the house and shortly afterwards it was demolished. However, a grisly discovery was made in an upstairs chimney - the body of a tiny child with marbles in the throat. The dead child appeared to be trying to join in the game with the other children by spitting out the marbles.
A new building, classic council maisonette, replaced the house in the early 1960s. This was in turn demolished to make way for modern expensive apartments. Over the decades residents report finding marbles on the premises that seem to have appeared from nowhere.
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