A prime example of small independent businesses helping each other out when trouble strikes is taking place in Devizes next month.

The Toy Tree, which specialises in handmade wooden toys, is closing at Old Swan Yard today after a combination of family commitments and competition from the internet compelled owner Caroline Rudler to shut up shop.

She said: “It is a great shame. There has been a toy shop in these premises since the Old Swan Yard started up in the early 1990s. But I have three young children and just cannot spare the time to push the business.”

But the reaction from her customers took her by surprise. She said: “People told me I couldn’t close so I looked around for other options.”

Jo Batchelor, owner of Devizes Books in Sidmouth Street, came to her rescue.

Mrs Rudler said: “She said it would be wonderful to have toys in her shop, especially as so much of her business is in children’s books.”

Ms Batchelor said she was delighted to be able to host The Toy Tree, which Mrs Rudler will still run. She said: “I think this is a good example of small businesses supporting each other.”