IT sells a range of bizarre and amusing items ranging from Henry, a talking gnome, to egg laying rubber chickens.

Now expanding gift and toy retailer Hawkin's Bazaar is set to open its first store in Yorkshire - in the heart of York.

A spokesman said the shop will open in High Ousegate at the beginning of September, with posters to go up in the window nearer the time to recruit members of staff.

He said Hawkin's Bazaar offered a unique and extensive range of unusual toys, gifts, gadgets and curiosities.

"We are not just another toy-shop, or indeed just another mail-order company," he said.

"We work hard to source out-of-the-ordinary products and to offer something different, a range of toys and gifts that will appeal to many ages and tastes."

He said the Suffolk-based business started off as a local toy shop at a pub called the Hawk Inn - hence the name Hawkin - and became a niche mail order company in 1973, since when it had expanded and developed into a "well-loved and well-known supplier of things you thought had gone for ever and things you never even knew existed'."

He said the store had many outlets to the south, but was gradually moving north, with York's to be the first outlet to open in Yorkshire.

Items on sale at Hawkins include a "runaway clock" on wheels, for people who can't drag themselves out of bed, loo roll, designed like police crime scene "do not cross" tape and a rubber chicken, which lays a realistic egg, complete with yolk, The range also includes a remote-controlled rat, a "left-handed almost life-size arm to trap in car boots or doors" and "nunzilla," a clockwork nun which "stomps along spitting sparks to show how cross she is".

The Bazaar is just the latest retailer to reveal it is opening in York.

JYSK, seen as Denmark's answer to the furniture giant Ikea, confirmed last month it is opening its first Yorkshire store in York this summer, creating 15 jobs. It said it would open its 1,400sq ft premises in Sterling Road at Clifton Moor.

Earlier this month, an authentic oriental supermarket selling food from the Far East revealed it was set to open in George Hudson Street, creating about eight jobs.