Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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of 133 Highbury Quadrant, London, N5

Became Wells Brimtoy in 1932 - developed from two separate companies.

1914 The first was The British Metal and Toy Manufacturers (BMTM), which produced a number of tin plate toys, including train sets, under the brand name of Brimtoy Brand. The company tended to buy its raw materials at high prices, and so manufactured at a loss. Bankruptcy followed.

1919 The second was A. Wells and Co Ltd, and which mainly operated from Walthamstow in north London. It produced a range of toys, starting with a crane, and was innovative in that all the components for each toy were produced 'in-house' (there was no sub contracting), and production was on a conveyor belt system. Among the items made by Wells was also a bonneted coach, but different and about half the size of the Brimtoy version. Brimtoy manufactured numerous toy cars in collaboration with Bing.

1923 Certain directors of the BMTM started a new company called Brimtoy Ltd, which continued in the production of toys, including a bonneted coach.

1929 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Metal Toys, Mechanical and Non-Mechanical. Advertising and Constructional Toys and Games, Money Boxes and Strong Toys. Embossed Seals. Metal Stampings. Printing on Metal. (Stand No. C.39) [1]

1932 Brimtoy Ltd was taken over by Wells to form Wells Brimtoy.

While tin was the main component, over the years plastic was gradually introduced. As separate companies, their ranges had been fairly wide with railway items, dolls house toys, vans, lorries, cars and buses. The vans appeared as ambulances and Royal Mail vehicles. There was also a fire engine and ice cream seller's tricycle.

The tin plate toys of Wells Brimtoy were extremely popular, but for most model enthusiasts it is the buses, trolleybuses and coaches which have the greatest appeal. One of the buses and the trolleybuses were produced in three sizes, the smallest being known as 'Pocketoys'. These toys came with either friction drive or clockwork mechanism, and there was a stop-and-go device, with a bell giving the necessary stopping and starting instructions.

It also seems that some tooling toys may have been done in India, as examples are known to have been produced in that country.

The factory was moved some time after 1938 to Stirling Road.

1948 Patent - A new or improved toy glider towing unit.

1949 Wells Brimtoy Distributors of Progress Works, Stirling Rd, Walthamstow, supplied Equiflex anti-vibration mountings for radio equipment[2]

1949 Approximately 700 employees.

1965 Production ceased.

See Also

  • [2] Model Collector Magazine
  • [3] Tank Toy

Sources of Information