Home > General Discussion > British Toy Companies : Wells Brimtoy (part 1)

British Toy Companies : Wells Brimtoy (part 1)


 The Early Beginnings :

Although not the earliest of the British tinplate toy companies to anyone who collects tinplate models the name of Wells-Brimtoy is synonymous with quality models, well made and nicely lithographed.

However the story of Wells-Brimtoy is not so straight forward and one needs to look into its “family tree” to see how exactly it came about. Wells-Brimtoy was in fact the end result of the amalgamation of two or perhapse that should be three seperate London toy manufacturers – Brimtoy Ltd. (who had their roots firmly established in the earlier British Metal & Toy Manufacturers) and its take over by A.W.J. Wells in 1932.

So in order to look at the formation of Wells-Brimtoy we need to go back to the very beginning and start with the background and history of the British Metal & Toy Manufacturers (abbreviated in future to BMTM)

British Metal & Toy Manufacturers : 1914 – 1921

BMTM was registered in Sept.1914 with a substantial capital at the time of £35,000, making it one of the six largest such firms in Britain. In 1915 its offices were at given at Audrey House, Ely Place, Holburn, London E.C. whilst its works were listed at Clissold Park, Hackney, but in 1919 the company was at 153 Green Lanes, Stoke Newington, N16.

The outbreak of the First World War did much to shape the future of the British toy industry and set the pattern for the rest of the C20th. Anti-German feeling was understandably high following the formal declaration of hostilities and several toy companies at the time urged the general public to buy British toys made by British labour with British materials !

German toy imports, which stood at c£149,000 in 1914 were down to just c£1,000 by 1915 which left a major gap in the British market, a gap which was initially filled by the USA but more significantly by Japan. However both were thwarted by the severe restrictions on toy and game imports imposed in March 1916 by the Board of Trade.

With this legislation in place, together with other incentives and initiatives from the Board of Trade, the way was now clear for British companies to fill this void. One such company was the British Metal & Toy Manufacturers, which incorporated the letters from within its name to form the trademark – ‘BRIMTOY BRAND’, with the words ‘BRITISH MADE’ and a pictoral representation of Nelsons Column all within a roundal. Nothing could be more patriotic in those times !

Even so it was not that straight forward for although it had work for 100 toolmakers due to the higher wages offered in the expanding war industries it could only recruit a mere 12. The prospects of quick profits were not all they seemed and the overall picture was summed up by the BMTM – M.D. Sidney Stowe in 1917 when he commented that his company was having to face up to four major problems. Firstly; a shortage of working capital, caused in part by escalating labour costs. Secondly; a massive rise in the costs of raw materials (when available). Thidly; a serious shortage of skilled workers and finally, a total lack of exports.

These were however difficulties not just faced by BMTM, but by the toy industry as a whole, and unable to overcome several or all of these problems it was no surprise that many of the smaller companies at this time disappeared altogether.

When the guns fell silent in Nov.1918 the economic prospects for the British toy industry appeared relatively good. Within just three weeks of the Armistice ‘The Times’ reported that even shopkeepers were astonished by the amount of money that was changing hands for toys, due in the main to high demand and high raw material costs.

Everyon anticipated a rosy future with the world markets now opening up to British manufacturers, the demand from which would dwarf the home markets which had kept the industry going. The boom which followed was short lived and lasted just two years ! Consumer expenditure rose by 21% between 1918 – 19 and the removal of wartime controls in the spring of 1919 gave it further impetus. But productive capacity could not keep pace with demand and as a result prices rose faster than output, which in turn pushed up wages and thus costs. By the middle of 1921 Britain was in the grip of severe depression with c2,400,000 workers unemployed. This inevitably took its toll on the toy industry with hundreds of companies closing their doors. One such company, despite having a turnover of £75,000 in 1919 and 1920, was the British Metal & Toy Manufacturers which was liquidated in 1921.

Brimtoy Ltd. : 1923 – 1932

With the demise of many toy manufacturers including the BMTM in 1921 there were, it has to be said, many others who opened up to take advantage of the upturn in trade which took place after 1923. One such company which was founded in 1923 was Brimtoy Ltd., who included amongst its directors many from the now defunct BMTM and which continued, as before, in the production of tinplate toys. Their address was given as 133 Highbury Quadrant, Islington, London N5.

Brimtoy was a listed exhibitor (Stand C39) at the British Industries Fair held at the White City, London in 1929 where they were given as : A manufacturer of metal toys both mechanical and non-mechanical, advertising & constructional toys, money boxes and strong toys.

Brimtoy was acquired by A. Wells in 1932, at the time it employed some 300 workers.

A.W.J. Wells : 1919 – 1932

Wells was a metal toy company founded by Alfred Wells, a toolmaker, in 1919 launched with a capital of just £50. Because of his background Wells was able to make his own tooling and initially also did his own selling, so successfull was he that his company was destined to become a major force in the interwar years.

Wells operated from the ‘Progress Works’, 90 Somers Road, Walthamstow, in North London and their well known Wells ‘O’ London trademark first made is appearance in 1924.

Like Brimtoy, Wells also exhibited at the British Industries Fair in 1929 (stand D23), where they were listed as : A manufacturer of mechanical and non-mechanical tinplate toys.

Wells, at this time emloying some 200 workers, went on to acquire Brimtoy Ltd. in 1932 and thus form the new company of Wells-Brimtoy which will be dealt with in ‘Part 2’.

Categories: General Discussion Tags:
  1. Robin
    April 6th, 2010 at 13:52 | #1

    I was most interested to discover your recently launched (I think) website, as I have been trying to research a 4″ long ‘Wells o’ London’ tin clockwork six wheel double decker bus which I found at the back of a cupboard. It is the only example I have come across so far, which has solid rubber tyres mounted on cast metal rims. I was hoping that you might be able to help me date/identify it if I sent some photos. If you are willing/able to help me, could you furnish me with an email address to which the information could be sent. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Rob

  2. dave
    April 6th, 2010 at 19:56 | #2

    Rob, e-mail address duly sent and yes it is a relatively new site, just 3 months old and barely walking ! Looking forward to seeing the item in question but from your description it sounds like an early Wells-Brimtoy ‘Pocketoy’ which were produced at 4″ in length, their other double deckers were 7-8 inches long with either black plastic or tinplate balloon tyres. Wells -Brimtoy ‘Pocketoys’ were launched in 1952 and one such item was a double deck bus, grey ribbed roof, red body with lithographed passengers in the windows. 6-wheels of solid rubber construction with a clockwork drive, may be your bus. By the way Part 2 of the Wells-Brimtoy story will, with a bit of luck and a following wind, appear later this month.
    Cheers for now, David.

  3. Robin
    April 7th, 2010 at 18:36 | #3

    David, Many thanks for the amazingly swift and informative response. You have described my bus to a T, and obviously have an impressive breadth of knowledge about antique toys. I shall send some photos for your perusal/interest. It’s nice to discover that I have found something which may have intrinsic value to toy collectors.
    Thanks and kind regards, Rob.

  4. Jennifer
    October 22nd, 2010 at 12:50 | #4

    Hello – wondered if you can help. I recently bought a boxed (tatty but nice contents) Lewis’s Train Set. The tunnel is Brimtoy – loco is black British Railways, and 2 coaches are red. Bogies are plastic. Not been able to find anything out about it. Wondered when made (c 1950’s I presume as BR) etc.. Thanks

  5. dave
    October 24th, 2010 at 19:07 | #5

    Hi there Jen, not a lot to go on from your description, a few pics would help me alot. Will e-mail you on this point shortly along with a few questions which might narrow it down. You are correct date wise assuming my memory isn’t playing me up British Railways came into being in 1948 and lasted until the mid 60’s when it was re-branded to British Rail. The good old Brimtoy tunnel may be a red herring as these tend to turn up in many a box particularly I find when bought from auction.
    Will e-mail you soon, David.

  6. Chris Eaton
    February 20th, 2011 at 15:17 | #6

    My pal has unearthed from his attic a boxed, (though not pristine box) trainset of Brimtoy make, clockwork variety, which looks to be complete with a couple of coaches, lengths of track etc, and a 4 wheeled loco in black bearing the number 67020, so obviously in the BR era – post 1948 – all in the larger O gauge. Has this any real value, and if so what would be a sensible price ?
    Wondered if you could help please ?
    Many thanks

  7. dave
    February 21st, 2011 at 20:53 | #7

    Hi there Chris – Always a difficult one this, I don’t mind giving you a price but please remember its only my opinion and as I’ve said so many times now 101 things can effect the value. Number 1 is obviously condition both of the item and its box, but it also matters where you would offer it for sale. Expect less at auction, a buyer will have to add on commission etc in deciding how much to bid and as a seller you will have to take off auction charges etc from the hammer price. Its a similar story with online auction sites. Toy / antique fairs are probably the nearest you can get to a retail price situation but thats no good unless you have a table full of items to sell and a pitch isn’t cheap. So bearing in mind I have not seen the set I can suggest a typical auction estimate would be between £20.00 – £40.00 less commission. Your best bet is always to take it to a local auction house that holds toy/train auctions where they will give you a valuation but sorry mate its not going to be life changing ! Thanks for visiting, hope you will keep popping back. – David.

    August 5th, 2011 at 14:40 | #8



  9. carole
    August 24th, 2011 at 21:24 | #9

    Hi have recently found 2 wind up brimtoy buses one is a double decker the other is a double decker trolley bus in red can you tell me anything about them

  10. dave
    August 28th, 2011 at 18:16 | #10

    Hi Ray to be honest the ‘Auto-Gee’ game is one of those Wells items that you don’t see all that often. I think it was a little too complicated for children and is one of those ‘toys’ that I would use on an adults ‘games-nite’ after a few beers ! although no doubt I would loose my shirt as I’m rubbish when it comes to betting on horses !
    For those of you who don’t know the ‘Auto-Gee’ its a little like Escalado in that its betting on which horse will be first past the post and there the similarity ends.
    Made by Wells sometime in the mid to late 1920’s I think. It consists of a wooden base board about 3′-0″ long on which is mounted the straight tinplate ‘track’ complete with ‘jumps’. When a lever is thrown a clockwork driven disc moves the course on which are mounted the different horses – a little like ‘slot-cars’.
    There were 5 horses complete with their jockies in red, blue, white, green and yellow named Red Hunter/Miss Bluitt/White Lady/The Jade & Gold Rush.
    As well as a straight race there was also the ability to handicap each race.
    Hope that is of some use to you, sorry about the delay in responding but we are looking at moving house at some point so busy trying to clear out all my old stuff etc etc. Not 100% sure but may be able to find some instructions for this item if you don’t have any – they won’t be original, but I can always e-mail some.
    Cheers, David.

  11. dave
    August 29th, 2011 at 18:45 | #11

    Phew Carole what a question ! Brimtoy buses is a subject worth a page or two on this site on its own and without any more details I can’t be too specific but for starters I’ll list those that spring to mind. Baring in mind that all the d/deckers are red, based on London Transport vehicles some pics shown on my Brimtoy or Pocketoy sections.
    1 – Pocketoy D/Deck Bus / clockwork / stop-start action / ringing bell / advertising : Wells Brimtoy Distributors / destination : Brimtoy – Pocketoy / 7cm.
    2 – D/Deck Trolleybus with black poles / clockwork / stop start action / ringing bell / advertising : Wells Brimtoy Distributors / destination : 516 Brimtoy Walthamstow / 12cm.
    3 – D/Deck bus / friction drive / advertising : Wells Brimtoy Distributors / 11cm.
    4 – Pocketoy D/Deck bus / grey roof / 6 wheels / clockwork / advertising : Thanks for Buying British / 11cm
    5 – D/Deck bus / clockwork / permanent key / advertising : Regnt Petrol / destination : Stirling Rd. Walthamstow / 17cm.
    6 – Pocketoy D/Deck bus / grey roof / 6 wheels / clockwork / advertising : Brimtoy Pocketoy Series / destination : 10 / 11cm
    7 – D/Deck Trolleybus with red poles / white roof / clockwork / permanent key / advertising : Buy British / destination : 804 / 17cm.
    8 – D/Deck bus / Routemaster RM1 prototype / friction drive / advertising : Esso Petrol / destination : 23 / 16cm.
    9 – D/Deck bus / clockwork / permanent key / advertising : Cinderella Sweeper Sets / destination : Stirling Rd. Walthamstow / 21cm.
    10 – D/Deck Trolleybus with red poles / white roof / clockwork / permanent key / advertising : Buy British / destination : 657 / 21cm.
    Hope that gives you a start Carole and includes your two buses. David.

  12. Roger Charlesworth
    February 12th, 2012 at 19:13 | #12

    Hi. I have a ‘Brimtoy Brand’ O gauge train set. The engine is named ‘King George’ and has the number 8040 on its side; it has four large wheels and a four wheel bogy at the front; it has a four-wheel tender and two Pullman coaches each with two four-wheel bogies. The colour scheme is crean and orange. Can you please give me an idea of the date of manufacture? Any idea of value?


  13. dave
    February 14th, 2012 at 18:45 | #13

    Hi there Roger, thanks for visiting the site and your question re your Brimtoy train set.
    The ‘King George’ streamlined ‘O’ gauge locomotive No.8040 was a clockwork 4-4-0 loco finished in red, orange and cream. The set complete, in original box and in good condition, normally sells at auction for around the £40-£45 mark. Indeed I noticed that one unboxed set recently sold on an internet auction site for £25 ! As for date of manufacture I believe this particular set was marketed around 1938-’40.
    Cheers, David.

  14. Helen
    July 17th, 2012 at 09:29 | #14

    Are you still responding to queries from the blog? I’m in Australia and have a tin train set with tracks. It is a Wells O London. By Permission Walt Disney. MADE IN ENGLAND. Prov. Patent 33964. There is an engine SILVER LINE, a Circus Dining Car and Mickey the Stoker.
    Do you know what age it is, is it common / rare and being well used in a damaged box the value?
    Thank you

  15. dave
    October 25th, 2012 at 18:23 | #15

    Hi Helen, yes still responding better late than never and hopefully will get better now we are settled in our new home. Got to say I’m not 100% on this apart from the fact that it is a very scarce set ! The reason for my hesitance is that I think I am right in saying that both LIONEL in the USA & WELLS in England produced a Mickey Mouse Circus Set. Both of which dated to the 1930’s. Both had a circular big top – the Wells one was tinplate with lithographed disney figures around the outside – I think the Lionel big top was card (but I may be wrong). Now I think both had 3 x tinplate carriages each carriage had 4 wheels – one carriage was a M.M circus carriage, one was a M.M. band carriage all in red and yellow tinprinting. The Wells carriages had a sliding removeable roof. Interestingly from pictures I have seen these carriges were the same from each set so who actually produced them I do not know ! Both engines were of the streamline design – in the case of Lionel both the engine and tender came in a red finish with the tender having the Lionel name in capitol letters to its side. In both cases Mickey the Stoker was animated and as the train moved along Mickey revolved as if stoking the engine. Lionel set was number 1536 don’t believe the Wells set was numbered. As to the engine – you have Siver Line as the name – I certainly know Wells had locos named Silver Link and Silver Streak both had the same running number of 2509 so your engine may well be original to the set but I cannot confirm this for you. Hope this is some help but rest assured you do have an interesting a valuable set. My advice is to take it to a specialist toy auction house ideally one whos sales are on the internet for an evaluation – over here its free of charge and from there you can decide if you want to sell or not.
    Best of luck, David.

  16. Sarah
    March 2nd, 2013 at 16:04 | #16

    I have found a Brimtoy cooking range and would like to know more about it. The tinplate is printed to look like red brick, with 2 embossed metal oven doors, 4 legs, a splash back with shelf at the top and hooks for hanging (utensils?) under the shelf. Measures 61/2″ x 41/2″ and stands 8″ high. There are 2 holes on the hob, to put cooking pans over. Would it originally have had some pans and utensils? Anything you can tell me would be great!

  17. dave
    March 4th, 2013 at 14:22 | #17

    Think I may have to hold my hands up on this one without a pic., can you send me one ?
    I know Brimtoy did the ‘Junior Cooker’, tinplate model in red and white colourway, 4 ring burner, splash back in red/white tile effect with hooks for utensils, two lift-up side worksurfaces with a range of plastic pots/pans. They also doid ‘My Dolly’s Kitchen’ a range of kitchen equipment which included a cooker, white tinplate item with small splashback tinprinted with dials etc., 4 ring burner, two front opening oven doors. Neither of these matches your description especially the mounted on 4 legs bit which is more like the mettoy cookers. Any thoughts from anyone would be appreciated.

  18. Sarah
    March 7th, 2013 at 11:43 | #18

    Thanks for your reply David.
    Looking more closely I see it is Brimtoy Brand and the logo is identical to the one you show, with Nelsons column. Does this date it to pre 1921? The style is definitely like the old cast iron cooking ranges of that period, although the body of it is lithographed brickwork. I’d love to find some pans or utensils to go with it, but wouldn’t know where to start looking. I would send a photo but don’t know how to attach it to this message!

  19. dave
    March 7th, 2013 at 16:04 | #19

    Hi again Sarah,
    Since my last response I did manage to find your stove.

    Although I’m still not familiar with this particular toy I would assume it is similar to others of the period in so much that it would be powered using wick burners (small candles) and have hot plates where the two holes are on the stove top that would actually heat up ! It would also have a full range of aluminium pots and pans to suit. By todays health and safety standards its amazing what was considered ‘toys’ in days gone by ! Sorry I can’t provide any further info at this time but will keep looking .. if anyone else can add anything I’m sure Sarah would appreciate it.

  20. Sarah
    March 7th, 2013 at 16:08 | #20

    Wow – thanks for the info but i don’t think i’ll be trying it out! I will keep looking for pans though.

  21. Gary Rothera
    May 11th, 2013 at 04:01 | #21

    Simple question: what year(s) were the “Happy” and “Dopey” tin wind-up toys manufactured by Wells. I can’t find the dates anywhere. I have Dopey in the original clean box. Thank you, Gary

  22. dave
    May 11th, 2013 at 12:49 | #22

    Hi there Gary, by and large simple questions tend not to have a simple answer and dating items is always a problem. The range of toys marked ‘by permission of Walt Disney Mickey Mouse’ were generally produced in the 1930’s / ’40’s and I believe the two ‘walker’ figures you have Dopey No.6313 / Happy No.6312 were originally produced in 1938. I don’t know if youv’e noticed but Dopey looks something like Wells’ Mr. Porter figure, there again perhapse not !
    Thanks for visiting and your question, David.

  23. Sally Young
    July 30th, 2014 at 00:03 | #23

    My husband was a Jig and Tool draughtsman at Wells. I remember a dancer (in a pink dress) dancing with a ‘prince’ I called him. Unfortunately I don’t have this ‘toy’ but would like to know if there is one I could look at on line. I now live in Australia. Thanks Sally

  24. dave
    August 6th, 2014 at 14:16 | #24

    Hi there Sally and many thanks for messaging from over there in Oz. Your memory is quite correct as the item you are referring to was the Wells/Brimtoy ‘Cinderella and Price Charming’ toy. This was clockwork in operation and when wound up would move the pair forwards whilst rotating as if waltzing together. The toy, plastic in construction, model no. 9/19, came in an illustrated card box and was just one of several such novelty mechanical figures dating from around the early 1950’s which included a ‘Spanish Dancer’, ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ and even a ‘Fairy Godmother’. Both figures can be found in a variety of colourway finishes, the Prince for instance came in a dark blue or light blue uniform, alternatively with a red tunic and mid-blue trousers and yet again in all white uniform to name but four whilst Cinders is often found in an all pale blue ball gown or pale blue gown with a white top or even the all pink gown you remember, sometimes her dresses were also covered with a smattering of silver glitter !

    These Wells toys are relatively commonplace over here both boxed and unboxed so if you cannot readily find them in Oz just message me and I will try to help you out.
    All the best from North Yorkshire, David.
    P.S. The Wells/Brimtoy collectors out there may be interested to note that in the past I have also came across the self same item manufactured in the USA by Irwin and labelled as Walt Disney’s Waltzing Cinderella and Prince. Again it appeared to be a direct replica of the Wells pair, plastic in manufacture and clockwork in operation although the key appeared to be a permanent fixture. Did Irwin acquire any Wells moulds ? Is there any other tie-up between the companies ? as usual more questions than answers !
    All the best from North Yorkshire, David.

  25. Jamie
    September 29th, 2016 at 13:03 | #25

    Hi, wondered if you can help me value a Brimtoy clockwork train set. Contents are bown locomotive with 7000 on the side, 2 carriages and a small coal carriage. number 30 stamped on the very tatty box. Many thanks for any help you can give me, Jamie

  26. dave
    October 6th, 2016 at 20:18 | #26

    Hi Jamie, hope you weren’t hoping to retire on the proceeds but these clockwork train sets never did make a fortune. Sadly you can pick these up nowadays for somewhere between £20 – £30. If the box as you say is in a tatty condition you will probably struggle to achieve that figure.
    Cheers, David.

  27. Martin Cummins
    June 5th, 2017 at 11:57 | #27

    Hello, Dave,

    Perhaps you might be interested in the following. The “Auto-Gee” Horse-racing game was invented in 1927 by Grahame John Elphinstone,(GB311828), a multi-talented and original inventor, whose family seemed to stem from the Scottish aristocracy. Originally the heavy disc was just spun by hand, and I have a sneaking feeling that the “Patent of Addition”-never granted, was just to add a clockwork drive. I often wonder if Wells just sold the item on, perhaps just supplying the motor, as the wooden construction does not fit in with the usual Wells product design. The awkward placing of the keyhole suggests that this was a late modification. If you still have a repro of the instructions I should be very grateful. Should you not be able to access this patent on-line, I can send a copy.
    There are just two Brimtoy patents, the first one, GB233103,granted in 1924, covering the moving figure of a fireman on a loco. The Gerneral Mgr is named as Thomas Henry Brimfield! Could this be a coincidence?
    The CMT Wells Kelo plant in Holyhead was very well equipped (See online pictures of factory), but it made its money on spring anti-vibration mounts for military and other industrial uses, for which it had a good reputation. It even made its own compression springs, which is probably why one of the last toy products was the Kelo Pogo Stick, perhaps using reject springs? There are many patents on these spring A.V mounts, if you are interested.
    A small point-Kelo was founded by Keith Lowe in 1949 in Dudley, and Kemlo in 1946 by Kempster and William Lowe. Were the Lowes related, though Kemlo were located in London?
    Hope this is of interest, but your site is definitely the Vade Mecum for the British Toy trade!
    Many thanks,
    Martin Cummins.

  28. dave
    June 7th, 2017 at 20:07 | #28

    Thanks for the informative read Martin which in parts relates to a query from Ray dating back quite some time ago. Sorry no instructions to hand for the ‘Auto-Gee’ game, sadly I have never thought to make a copy of any I came across, a good tip to do so but a little late in the day for me methinks ! As I’ve said before I began this site for something to do on the dark winter nights, when the wind was howling across the moors and the rain was lashing against the small window pains whilst the shutters creaked on their broken hinges … the idea was simply to pull the information together, mainly on British Toy companies of days gone, and simply intended to give a brief overview rather than a fully detailed history of each. Jim Lindsay, who contributed with some info earlier, was supposedly writing a book about Wells Brimtoy but I have not heard if that has been finished or indeed published. Thanks for your comments Martin, I wish I could devote more time to such a fascinating subject which seems to be becoming more and more popular judging by the numerous requests I receive for info from the site to be used in upcoming publications .. I should have done in in my younger days and compiled my own books .. just think I could be sat on a tropical beach somewhere under a palm tree counting the royalties, there again I would probably be attacked by a swarm of insects and have a coconut drop on my head whilst reading the demands of the inland revenue !
    All the best, and thanks again for the input, David.

  29. July 30th, 2017 at 20:50 | #29

    Can you please tell me when passenger set 354 The Prince 6220 first came on the market. Thanks

  30. dave
    August 2nd, 2017 at 15:18 | #30

    Hi there John, I suppose the straight answer to your question is that I don’t know.
    The Brimtoy passenger train set No.354 which included ‘The Prince’ clockwork locomotive I have seen included in several different Brimtoy boxed sets.
    In each case ‘The Prince’ streamlined 0-4-0 locomotive 6220, in predominantly red colourway finish with yellow stripes, came complete with its tender.
    One box set, coloured paper label to top, featured the Brimtoy name in capital letters. Graphics included 3 locomotives (2 red, 1 blue) with ships in the background. The set included a pullman coach together with a circle of track.
    A second set I have come across, again paper label to box top with Welsotoys diamond motif. Graphics featured a steam loco in black. As well as the loco and tender the set included two passenger coaches in red and cream finish, a tin tunnel together with track.
    I have also seen ‘The Prince’ included in a box set where the graphics were of a green steam loco underneath which was the wording ‘Brimtoy Train Sets’. Under this was a blue streamlined locomotive. The set also included a first class carriage, a tin station together with track.
    That’s all very well I hear you say but no idea of dates from all that ! The only clue I have is that on the sides of the tender which came with ‘The Prince’ was the old British Railways ‘Cycling Lion’ logo. Which, if I am not mistaken, was used between 1948 – 1956. In that case the earliest date that ‘The Prince’ could have appeared would be 1948/49.
    Don’t forget that Brimtoy used the basic format of this streamlined model in other colourways with different names etc.
    For a more definitive answer I am waiting for the publication of Book 3 – Brimtoy Trains – from the series by Michael Foster (see Latest News 2017 in Headings Menu) which should be a must read for all toy collectors.
    Hope that helps for now, David.

  31. Susan
    February 14th, 2018 at 07:37 | #31

    I have a full Wells-Brimtoy tin kitchen furniture set
    Welwash, welcook, welfreeze with the dresser & table, 4 chairs.
    This set is all in one box which seems to fit very well. I have found the same pieces on selling sites but always box in single pieces.

  32. dave
    February 18th, 2018 at 10:06 | #32

    Hi there Susan, I have seen a Wells-Brimtoy kitchen set which came complete in the one box.
    Set was labelled ‘Miniature Kichen’ and comprised : Plastic table with 2 x chairs / Tinplate sink unit / Kitchenette / Stove and a Washing machine. Apart from the table & chairs all the other items were of tinplate construction in red & white printed detail. The box was blue card with lift-off lid, ‘miniature kitchen’ in gold lettering applied to the base board insert of the box.
    And yes you’re right that they produced the ‘Wellfreeze’ refrigerator etc as separate items supplied in a card box.
    Wells also did a later ‘Modern Kitchen for the Modern Miss’ which was plastic in construction with tinplate backing.
    All the best, David

  33. Graham
    April 14th, 2018 at 14:49 | #33

    Great website. I recently aquired a Wells O London The Bob A Bout Shooting Game but can’t seem to find anything about it anywhere. I’m assuming late 20s. but any information would be welcome. It requires the firing of wooden balls from a gun with a strong spring at ping pong ball type targets on springs. I also suspect it was quite efficient at accidently removing the eyes of small children and pets as the ball is launched with some force.


  34. Kev
    April 26th, 2018 at 11:18 | #34

    Hi. I have a Welsotoys – Kelo red and yellow pogo stick and I am trying to find some information on it as I am looking to sell it. Does anyone know any of the history please?

  35. dave
    April 28th, 2018 at 18:22 | #35

    Hi there Graham, sound like you have a similar sense of humour to myself ! I’m afraid you have got me stumped with this game. Cannot find any reference to this shooting game in any of my reference books etc. Unusual in that it fires wooden balls, allbeit small diameter ones I assume, rather than the usual corks which were used in most of the early shooting games – are you sure the wooden balls actually came with the original game ? Sorry I can’t help on this occasion but will keep looking to see if I can come up with something.
    Cheers, David.

  36. dave
    April 28th, 2018 at 20:15 | #36

    Hi Kev, don’t have much info on your item as such, Welsotoys turned out so many toys its almost impossible to keep track of them all. Did however come across an auction lot from back in 2008 which was a job lot of items including a Triang childs scooter (remember them !) along with various annuals and teddies and a Kelo Pogo Stick all of which sold for £30. Doesn’t look like you’ll be making a fortune on this.
    Cheers, David.

  37. Graham Wood
    May 23rd, 2018 at 09:48 | #37

    @dave Hi David. Thanks for your reply. Yes, definitely original wooden balls. You load about 6 into the pistol. The balls come in small boxes described as for Wells repeating pistols. Game has Wells O London trademark on box, a c1920s style picture and British made. Any idea what it may be worth?

    Thanks, Graham

  38. dave
    June 9th, 2018 at 19:44 | #38

    Hi again Graham, well knock me down with a wooden ball ! Still in the dark with your game and with these small missiles ! Still unable to find any info on either at present which also leaves me stumped on the value.
    Sorry about that but will keep trawling to see if anything turns up.
    Cheers, David.

  39. Bill
    July 15th, 2018 at 14:40 | #39

    Hi, I just purchased a British Marx O gauge CV trainset. This set includes a Wells-Brimtoy wayside train station. The station has a fence on which there are two signs, one on ether side of station building. On left it reads “Buyers Are Builders” on the right side it says “Buy British” .
    Does anyone make replacement decals for these signs as mine is quite faded?

  40. dave
    July 16th, 2018 at 19:28 | #40

    Hi there Bill,
    I’ve never come across anyone advertising these sort of replacement decals before, but that is not to say no-one is producing them.

    However, unlike the market for replacement decals for the die-cast market which is quite significant, anyone producing for the tinplate market is never going to make their fortune.
    Why not have a go yourself, it should be quite straightforward if you have a computer and printer. Either print your ‘poster’ onto self adhesive paper or even a photo glossy paper to simulate tinprinting and use either permanent or non-permanent adhesive to apply it to the ‘fencing’. Several manufacturers market this tape, ‘Pritt’ is one I know of, it comes on a roll, tape is about 5mm wide housed in its own applicator. If you are thinking of using replacement decals much more fun to do-it-yourself and rather than trying to match the existing you can make up your own wording. Once you’ve got the hang of it you can customise no end of railway signs to make your layout unique.
    Interested to know how you get on, David.

  41. Bill
    July 25th, 2018 at 19:51 | #41

    Hi David, Thank you for fast response and great suggestions!
    As of now I haven’t had a chance to address this.
    Many household projects afoot at present!
    Will keep posted once I’m able to get caught up around here.

  42. Neil Wigley
    August 19th, 2018 at 08:30 | #42

    Hi David. While clearing out my Partners Mother’s house we came across an old racing toy called the home steeplechase (known in the Family as Red Hunter). It is believed to be about 80 years old and on checking it over it is marked with the Wells o’ London logo. Can you tell me any more about it s I think this might be a rare toy as Wells mainly made tin vehicles.

  43. dave
    August 27th, 2018 at 19:36 | #43

    Hi there Neil, the game you refer to is ‘Auto-Gee’ and if you look through the Comments and my responses to them in my earlier listings within Wells Brimtoy (part 1) you will find an answer to your question.
    Cheers, David.

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