Category:North London metal-casting companies

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  North London metal toy companies – Zoomable map

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KEY: Britains    Lesney    Other companies    secondary/later factories

Before and after World War Two, North London was (and probably still is) littered with small engineering fabrication companies that could produce metal toys in lead (predominantly pre-war), or, post-war, using the new diecasting alloys and hardware.

The Britains Limited legacy

For reasons that are not wholly clear (but might be due to the existence of Britains Ltd. in North London since the Nineteenth Century, and the large number of experienced employees and ex-employees that the company created), North London developed an extensive ecosystem of heavily-networked small producers, all vying for sales that the largest producers missed.

While the major brands (other than Britains) were in other parts of the country – Meccano Ltd were in Liverpool, Corgi Toys had a new grant-assisted factory in Wales, and Spot-On were produced in a new factory in Northern Ireland – almost all of Britain's other metal cast toys came from the North London area, to the extent that it's easier to name the small companies that weren't in the area (Horton were initially in North-West London, and then Yorkshire) than those that were.

The ecosystem

Many of these small producers had some or all of their toy output aggregated by separate distributors (like Morestone) who would deal with branding and distribution, often assembling a branded product line from the anonymous output of a large number of separate local producers, to the extent that with many of the small diecast toys from minor brands, although we may know the brandname and/or company name on the box, we don't know (and may never know) which company actually manufactured them.


  • A. Barrett & Sons – 9 Sonderberg Road, London N7       map
  • Benbros – 145 Gosport Road, Walthamstow, London E17       map
  • Britains – 28 Lambton Road, Hornsey Rise (1893)       map
  • Charbens – 219 Hornsey Road,London N7       map
    • 34 Mitford Road, N19       map
    • 20 Andover Yard, Hornsey Road, N19       map
  • Crescent Toys – 67, DeBeauvoir Crescent, Kingston Road, London       map
    • 6 and 8 Fountayne Road, South Tottenham, N15       map
  • DCMT (Lone Star) – River Works, 152 Green Lanes, Palmers Green       map
    • Holloways Lane, Welham Green
    • 168 Gt. North Road, Hatfield       map
  • The Harvey Toy Company (for Crescent) – Commerce Road, Wood Green       map
  • W. Horton
  • Johilco 2-22 Britannia Row, London N1 8PA       map
  • Lesney Products & Co (Matchbox), Homerton Road, Hackney, E9 5TR       map
  • Mears and Freeman – 211 Northumberland Park, Tottenham, N17       map
  • Modern Products
  • Morestone
  • Pixyland-Kew
  • Jordan & Lewden Ltd. (River Series) – 52A Brooksby's Walk, Homerton, London, E.9       map
  • F.G. Taylor – 22 Hampden Road, Upper Holloway, London N19       map

External links


This category has the following 11 subcategories, out of 11 total.