Young people to unearth local toy heritage

Lottery grant funds collaboration between community organisations

Wells Brimtoy

The Wells Brimtoy factory in Walthamstow (credit Vestry House Museum)

A youth centre has won nearly £50,000 to help research and celebrate Walthamstow’s toy-making heritage.

The Limes Community and Children’s Centre in Somers Road, Walthamstow, was awarded £48,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the ‘Fun Factory’ project that will see young people with learning disabilities investigate the heritage of local toy-making factories, such as Wells Brimtoy.

Other local organisations will help make the project a reality; Vestry House Museum offering behind the scenes and research opportunities; Blackhorse Workshop providing woodwork training to help participants create their own toys; and Age UK Waltham Forest introducing older people who can voice and share their memories and experiences.

Liz Fraser, director at The Limes, said: “We are delighted to have received support from the National Lottery to bring this idea to life. We have so much faith in this project and it’s fantastic to have HLF match our enthusiasm. We are so thrilled and eager for the young people to begin their journey through history and share it with you.”

Fun Factory will be recorded by young people, with direction from Waltham Forest Oral History Society based at Vestry House, who will be providing tuition on how to collect and store the information gathered.

Participants in the project will also write newsletters and blogs along the way and make a film documenting their journey, aided by a local filmmaker and culminating in a public premiere.

Stuart Hobley, head of HLF London, said: “We all remember those must-have toys of childhood, but did you ever think about who made the toys? Walthamstow was once home to one of the UK’s largest toy firms and the industry employed thousands of local people. Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will engage young people with the area’s significant toy-making heritage through a range of immersive activities and preserve these important memories for future generations.”


For further information:

Call 020 8509 8985

Email liz@thelimes.org.uk

Visit thelimes.org.uk

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