67 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill – Making Toys for British Nurseries in 1915

This picture, shown below, appeared in the Daily Graphic on 16th March 1915 with the following caption:

‘The first great British Toy Fair and Market opens at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, today, when the public will have an opportunity of seeing for itself how far against the enemy’s toy trade has progressed.

toys nhg


The picture gives some idea of what will be seen there. The girls who are learning toy-making in a garden work-room at 67, Lancaster Road, W., are putting the finishing touches to some of the many splendid playthings they have made’.

An extract from the adjoining article explains that owing to the hostilities there was a universal scarcity in toys. Germany apparently, had been producing 80 per cent of the world’s toys.

‘Of course, while we can certainly increase our trade enormously, no one supposes for a moment that Great Britain will be able to supply the world with toys. Labour conditions in Germany facilitate the low-grade goods; but when it comes to anything a little better we can beat Germany at her own game.

Dolls we have only just started to make in this country; and the British doll is going far; while the lead soldiers and the games branches of the trade are expanding wonderfully.

Buyers for the toy trade are at the moment starving for toys owing to the impossibility of getting them from Germany, and the object of the exhibition Is to concentrate every conceivable thing they want to see in one building, so enabling them to do in a few days what otherwise would occupy many weeks.’

And what wonderful toys they were!

Steve Russell

One thought on “67 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill – Making Toys for British Nurseries in 1915

  1. Interesting article with particular interest to myself as my ancestors lived in 245 Lancaster Rd in 1915 and Latimer Rd a couple of years later before moving to Shepherds Bush.
    Unfortunately the far east was waiting in the wings to decimate the growing UK toy industry that followed.
    Keep them coming Steve!

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