We have been working on a project called Fun Factory, exploring the heritage of toymaking in Walthamstow.
Well Brimtoy - a world-leading manufacturer
When the factory closed in the 1980s, the loss had a profound effect on the local area, which lost a huge source of employment and local pride.
The memories of local residents who worked at or remember the factory were recorded and used to create a film. It is hoped that this will boost modern-day residents’ understanding of factory life and its impact on the area, as well as giving young people with learning disabilities the chance to learn new skills and build relationships.
Each participant was ‘buddied up’ with people from local youth forums and a host of volunteering opportunities are opening up for other residents. Participants will even get a chance to try making toys themselves, inspired by original Brimtoy models, many of which are now collectibles.
Fun Factory members also experience behind-the-scenes visits to Vestry House Museum where they studied and researched the Wells Brimtoy exhibits in their collection. Another partner of the project, Age UK, helped to facilitate lunches with older residents, hosted by young people, where they voiced and shared their experiences.