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Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

I have just discovered the existence of this firm, which was based in Nelson, Lancashire, in (at least) the late 1950s and early 1960s. They made dolls houses! I first found an ad in a toy trade journal, and then the first result I found when I googled was a video of the factory!! 

https://vimeo.com/107805656

This was shot in 1959, and while we don't see the dolls houses being made (just garages, forts, castles and blackboards), we do see two dolls houses at about 6 minutes 25 seconds into the film, and a couple of farm houses a little bit later.


I'll try to find out more about them - has anyone heard of them? or perhaps even seen or owned a dolls house made by them? They don't look like they have a brand name on them (at least not on the front), but the ones in the video have a red label with white printing saying 'OUR HOUSE' on the front.


I don't think I have seen dolls houses like these before - so rather than discovering the manufacturer of dolls houses we know of, I seem to have found a new manufacturer of dolls houses we haven't found!

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Rebecca :)

May 12, 2017 at 10:48 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Edel
Administrator
Posts: 482

What an exciting discovery Rebecca!

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Edel

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shero6820/

May 12, 2017 at 12:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1728

A new maker - that's excellent news, Rebecca - well done! What a stroke of luck that there is video footage of the factory so that we have an idea what to look out for too.


The caption below the video says "The manufacture of toys at the Victory V factory in Nelson. Includes shots of male and female workers operating machinery, cutting wood and hardboard, and the process of spray painting toy parts. Workers assemble toy forts and garages before the film shows activity in the packing department. Finally, footage of completed products includes some toys filled with packs of sweets." and that's where I've heard of Victory Vs from, when I was a child, they were (and I think still are), throat lozenge-type sweets and Wikipedia reckons they were originally manufactured in Nelson, Lancashire. I had no idea that they manufactured toys at some point too - or am I getting the wrong end of the stick?


I took a couple of screen shots of the house and bungalow which I could put in an album somewhere if you like.

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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 12, 2017 at 12:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jeanette
Member
Posts: 71
Well done Rebecca, there's still treasure out there...
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May 12, 2017 at 1:26 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Great idea, Zoe! When I get the toy trade journal with the ad, I'll scan it and add that too.


No, I think you're probably right about the sweets. The names on the ad are Fryer & Co (Nelson) Ltd, and the address is Victory-V-Factories, Nelson, Lancs. When I googled Fryer & Co, I found some tins - perhaps they made tins at one point, or perhaps they made the sweets that went in the tins, and another firm made the tins?


I'm sure we could find out more - they seem to have been quite a large and long-lasting concern. The film that the Wikipedia article mentions, The Story of Victory-V, might shed light on their products - and the Lancashire Archives have some papers, too.

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Rebecca :)

May 12, 2017 at 1:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

jenny
Member
Posts: 187

So interesting and charming.  Well spotted Rebecca. Could anyone make out what the stickers said on the front of the dolls houses?  My computer monitor is rather small so could not see the sticker well. 

May 12, 2017 at 2:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1728

I just watched the 'Story of Victory-V' video and didn't see anything about toys (I did skip forward here and there but don't think I missed any) but the "you will notice our modern methods for book-keeping" bit did make me chortle!


Should I start a new photo category, Rebecca and if so, what name should I give it? Fryer & Co (Nelson) Ltd or Victory Nelson Toys?


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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 12, 2017 at 2:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 587

Aren't Victory-Vs those incredibly anasthetic tasting cough sweets? The ones that make me cough more? I have seen them recently and will look at the package if they are for sale near here again. I could eat some of those - one of the 'disgusting, but let me try just one more' tastes!



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May 12, 2017 at 3:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 587

Yep! There they are - and made in Nelson, Lancashire too - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_V


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May 12, 2017 at 3:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 587

Zoe H at May 12, 2017 at 2:44 PM

I just watched the 'Story of Victory-V' video and dodn't see anything about toys (I did skip forward here and there but don't think I missed any) but the "you will notice our modern methods for book-keeping" bit did make me chortle!


Should I start a new photo category, Rebecca and if so, what name should I give it? Fryer & Co (Nelson) Ltd or Victory Nelson Toys?


Just Googled it and found this. There's a mention that the Victory V factory did indeed make toys for a while, as well as sweets.
http://www.pendletoday.co.uk/news/vacancies-at-nelson-s-victory-v-factory-1-1706254


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May 12, 2017 at 4:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jan
Member
Posts: 1703

That's so interesting Rebecca and think it answers a question, were they using nail guns on those houses, I've often thought they used something similar.  And thank you Jenni for the link.

May 12, 2017 at 4:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

cestina
Member
Posts: 473

The garage is hugely familiar to me.   I certainly had a two-storey garage as a child and I think it could well have been that one.   I remember taking great delight in the siting of the pumps, and that there was a ramp....very superior!   The name Victory Nelson is also familiar and I don't think it's because of those disgusting lozenges!

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Cestina's Dollshouses: https://czechdollshouses.blogspot.com/2019/04/in-eclectic-manor_20.html" target="_blank">In an Eclectic Manor

May 12, 2017 at 6:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

theinfill.wordpress.com
Member
Posts: 159

So glad Cestina says she remembers them as I had a friend from school lived down the street and he owned the garage but my job was to watch him play apparently!  Distinctly remember the large 'O' in the word Showroom and worried about the steepness of the slope.  As for Victory Vs - we had them by us every winter for sore throats and ear problems.  If you had too many they worked on your tummy a little harshly!

Rather than a nail gun could it have been a staple gun?  Also remember looking at some parts of the toys Martin (down the street had) and wondering how they got staples into wood?

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May 13, 2017 at 2:42 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Jan
Member
Posts: 1703

Could be staple gun if you have seen them on the houses/garages, always find it difficult to get the pins into dollshouse wood, some of my doors and garage doors are still not attached securely.

May 13, 2017 at 4:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Zoe H at May 12, 2017 at 2:44 PM

I just watched the 'Story of Victory-V' video and didn't see anything about toys (I did skip forward here and there but don't think I missed any) but the "you will notice our modern methods for book-keeping" bit did make me chortle!


Should I start a new photo category, Rebecca and if so, what name should I give it? Fryer & Co (Nelson) Ltd or Victory Nelson Toys?


I would suggest Victory Nelson Toys for the category, as it's the brand name, and I would think that if the dolls houses are marked, that's what they'd say. I'm not sure though - what do you think?

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Rebecca :)

May 13, 2017 at 6:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

jenny at May 12, 2017 at 2:03 PM

So interesting and charming.  Well spotted Rebecca. Could anyone make out what the stickers said on the front of the dolls houses?  My computer monitor is rather small so could not see the sticker well. 

They say OUR HOUSE - it's clearer in the ad in the toy trade journal.

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Rebecca :)

May 13, 2017 at 6:28 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Trumble's Mum at May 12, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Zoe H at May 12, 2017 at 2:44 PM

I just watched the 'Story of Victory-V' video and dodn't see anything about toys (I did skip forward here and there but don't think I missed any) but the "you will notice our modern methods for book-keeping" bit did make me chortle!


Should I start a new photo category, Rebecca and if so, what name should I give it? Fryer & Co (Nelson) Ltd or Victory Nelson Toys?


Just Googled it and found this. There's a mention that the Victory V factory did indeed make toys for a while, as well as sweets.
http://www.pendletoday.co.uk/news/vacancies-at-nelson-s-victory-v-factory-1-1706254


That's a great find - though I can't see the photo they're apparently describing, unfortunately. But the article does mention dolls houses, so they were making them by 1953, which means 10 years at least!

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Rebecca :)

May 13, 2017 at 6:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 587

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/11755177.Sweet_factory_team_were_true_pioneers/

This article indicates that the owner of Victory-Vs Industries, having started with their lozenges (which contained ether and chloroform!!!), they went into the toy industry in order to provide work during the depression of the 20s. They were also providing yearly paid leave for employees 40 years before it bacame a law to do so.


Sounds as though they were another example of philanthropic employers, like the Cadbury family. They seem to have been partners of Frys, the company that made Creme Bar, 5 Boys Chocolate and the original chocolate covered Turkish Delight bar. I read another article by the same paper thatsays the factory was pulleddown in the 1980s and some opany called Wavelengths now stands on the site. It doesn't mention whether the toys and d/hs were in production up until then. Only the lozenge production was moved to Devon.

Now I want to find one of their houses!

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May 13, 2017 at 6:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Another great article, thanks Jenni! I also found one from 1954, which says the toymaking started in the 1930s. Certainly linked to the Depression. It has photos, but not of dolls houses - a musical fort and a ride-on horse.


Yes, I hope we find one of their houses!

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Rebecca :)

May 13, 2017 at 7:09 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 587

I am having problems getting the video to stop at the right few seconds to get a real look at the houses. Can anyone with a more touch instant computer get a screen shot?

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May 13, 2017 at 7:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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