My mother Mrs Olive (Staines) Heales left school at about fourteen and worked in a local shop called Pearks Stores, in the Walthamstow High Street. When she became engaged to my father at age eighteen, he was soon sent away to do National Service training. Just before he was posted overseas he was given embarkation leave and they decided to get married on the spur of the moment. My mother, now Mrs Heales, decided that while my father was in the army she would try to save for a place of their own. She gave in her notice, which was reluctantly accepted, and went to work in a local factory as the wages were better. That factory was Wells Brimtoy Ltd, of Stirling Road, Walthamstow. While she was there a large export order was placed by an American buyer. The photographer was called in to take publicity shots of the assembly line and packing. My mother who was only around nineteen or twenty at the time, was asked to pose in the foreground, even though she did not work in the department! The toy being assembled was a new series called Pocket Toy Lorry and Glider. As the lorry was pushed along so the glider, which was attached by wire, appeared to fly above. My mother continued to work at the factory in various roles from packing to hand finishing, up until the birth of her son.
The V&A Museum of Childhood is open from 10:00 until 17:45 every day. Admission is free. Map Sitemap