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In 1978 the company was taken over by Palitoy of Leicester and a year later in 1979 the closure of the Hall & Lane site ended Chad Valley’s long established links with Birmingham.
By 1960 Chad Valley comprised seven factories and employed over 1,000 people and was considered to be at its peak of manufacturing by this time. The main Harborne factory closes and was eventually demolished and boxed game production moves to the Hall & Lane factory site in central Birmingham.It was with some surprise that the company received a note back from the Queen agreeing to the proposal along with suggested dates for the two princesses to sit for the proposed dolls. War, sadly again, played a part in the fortunes of the company in the 1940′s.Fortunately for Chad Valley the dolls proved an instant hit, selling in large numbers not only at home but right across the then British Empire and so for the next fourteen years all Chad Valley toys carried the words ‘Toymakers to H. The Second World War resulted in production of toys being dramatically cut as the Chad Valley factories concentrated their output to the war effort with government contracts for the production of such items as wooden instrument cases and cases for use in anti-aircraft guns, hospital tables and tent poles, auto-pilots and charts.Three out of the nine factories are to close with the resultant redundancies.After 1975 only two factories remained whilst the manufacture of soft toys was relocated to Pontypool in South Wales.They later took the name of Chad Valley as their registered trademark and the building was to remain as the company headquarters for over seventy years.
With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 toys and games were no longer being imported giving a boost to the British toy industry and Johnson Bros.
In 1897 the company relocates to a new purpose built premises in Rose Road, Harborne, a district of Birmingham, a mere 3 miles from the city centre close to the Chad Brook and adjacent to a branch-line railway.
This railway line brought raw materials to the site with most of the toys produced leaving by the same route. (Harborne) Ltd., making stationers’ sundries and cardboard games and their new factory was known as The Chad Valley Works, named after the nearby stream.
An attractively illustrated board showing a map of Great Western railway tracks covering the West Country and Wales.
Various metal locomotive and saloon car counters compete in this race to the coast.
Home Retail Group, the parent company of retailers Homebase and Argos, purchased the brand for a reputed £5 million in 2009.