29
Nov
25

Pixie Toys Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Pixie Toys was founded in the 1930’s by the wives of two glass manufacturers in Stourbridge. To earn a little extra money during hard times, they started a soft toy company with the first bears being made at home and later at their husbands’ glassworks. They hired a designer, Mrs. Elizabeth Simmonds who used to work for Norah Wellings and Merrythought. Her influence can be seen in the webbed claw stitching. When the family retired at the end of the 1930’s, Elizabeth Simmonds bought the company along with her business partner, Major Brittle. The company went into decline and was took over again in 1955 and later closed in 1962.

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25 Comments:
  1. Lynne 13 Apr, 2013

    I have a few Pixie soft toys which carry the Pixie Stourbridge lable. These toys would have been made in between 1955 and 1962 when my Grandfather worked part time at the company during his retirement. I believe the factory was in or near Victoria St or Bell st as I have early memories of seeing these toys in a window display. I am looking for some more information on the company during this time in order to trace the history of these toys.

  2. Steven Hockley 4 Aug, 2013

    Hi Lynne

    My Grandmother was Elizabeth Simmonds for a period of time I know that my Uncle Derek, his wife Joan and my Aunt Beryl all worked at the factory.
    I have a photograph of my Aunt Beryl and my Grandmother and some of the women workers outside on the fire escape.
    I would be interested to know what Pixie soft toys you have.

    Regards

  3. Angela Gray 14 Sep, 2013

    Hi
    I have a pixie toy jointed teddy bear

  4. Steve Hockley 11 Oct, 2013

    Hi Angela

    Has the bear got its original label on its foot and would you be interested in selling it ?

  5. Rachel 2 Feb, 2014

    Hi there I have a pixie joy panda, all intact, very dusty if anyone knows it’s value. Regards

  6. jane taylor 28 May, 2014

    Hi I have a pixie toy poodle pyjama case does anyone have any info on it
    thanks
    jane

  7. Jan Wrate 16 Jul, 2014

    I would be interested in hearing from anybody with information on the Pixie Toy Factory as I have a wonderful bear and am wanting to add the history in with him when I catalogue him for my bear and doll room! Steve, I believe you are a relative and would love a copy of the photo you mention above. I am in Australia but my husband was born in the UK. I only recently purchased my bear and just adore him! Regards, Jan

  8. Kevin Whiting 20 Sep, 2014

    I have a pixie jointed teddy bear all I remember is of having him as a child he is scruffy but still has the original pixie toys label on the bottom of his one foot

  9. Steve Hockley 21 Jan, 2015

    Hi
    My name is Steve Hockley and my Grandmother was Elizabeth Simmonds
    I am looking to buy anything that relates to my grandmothers factory.I’m

  10. Phil 11 Feb, 2015

    Hi steve
    I have a pixie toy monkey with a missing foot. The foot bearing the Pixie Toy label is still intact. I think it dates from the 1940s. I can send you photos. If you are interested to buy let me know.

  11. Steve hockley 3 Mar, 2015

    Hi Phil
    If you can send some photos to stevehockley@yahoo.co.uk and the price you would be thinking of to sell it

    Kind Regards
    Steve Hockley

  12. Geard Davies 23 Nov, 2015

    Hi, my grandmother was one of the two ladies who started the company and ended up at my grandfather’s glass factory. I only found this out recently when my father died.
    Kind regards, Gerard Davies

  13. Steve Hockley 3 Dec, 2015

    Hi Geard,
    Sometimes it is surprising what families don’t tell you!
    While researching my family history I have been unable to get the exact address of the toy factory or any photos of the inside or front, have you got any info. For some strange reason I have never been able to find the names of your grandmother or her friend, the history of the pixie toy company seems somewhat remiss.

    Steve Hockley

  14. Gerard Davies 18 Apr, 2016

    Hi Steve
    Her name was Adeline May Davies. I don’t have any photo’s sadly nor do I know the address. Her husband ran the glass factory I believe (not very well as it turned out as I think it disappeared). They may have shared premises. I have plenty of old glasses from the factory but no bears/other toys.
    Gerard

  15. Gerard Davies 18 Apr, 2016

    Hi Steve
    Her name was Adeline May Davies. I don’t have any photo’s sadly nor do I know the address.
    Gerard

  16. […] Pixie Toys Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information […]

  17. Sheila Smith-Taplin 3 Jan, 2017

    Hello All

    I am looking at my beautiful small bear about 8 inches which I had from as a infant [am now 60]. Only recently as I remember have I looked for the label and indeed it says pixie handmade in Stourbridge,. this is a coincidence as I was born up there and worked there many years I the local NHS.

    My bear still wears the little red knitted coat I remember my mother made.

    Does anyone know value ? Would be hard to sell though

    Regards

  18. Angela Coulter 7 Jan, 2017

    My grandmother, Hilda Cotterill Davies, was one of the founders of the Pixie Toy Company at Stourbridge. I have two photos from 1933, one showing her holding a teddy bear and nine other women all holding toys made by the company. The other photo shows three women outside the toy factory, but I don’t know who they are. I’d be pleased to email the photos to anyone who might be able to help identify them.

  19. Mrs Elizabeth Haslam 16 Feb, 2017

    Hi all,
    Wondering if anyone knows about my teddy bear handed down to my father in 1936. I think he’s a pixie make, the label used to be red letters and said made in England. Can send photos if anyone can help.
    Kind regards Liz Haslam

  20. Steve hockley 16 Feb, 2017

    My grandmother Elizabeth Simmonds originally worked at the factory for two ladies before she purchased the toy factory herself.
    Would be interested in looking at any photos to see if I can identify any of my family members
    Also if anyone knows the date the ladies sold the factory to my grandmother
    Kind Regards
    Steve Hockley

  21. Angela Coulter 18 Feb, 2017

    Please email me at acoulter@btinternet.com and I’ll forward the photos of workers at the Pixie toy factory in 1933, as described above.

  22. Angela Coulter 21 Feb, 2017

    The Pixie Toy company was established by my grandparents, Hilda and Clement Cotterill Davies, in partnership with a Mr and Mrs Davies (not related as far as I know). Mr Davies and my grandfather were previously glass manufacturers. I inherited the following notes about the company written by my aunt during conversations with Hilda. The company seemed to have been based at two different addresses, 60 Worcester Street, Stourbridge, and then King William Street, Dennis Park, Stourbridge.

    Mrs Low, a skilled machinist, and two girls worked there. Stuffed animals with kapok and wool. Hilda did the animals’ faces. Got plenty of orders. Moved into a factory and bought 2 more sewing machines. Mrs Low’s sister and more 14-year-olds joined them. Hilda worked from 9am to 6pm. Hilda and Mrs D drew £100 a year. Doing very well by second Christmas, employing 15 girls and Mrs Low’s sister + H and D and Mr and Mrs Davies. Dull time between Christmas and Easter. Then there’s the seaside season – then really busy. Really very beautiful toys. H loved making for children. Her original Bunny Ball – 4 pieces pink and blue, squat head, big ears lined with white, for very small children – sold well. Honey Bear – silk plush – as made for Fay Compton. Nightdress cases – tigers, lions, spaniels, pussycats. H dreamed of animals and how to make them.

    I believe my grandmother enjoyed the work but found it exhausting, which may be the reason she sold the company on to Elizabeth Simmons. I think it was sold to her in about February 1935.

  23. Shelley 16 Mar, 2017

    Dear Ms Coulter,

    I just purchased a rather large teddy bear on eBay from your grandparent’s company, Pixie Toys. Since they ceased business so many years ago, it’s very nice to hear about the actual work that they did, and how much time and love they devoted to creating their stuffed animals. I appreciate it.

    Kind regards,
    Shelley
    Baltimore, MD

  24. Lee-Elliott 13 May, 2017

    Hello Gerard Davies – I think you and my husband must be related as his great uncle was Clement Cotterill Davies who was the brother of Birt Davies? Any information would be most welcome. Thanks.

  25. Lilian 4 Aug, 2017

    Hi there I have 2 pixie toys both of which are much loved items bought for me as a child. I have a lovely toy donkey which was my constant bedtime companion from age 4 or 5 in 1961 or 62. He originally had glass eyes but mum removed them and replaced them with buttons as some children had swallowed glass eyes at the time. He also had a squeak or a noise in his rump which no longer works, but as a child and even now I am so impressed by the detail in him. The other toy I have is a bear, I used to have a bigger bear but he was lost in a fire my mother had in her house. I would love to see any photos of any other Pixie toys or in fact be able to locate another of the bigger bears I had.

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