Monday, May 29, 2006

Lead Toys

Greetings Mr. Tunstill,
I hope you won't find my missive (unsolicited as it is) an impertinence;

..........if I found unsolicited emails from enthusiasts impertinent, I'd close the site

I simply typed "lead soldiers" into Google and up came your site.

...........as it would


In brief, I am writing my memoirs/family history for local publication (I live on Tyneside), and an important part of that history concerns my paternal grandfather's shop on Raby Street in Byker, here in Newcastle.

..........wonderful stuff

Essentially it was his mother's shop, and sold drapery et al, but he started several sidelines, and one of those was lead toys. I have no other information, other than the fact that he was making them, and I wondered if this was a common occurrence back in the period between the wars (WW1 & WW2) and subsequently following 1945.

I hope you have a moment to perhaps enlighten me briefly,
Best Regards,
Keith Fisher.

He, your grandpa, was making them? I started making lead soldiers in 1949, when I was nine years old, so in all probability your Grandpa bought his moulds, as I did, through the Exchange and Mart. They were aluminium moulds, with screw-on wooden handles, and were made to cast any number of soldiers, zoo and farm animals etc

In the between the wars period the figures were often painted with a spitit lacquer, which allowed the brightness of the newly cast metal to shine through. Thus making more appealing toys

Hope it helps, we'll blog and message board your letter just in case it stirs some other memories

Best wishes

John Tunstill