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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.
Three out of the nine factories are to close with the resultant redundancies.
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.
However one factory was retained by the government for toy manufacture, specialising in the production of jigsaws, chess sets, draughts and dominoes for use in military hospitals and the Forces generally.
Introduced in 1928 the game was a constant best seller well into the 1960′s.
An excellently illustrated Chad Valley boxed board game manufactured c1912.Various metal locomotive and saloon car counters compete in this race to the coast.Without doubt the table top horse racing game of Escalado was one of those iconic games produced by Chad Valley.In 1988 the trade name of Chad Valley was acquired by Woolworths and remained in use until that company’s closure due to insolvency.
Home Retail Group, the parent company of retailers Homebase and Argos, purchased the brand for a reputed £5 million in 2009.
This may have had something to do with the fact that earlier in a bold move the Palace had been approached by Chad Valley executives for permission to produce dolls of the Royal Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Around the 1939-1940 period Chad Valley acquired the tooling of tinplate toymakers Burnett of London who had got into financial difficulties and continued to manufacture many of that companys product lines well after the second world war probably the most well know of which was the ‘Ubilda’ tinplate model kits.