Some months ago we saw a couple from Kent, the Bradshaws, interviewed on TV as they had determined to buy only British made products. We were reminded of the “I’m Backing Britain” campaign of the late 1960s (which shows our age) and wished them luck with their quest. We sent them a message to this effect but did warn them that finding British made toys might prove difficult. Our only suppliers that produce everything in the UK are Orchard Toys, and their range are printed card games, perhaps not manufacturing in the strictest sense.
Now we see the Bradshaws’ year long project has come to an end and the only area in which they were unsuccessful was, as we predicted, sourcing British made toys. We take no pleasure whatsoever in saying we were right, particularly just after another Christmas season when the long lead times from the Far East have, again, resulted in a number of out of stock items that could not quickly be replenished, and a few disappointed customers.
We’ve been carping on about it for some time but we do think it’s about time some of the toy manufacturers looked again at what might be made in the UK. We’ll be seeing many of them at the London Toy Fair in a couple of weeks time and you can be sure we’ll be asking them their plans in this regard. The Bradshaws believe their may be some green shoots for 2014. Let’s hope they’re right.