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 Back 
 
The Story Of Merrythought Began In 1930

Four Generations Of The Finest Teddy Bears

The story of Merrythought began in 1930, when Gordon Holmes, owner of a mohair spinning mill in Yorkshire, recognised an opportunity to make beautiful soft toys from this special Angora eece. His wish was to create the very nest teddy bears that would be cherished by children and adults for years to come.

Gordon discovered a beautiful brick foundry building in the heart of Shropshire, and with the help of a small team of skilled local seamstresses, Merrythought was born. The original workshop remains our home to this day; an enchanting place where each soft toy is expertly brought to life using luxury materials and traditional craftsmanship that has been handed down the four generations of our family business.

Only soft toys of the highest quality are allowed to carry the trusted Merrythought label. We therefore ensure the utmost care and attention to detail in everything that we do, right down to the hand-embroidered nose and delightful smile that makes each teddy bear so unique.

 
 

A Merrythought is not just a teddy bear, but an exquisite piece of British heritage
and a loyal companion through life.

 
Teddy Bears Crafted By Hand In Britian

A History Of Fine, Handmade Teddy Bears Since Before 1930

Merrythought“Merrythought has been hand-making the quintessential English teddy bear in the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge, Shropshire, since 1930 and is now the last remaining British teddy bear manufacturer. The company is a fourth generation family business founded by Mr W.G Holmes in 1930 as a diversification from his mohair mill in Yorkshire. Over the years a huge range of teddy bears, soft toys, dolls, push-along toys, rocking horses and other animals have been created in the famous factory.”

- from the Merrythought website

Merrythought 1908 first TeddyIn 1907, William Gordon Holmes (Merrythought's present Directors great-grandfather) goes into partnership with George Laxton to open Holmes, Laxton & Co., a mohair spinning mill in Yorkshire where imported raw materials are spun into high quality mohair yarn. In 1908, family firm JK Farnell & Co Ltd produced the first British Teddy bear - a fully jointed, mohair bear with hand-stitched nose and claws (shown in picture.

With the assistance of Clifton Rendle of Chad Valley and Henry Janisch of J. K. Farnell (two leading British soft toy manufacturers) Gordon Holmes diversifies his textile businesses by founding Merrythought Toys in 1930. Production begins at a factory owned by The Coalbrookdale Company in Ironbridge, Shropshire - the home of the Industrial Revolution (now a World Heritage Site)

 
A Curious Story Of Luck

Merrythought wishboneWhy The Merrythought Emblem Is A Wishbone

The origin of the name Merrythought derives from an archaic name for a wishbone, a symbol of 'good luck'. The wishbone has been the company's emblem since 1930.

 
The Tag Everyone Recognizes
Merrythought wishbone

The World-Famous Merrythought Footlabel

Merrythought bears can be easily identified by the distinctive label on their footpad - traditionally on the right foot although some earlier bears may vary.