A TOY factory opened in an old racing stables in Richmond 75 years ago this week, according to the Darlington & Stockton Times of November 17, 1945. The D&S reported that Cllr AJ Glover had led the initiative, but the factory was to be run by a Mr Gruinseid.

“Mr Gruinseid is an Austrian who was imprisoned by the Nazis, suffered considerable ill treatment but managed to escape to England,” said the paper. “For five years he has served with the British Army and was demobilised recently. His enthusiasm for the Richmond project is shared by his wife for they had their own business in Vienna. Mr Gruinseid is an expert model and toy maker and Mrs Gruinseid is equally capable of soft toy making.”

Cllr Glover said he hoped the toy factory would soon employ 30 people, including many youngsters who would learn traditional toy-making skills.

  • If you can tell us anymore about the Gruinseid toy factory – how we would love to see a Richmond-made bear – please email chris.lloyd@nne.co.uk.