Early 'Morestone' Toys
Diecast models attributed to Morestone
Scroll down for full list & links to models
Sam Morris began his wholesale toy business in 1946 in Stoke Newington, London, whilst nearby another small business was founded by Jim and Len Burkett making diecast toys under the name 'Modern Products'. Not surprisingly, the two soon began working together and the models they produced are well documented including the Racing Car from 1946 and the stage coach 'Ye Olde Coach & Four' a year later.
However, it is certain that Sam Morris obtained toys for his wholesale business from a number of other toy makers but little is known about them. Some, such as the Dulcimer, were not diecast items but many must have been.
North of the City of London before World War 2 there were a number of diecast toymakers centred on the Finsbury Pavement 'Toy City' and in 1946 when metal restrictions were lifted these again began making toys. It is possible that Sam Morris saw the opportunities of distributing some of these.
Certain post-WW2 diecast models (and some thought to have been pre-war) have been listed under the name 'Morestone' for many years and are given below (others might be added later). Note, however, that it is unknown whether or not any of these were handled by Sam Morris.
Interestingly Sam Morris did not start using the name Morestone until 1948/9 so if he did include any of these in his sales lists, it would not have been under that name.
Modern replicas of early 'Morestone' toys are now widely available and so collecting the original items, which are hard to find, needs care.
Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle
All-metal model with detachable figure and front tray (missing on red model)
Blue or red bicycle, umw with unpainted stand for rear wheel (missing on red model)
White figure with black boots and striped apron, pink trim on face and hands
White or cream open tray which slotted over front wheel containing meat with red trim
Circus Clown on Penny Farthing
All-metal model with detachable clown and sometimes with dog
Red cycle with dark-grey unpainted wheels; cream clown holding two red balls; red hat & buttons with face trim
Brown dog on rear platform (not included in box illustration)
End-flap box printed on one face and side only, no toymaker's name given
Ice Cream Vendor
All-metal model, bicycle and rider (one casting) centrally rivetted through ice cream box to separate lid
Bicycle always black, rider varied, usually with black trousers and white jacket, and trim on face & hands
Ice Cream box white, cream or pink, lid green or red, umw, crimped axles
Tandem Bicycle with Sidecar
All metal model, sidecar (including child) was a separate casting rivetted to cycle before painting
The riders were detachable but could be clipped in place
Red or blue cycle & sidecar, blue or red child with pink trim
Cream or brown riders with pink trim on faces, hands & legs, brown or black hair
umw with full-width rear axle (crimped)
Boy on Tricycle
All metal model with steering and detachable rider
Main body of tricycle, handlebars and front forks were three separate castings
Unpainted metal wheels on nailhead+crimped axle (front) and push-fit (rear)
Red, green or yellow tricycle with silver trim on handlebars & front lamp
Boy rider was always blue including cap, with pink trim on face, hands and knees
photos Ian Scott