Alresford Crafts

Alresford Crafts, based in Alresford, Hampshire, England  manufactured soft toys from about 1970 until 1992 when they ceased trading. They were exported worldwide and many seem to have ended up in USA and Japan.

Here is a page thought to be from a 1980’s Alresford Toys Catalogue, which shows bears that look like Horace in various sizes.  All the bears in this style were known as Honey Bears, and all had flat bottoms that enabled them to sit without being propped up by something.Alresford Catalogue

Quite a lot of information about Alresford Crafts provided by Alresford Memories can be found at https://alresfordmemories.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/alresford-crafts-dolls-and-soft-toys-for-collectors-and-children/

There is another interesting article here:   https://alresfordmemories.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/soft-toy-collection-returns-to-alresford/comment-page-1/#comment-455

There is a mention of Alresford Crafts on BBC site Domesday Reloaded 1986 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday/dblock/GB-456000-132000/page/16

Labels

The soft toys were made with a variety of labels that changed over time.  Some examples that I have come across so far are as follows:

Original labels found on the oldest toys (probably about 1974)DSC_1581 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bears made at The Town Mill up until about 1979 seem to have this sort of label :

Older type label (such as the one that Horace has)

Bears made after about 1979 made at The Station Mill have this type of label:

After 1979 Made at Station Mill

 

This type of label was used on bears most recently made at The Station Mill

IMG_4035

I have also come across another type of label.  American trade name  for the polyester filling  ‘Dacron’ features in the right hand bottom corner. IMG_8376

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems some cuddly toys were also made for Alresford Crafts in Ireland.  This label was found on a owl. 13987695_10208844093733489_1920008346_o

Horace visited Alresford  in June 2015 and found The Town Mill (now apartments) and The Station Mill.  Read about his visit in his blog post at https://horacethealresfordbear.com/2015/06/28/going-back-to-my-roots/

If anyone has any more information about Alresford Crafts I would be delighted to hear from you.

Updated 15/8/2016

4 thoughts on “Alresford Crafts

  1. Hi Horace, we are two Alresford honey bears (one of us is a Mark I and one a Mark II) who live with other Alresford bears and two Alresford sheep who are in charge of mowing the lawn. We’d like to send you our photos – well, we are rather attractive bears- but we aren’t on Facebook as that wasn’t around when we were born (you are such an advanced bear). Please let us know how we can send our photos.

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  2. Hi, I’m in possession of a large bear (80 cm) of Alresford crafts , he has a complete costume of an English bobby, including shoes , maybe you know what this is worth, vr.groet , Ennah

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