The Archive of Toy Town & Larry the Lamb
Larry the Lamb and the famous Toy town stories were the creation of S.G. Hulmee Beaman. Beaman who started out carving wooden figures in the early 1920’s and then wrote short stories around his models. During the early 1920’s he was known for his cartoon story strips in the Golders Green gazette called “Philip & Phido”. About a little boy and his trusty dog.
Shortly after this he further developed many of the Philip & Phido characters and Toy Town was born with characters such as Larry, Dennis the dachshund, Earnest the policeman & many others.
The Lot also includes material consisting of scripts and un-released film in connection with these early Philip & Phido stories.
In 1929 the Toy Town stories were taken up by the BBC as short play’s to be aired during children’s hour on the radio. Most of these plays were aired live with each BBC region making their own separate transmissions. In those early radio days very few live performances were ever recorded and as such most of the early stuff was thought to have gone for ever.
It was shortly after this early success that the author Hulme Beaman died in 1932.
His widow then got together with his good friend Hendrick Baker to try and keep the works of Beaman alive after his death. This was achieved with some considerable success. The Radio shows continued to be aired on the BBC through four decades before gaining further fame and success in the more modern medium of television and film. The stories also went to the stage and many were released on record labels. Into the 1980’s although no longer on television the stories were still being released on video and along with vast amounts of merchandising material and were sold across the globe as were licenses to international television rights.
When the series first moved from radio to television, the then Larry the Lamb ltd, who owned all the commercial rights employed the services of Halas & Batchelor to make the pilot television episodes. John Halas director of the company was known to be the British equivalent of Walt Disney and was therefore somewhat selective in those they worked for.
The Lot includes many letters of correspondence bearing his original signature.
In 1991 Hendrick Baker died having then out lived his business partner Maud Beaman. As a result of this Hendrick Bakers widow then herself in later years decided to dissolve the business in the January of 1992. Since then she wrote a number of letters in an attempt to establish whether or not she and Hulme Beamans daughter still had ownership of copyright. The letters of reply drew no apparent conclusion to this.
Finally at the turn of the current century Dorothy Baker also passed away. There were apparently no close relatives able to take care of her affairs and her then council rented home in Leicestershire was consequently cleared by the local authority and most was sent to landfill. Fortunately an eager eyed worker thought this material would be interesting to read one day. However until it was bought to us recently he thought it to be nothing more than that. It is however the last remaining material from the archive of this most famous children’s series and the business dealings of Larry the Lamb Ltd, Hendrick Baker as well as much of Hulme Beamans published and so far un-published works.
The Lot spans both the radio and television years and consists of well in excess of 100 items to include studio copies of the 16mm films, two of which were the only two made by Halas & Batchelor. The other episodes were later made in house.
The Lot also includes original water color paintings used as the back drops in the making of the pilot episode “The showing up of Larry the Lamb”
It also includes contracts and letters from the BBC in the earlier day’s as well as some of the early radio scripts.
According to our findings using only the internet it is apparent that until the discovery of this rare Lot that the earliest surviving Larry the Lamb material was a short seven minute recording made by the BBC in 1934. We are pleased to say that this Lot actually includes a radio script for “The wreck of the Toy Town Belle” and is dated three years earlier than this previously known material.
In summary Toy Town was possibly the most iconic children’s series ever produced and was most certainly the longest running, whilst spanning some six decades. It still has fond childhood memories of generations across the world. And the entire Lot tells the full story from beginning to end whilst packed full of provenance.
It is not known by the auctioneers if anyone or who, still owns any copyright to this material. Although there is original evidence within this Lot in the form of correspondence and whilst the original owner was a Ltd company which no longer exists, it is up to any successful purchaser to establish any copyright ownership before using any of this material for future commercial purposes. The Auctioneers are therefore offering this Lot as a rare and unique collectable item only.
Auctioneers would normally provide an estimate of value to a prospective purchaser.
Such estimates can only be accurate if based on past auction results of similar material.
As far as we are aware nothing of this nature with so much material relating to such an iconic Series has ever been offered to the market before. As such we are unable to provide estimates, but ask prospective buyers to assess their own value as to what in their own opinion they are prepared to pay for something so unique. The only guide we can give is that if just one of the original back drop paintings came to auction with its provenance then on this single painting we would be setting an estimate of £800-£1,200. This does not of course account for the remaining 100 plus items within this Lot. We therefore hope you understand our dilemma and will choose to bid accordingly.
Below is the full detailed list of the items available within this Lot which is detailed under various sections as follows:
S.G. Hulme Beaman early works
The Radio Days
The Television & Film Day’s
The Theater & Merchandising Day’s
The Final End -With copyright doubts
Hendrick Baker -Other works & travel
S.G. Hulme Beaman
- Home bound volume containg full script for a Philip & Phido story. In later years Baker has added copies of Beaman’s drawings taken from the Golders Green Gazette (We believe never published)
- One page short story by Hulme Beaman “Kerri The Kangaroo” (Not published but some characters later to be in Toy Town).
- One page short story by Hulme Beaman “Jenny The Giraffe” (not published but with some characters later to be in Toy Town).
The Radio Days.
- War time ID card for Hendrick Baker dated 1945 with photo.
- Letter from ministry of pensions awarding “The Kings Badge” for invalid personal to Hendrick Baker.
- Hendrick Bakers CV dated 1936 – 1949 with reference to his works on Toy Town.
- Radio script for “The wreck of the Toy Town Belle” Stamped as approved by the BBC, timed and dated 5.15 on the 3rd of the 3rd 1931.
- Pages 2 -11 of another early radio script. (As page one is missing we cannot pin point a precise date but it would have been from the 1930’s but clearly from the Toy Town series).
- Pages 3 – 6 of another early radio script. (Clearly from the Toy Town series)
- Page 12 of yet another early radio script. (Clearly from the Toy Town series).
- A different page 12 of an early radio script. (Clearly from the Toy Town series)
- Contract from the BBC to Hendrick Baker. This employs his services as advisor on some 15 live performances at 15guinees & 15 shillings per episode. Many located at the now closed Alexandra Palace. This document is dated May 11th 1947.
- Letter to Hendrick Baker from the London County council declining his offer of free seats at the stage version as unsuitable for children during School hours. Dated 8th August 1947.
- Personal hand written letter to Hendrick Baker from his business partner Hulme Beaman’s Widow Maud and dated February 9th 1956.
- Letter from the BBC to Handrick Baker discussing various Toytown scripts and dated 10th April 1957.
- Newspaper cutting from the Radio Times which had been kept by Hendrick Baker and describes the making of the Toytown puppets in the BBC’s tin shed. Dated December 1956.
The Television Years.
Original Studio copies of 16 mm film reels those released & some never released.
- Original studio showing copy of the pilot TV film “the showing up of Larry the Lamb” Made by Halas & Batchelor this is complete in full color with a slight pink tinge. Clearly shows the scenes involving the original paintings mentioned within this Lot.
- Second studio copy of the Showing up of Larry the Lamb with repairable split part way.
- Full showing copy of the second pilot film made by Halas & Batchelor “The Tale of the Magician” Picture is well preserved.
- Original studio viewing copy of Toy Town Mystery”. Full color, picture well preserved.
- Original studio viewing copy of “Dreadful doings in Ark Street” full color, well preserved.
- Original studio viewing copy of “Tale of Earnest the Policeman” Full color, picture well preserved.
- Original studio viewing copy of “Mr.Growser Moves”, Full color, picture well preserved.
- Original studio copy of “The Mayors Sea Voyage” Full color, picture well preserved, but with occasional scratch.
- Original studio copy of “Tea For Two” full color, picture well preserved. In tin marked “how the Wireless came to town”.
- Original studio copy of “Larry the Plumber” full color, tail out so unable to confirm the title.
- Studio copy of “Enchanted Ark” Black & white cutting copy.
- Studio copy of “Brave Deed of Ernest the Policeman” Black & white cutting copy.
- Studio copy of “Toy Town Treasure” Black & white cutting copy.
- Studio trims from “Affairs of Ernest”
- Studio film titled “Toy Town goes west” marked optical track, leader say’s series II no. 4.
- Film “The Arkville Dragon” Color test version.
- Un-released studio copy of Philip & Phido. Full length film but without sound. Sound tape below may be the sound track but is un-tested.
- Two films of cuttings marked Philip & Phido. No sound or picture story.
- Photo album containing 50 Polaroid stills from the various film sets used during the making of the Toy Town series. (Polaroid’s tended not to last but these are in a reasonably good condition).
- Original water color painting of the back drop to the Inventors work shop, with three additional movable plastic strips on which is painted the inventor and other movable objects. All cut as in film strip and were the original material used in piecing together the separate shots during the filming.
- 5 further plastic strips painted with parts of various characters including the Inventors car. All were originally made for use in the filming of the pilot film of “The Showing up of Larry the Lamb”
- Original Water color painting of the start of the car race in the pilot film “The showing up of Larry the Lamb” This is on card cut like film strip and is marked with the scene & frame numbers etc.
- Original hand painted card strip of another Toy Town scene, with movable plastic over lay. This is marked Toy Town 2, and shows the inventor racing past trees etc in his car.
- Two other pieces of original hand painted card, both looking like mistakes as subject not recognizable but one marked scene 23.
- An original pencil drawing showing the rear of the Inventors car in the pilot film “The Showing up of Larry the Lamb.” This was never actually used in the final production.
- A two page typed write up by Hendrick Baker giving a brief history of Beaman & the radio day’s before writing that Toy Town is now to go to television. We believe this to be a press release at the time.
- Original letter from Halas & Batchelor to Baker Discussing distribution arrangements of the pilot film. This is dated 3rd May 1962 and signed personally by John Halas.
- Carbon copy of original letter sent to John Halas from Baker, Stating that the BBC would welcome the first view of the pilot film. Dated 23rd May 1962.
- Carbon copy of a letter from Baker to John Halas, stating that the BBC give much praise in the animation in the pilot film. Dated 4th July 1962.
- Carbon copy of letter from Baker to John Halas, stating that the BBC are still slow to make up their mind as to whether or not to run the TV episodes. Dated 25th July 1962.
- Original letter sent from John Halas to Baker, stating that he too hopes that the BBC soon make up their minds as he has many other contacts in Germany & America who wish to take up the option instead. Dated 27th July 1962 and signed by John Halas in person.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker asking if their German agent may be allowed to view the pilot film, Signed in person & dated 10th August 1962.
- Carbon copy of letter sent to John Halas from Baker stating that he had now delivered the pilot film to the BBC. Dated 15th September 1962.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker stating that he has information regarding the prospects of Toy Town worldwide. Signed in his own hand and dated 8th October 1962.
- Carbon copy of a letter forwarded to Baker from Halas & Batchelor, written originally to Eldorado Films Inc, New York. Discussing their interest & potential private screening of “The tale of the Magician” dated 23rd October 1962.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker stating that an American distributor would like to see the Toy Town film whilst in London. Signed in John Halas’s own hand & dated 2nd November 1962.
- Carbon copy of a letter to Halas & Batchelor from Welt Films in Frankfurt. Stating that they are interested in the films. Dated 2nd November 1962.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker Stating that Welt Film in Frankfurt stating that they are at the point of signing a contract for thirteen Toy Town episodes. Signed by John Halas personally and dated 16th January 1963.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker stating that he enclosed a letter from their German representatives. Signed by John Halas dated 25th June 1963 (Letter of attachment now missing).
- Original letter from John Halas asking Baker to pop in for a meeting. to discuss Toy Town. Signed in John Halas’s own hand dated 17th July 1963.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker, stating he had enclosed a copy of a letter received from their German agents. The attached letter is also present and states that they should retain the BBC agreement regarding domestic rights. The original letter is signed by John Halas & dated 22nd August 1963.
- Original Letter from John Halas to Baker enclosing a copy of a letter from the German agents and a copy of his reply. Signed in his own hand & dated 12th September 1963. (The reply Halas sent is still attached but the copy of the German letter is not)
- Carbon copy of letter from Baker to John Halas thanking for the above letter in item 41. and asking them to postpone the release of the Pilot film. Dated 13th September 1963.
- Carbon copy of a letter sent from Baker to John Halas discussing distribution. Dated September 1963.
- Carbon copy of letter sent to John Halas from Baker discussing the final production costs. Dated 4th October 1963
- Original letter from the Halas & Batchelor accountant Mr. Clay discussing fees. Dated 12th February 1962.
- Carbon copy of letter from Baker to Mr. Clay, thanking for the cheque. Dated 16th February 1962.
- Original letter from John Halas’s Secretary regarding suggested credit titles for the film “The tale of the Magician” dated 23rd March 1962.
- Letter from the solicitors to Larry The Lamb ltd to Hendrick Baker regarding the details of where his name should appear in the final film credits. Dated 29th March 1962.
- Carbon copy of a letter from Baker to John Halas again discussing title credits. Dated 30th March 1962.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker again discussing final credits. Dated 3rd April 1962.
- Carbon copy of letter to John Halas from Baker referring to his visit to their film studio’s in Stroud. Dated 26th April 1962.
- Original letter Halas & Batchelor’s accountant Mr. Clay to Baker regarding to Bakers agreement that Halas & Batchelor should handle the Distribution of the film on Bakers behalf. Dated 26th April 1962.
- Invoice from Halas & Batchelor cartoon films Ltd, to Hendrick Baker of Larry The lamb ltd for services in respect of photography of Toy Town for the total sum of £1,333.00. Dated 30th April 1962.
- Carbon copy of a letter from Baker to Mr. Clay of Halas & Batchelor, again regarding distribution rights. Dated 1st May 1962.
- Carbon copy of a letter from Baker to Halas & Batchelor accountant referring to letters received from the National Film Finance Council. Dated 1st November 1963.
- Carbon copy of another letter from Baker to Halas & Batchelor accountant regarding the statement of final cost of the pilot film. Dated 13th November 1963.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker regarding the storyboard for Toy Town. Signed by John Halas himself & dated 13th January 1964.
- Carbon copy of a letter from Baker sent to John Halas, confirming that he wished them to proceed with the Storyboard. Dated 15th January 1964.
- Carbon copy of a letter from Baker sent to Halas & Batchelor accountant referring to the enclosure of a cheque for £250. Dated 18th February 1964.
- Carbon copy of a letter from Baker to John Halas, regarding merchandising enquires. Dated 2nd march 1964.
- Carbon copy of a letter sent by Baker to John Halas, enclosing a list of companies requiring illustrations for merchandising purposes. Dated 11th March 1964.
- Original letter from John Halas to Baker, now on later edition of their headed note paper which lists their past works down the left hand side. The letter refers to a drawing in relation to a Toy Town jig-saw as part of the merchandise to be made available. Signed by John Halas & dated 13th March 1964.
- Page two of the production budget for the second Toy Town series Circa 1964, Estimating a cost of £300 per film.
- Full page cutting from the Daily Mail retained by Henrick Baker, with the news story titled “ Toy Town goes to TV” dated January 20th 1964.
- Original letter from Larry the Lamb Ltd. Solicitors regarding an enclosed draft of the lease for studios in Northolt Road South Harrow. Dated 10th July 1972. (Now into the Thames TV day’s)
- The copy of the draft lease as mentioned above between Cygnet films Ltd & Larry the Lamb ltd,
- Copy of a letter from Stanley Schofield Productions relating to the license for Larry the Lamb ltd to use Northolt Road Studio’s and mentioning the enclosure of a layout plan for the said studio. Dated 20th November 1973.
- A copy of the Layout plan for the Larry the Lamb Studio’s as mentioned in the above letter.
- Original letter from Cygnet Film regarding Larry the Lambs need to continue using their studios. Dated 8th August 1973.
- Carbon copy of letter from Baker to Cygnet films regarding invoices for the use of the phones. Dated 27th April 1973.
- Original invoice from Cygnet films for studio rent at £625. Dated 19th July 1973.
- Carbon copy of letter from Baker to Cygnet films relating to difficulties in making rent payments as they are still awaiting royalties from Merchandising. Dated 14th June 1973.
- Studio telephone bill dated 29th August 1973.
- Statement of studio rent account owed by Larry the Lamb ltd. Dated 30th March.
- Carbon copy of letter sent by Baker regarding tenancy agreement at Northolt Road. Dated 14th July 1972.
- .Carbon copy of letter from Baker to Cygnet films agreeing to take up tenancy for one year. Dated 16th June 1972.
- Invoice for rates on studio at Northolt Road. £40.56 for two months. Dated 8th August 1972.
- Invoice for studio rental. Dated 31st July 1972.
- Carbon copy of letter from Baker to Cygnet films asking to take up a further rental of two years on the premises at the vast amount of £2,500 per annum. Dated 6th August 1973.
- Original letter from Cygnet films agreeing to extend the lease, but would appreciate back rent now overdue of £1,000. Dated 8th August 1973.
- Original letter from Cygnet films stating rent at £2,500 PA. Rates £192.84 PA. etc, dated 16th June 1972.
- Original letter from Larry the Lamb Ltd Solicitors regarding occupancy of the new studio’s at Northolt Road. Dated 31st August 1972.
- A further solicitor’s letter dated 1st August 1972.
- Copy of a letter from Cygnet films to Richard price Television asking on behalf of Hendrick Baker if they would be interested in taking up television rights. Dated 7th May 1974.
- Hand written draft letter composed by Hendrick Baker of Larry the Lamb Ltd. Recipient not mentioned and no date. It states that the series has produced £34,000 in 18 months, but handwriting is hard to read.
- Letter from Cygnet Films to Baker thanking him for what was only a part payment for studio rent. Dated 27th February 1973.
- Invoice for Studio rent dated 27th February 1973.
- A further Seventeen documents. Comprising of Solicitors letters, Sundry bills and an invoice from Halas & Batchelor, for expenses incurred whilst showing the ToyTown pilot at the Corner cinema. Dated 9th July 1962.
Reel to reel tapes.
(Please note we do not have a reel to reel tape player, so have only listed these tapes according to what they say on the box. We cannot at this stage therefore verify the contents to be as described)
106) Tape marked “Philip & Phido story tapes”.
107) Tape marked “Toy Town Vocal”.
108) Tape marked “Various Sound effects including Toy Band”
109) Tape marked “ Sound effects including rumble, owl hooting etc”
110) Tape marked Sound effects for “The Dreadful doings in Ark Street”.
111) Tape marked Sound effects, horse trotting cows etc..
112) one other reel to reel tape contents not marked.
113) VHS video in English with Dutch Sub-titles.
114) Home recorded VHS video marked Toy Town.
The Theater & Merchandising years.
115) Flyer from the Theater production of “Larry The lamb in Toy Town”
at the Shaw theater Euston Road, Directed by David Wood.
No date, but known to be 1969.
116) Leaflet for EMI record releases, marked as September, but no year
date. Shows Larry the lamb record on the front cover. Highlighted
117) Copy of advert for New Records in the Toy town series on HMV.
118) Numerous original & copies of press cuttings retained by Hendrick
Baker, relating to Toy Town.
The Final End –with copyright doubts
119) Carbon copy of a letter from Baker to Cygnet film regarding the TV
Right to Thames television, clearly stating that is was for a five year
license only. Dated 25th February 1972.
120) Original letter from Hulme Bemans daughter Betty assuming that they
Still have copyright, but unsure. The letter also states that her Mother
& Hendrick Baker only had a verbal agreement to take equal shares in
In any business Henrick Baker could obtain. She further states that
“Now that Larry the Lamb& co is dissolved she assumes this agreement is now null & void. This is written in her own and comes with the
Original envelope dated 24th July 1992.
121) Carbon copy of a letter sent by Bakers widow Dot to Peter Baker the
Merchandising manager for all Larry the Lamb products. This letter
asks if he still has any claim to copyright and is dated 30th June 1992
123) The original letter of reply from Peter Baker confirming in his own
Hand that he has no further claim on any copyright.
124) Carbon copy of letter sent by Dot Baker to Companies house
seeking any records on Larry the lamb ltd. Dated 4th August 1192
125) Carbon copy of a letter sent by Dot Baker to her nephew who
was apparently assisting her with her business affairs. This letter
States that companies house replied saying they had no records &
that she fears Betty Billets reply as in item 120 above about the
original agreement of lack of it. This is dated 19th August 1992.
Hendrick Bakers other Works.
126) Copy of a contract between Handrick Baker & Michael Gilbert the
author of “The Shot in Question” the contract is for Baker to produce
the stage play of the book. Undated but another letter suggests 1962.
127) Five further documents in relation to “The Shot in Question” these
Suggest it to be far from a success.
128) Four various documents of communication with The Mermaid
Theater relating to Hendrick Baker’s employment in the production
of “Lock up your Daughters dated 1962.
129) Various typed travel itineraries, letter & documents relating to
Hendrick Bakers various international business trips throughout his