According to Kelly's directory, Elm Plastics was based at 22 Motney Hill Road in Rainham, now a series of warehouses for James Wellesley Kitchens. The Managing Director was a Polish gentleman called Mr R Michalkiewicz (sometimes known as Mr Michaels) who is mentioned in the Lower Rainham Coronation Party newspaper article of 1953 as having given souvenir books to the children at the party.

The only online info I can find about the factory is this announcement in the Edinburgh Gazette in Sept 1968, ‘... that the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity hereby gives notice that, during the month ending 30th 11 September 1968, she has made special exemption orders relating to the employment of women and/or young persons at the following Factories: Elm Plastics Ltd., Motney Hill Road, Rainham, Gillingham…’ It was reported by several people that the factory had a poor health & safety record with a number of workers losing fingers and at least one losing an arm in various accidents. Phil Stanfield recalled that his mum started a worker’s walk-out one winter because they had no heating in the building! The factory made many popular toys of the time and there are fond memories of families being brought home items such as a Muffin the Mule and a Pea Shooter Gun which were made there. The factory also made Loony Links and the original Mr Potato Head toys.

Babs Brown writes: Mr brother who still lives in Rainham recently sent me a of your magazine featuring Elm Plastics.  I worked there in the early sixties many fond memories.  I met my husband there we are still together he is 85 and myself 78.  I am enclosing a photo taken outside. It was owned by Mr Michaels and Mr Tomasheski excuse the spellings.  Mrs Dingle ran the assembly room with her supervisor Dot I believe that was her name her mother and father owned the shop on the corner. I used to spray paint pineapple ice buckets just like the ones you can still buy today. In the photo I am standing on the right linking arms with the young man. We also sprayed dolls faces made lampshades

Elm Plastics Motney Hill Rainham Kent 1960s





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