Monkeying around

An ape like Chimpey

We had an email from a reader, Caroline Caffoor, last week which at first, we could not make head not tail of. Here it is below:

Hello Rye News

I’m wondering how to contact people in Rye to see if anyone has a Dean’s chimpanzee toy from the early 1960s that they would like to sell. He (mine was a boy, hence the ‘he’!) needs to be 12 inches tall and with a yellow label on the outside of his left shin. The label is about half an inch long. 

My dad bought one for me in 1964 in north London but when I was living in the Middle East his face melted off and his hands and feet melted into squidgy lumps!

I’d love to buy another one that’s in great condition.

I enclose a photograph of a similar one which has already sold on the internet and which shows what he looked like.

I’d appreciate any help that you can give me on locating a version of my old ‘Chimpey’!

What on earth had this to do with Rye we thought? But then one of our more senior volunteers told us that Dean’s moved to Rye from Merton in 1946, occupying the building which is now Webbes at the Fish Café in Tower Street. Dean’s was founded  as a toymaker in 1903 initially making rag books. But then it branched out into teddy bears and other soft toys. Production was moved to Pontypool, South Wales in 1976 and the Rye facility was closed in 1980.

So it is perfectly possible that someone in Rye does have an original Chimpey that needs a new loving home.

If so please contact us at and we will put you in touch with Caroline.

Image Credits: Photograph supplied by Caroline Caffoor .


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