Timbabild was just one of many products that J Hillman & Co Ltd used to make for children, they also made coloured wooden rulers and coloured counting bars.
They started trading in the 1930s, manufacturing flat pack beehives and beekeeping equipment, but the use of DDT on the British countryside killed off a lot of the bee population so the market for beehives dried up. This forced James Hillman and his son in law Hugh Davies to diversify and they developed the product Timbabild. The coloured rulers and counting bars were distributed by E.J. Arnold (Leeds) and James Galt (Cheadle) to schools around the country. An example of the coloured school ruler can be seen in the Museum in the Park in Stroud in the school learning aids section.
The factory was known as The Standard Works and was located in the road down the side of Hurn’s Electrical shop, now called Orchard Place. On the side of the Millennium Stone, in the High Street, you can see a carved beehive no more than 100m from the site of the old factory. The factory has since been knocked down and industrial units built. J Hillman & Co ceased trading in the early 1970s.
Some of their products