kids encyclopedia robot

Toytown facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Larry was the"little guy who always came out on top"

Toytown was a BBC radio series for children, broadcast for Children's Hour on the Home Service. The plays were based on a set of puppets created by S. G. Hulme Beaman, who also wrote the stories for the series. The first Toytown plays were broadcast in 1929, and the pool of stories was re-used until the end of Children's Hour. There were 31 plays in all. During the 1970s, most of the plays were adapted as short films which were broadcast on ITV.

The series starred Larry the Lamb, the central character, and his clever sidekick, Dennis the Dachshund. In each story a misunderstanding, often arising from a device created by the inventor, Mr. Inventor, occurs which involves Ernest the Policeman, the disgruntled Mr Growser the Grocer and the Mayor.

During the early-1950s series on BBC Children's Hour, Larry the Lamb was always played (at least when broadcast from London) by Derek McCulloch, Dennis at various times by Norman Shelley, Ernest Jay and Preston Lockwood, the Mayor by Franklyn Bellamy and Felix Felton, Ernest the Policeman by Arthur Wynn, Peter Claughton and Stephen Jack and the Inventor usually by Ivan Samson.

The opening music was "The Parade of the Tin Soldiers" by Leon Jessel.


  • Larry the Lamb - The main protagonist and best friend of Dennis. Larry and Dennis are very mischievous and the closest thing Toytown has to hoodlums. On one occasion they vandalized the mayor's statue, and on another they convinced everyone there was a dragon on the loose (which by coincidence there really was).
  • Dennis the Dachshund. Clever friend of Larry. He speaks with a strong German accent and uses German word-order in his sentences. He is good at turning barrels and spit wheels. He dreams of being an Alsatian and particularly dislikes being called a "sausage dog".
  • Mr. Mayor - Toytown's chief official. He is rather pompous and has had a statue of himself placed in the town square. He has an inferiority complex about his short stature, and on one occasion asked the magician to make him "big". (The magician misheard him and turned him into a pig.)
  • Ernest the Policeman - Keeps "law and order" but rarely ever arrests anyone. He is always threatening to write down people's names and addresses in his notebook. He considers himself the mayor's deputy, and on one occasion set himself up as "mayor" while the real mayor was away on a rest cure.
  • Mr. Inventor - A brilliant engineer, capable of making almost anything. On one occasion however he was stumped at how to make an engine for the Mayor's car, and asked Larry and Dennis to provide the propulsion. He suffered the derision of Mr. Growser when this deception was revealed.
  • Mr. Noah - Keeps a menagerie of animals in his "Ark".
  • Mr. Growser - A disagreeable old gentleman who is always finding things to complain about - usually the behavior of his fellow citizens. His favourite phrase is "It's disgraceful, it ought not to be allowed!"
  • The Magician - A sorcerer who makes a specialty of granting people's wishes. In one story Larry becomes his apprentice.

Radio Plays

The first radio performances were as follows:

  1. How Wireless Came to Toytown: 29 Nov 1929
  2. The Sea Voyage: 27 Dec 1929
  3. The Enchanted Ark: 2 Jan 1930
  4. The Arkville Dragon: 30 Jan 1930
  5. Larry the Plumber: 18 Feb 1930
  6. Toy Town Treasure: 12 Mar 1930
  7. The Great Toy Town Mystery! Who Was Guilty? 3 Apr 1930
  8. The Extraordinary Affair of Ernest the Policeman: 1 May 1930
  9. The Portrait of the Mayor: 6 June 1930
  10. The Great Toy-Town War: 14 Oct 1930
  11. The Disgraceful Affair at Mrs. Goose's: 14 Nov 1930
  12. The Showing Up of Larry The Lamb: 9 Dec 1930
  13. The Kidnapping of Father Christmas: 23 Dec 1930
  14. The Babes in the Wood: 13 Jan 1931
  15. The Start of the Treasure Hunt: 3 Feb 1931
  16. In Which Mr. Growser's Worst Fears Are Realised: 19 Feb 1931
  17. The Wreck of the Toytown Belle, part 1: 3 Mar 1931
  18. The Wreck of the Toytown Belle, part 2: 19 Mar 1931
  19. Toy Town Goes West: 31 Mar 1931
  20. Mr. Noah's Holiday: 21 Apr 1931
  21. Pistols for Two: 12 May 1931
  22. Dreadful Doings at Ark Street: 9 June 1931
  23. Disgraceful Doings in Ark Street: 1 Sept 1931
  24. Frightfulness at the Theatre Royal: 22 Sept 1931
  25. Golf (Toytown Rules): 13 Oct 1931
  26. Tea for Two: 3 Nov 1931
  27. Mr. Growser Moves: 1 Dec 1931
  28. A Toytown Christmas Party: 22 Dec 1931
  29. The Brave Deed of Ernest the Policeman: 2 Feb 1932
  30. The Conversion of Mr. Growser: 23 Feb 1932
  31. Dirty Work at the Dog & Whistle: 16 Aug 1932 (possibly a repeat of "The Kidnapping of Father Christmas")


A stop-motion television series which went under various names such as Stories from Toytown Featuring Larry the Lamb was first broadcast on ITV between 1972 and 1974. Twenty-six of Hulme Beaman's stories were adapted for television by his friend Hendrik Baker.

  1. Toytown Goes West
  2. The Tale of Captain Brass the Pirate
  3. The Extraordinary Affair of Ernest the Policeman
  4. The Disgraceful Business at Mrs. Goose's
  5. Golf (Toytown Rules)
  6. The Arkville Dragon
  7. The Tale of the Inventor
  8. The Tale of the Magician
  9. The Theatre Royal
  10. The Toytown Treasure
  11. Tea for Two
  12. Mr. Noah's Holiday
  13. The Toytown Mystery
  14. A Portrait of the Mayor
  15. Pistols for Two
  16. How the Wireless Came to Toytown
  17. The Brave Deed of Ernest the Policeman
  18. The Tale of Ernest the Policeman
  19. The Showing Up of Larry the Lamb
  20. Larry the Plumber
  21. The Mayor's Sea Voyage
  22. Dreadful Doings in Ark Street
  23. The Great Toytown War
  24. Mr. Growser Moves
  25. Mr. Mayor
  26. Dirty Work at the Dog & Whistle
kids search engine
Toytown Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.