While leafing through John Grant's book Masters of Animation I came across this tidbit in the chapter on Ub Iwerks:
Iwerks then [after leaving Columbia] made a brief sojourn to the United Kingdom, about which not much is known save that he produced there a couple of short-lived and extremely obscure cartoon series: the Way-Out shorts, which were probably parody travelogues, and the Gran'pop Monkey shorts. There were at least three of the latter: A Busy Day (1940), Baby Checkers (1940) and Beauty Shoppe (1940). The central character was a wise and wily old chimp who had been created for a popular series of postcards by the prolific British illustrator (Clarence) Lawson Wood.
Some of Lawson Wood's illustrations can be seen at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive website. I knew that Iwerks had been involved with the British animation industry - he directed the 1935 Boots advert See How They Won, which was scripted in the UK and animated in America - but I didn't realise that he had actually set up shop in Britain.
All three Gran'pop Monkey cartoons can be found on the DVD compilation Cultoons volume 3. Unfortunately, the films themselves shed little light on their history as only one person is named in the credits: producer David Biedermann. Denis Gifford's comprehensive British animation filmography says nothing about either the Gran'pop Monkey or Way-Out series; however, the Gran'pop cartoons are listed in Graham Webb's book The Animated Film Encyclopedia: A Complete Guide to American Shorts, Features and Sequences, 1900-1979. Here are the complete credits for them (Iwerks is conspicuously absent):
Cartoon Films Ltd. for MonoProducers: David Biedermann, Lawson HarisDirector: Paul FennellEditor: Almon TeeterVoice: Danny Webb, Bernice Hansel (Hansel is only credited for Beauty Shoppe)Music: Clarence Wheeler
Photography: Richard M. Ising
I'm not sure exactly what involvement the British industry had with these cartoons, if indeed it had any. The few sources covering the Gran'pop series that I know of are inconsistent: some claim that Iwerks made them in the UK, others indicate that the only British contribution was Wood's source material. I can find very little information about Cartoon Films Ltd. (this old issue of Business Screen is one source), but it was definitely not a British studio.