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Thread: Dinky/Meccano

  1. #31
    Steven
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    I remember it shutting down. If that was the same one ? At the bottom of Duke street near to Berry street.
    I saw a lot of women and men come out crying.


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  2. #32
    Newbie Degsy_b's Avatar
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    Default Factory of Dreams

    I recently read a book about meccano/ Frank Hornby, called Factory of Dreams, It covered the rise to fame and effect of wartime production and finally its demise. Written by an economist I think? It may be of some interest? I'll try and get an ISBN for the book if you're interested?

    Derek

  3. #33
    John(Zappa)
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    Default Meccano

    Here is that poem I done when I was 12 years old that my mum and teacher wanted publishing....

    It was friday afternoon
    when the news was broke so soon
    the Meccano machines had stopped
    and all the workers they had flopped

    The place has been going for donkey's years
    and now all the workers where in floods of tears
    It was in the papers and on the telly
    that all the workers had got the welly

    All the staff they started a sit in
    hoping that they wouldn't be beaten
    "Airfix fixed us so we'll fix them" all the workers chanted again.

    Some of the workers knew they wouldn't win
    to be out of work it was a sin.

    Now they're collecting "redundancy pay"
    to all the workers it was a miserable day.
    No more Meccano for anyone
    those boring days have yet to come.

    The sit in is over and no Meccano no more
    how I loved the toys they made and now
    it is completely a bore.

  4. #34
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    Default Thanks....

    Thanks for your replies so far - the human side of this is something that I just don't think has ever been properly reflected. This project for me began when I obtained some original advertising artwork from a woman who worked for the ad agency that Meccano used - she and I exchanged several letters and it opened my eyes to the fact that behind all those toys is a human story that can only be recounted whilst those who were part of it are still around.

    John (Zappa) - thanks for your reminiscences too. I think perks of the job sums it up - this was people's livelihoods taken away in a fairly brutal fashion. OK, it's unlikely that the factory would still be there today in any case - but other toy companies like Corgi and Matchbox were far more sensitive about how they dealt with the changes and none of them shut a factory overnight.

    Also thanks to those who tipped me off about the History of Meccano Ltd book - methinks a trip to Amazon is in order....
    Last edited by Andyman7; 12-17-2007 at 07:53 PM.

  5. #35
    John(Zappa)
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    Andy7 you are welcome.
    My mum played a major part of the factory.Not only did she work there but she ran the catalogues,Avon,Raffles and any parties.
    I do (My brother) have photos of a party and some work going on there.

    I recall most of the staff hated Derek Hatton.He did play a big part in getting it closed down.He must of got a good back-hander.I know nothing about the politics of this but to a kid it was Mr Hatton and Airfix that stopped production and caused the misery.

  6. #36
    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
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    I just happened to be talking to a friend of mine about two weeks ago who went into all what went on at Meccano, as he was actually a reluctant union rep spokesperson. I can try and get more details off him of events if you like, I see him most nights in a pub in Old Swan.

  7. #37
    John(Zappa)
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    Quote Originally Posted by hmtmaj View Post
    I just happened to be talking to a friend of mine about two weeks ago who went into all what went on at Meccano, as he was actually a reluctant union rep spokesperson. I can try and get more details off him of events if you like, I see him most nights in a pub in Old Swan.
    Yeah go for it.He will have some interesting info i should imagine

  8. #38
    Senior Member pasha's Avatar
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    my mum worked in meccano for years, my brothers use to get alot of stuff for xmas and birthdays, i have still got a ring she bought me and my sister its about 30 years old

  9. #39
    John(Zappa)
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasha View Post
    my mum worked in meccano for years, my brothers use to get alot of stuff for xmas and birthdays, i have still got a ring she bought me and my sister its about 30 years old
    Did your mum buy raffle tickets,play bingo or buy from catalogues or Avon?
    That was my mums job (haha).
    She will have known my mum I think.Any pics or anything?
    I will have to get my mums Meccanno pics up.

  10. #40
    Senior Member pasha's Avatar
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    iv got no old pics of me mum working there sorry yes she probably did buy avon and other items, when she lost her job it seemed like the end of the world but she went on to work in broadgreen hospital laundry as did alot of her friends from meccano
    debbie

  11. #41
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    Default Meccano

    Hi All,Meccano and Dinky Toy Factory.My Two Aunty's worked their after the War,anyone remember them Dora Fielding (nee Lunt) and Marjorie Buck(nee Lunt).They had some good photos taken by some studio for publicity,A site called Reflections have some for view.I wonder what happened to my four engined Flying Boat,with a Single Engine float plane on top.Best Regards Ken B
    ps Just going to have a cool one its 18c and its 11-30pm Phew

  12. #42
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    In W.H. Smiths.





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    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

  13. #43
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    tattooed gt-grandma quincyg's Avatar
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    my Nan -Virginia (Jean) Devereux- worked in Meccano in the 50's/60's.

    she had a few unboxed dinky toys which she asked me to put on EBay for her a couple of years ago. they made over 300 quid! she was about 88 then and was chuffed to bits.
    she says she wishes she'd have kept more instead of handing them out to her grandkids as presents. my cousins all got rid of them.
    Proud Scouser, with a dabbling of Welsh and Irish.

    bore yourself silly at my Flickr page...anorak central!

  15. #45
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    Does anyone know what happened to the Meccano sign (think it was in sandstone). Was it destroyed or salvaged?

  16. #46
    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Here's a pic of my mum on one of the machines in Meccano.

  17. #47
    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
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    nice pic John
    Used to walk past the Meccano site every day going to work in the 80's, then it all came tumbling down !
    Last edited by hmtmaj; 10-12-2008 at 07:57 PM.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZappathing View Post
    Here's a pic of my mum on one of the machines in Meccano.
    what year was that Zapps? don't think my Nan has any photos from her time there. I'll ask her though.
    Proud Scouser, with a dabbling of Welsh and Irish.

    bore yourself silly at my Flickr page...anorak central!

  19. #49
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    Quincy - I think it was about 1975-78.

  20. #50
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    There was a Meccano factory in Speke, early 60s or their abouts

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZappathing View Post
    Quincy - I think it was about 1975-78.
    my Nan had retired by then so she probably wouldn't have known her
    Proud Scouser, with a dabbling of Welsh and Irish.

    bore yourself silly at my Flickr page...anorak central!

  22. #52
    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
    There was a Meccano factory in Speke, early 60s or their abouts
    There was one in Hanson Rd Aintree but when that closed they all moved to Binns Rd.

  23. #53
    Senior Member M6AJJ's Avatar
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    Wan't the one in Speke in Edwards Lane?

  24. #54
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    Thanks M6AJJ, that was the where it was. The factory backed onto the railway line.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
    Thanks M6AJJ, that was the where it was. The factory backed onto the railway line.
    Was that at a later date when it became Airfix after Binns Rd closed down ?

  26. #56
    jimmy jimmy's Avatar
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    Hi John found this article, it mayshed some light on the subject.


    In 1938 Meccano Ltd launched the 00 gauge Hornby Dublo model railway system, comprising both clockwork and electric train sets. Production continued until 1964.[4]

    In 1942 the production of all toys ceased due to wartime legislation and the company switched to manufacturing for the war effort. Despite the heavy bombing of Liverpool during the war, the Binns Road factory was not damaged. The production of Meccano, Dinky Toys and Hornby Dublo slowly resumed after the war in 1945, but was interrupted again in 1950 by the Korean War due to a shortage of metal.[2][4]

    In 1960 Meccano Ltd purchased Bayko, a Bakelite building model construction toy, from Plimpton Engineering in Liverpool, and moved all its production to Meccano's factory in Speke, Liverpool. The construction sets were updated and polystyrene was used for all the plastic parts instead of Bakelite. Manufacture of Bayko continued until 1967.[7] Meccano Ltd also manufactured Kemex (chemistry sets) and Elektron (electrical sets).


    [edit] Takeovers
    By the early 1960s Meccano Ltd began experiencing financial problems, in spite of exports worth over ?1m, and was bought out by Lines Bros Ltd (Tri-ang), Meccano's biggest competitor, in February 1964. This purchase included both the British and French Meccano factories. Sweeping changes were implemented, including the removal from office of the last members of the Hornby family and applying the Hornby name to the Tri-ang plastic trains. In 1970 Lines Brothers changed the company name to Meccano-Tri-ang.[2]

    In 1971 the Lines Brothers Tri-ang group went into voluntary liquidation and Meccano-Tri-ang was eventually sold to Airfix industries in 1972, the company name reverting back to Meccano Ltd. At the same time, General Mills, a United States toy manufacturer, purchased the majority of shares of Meccano France S.A., renaming the French company Miro-Meccano.[2]


    [edit] The new Meccano
    With competition from other manufacturers from around the world and the increasing popularity of television, Meccano Ltd's dominance of the toy market diminished sharply. To cut their losses, Airfix closed Meccano Ltd's flagship Binns Road factory in Liverpool in November 1979, bringing to an end three-quarters of a century of British toy making. The manufacture of Meccano, however, still continued in France. Airfix were eventually liquidated two years later and in 1981 General Mills purchased Meccano Ltd UK, giving it complete control of the Meccano franchise. It shifted all Meccano and Airfix operations to France and completely revamped the Miro-Meccano construction sets.[2][3]

    In August 1985 French accountant Marc Rebibo bought Miro-Meccano from General Mills, reverted the French company name back to Meccano S.A. and reintroduced some of the discontinued Meccano sets. In 1989 Rebibo was bought out by Finamec (Financi?re de Serbie), who continued the manufacture of Meccano in France. In 1990 Meccano France purchased the "Erector" trademark in the U.S.A. and started selling Meccano sets marked "Erector Meccano" in the U.S.A.[2][3]

    By 2000 Meccano France was faltering and was bought out in May 2000 by the Japanese toy company, Nikko, who continue to manufacture Meccano sets in France and China, although very different from the Meccano originally manufactured by the Binns Road factory.[2]

  27. #57
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    Well found Jimmy, very informative. I was very lucky having Lego, Meccano and airfix models throughout my childhood, oh and dozens of Matchbox, Corgi and Dinky vehicles.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Well found Jimmy, very informative. .
    Ditto. Nice one Jimmy

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    Taken during the Meccano strike.

  30. #60
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    Nice one Zap.

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