A visit to Southport a few days ago found me in the rather excellent Atkinson Centre on Lord Street as the rain hammered down.
The museum part of the Atkinson is one that covers all of Sefton Borough and there is a large section of it all about the products of Frank Hornby, Maghull’s most famous resident who lived in the town most of his adult life. Indeed, as I stood there looking at the Meccano exhibits I heard a chap nearby say exactly that ‘he’s Maghull’s most famous resident’.
I was particularly taken with the Meccano built model of a sea plane and took some photos of it. Trouble is the exhibits are behind glass so getting a decent photo without reflections from the glass was a bit of a challenge. Here are my efforts:-
The first and third photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
A display of historic Hornby tinplate models at Christ Church, Waterloo not so long ago.
The BBC web site has the story – see link above
Shares in model rail company Hornby tumbled by 62% after the firm warned of mounting losses following a “disappointing” start to the new year.
The group – whose brands also include Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi – said recent UK trading was far worse than expected.
It was the products of Maghull resident Frank Hornby that put the town on the map and of course Maghull has its own Frank Hornby Trust with display cases of his early products in Meadows Leisure Centre.
We can only hope for a better future for this world famous toy/model company.
With thanks to Keith Page & Roy Connell for the lead to this story
The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
Maghull was of course the home of Frank Hornby for many years of his life as he developed Meccano into the iconic engineering toy that it still is.
This is me donating my old maccano set to the Trust. I am pictured with Trust Chairman Les French, former Trustee John Keogh and Cllr. Geoff Howe – then Mayor of Maghull
Here the BBC – see link above – has a story from Belfast which all Meccano fans will appreciate.
The Frank Hornby Trust is a Maghull based charitable trust dedicated to the life, works and products of the world famous Liverpool toy maker.
Not so long ago I bought a second hand book called ‘The Products of Binns Road’ from the Hornby Companion Series by Peter Randall.
A fascinating book in itself but then what fell out of it? Well a letter dated February 1980 from a chap in New Jersey together with an undated British press cutting headed ‘Sit-In goes on at Meccano’ and a page from the Los Angeles Times dated 7th November 1978.
British newspaper article – Daily Telegraph?
The Los Angeles Times article is all about ‘Erector’, the US equivalent to Meccano – indeed the Erector brand is now owned by Meccano. Here it is:-
Los Angeles Times 7th November 1978
Click on the article to enlarge it.
This got me thinking about what the differences/similarities were/are between Meccano and Erector and I found this web site:-
All in all a insight into Erector/Meccano and indeed the history of the book because the letter, mentioned above, was returning it to ‘Al’ who had clearly loaned it to a chap living in Park Ridge New Jersey.
All this connects to Liverpool and of course Maghull as the Meccano factory was in Liverpool’s Binns Road and Frank Hornby, the inventor of Meccano, was and still is Maghull’s most famous resident and the reason the Frank Hornby Trust was set up.
The Frank Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre in Maghull has an exhibition of items associated with Frank Hornby and his products that have been brought together by the Trust. Check with the Leisure Centre before making a trip to see them though as the room is multi-use so is not always available to view the display cases.
The item above on the Echo web site – please follow the link – is fascinating especially for someone like me with a keen interest in the life and works of Frank Hornby, Maghull’s most famous resident.
There are old photos of many of Liverpool’s former and some present factories and a fair few of them are of the Famous Meccano factory in Liverpool’s Binns Road.
Well worth a look at. Thanks to the Echo for an excellent nostalgia piece.