Frank Hornby Trust – Spring cleaning in November!


I have not mentioned the Frank Hornby Trust for a while but last Tuesday the Trustees got together for their AGM and a big clean up of our display cases in the Frank Hornby Room in Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre.

Cleaning the large display case

Cleaning the large display case

It was great to see Jim Gamble (probably the worlds greatest expert on Meccano) again – he had travelled up for the day from his Nottingham home.

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one had to be carefully cleaned!

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one had to be carefully cleaned!

If you have an interest in helping to support the work of the Frank Hornby Trust please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

Note:- Frank Hornby lived virtually all of his adult life in Maghull and his world famous toy empire of Meccano, Hornby Trains and Dinky Toys makes him Maghull’s most famous former resident. There is an English Heritage Blue Plaque on his first house in Station Road near Maghull Station. It was the first one erected outside of London.

You can contact the Frank Hornby Trust via its Chairman Les French:-

or you can get in touch with me at:-

Hornby Trains in trouble

Dave Howel  (the chap on the right of the photo) displays his historic Hornby tinplate collection at Christ Church, Waterloo not so long ago.

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:-

Frank Hornby – Just what did happen to the Hornby empire when it was broken up?

The amazing thing about Frank Hornby and his products is that many of them are still in production although the ownership of the companies involved in their manufacture is now spread far and wide.


Take Meccano, it has been produced by a French owned company for many years now – see link below to Meccano UK:-

And what about Hornby Trains – still going ‘strong’ as a OO gauge model railway producing company – see the link below:-

And what brought this to mind? My old chum and former Maghull resident Roy Connell (now a valued associate researcher for this blog site) spotted this newspaper report on the fortunes of the Hornby Company:-

And for those interested in what happened to Dinky Toys this link to a very detailed Wikipedia page will be of interest:-

Toy production has always be a volatile part of the economy with trends coming and going regularly. Produce the wrong toy that does not prove particularly popular and a company can be in all sorts of trouble.

The Frank Hornby Trust is dedicated to preserving and displaying the life and works of Frank Hornby who is by far the famous former resident of Maghull on Merseyside, UK. Displays of Hornby products are available for the public to view in the Frank Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre, Maghull. I would however urge all potential visitors to call the Leisure first before setting out as the room is multi-use and is not always available to view the Hornby display cases. The staff at the Leisure Centre should be able to tell you when viewing is possible.

Southport – The Atkinson’s grand opening

Thursday 12th February saw the official opening of The Atkinson Museum on Southport’s Lord Street.

I have commented on this excellent building (or to put it correctly collection of 3 buildings) previously and for those not familiar with Southport it used to be called The Arts Centre.

A splendid combination of Library, Museum and Theatre it must now rank as being of regional significance.

The Museum is titled Between Land & Sea but also houses a significant Egyptology collection. Shipping and tourism are well to the fore as you would expect from a museum that covers a geographical area stretching from Bootle to Southport. But there is inland Sefton as well and there to balance things up is a nice collection of Meccano, Hornby Trains and Dinky Toys. They are of course the products of Frank Hornby, Maghull’s most famous resident.

Here are 3 photos I took on the opening evening:-

Cllr. Peter Dowd, Emma Anderson (Atkinson Director) & Virginia Tandy OBE a Trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund

Cllr. Peter Dowd, Emma Anderson (Atkinson Director) & Virginia Tandy OBE a Trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund

R Meccano Sets

R Meccano Plane

Why not plan a visit to Southport and included a visit to The Atkinson.

Hornby Trains – Was the former Station Masters house at Maghull inspiration for model?

Legend has it, especially in Maghull and particularly in the mind of Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French that the buildings at Maghull Station were Frank Hornby’s inspiration for his model buildings.

The fact is that Frank Hornby lived yards away from Maghull Station at the Hollies on Station Road for many years and then later in life a little further away at Quarry Brook which is now the sixth form building of Maricourt RC High School. He would have used Maghull Station regularly so could easily have spent time studying the buildings as he awaited his trains.


So is the legend true? Here is a photo of the rather dilapidated Station Master’s house, taken just a couple of weeks ago. Do Hornby Railways fans think there is a link between Maghull Station’s buildings and Franks models?

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-