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Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Gentlemen

Having gone through all the threads I could not find one devoted to general or miscellaneous posts dealing with the Meccano factory in general, so here it is.

I would like to start the ball rolling with a photograph of the following.
It appears to be made of brass, 26mm in diameter, has a hole punched in it with the wording MECCANO LTD. It also carries the numerals 0013. Is it some sort of staff punch-in item, which is hung on a small peg each day and removed at the end of a shift to denote who was in the factory at any given time?
The reverse is blank.
Looking forward to some answers!

Bruce


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Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

That is a good idea Bruce. We can accumulate a lot of factory information here. I quickly grasped some from my files:

The Aerograph paint spraygun of the type used in the factory:

A 1960s map detail of a plan of Liverpool, which I obtained in Liverpool in 2001, and on which the (red marked) contours of the factory are visible:

Probably some more to follow in the near future, kind regards, Jan


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dinkycollect
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Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Bruce,

I think that your token is something quite different from what you say. The presence of the staff at work was regulated by cards inserted in a clock that would print the time in and the time out. Today they probably use magnetic cards or just a code.

The cards were placed in two racks on each side of the clock one for in and the other out for two reasons. One could see instantly who was in and who was not, also the racks were placed in the direction of personnel flow so that they would take their card, clock in (or out) and place the card in the other rack. Imagine that after eight hours in the factory the staff wanted to move out quickly and no one was allowed to slow down the line of workers.

The token is more likely to be used to borrow a tool from a store. The token would be placed where the tool is supposed to be and when missing the store keeper would know who has the tool. Each worker allowed to borrow such tools is allocated a few tokens with a specific number.


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Dinkinius
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Jacques

As always - you are spot on, as the token belonged to a gentleman who worked in the Tool Room. As for the clock-on cards, my next post will mention this when a warning was issued, "It has come to our attention that some well intentioned individuals are clocking other people's cards. This practice has and will lead to misunderstandings over payment of wages and can lead to upset for the recipient. Please take care to clock only your own card." I guess this was a veiled threat of dismissal if both workers were found out!

Bruce


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Dinkinius
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

janwerner wrote:
"That is a good idea Bruce. We can accumulate a lot of factory information here. I quickly grasped some from my files:

The Aerograph paint spraygun of the type used in the factory:

A 1960s map detail of a plan of Liverpool, which I obtained in Liverpool in 2001, and on which the (red marked) contours of the factory are visible:

Probably some more to follow in the near future, kind regards, Jan"

Jan
I have a series of similar photographs showing the use of the Aerograph spray-gun in the Meccano factory. Great to know you have acquired an example. It was nice seeing again how a clamp spray-mask was used on the Double Decker!
Kind regards,
Bruce


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

This is Meccano Procedures Manual.

It was issued to the Meccano salesmen and contained all the information they needed on a day to day basis.

It is a fascinating snapshot in time.

Dave


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Dinkinius
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Greetings all,

Continuing with my previous post, we now know the little disc used when a tool has been removed and by whom, now we have a single sheet newsletter that was distributed to all staff by the Personnel Department, produced by Mr Steve Critchley who could be contacted by phone on Extension 326. Mr Critchley, are you out there ?

If anything, this little newsletter, DINKERY NEWS No. 1 April 1979, shows a good deal of optimism with the future barely seven months before the Company closed its doors. Was it designed to allay any fears of what lay ahead, or was the Personnel Department also kept in the dark? It is interesting reading the refurbishment that was underway at that time when someone was planning the company's closure.

I hope you all enjoy reading this piece of Meccano history.

Kind regards

Bruce

PS If you are having trouble reading it, try downloading Google Chrome which provides a large image of the DTCA webpage.


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Bruce
Really fascinating to see and read items like that one. It allows us to somehow get a feel for what it was like back in the day at the Meccano factory, even if these are only glimpses in time. It is amazing what keeps turning up from various sources! Thanks for sharing with us!
Terry


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dinkycollect
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Bruce,

I did download Google chrome but I can not find the page to create an account.

Why is the picture larger on Google than on any other browser ?

Jacques.


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Richard
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

I don't remember if I already showed in this forum my slide-rule !

So here it is :


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Richard
That is really a nice relic you have there, with not only Meccano on it, but the address and phone number also. That is not technically a slide rule, which was used for computations, and have a central sliding piece, but a rule or ruler calibrated in inches, and smaller fractions as well. Very nice!!
Terry


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

dinkycollect wrote:
"Bruce,

I did download Google chrome but I can not find the page to create an account.

Why is the picture larger on Google than on any other browser ?

Jacques."

Jacques

I must refer you back four years when the same problem existed with the DTCA website, and the following are the thoughts of the late Peter Golden:

Re:Members Section and Journal 4 Years, 5 Months ago Karma: 3

I expect you are using Internet Explorer as a browser. The problem is that IE does not support resizing of windows properly. I have a screen 1440 pixels wide and it cuts the display off at the sides. Mozilla Firefox which I also use allows the full width of the screen to be used and this effect is not manifested under Firefox or Apple Safari. I don't know how Google Chrome and Opera work but I suspect that they will display pages properly as well.

The problem all web developers have is that all these browsers behave differently. I know the issues with resizing in IE are well known but they have not yet been fixed. We don't have the resources to test and fix the software for each browser and version of browser.

In the meantime the solution is to use Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari, available on PC and Apple (or any of the other browsers).

I will look at seeing if I can constrain the margins to fit within Internet Explorer's limitations

Obviously it is apparent that the problem was never resolved. I found using Internet Explorer the right-hand details of each post including the member's details was not showing, so too the left hand side of each message. I spent hours trying to rectify the matter thinking it was our computer. When I just happened to open the thread in which Peter posted some valid comments and when he made reference to Google Chrome, although he had not tried it, and as I had Google Chrome as a secondary browser, I did not have to have an account, (I use it exclusively for www.flightradar24.com as I have an interest with civilian airline flights and the aircraft assigned to each flight), I then typed in the DTCA address into GC, and it downloaded immediately, and with the full width of each page. I now use GC exclusively for DTCA unless I am already in Internet Explorer and I have no need to view the DTCA Forum in its complete format.

It is a problem that should be highlighted constantly as in the case of Peter's comments, they became buried in time, like so many excellent threads where interest wanes and nobody keeps the thread alive. Or the information becomes lost among a whole lot of waffling! :laugh:

Bruce


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Dinkinius
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

With mention of the Dinky Driver's licence in another Thread, here is THE DINKY DRIVERS' DIARY for 1969 together with a scan of several pages. Not scanned is a very detailed explanation the diary contains on the process adopted when selecting a model, followed by a journey through the various departments until the model finally appears in a shop window. Not sure if this is of interest though. :whistle:

Bruce

I was somewhat amused on reading the page DINKY TOYS COLLECTION LIST in the diary with one of the columns being "Number Owned"!


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Possibly posted before, but deserving a place in this thread, the list for the distribution of prints of drawings circulating in the Binns Road factory:

And two details:

Regards, Jan


starni999
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Hi all,
Not found by me, but picked up from Nick Jones' forum...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0Q-CZryQ7g

Chris Warr.


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Dinkinius
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Chris

So this is where my friend obtained those pictures that I posted on another thread! Many thanks! I recognized the young lady on the left when I first saw your post.
Seeing the film in motion makes one see more of how Meccano operated than just the still photographs - as if one is right there.
Again many thanks for finding this as well as sharing it with us.

Bruce


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Jan Oldenhuis
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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

I found these photos, displaying parked cars in a dead end street of the Meccano factory. On the photo of the Meccano factory on the Meccano News Letter no. 6 of 27th May 1959 only one dead end street can be found. I assume that the pictures of the parked cars were taken in that dead-end street of the Meccano factory. Is here the main entrance of the factory? I think there are members who have ever gone in there. 

Is the stone designation "Meccano" at the end of that street (which has had so much significance for the toy world) preserved somewhere for the city of Liverpool as a tribute to the founder Frank Hornby and all his employees of this factory? for example as a statue or somewhere in a museum?

Note: On the road is indicated: No Parking. So everyone parks "obediently" on the sidewalk. wink. After that they were allowed to park there.smiley

When I saw the 2nd photo I wished that the factory was yet still in working.crying

I hope you had a great Christmas and wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year with very much fun in collecting Dinky Toys, that ever were made in this Meccano factory you see at the pictures.

Jan Oldenhuis, 28-12-2017


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Jan—Great to see these old photos of our beloved Meccano factory. Now that it is long gone, we all wish something more would have been saved....it was such an iconic part of Liverpool for so long. Wouldn’t a Meccano museum have been nice, with samples of the original equipment, machinery, paint tables, etc. displayed? One can only imagine the collective memories from so many years of its existence......
Best regards,
Terry


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Dinkinius
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Hello Jan and Terry)

NIce to see these images being uploaded into the DTCA website.  The top image was taken in the early 1960s. The "No Parking": referred to those below the senior management level.  The spaces were reserved for the Managing Director, General Manager Sales, etc.  The main entrance to the facrtory is through the door on the right, unless I am mistaken.

The second photo was most likely taken in the days leading up to the auction or even in the last few years of operation.

However, here are several images of two of the countless ladies with whom all of us may have had a bond with during the time the factory was operational during 1956-57. The "touch-up squad" with several paint brushes in hand, with a close-up view of one of these young ladies. If only we knew their names!

Kind regards to everyone

Bruce H.   (150)

20171229/1172/1618


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Hello all,

Bruce, the door on the right leads to the offices, not to the work shops. I remember going through this door in 1959.

The workers door is on the oposite side of the street.

There are many photos and documents about the Meccano factories in the Dinky Toys Encyclopaedia under "Meccano factories".

I wish you all the best for 2018 with many new Dinkys.

Jacques.


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Here are some more photographs of parts of the Meccano empire, featuring some of their own transport vehicles:

First shows the Pallet Jekta van (BEK 348) inside the works, possibly at the casting factory at Speke. Note that this is a Bedford A Type, not a D type as modelled by Dinky.

The second and third show a D type tractor unit (WKF 764), firstly in the loading bay, with its loaded trailer, and then parked in the street outside the works. This is (almost) the prototype for the Dublo Dinky articulated lorry, except that the real one has Scammell-type automatic coupling gear whereas the Dublo has Karrier-style outside landing gear - rather improbable on a trailer of this weight, usually seen on combinations up to 3-tons. This deviation from reality is understandable in Dublo, as it would be difficult to make a convincing Scammell coupling so small, but why did Dinky not make their Pallet-Jekta Van with the correct cab - they only had one, the A Type?

Fourth picture is of a Bedford TK articulated van, registration number unconfirmed. This has recently been modelled in 1/43 scale by Ixo/Altaya showing variations of the numberplate from the next vehicle!.

Next is the BMC FG van, JEM 294H, with a body not unlike the Dinky Bedford "Castrol" van - another deviation from reality.

Last, the Ford Transit van GED 861N, surely an obvious livery choice for a model already in the range?

 - and did they ever actually have a Bedford CA van like 482?


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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Two maps and one photo of the private road giving access to the main entrance of the Meccano Factory. The larger scale plan, a detail of a huge drawing of the factory, dates of 1971. Kind regards, Jan 


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Jan Oldenhuis
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

On the 2nd map of Jan W you can clearly see that the main entrance is directly on the right. The entrance is drawn on the map with a revolving door.

 

Main entrance Meccano Factory.

Jan Oldenhuis 30-12-2017


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Dinkinius
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Greetings

Further to Terry's Post #18, I could not agree more  that something positive could have been done to have saved some of the old innards of the factory, but at that time, it was simply rubbish to be cleaned out and dumped unfortunately.

However, what I found amazing when I "dragged" my family to Liverpool in August 2005, long before the advent of satellite navigation systems, (I printed out maps off Google before we left home) although I was able to find Binns Road as it is located not too far from the end of the  M62 motorway, but I was very surprised that there was not one plaque, sign or public notice of what took place at the site of the former factory.  I brought home a fragment of brick which could have been off anything, but to my mind it is a fragment of the old factory.  One would have thought this location would attract some more tourists, (like about a dozen methinks!) but that is apparently how the Fathers who run the city must think that it is simply not worth worrying about.

While there, I also took my family to one street that is very important to Liverpool and the music world and I quote from my diary which I wrote at the time:

We then drove to West Derby to locate the home of Pete Best the original Beatles drummer as it was here that the Beatles started playing as a group in a small coffee shop set up by his parents in the basement of the family home. We found Hayman's Green, but could not locate the house as there were no signs to indicate this unique piece of Liverpool music history, so we gave it away. 

I think those who run Liverpool seem to think the Cavern Club is the only place worthy of promoting!  But what about Meccano whose employment meant a lot to Liverpool in the first half of the 20th century.

As for the entrance into the factory, I am glad I was vindicated by Jan O who confirmed the location of the main entrance into the factory where visitors and official guests made their entry into the Works. The staff entrance  (and other unofficial guests) was to the left off the private road, although there were several other staff entrances that were used.

Regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20181202/1342/1180


binnsboy650
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Indeed Bruce! Perhaps you could suggest it to the relevent authority?


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Dinkinius
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Indeed John - I have already done so - am still waiting to hear from the "Visit Liverpool" website. But it would be far better if you could also write as well as stirring up some interest with those who live in the UK rather than some colonial beating his drum from way out here in the Antipodes!

Try this address that will get you to the website: info@marketingliverpool.co.uk

I am not sure who exactly operates "Visit Liverpool" which I am sure has the blessings of the City Fathers. Such an approach may be better than addressing the issue to some bureaucrat.

Bruce   (150)

20181402/2022/1181


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Jan Oldenhuis
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

I think it has more effect when the DTCA as an (UK and worldwide) organization and representative of all Dinky Fans comes with a proposal to the city council of Liverpool to place a column with plaque at the site of the factory. The best thing would be if this were to be done in collaboration with the HRCA. That puts more weight in the scale.

Jan Oldenhuis, 14-2-2018


binnsboy650
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Both suggestions have merit. I agree that an approach from DTCA & HRCA combined would carry more weight but I suspect that Liverpool city fathers would say "You pay for it and we'll put it up!". Maybe a poll?


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Jan Oldenhuis
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Perhaps there are culture funds or historical societies in Liverpool or the surrounding area that recognize the historical value of such a memento and want to contribute financially to the realization of it.

Jan O.


CaddyEldorado
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

Judging by the article on page 3 of the latest Journal which depicts a Meccano Liver Bird, the powers that be clearly have an interest in Hornby history, so they may well be amenable to some sort of permanent plaque.

Regards

Mark


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fodenway
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Re : Meccano Ltd, Binns Road, Miscellaneous

It may be worthwhile contacting the editor of the Liverpool Echo newspaper, or the local radio stations  and trying to gauge the level of interest of Meccano's ex-employees and Liverpudlians in general regarding the proposal. 


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