Web Page No 2318
12th November 2016
Top Picture: A 1962 Tri-ang Catalogue
Middle Picture: The rocker
Bottom Picture: Christmas catalogue
At some time in our young lives we all must have owned, either new or second hand, one of the Triang Toy range.
The range was actually made by a firm called Lines Bros operating under the Tri-ang Toys brand name. Lines Bros Ltd, at its peak in 1947, was claimed by the company to be the largest toy maker in the world. Under the Tri-ang Toys brand name, Lines Bros Ltd also made children's bicycles.
The brothers George and Joseph Lines made wooden toys in the Victorian era, their company being G & J Lines Ltd. Joseph was the active partner while George went into farming. Joseph (or Joe) had three sons, who formed Lines Bros Ltd soon WW1. They were William, Walter and Arthur Lines. Three Lines making a triangle - hence Tri-ang. Arthur's son and Richard Lines, was largely responsible for the Tri-ang Railways. At the start of WW2 production of children's toys was made non-essential by the British Government. As a result, production facilities were converted to weapons manufacture, mainly the Sten Mk III submachine gun. Manufacture of toys resumed shortly after the war ended.
At their peak they had 40 companies world-wide, including the Hornby, Meccano and Dinky brands, but as a result of losses overseas they were in financial trouble. In 1971 Lines Bros. Ltd called in the Official Receiver. The Group was broken up and sold off. Rovex Tri-ang Ltd (which had the Hornby Railways among its portfolio) was Pocket Money Toys Ltd and then sold as Rovex Ltd, complete with its factories at Westwood and Canterbury, to Dunbee-Combex-Marx Ltd. (DCM). G & R Wrenn, a linked model railway company, bought itself free as Wrenn Railways. The remains of the Tri-ang brand was sold off. As a result, the Tri-ang Hornby system took the name Hornby Railways from January 1972, with the Dinky and Meccano businesses being acquired by Airfix.
However the company kept producing toys made of wood such as dollhouses, toy forts, a Noah's ark with wooden animals as well as a small range of wooden soldiers.
Lines Bros had its own railway system, the Rovex system, marketed as Tri-ang Railways. In 1964, Meccano Ltd, which manufactured the Hornby range, collapsed. Lines Bros. purchased the company, and in 1965 the combined model railway was marketed as Tri-ang-Hornby. In 1966 a controlling interest was acquired in a smaller rival, G & R Wrenn. When, in 1971, the Lines Bros. empire was broken up, Rovex - Tri-ang was purchased by Dunbee, Combex, Marx (DCM) but without the Tri-ang brand. Because of this DCM were forced to re-brand the model railway as Hornby Railways.
The range of Tri-ang large scale pressed steel vehicles and lorries were produced from the early 1930s through until the mid-1970s but they were crude by modern standards. The most common are the red tipper lorry, the Shell tanker, breakdown lorry and the London Transport double decker bus, with a couple of cranes and a few railway engines.
Minic Motorways was a system of HO-scale road vehicles that followed a slot in a plastic roadway. The vehicles picked up power via a small wheel on their underside, which was divided into two halves by an insulating flange. At some time in the 1960s this mechanism was replaced by a pair of vertically sprung sliding pickups. These differed from that of racing car systems such as the company's Scalextric.
The Minic Motorways system allowed the modeller to animate the roads as well as the railways in their townscapes.
Various model boats were made by Tri-ang, early yachts were made of steel but they also sold a range of wooden hulled yachts and clockwork motor launches. They produced early battery powered electric motor launches under the brand name of Penguin
When Meccano Ltd faced financial troubles and was acquired by Tri-ang, it also acquired the Dinky Toys range. Tri-ang's own range of model cars, Spot-on, had competed with the Dinky range but never had the success of Dinky and its designs were briefly subsumed into the Dinky range. Tri-ang Minic vehicles last appeared in 1961.
So ended a company that in its day supplied not only toys for boys but also a vast range of dolls houses and dolls house furniture. Among their products were Frog model aircraft kits, model ports and large pedal cars of various designs, metal ride on horses and a car car rocker.
Keep in touch
Peter was talking about Tommy Trinder a couple of weeks back which reminded me that I have signed photo of the Man himself. I discovered this old signed photo when I going through my late Father in Law's lifetime photo's.
I am informed that he got it from a Tommy Trinder show in Portsmouth during WW2 but I have yet to get that information confirmed.
It is signed: " Sincerely ... Tommy Trinder " in faded ink.
Melvyn ( Griff ) Griffiths.
On this day 12th November 1960-1965
On 12/11/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Tottenham Hotspur. The top rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £ and 13.68 were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels).
On 12/11/1961 the number one single was Little Sister/His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrell Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was The Royal Variety Performance (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 12/11/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Out of the Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 12/11/1963 the number one single was You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 12/11/1964 the number one single was (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me - Sandy Shaw and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 12/11/1965 the number one single was Get Off Of My Cloud - Rolling Stones and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was The Royal Variety Performance (ATV) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.