Monday, 17 December 2012

Frank Hornby 150th Anniversary

The Frank Hornby 150th Anniversary logo, in dark red.
2013 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of British toymaking pioneer Frank Hornby.

Hornby didn't just invent Hornby Trains: he also invented Dinky Toys, and he got his start when he invented Meccano, originally as a way of making it easier to make toys for his own children out of strips of cut-up biscuit tins.

Hornby patented the idea behind his modular metal construction kit in 1901, and the system evolved to become "Mechanics Made Easy", an educational system for teaching engineering principles to children, before being given the more catchy name of "Meccano".

Meccano Ltd. grew to become an international company with headquarters at Binns Road, Liverpool, and Hornby became a millionaire and a Member of Parliament.

Heritage Lottery Fund LOTTERY FUNDED
The Museum has just been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help it to celebrate 2013 as Frank Hornby Year. The grant will pay for a full-time Project Officer for a year to rewrite and dramatically expand our online resources for Meccano, Dinky Toys and Hornby Trains, and to set up a project website at to hold a directory of participating groups and organisations, and a calendar of their 2013 events. We'll also be holding events focussing on Frank Hornby Week (13th-19th May 2013), launching the programme at the 2013 ModelWorld exhibition in February, and doing some other Very Cool Stuff including some very exciting things on the Museum floor with new technology to allow visitors to access information from the Museum floor. 

As well as its Meccano exhibits, the Museum has what we believe to be the best collection of early Hornby Trains on public display anywhere in the World (in Arch Four), and this grant will let us finally install information systems that can do these collections justice. We're also hoping to bring in some new guest exhibits for 2013 to mark the anniversary.

More information to follow as these exciting developments unfold ...

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