Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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G. and R. Wrenn

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Makers of model railways and other models, of 123 Lee Road, Lee Green, Blackheath, London SE3.

of Basildon

1950 George and Richard Wrenn started the company, to manufacture high quality track-work and points for 00 gauge model railways, for both 2 and 3 rail operation.

1952 extra staff were taken on as the business expanded.

1955 For extra workspace, the business moved to Honywood Road, Basildon.

1957 The partnership was transferred into a Limited Company, G. & R. Wrenn Limited.

c.1957 A third brother, Cedric, was encouraged to join the business followed, shortly afterwards, by another brother, John Cedric Wrenn, who eventually became Sales Director.

1960 Introduced a model racing car system (the Wrenn 152 system), to compete with the "Scalextric" system of Lines Brothers. It allowed 3 cars to be raced on each track and also to change lanes; at the start it used an AC control system but by 1965 a DC control system was also available. The company also made model boats, baby alarm, and other products.

1964 Agreement with British Trix for joint marketing on the British market

1966 Lines Brothers acquired two-thirds of the company's shares. Wrenns were allowed to use the Hornby Dublo tools and assemble the models and sell them under the Wrenn name. But soon the Wrenn racing car system was withdrawn from the market.

1966 December: the first Wrenn locomotive, "Cardiff Castle", was advertised, based on the Hornby Dublo model.

1967 Wrenn products included models of the Stanier 8F Freight 2-8-0 and the 2-6-4 Tank locomotive.

1969 Lines decided to change the brand to Tri-ang Wrenn

1972 G & R Wrenn separated from the Lines Brothers Group, becoming a family-owned company again.

1992 G & R Wrenn Limited ceased trading.

1993 The name and assets of the company were bought by Dapol Model Railways of Winsford. The production line was later transferred to Llangollen.

2001 Three Wrenn collectors collectively bought the G. & R. Wrenn Company from Dapol

See Also


Sources of Information

  • G & R Wrenn [1]