Basildon History

Basildon History

Brief History of Wrenn,Basildon(1966 to 1992) and follow on.

Wellcome to the world of Wrenn, with particular emphasis on the Bowlers Croft, Basildon Era, 1966 to 1992 when the Wrenn factory closed. This spans four main distinctive periods, (Periods 1-4), followed by the acquisition by Dapol (1992)  and then the Collectors Consortium in 2001.They are as follows;  

  • Period 1 (Early Wrenn 1966-1969)
  • Period 2 (Triang/Wrenn 1969-1972)
  • Period 3 (7.5p Box Type 1972-1980)
  • Period 4 (W7304 Box Type 1980-1992)
  • Period 5 (Dapol - wagon issue only in packaged Dapol boxes - 1992-2001)
  • Period 6 (Collectors Consortium - 2001 to 2015 - G & R Wrenn closing October 2015) 

The background  up to early Period 6 is covered is by Maurice Gunters excellent book, followed by CD "The Story of Wrenn from Binns Road to Basildon" , enquiries should be via www.gandr-wrenn.co.uk ,

Key milestones in the evolution of the Company are for seen as follows;

  • 1950 company formed, premisses at Blackheath, London specialising in quality  trackwork and points (2/3 Rail) for OO Gauge model railways
  • 1955 company moves to Bowlers Croft, Basildon, due to business expansion including additional "TT", and "O" Gauge trackwork products
  • 1957 G & R Wrenn becomes a Limited Company, more expansion takes place
  • 1960 Introduction of the excellent "Wrenn Model 152 Racing Car System", very much a competitor to "Scaletrix".
  • 1965 Introduction by Wrenn of other products  such as "Master Mariner Set" and "Wrenn Wonder Boat", etc.
  • 1966 Wrenn absorbed by Line Brothers who owned Hornby Dublo, and tooling used to launch first Wrenn Loco "Cardiff Castle. More followed - Period 1 commences.
  • 1967 Wrenn launch "N" Gauge railway product range, which were manufactured by Lima, Italy, and supplied to the UK market in Wrenn "packaging"
  • 1969 Group decision to brand  and market new Wrenn products as "Triang/Wrenn"-Period 2 commences-Pullmans appear
  • 1972 Wrenn seperates from Lines Brothers Group-Period 3 commences, and an increased selection of Locomotives/Pullmans/Wagons
  • 1980 Period 4 commences with more Private Owner Wagons, extensive range of Pullmans and Locomotives
  • 1992 Wrenn purchased by Dapol, and production initially shifted to Winsfiord, Cheshire, and then to Llangollen, Wales.-Period 4 ends. Only Wrenn wagons issued - Dapol packaging. 
  • 2001 - Wrenn purchased by three avid collectors (Wrenn,Cheshunt), excellent range of Wagons/Pullman/Loco bodies & tenders produced full spares support. Wrenn Collectors Club initiated.
  • 2015 - Wrenn Collectors Club closed, announcement that G & R Wrenn Ltd will close in October 2015. 

Wrenn is the last of the true "British Diecast" Locomotives in "OO " GAUGE. It is true to say they still have one of the largest range of Private Owner Wagons on the UK "OO" Gauge market .

 I BELIEVE THE NAME WILL LIVE ON, AND THAT WE  WILL SEE A REVIVAL IN BOTH THE COLLECTORS MARKET, AND THOSE RUNNING WRENN. RELIABLE LOCOMOTIVES/COACHES/WAGONS THAT STAY ON THE TRACK WITH FULL SPARES AND SERVICE SUPPORT WORLDWIDE. 



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The views expressed on this website
are purely my own, based on
many years experience as a dedicated
Wrenn collector.
I would like to thank Maurice Gunter
and his team for continuing the
development and production of
an excellent range of products and Services,
following the acquisition of the Company
G.R. Wrenn Ltd from Dapol in 2001.
These may be viewed at
www.gandr-wrenn.co.uk
which is the official company website.




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