Basildon History

Basildon History

Brief History of Wrenn-Basildon-1966 to 1992

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 distinctive periods which are defined 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)

 to closure when Wrenn was purchased by Dapol in 1992. 

The background is fully covered in Maurice Gunters excellent book and CD "The Story of Wrenn from Binns Road to Basildon" available from the official company website at and currently on E-bay.

Key milestones in the evolution of the Company are forseen 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 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 lauch 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.
  • 2001 to present - Wrenn purchased by three avid collectors- THE NAME LIVES ON! 

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 .


We are also on the
road and could
be at an exhibition /
fair near you!

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latest details

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
which is the official company website.

Unwanted Wrenn
items valued and

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contact details