Tri-ang Society Reproduction Box Order Form

The Tri-ang Society


Welcome to the webpage of the Tri-ang Society. The members of this club are interested in the many and various toys produced by the companies of the former Lines Bros. ltd. (R.I.P) We are currently nearly 550 members strong after twelve years (2012) and have two of our own events for 2003 where we meet and display our collections to the public. We are attending several other shows, details on the EVENTS page.

The Tri-ang Society is a non profit making organisation with the members interests in Lines Bros Ltd toys as the primary concern. We are linked by a regular, professionally printed full colour magazine and new members receive a copy of a spares directory, which is updated as necessary together with a membership list to encourage the 'Tri-ang' community.

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The Lines family made toys in Victorian times. The founders were the brothers George and Joseph Lines. Their company was G & J lines Ltd with Joseph being the most active while George later went into farming. Joseph (Joe) Lines had four sons three of whom formed Lines Bros Ltd soon after WW1. These three were William, Walter and Arthur Edwin Lines who first made wooden toys like their father. These three 'Lines' make a triangle you see, hence the name "Tri-ang". The surviving member of the family, who had worked within this toy empire is the son of Arthur, namely Richard Lines who is largely responsible for the Tri-ang Railways system and we are honoured to receive regular comment and support from him.

Tri-ang toys were aimed at the children from working homes and were always competitively priced and brightly coloured. Lines Bros Ltd thought big and achieved their good prices through large scale and efficient manufacture, with factories all over the world. During the second war, Lines Bros factories made munitions and were reputedly able to teach the MOD how to organise production speedily and with high outputs. Lines Bros engineers developed the 'Sten' gun which saw extensive war use.

The most important recent phase under Tri-ang was the acquisition of a small plastics firm in Richmond, Surrey, who, desperate to use their injection moulders to the full, had created a toy train set at the request of none other than Marks and Spencer. The original concept was well founded but needed finanacial support and development which Lines Bros Ltd provided. Rovex Plastics Ltd was to grow from strength to strength and soon outgrew their premises in Richmond, Surrey, to move to an all new factory at Westwood, Margate in Kent. They gained experience, the hard way, with a new fangled material called plastic. The earlist trains were made from cellulose acetate, which, within a few years, shrank, and all the examples from that period are somewhat banana shaped. With the switch to polystyrene, Rovex became masters of the material and the cleverness and longevity of their products, some now over 50 years, is a testament to the genius and forethought. The Margate factory was built to enable production to expand and this has been used until late 1998 to make the 'Hornby' branded, though essentially 'Tri-ang' trains of today.

From 1964, following the collapse of Hornby Dublo, a branch of Meccano in Liverpool, Lines Bros owned the Hornby name. At first they called the railway range 'Tri-ang Hornby' but it was almost all Tri-ang, the Hornby bit was lipservice and a marketing ploy. In the end, the marketing men decided to keep only the Hornby name and abandon their true heritage. This seems a great shame as Hornby was a separate company, one that had in fact failed to compete, yet the name was longer established and considered more associated with model railways.

Production now continues in China, using many of the principles and techniques developed by Rovex as Tri-ang Railways. Indeed, the Mk 1 coaches first made by Tri-ang Railways are essentially the same products still made today, 40 years later. The packaging is still red and yellow, this was the Tri-ang colour scheme and although it says Hornby on the box, the firm is based at Margate, the home of Tri-ang Railways.

The Scalextric range, also from this later period and made by Minimodels in Havant, remains a popular testament to the plastics genius within Lines Bros Ltd.

GO TO THE SCALEXTRIC CLUB

Lines Bros Ltd, at its peak, was claimed to be the largest toy maker in the world and the product range included: dolls houses, rocking horses, pressed steel, tinplate, die cast and plastic road vehicles, ships, Arrow jigsaw puzzles, Pennybrix, Pedigree Prams and dolls, pedal cars, Minic vehicles, Minix cars, Minimodels, Miniville, Model-Land, clockwork, battery and electric mechanisms, Scalextric, Minic Motorways, Sindy, Spot On, Minic waterline ships, Arkitex conxtruction kits (two scales), FROG construction kits, science and educational toys, Big Big train, Wrenn Railways, Jump Jocky, Tri-ang Minic Narrow Gauge (garden) railways in 9/1/2" gauge and latterly two complete railways systems in '00' and 'TT' gauges. There were associated companies overseas selling Tri-ang under their own brand names. eg: A.T.T. in the U.S.A.

This list is not exhaustive.

We are all wiser, thanks to the reference publications by Pat Hammond (himself a Tri-ang Society member) on the histories of Rovex Tri-ang, the railways part of Lines Bros Ltd. Now, there are many more collectors who can appreciate the immense variety, cleverness and high build quality of the toys from the Lines Bros empire. Looking at the Tri-ang railways alone, it seems impossible to collect the lot, as the variety of colour, number, couplings, wheels, chassis, boxes, etc., it is just too vast.


Books by Pat Hammond:

The Stories of Rovex Tri-ang from New Cavendish Books.
Volume 1
ISBN - 0 904568 57 1

Go To Rovex Story Volume 1.

Volume 1a
ISBN - 1 872727 29 8

Go To Rovex Story Volume 1a.

Volume 2
ISBN - 1 872727 58 1

Go To Rovex Story Volume 2.

Volume 3
ISBN - 0 904562 00 0

Go To Rovex Story Volume 3.

Click here for our EVENTS
Tri-ang Society Reproduction Box pages

Join the Society!
Any questions? Mail the Society

Communicating by e.mail can be unreliable for a variety of reasons.
We will reply to all e.mails that we receive,
but should you get no reply, then try ordinary post.
( Please allow 28 days )


At the Tri-ang Society, we endeavour to enjoy our Tri-ang toys and not become too serious about them. For the majority at least, we collect, restore, and enjoy what we like, with less thought for financial values. That really should be the essence of toy collecting!!

Click on the thumbnails to see the full image

Mail the Society!

Join the Society!

EVENTS

Click here for Tri-ang reproduction boxes now available

Tri-ang Ships

Tri-ang Railways

Tri-ang Pullman

Tri-ang Catenary Trains

Tri-ang Minic Narrow guage Railways

Rovex Tri-ang Princess. Now sixty years old.

Tri-ang Hornby 'Amalgamation Leaflet'

Tri-ang dolls houses.

Floor Locomotives.

Tri-ang toys

Go to David Wilshaw's Tri-ang Forum

Go to Dave McCarthy's excellent and huge Tri-ang site.

Go to UK Model Shops VERY USEFUL site.

Go to A FROG / Penguin website.

Go to U K Toy Auction website.

Go to A Spot On site.

Go to Tri-angman Website

Go to A DIRECTORY of all toy types.

Go to Club Ferroviaire de Creil France

Go to South Pole replacement magnets

Go to Member Richard Deas Tri-ang Hornby website.

Go to Member Paul Grogan's Moulton cycle website.

Go to The Tri-ang Railways descendants, Hornby Railways.

Go to Falconwood Transport and Military Bookshop.

Go to A Tri-ang website for vehicles from Holland.

Go to The website for artist Peter Barnfield.

Go to Allan Trotter's "Genuine Fakes"

Go to Brighton Toy Museum

Go to A Sindy Website

Go to Model Rail Glasgow

Go to A Tri-ang TT railway site

Go to Elaine's Trains

Go to Andy (Elaine's Husband's) website

Go to Laurence Moger's Tri-ang Railways site

Go to A great 'Spot On' site from Wiebe Buising

Go to The Cumberland Toy and Model Museum

Go to The Model Railway Doctor

Go to Railway Nameplates UK

Go to Tri-ang from Holland

Go to G & R Wrenn Ltd

Go to The Pedal Car club.

Go to Tri-ang in North America and Canada

Go to Model Rail Express mag edited by Pat Hammond

Go to Warley Model Railway Club website.

Go To Tri-ang Railways site.

Tri-ang SocietyReproduction Box Order Form