back to article Hornby opens part-time visitor centre

Model train maker Hornby is opening a visitor centre in Margate for fans of tiny transport toys. But don't be trying to get in mid-week - opening hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And you need to pre-book tickets too. And no unaccompanied kids under the age of 18 either. The centre promises "a fascinating journey through …


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  1. Blake St. Claire


    I looked at the their visitor centre site, and couldn't find an address.

    I guess I'm supposed to wander around Margate to find it, which would be another limiting factor over and above needing a reservation.

    Still another limiting factor -- I suppose -- is that I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic. Maybe the lack of an address isn't such a limiting factor after all.

    1. HaplessPoet

      The address is there:

      I am sure I am not the first to point out to our oversees reader that the address is present on the website, granted it might not be readily apparent as an address unless you are familiar with UK address formats.

      Westwood | Margate | Kent | CT9 4JX

      1. Blake St. Claire
        Thumb Down


        Yes, I plugged that into before I posted. (Did you try that?)

        Am I to understand that the visitor centre is really on Gordon Rd.?

        If so, why not publish that? Is it a secret? Otherwise I'd expect to have to go to Westwood, then wander around and ask people on the street where to find Hornbys. Or maybe Hornbys is so big that I'll just get sucked into it's accretion disc and I shouldn't worry about whether I'll be able to find it, because it'll find me once I'm in the vicinity.

        To me, Hornby's address would be like me listing my address as California, 93065-2159, instead of 1706 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA, 93065. While California, 93065-2159 might theoretically be enough for the USPS to deliver mail, it's not particularly useful for normal people.

        N.B. That's not my address, or even the address of anyone I know.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Look harder! It's beneath the opening times.

      Westwood | Margate | Kent | CT9 4JX

      Which gives this in google maps:

  2. Wommit


    Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi make _toys_

    Hornby make _Models_

    1. Code Monkey


      Airfix _don't_ make models?

    2. djack

      Airfix != Models ???!

      Last I heard, Airfix only made models.

      1. IR


        I thought the whole point of Airfix was that YOU make the models, they just supply the parts.

      2. graeme leggett Silver badge

        Only models now

        Though they did make toys at one time ; a Tommy Gun and an SLR (rifle) and the underwhelming "Flight Deck" plus those soft plastic soldiers and vehicles.

        And at one time they had a train range (they'd bought it up from another company)

    3. TimNevins
      Thumb Up

      Flight of the Pheonix

      Hello Heinrich Dorfmann. Pleased to make your aquaintance.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    it was 12 in my day, and NO im not THAT old.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Nope sorry. Compared to many other model rail manufacturers Hornby make toys.

    Once upon a time Hornby made very detailed models, whereas their rival Triang made less detailed toys. Triang proved more popular and in 1964 Triang's parent bought out Meccano and merged Hornby and Triang into one company ceasing production of the Hornby stuff and continuing production of the cheaper Triang gear. OK so detail did improve six years later when the parent copany went bust and Hornby-Triang was sold on, but it never came back up to the standards of before. You're still looking at a molded single piece clip on plastic body, but molding technology has improved since the sixties.

    They are toys even though a lot of adults play with them. I would say that Corgi are models since they don't actually do anything. Scalextric is very definitely a toy, it's just that the adults who play with them have a lot more fun than the tedious gits who play with trains. <SHIELDS>

    1. Annihilator

      I'm a model, y'know what I mean?

      A "model" is defined as a smaller or larger physical copy of an object. Fits the description quite nicely, yes? :-) Technically my R/C F1 car is a model and a toy.

      If you're in any doubt about the detail that Hornby go into these days, would suggest trying their Live Steam range - none of that electric motor nonsense!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Live steam...

        Daaaamn. That... is sweeter than an iPhone and twice as useful. Thanks for the link.

      2. Freddie

        and I do my time on the catwalk

        I doubt your R/C F1 car is a faithful physical copy. Could the above poster not claim that as the accuracy of the object produced by hornby is so poor it can no longer be considered a physical copy?

        Sorry. Just wanted some right said fred.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Airfix models

    As a kid I enjoyed making Airfix military vehicles. Sadly they were no match for a fully working 76:1 scale labrador.

    1. Jon Double Nice

      Is that a Vauxhall Labrador?


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no unaccompanied kids under the age of 18

    What about unaccompanied kids over the age of 60?

    1. Elmer Phud

      Definately not

      Can't have the over 60's in there without a minder.

      Either that or a ban on using certain phrases:

      "I could put together a Spitfire in ten minues and that included painting it", "No-one else in my class at school managed to finish the Victory, it's the rigging y'know" , "It's not the same since the Japanese imports", etc.

      - a bit like guitar shops that ban 'Smoke on the Water' and 'Stairway to Heaven'

      1. regnik

        I don't believe it

        That's me, and I'm not even fifty yet

        I said something very close to "it's the rigging y'know".

  7. Mr Templedene

    it's nice and handy then for anyone living further north than Herne Bay

    In bloody Margate, arse end of nowhere (nothing against Margate apart from it's location)

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