There’s a trick question – “Which company in the world makes the most car tyres?” The answer isn’t Dunlop, or Michelin- it’s Lego. In the same way the company that made the most cars in Britain used to be in Rochford. It was Lesney, who made Matchbox toys.
A chap called David Murphy is trying to create an archive of personal testimonies about Lesneys:
Hello everyone. I’m currently putting together an archive of testimonies from former employees at the Lesney Matchbox factories in Rochford and East London. After a promising response from East London’s community resources about the factories there, I hoped placing a notice on the RDCA might extend the project out to those who worked at the Rochford/Southend plants and who might still remain in the area.
I think this is a hugely valuable part of British Industrial Heritage, and from what I have seen, it is also under-represented in our local history archives. This, along with my love of the toys themselves, motivated me to begin doing something myself, and is what brought me here. The project is still really in its early stages, but I hope that by making contact with relevant individuals, it can be possible to help preserve this important part of social and manufacturing history for future generations to learn about.
An important element of the archive is hearing – and potentially recording – the memories and recollections of former employees and those associated with the Lesney factories in Hackney.
– Did you or a family member work at Lesney’s?
– Did you or a family member work with an associated industry, or as part of the Lesney supply chain?
– Do you have any documentation, photography or film that’s related to the Rochford/Hackney factory in any way?
– Do you have any other material that might be of interest?
If you, or someone you know would like to contribute to this important project please post here, or alternatively feel free to contact me directly on 07881751666 , send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or write to us at 60 Stamford Hill, London, N16 6XS. Thanks in advance, David
There’s some comments about it here on the Rochford District Community Archive.