— Bassett - Lowke —

The Bassett-Lowke company was founded in Northhampton by Wenman Joseph Basset-lowke (° 27/12/1877 - + 21/10/1953)

Basset-Lowke was described as a firm for construction sets, model trains and boats.

Wenman Joseph Basset-lowke was a special character.

He was 13 year old when he left school and on his 21st he sets up his own business, which will go into the history as an established value in the English model world.

Wenman Joseph Basset-lowke was passionate about the developments and arts of his time.

Inspired with the German model of the toy industry, he introduced this in the United Kingdom.

Although he produces products himself, this is not the main intention of Bassett-Lowke.

The general idea was a mail order company for model  toy products.

He also sold Märklin and especially Bing products that he had made or customized for his company.

Private, he embraced himself in the avant-garde art environment.

His house was  designed by the German architect Peter Benrens and the interior by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

His home is now English heritage and can be visited in Northampton.

In 1909 he introduced a model magazine, known as "Model Railways & Locomotives Magazine".

Wenman Joseph Basset-lowke was not all a talented businessman and art expert.

He was also someone who cared for someone in trouble.

When his business partner and good friend Stephan Bing had to flee Germany with his family in 1933 by the emerging Nazi regime, he lend a helping hand.

In the 1950s, however,  Bassett - Lowke began to have financial troubles.

Cheaper competition and lack of interest for his products was the main cose.

In 1965 the Bassett - Lowke company was sold.

In 1966, the firm was owned by Messrs Riley, in 1996 Corgi took over, and since 2008, the company is in the hands of Hornby.

Hornby still brings models on the market under the legendary brand Bassett - Lowke.


film made in the Bassette - Lowke factory around 1930

personal film from Wenman Joseph Basset-lowke