Flotsam & Jetsam – Modelcraft Limited
John Parker delves into the archives
Selection of Modelcraft plans in their original envelopes
The Modelcraftstory begins in about 1938 when key personnel of the Sign Construction Company Limited, a signmaking and sheet metal working company at 77 Grosvenor Road, London, discovered that they had a common interest in making models. Foremost amongst these was Harry Shipp Coleman, who duly formed Modelcraft Limited and began to manufacture model ship kits alongside their main activity of sign making. The outbreak of World War Two soon curtailed both activities as the company largely went over to war work, but demand for the models, and more particularly the plans needed to make them, continued to be strong.
The Modelcraft premises, 1950
The reason, Coleman surmised, was that the war put many people into long periods of enforced idleness. During the blackout for example, or fire-watching duty, manning a lonely gun emplacement or as off-duty crewmen on a warship, these people could derive much satisfaction from building simple models with the minimum of tools and equipment, often using scrounged materials. All they needed was a plan to follow and some cardboard, glue and small pieces of wood, and since Modelcraft was set up to provide ‘plans, designs and printed paper accessories for modellers’, this was just the ticket. Despite being bombed in 1940 and there being great difficulty in obtaining the raw materials such as paper and cardboard, Modelcraft were able to keep some production going throughout the war years.
Read the full article in Model Boats August 2017
For more great articles subscribe to Model Boats today
Want the latest issue of Model Boats? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!
Make sure you never miss out on the latest news, product reviews and competitions with our free RSS feed
We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.
In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.
The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!
I look forward to receiving your suggestions.
Colin Bishop - Website Editor