Thursday, December 22, 2005


To all 'Lone Star' model and toy enthusiasts

The Lone Star Collectors Exhibition saw a venue change in September 2005, with the event taking place for the first time at the Whitewebbs Museum of Transport, Whitewebbs Road, Crews Hill, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 9HW, U.K. Judging by attendance, this had obviously proved a popular move.

Among the many enthusiasts exhibiting their collections was Ian Dorrell of Norfolk, with his fantastic range of Lone Star models and toys, some dating back to the late 1940s. Die-cast airliners, cars, trucks in various scales were on display, many of them in mint condition and with their original packaging. Martin Doubleday of Essex had brought along, and was running, two remarkable 'Treble-0-Lectric' model train layouts. Roger Traveller, also from Essex, was showing off his vast collection of Lone Star western-style cap-firing pistols and rifles, along with many leather holsters that the company produced.

A newcomer to the Lone Star group of exhibitors, Eddie Kilmurry, offered collectors the opportunity to buy some interesting and rare pieces. And Roger Cox, wearing his trademark flat cap, was also present, with a host of items to sell and part-exchange.
Bernie Cook of the Train Collectors' Society treated visitors to a look at his battery-powered Impy/Treble-0-Train set and layout which, of course, didn't need to run on the usual electrified track. Others with enviable collections on show were James Robertshaw, from Yorkshire, who boasts a fantastic range of die-cast model cars, trucks and other wheeled vehicles, and Clive Gehle, who had many items of interest and was trading as well as exhibiting, in individual cars, trucks, OOO gauge locomotives, etc. He also presented a spread of Lone Star comics and annuals from the 1950s. These featured many regularly seen characters: 'Ace Hart', Spaceship Commander; 'Captain Dirk Cutlass', Buccaneer; and the Cowboy 'Steve Larrabee', the 'Lone Star Rider', righter of wrongs and defender of the oppressed! In the mid-1950s, Lone Star actually employed actor Roy Green to portray the role of 'Steve Larrabee', and, in costume, he toured the major department stores in the UK to promote sales of Lone Star's die-cast guns and other western-themed products. Visitors to Clive's stand could also see Lone Star/D.C.M.T. (Die Casting Machine Tools Ltd - Lone Star's parent company) memorabilia, including a brass plaque originally fitted to the external wall beside the office block main entrance of the Hatfield factory.

Having travelled over from the Netherlands, Donald Troost, a well-known expert in Lone Star trains and the 'Treble-0-Lectric' railway system in particular was offering a newly revised edition of his two volume book Lone Star Model Train Reference Guide. This well illustrated work contains details of everything that anyone could wish to know about these miniature trains, including minor variations in the actual metal castings of some of the locomotives and goods/passenger rolling stock. Some of these variations are subtle to the point of being barely perceptible and can easily go unnoticed by anyone unaware of their existence. Donald Troost has identified, detailed and illustrated them all! Hans Muller, an acquaintance of Mr. Troost, had also made quite a journey - from Switzerland - to attend the event. He was a visitor, not an exhibitor, on this occasion but an acknowledged expert in regard to Lone Star's model railways.

Many former Lone Star employees enjoyed this nostalgic event including Mrs. Rosemary Basden, once secretary to 'Stan' Perrin MD; Michael Cole (Toolmaker); Jonathan Thorpe (Works Manager); Cyril Palmer (Engineer); and Denis Eagles (Director of subsidiary company 'Eaglet Industries'). John Brooman, whose father had once been a Works Manager and later a Director at Lone Star, was also in attendance as was Mr. D. Hawksworth, who had actually purchased one of several residential properties since built on the site of the former Lone Star factory (formerly known as 'A.G.M. Industries') at Welham Green, two miles south of Hatfield.

For further details and pictures, visit the website:
or contact me direct by E-mail:

Geoff Ambridge (ex-D.C.M.T.)

Postscript - The above article is similarly worded to the report submitted by me in regard to the Whitewebbs Museum event - published in "Model Collector" magazine, January '06 issue, page 71 and entitled: "A day to shine". Magazine on general sale in the U.K. between 7th December '05 and 4th January '06.


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