Havant swapmeet celebrates more than 50 years of famous toy

PLAY TIME Scalextric models will be on display at the Havant swapmeet
PLAY TIME Scalextric models will be on display at the Havant swapmeet
Have your say

The world-famous track and car toy Scalextric has been celebrated in the town where it all began.

Invented by Fred Francis for his Minimodels company at New Road, Havant, the toy has stood the test of time for more than 50 years, being passed on from generation to generation.

Last year the first-ever Havant Scalextric Swapmeet was held, welcoming more than 300 people to the event.

This year organiser Robert Learmouth hopes to see numbers increase further at the event on Sunday, September 27.

At the height of its production, Minimodels was manufacturing more than 7,000 Scalextric toys a week, leading to the new factory being opened in Havant in 1957.

The swapmeet aims to bring enthusiasts of all ages together and keep this much-loved toy in the forefront of people’s minds and memories.

Mr Learmouth said: ‘The swapmeet will welcome those of all interests and ages to come along and buy, swap, sell, and talk all things Scalextric or just look at the products of the past and present.

‘From the youngest children who struggle to keep their car on the track to the serious adult collectors – all will be made very welcome.’

Dealers, collectors, clubs and organisations from the UK and abroad will occupy the crammed hall at Havant Leisure Centre, with models from the earliest Havant days through to the latest releases.

Alongside all the models on display there will be a slide-show presentation to celebrate the years of manufacturing in Havant.

The event will welcome former employees from the Minimodels company and family members who worked with Fred Francis on the original design.

After closing in 1970, production of the toy moved to Margate in Kent where it has lived on under the ownership of Hornby Hobbies.

This year, the Margate site was wound down and the headquarters moved to Sandwich.

The event starts at 10am. For more info email Havant.Scalextric@gmail.com.