The 'Model Aerodrome'
Disclaimer: I am not a historian! And I don't have any money for research. The history of 'Model Aerodrome Ltd' is confusing and not neatly documented. Rather than providing only the meagre facts which are available, I have filled in the gaps with guesswork, so the piece below is best read as a story. I have indicated where I depart from evidenced fact with the magic words 'I guess' - perhaps some other researcher can add to the data and provide a more accurate picture?
Some History



Small Power Boat Series

Large Power Boats

Later Models
A small but successful company?

Model Aerodrome Ltd was a UK model kit company set up in 1937 in Birmingham. They survived the war, and by 1958 they had at least two sites in Birmingham - Temple Row and Stratford Road, and one in West Street,Brighton. They sold their own series of balsa model aircraft using a propritary jigging system, model aero engines under the brand name 'Drome', and model boat kits under the brand 'Marinecraft' from their shops, advertised through modelling magazines and distributed generally to the independant model trade.

At some point between 1955 and 1960 they obtained an agreement with Keil Kraft for distribution via the Keil Kraft catalogue, and thus were in most of the model shops in the country. 1960 was also the date of the introduction of their 'miniature power boat' range. They are not mentioned in the 1961 KK catalogue, but their kits continue to be advertised under their own name until at least 1966. Adverts show that Marinecraft were developing their range during the 1960s - in 1966 they produced the Jura and Oban (two fibreglass-hulled power boats), and converted their yacht hulls to fibreglass. But there is not much heard of Marinecraft during the 1970s.We hear little about them thereafter, so I guess that they ceased making their 'own brand' kits by the early 1970s, when increased competition from Far Eastern ready-made models began.

Merger with 'Model Aircraft'?

At some point the 'Model Aerodrome' name seems to merge with the "Model Aircraft (Bournemouth) Ltd" name. This second company was a trading name of "Model Aircraft Stores", who employed the famous Phil Smith, designing aircraft and boats under the brand name 'VERON'. Model Aerodrome's Brighton shop purchase probably happened at about this time, which I guess to be 1947 (for reasons given below). Bournemouth is about 70 miles away from Brighton, and very much in the centre of model boat development at the time. I guess that there was some joint agreement - perhaps a takeover? - at this point, but that the 'Model Aerodrome' name was kept. It may have had considerable brand loyalty, since there were shops in Birmingham, Brighton, and maybe elsewhere? Model Aerodrome seems to have been a very well-known name in the 1950s/1960s.
More history?
Images from Graces Guide.
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