posted 24-11-18Hello Again, we have added a Youtube clip featuring a Ditchburn tonomat 200 view hereposted 23-11-18 update 1Hello to all here at planet Ditchburn… I am now back in the UK so i have started uploading the first of many updates.. this first update is quite a controversial one, most of the research i have done for this website has been via newspaper cuttings etc… and after speaking to both Arthur Philips and Chris Freeman who both worked at Ditchburn,( at different times and they did not know each other ) they both told me that the Jack Hylton Jukebox years were very different to what was published in the press, the early days of the Music Maker was not exactly how the press portrayed it. enjoy reading The Alternative History of DitchburnPosted 08-11-18Hello all, It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Chris Freeman, I am deeply shocked as I only met Chris for the first time a week or so ago at the Chessington Jukebox show, and he was full of life and full of enthusiasm of this website as he had worked for Ditchburn at their London Watford Depot until 1963, Chris has worked with Jukeboxes for most of his life and said to me last week that he was still actively involved in Jukebox restoration, after talking with him for over 40 minutes i felt i had known him all my life, he came across a a warm and well respected Jukebox expert. a very sad loss. I would like to thank Lewis Dilaway for contacting me regarding Chris. sorry all for the limited updates by I’m currently on holiday in the Philippines and i am having trouble updating the website server.Posted 28-10-18Hello folks and welcome to another update to the Ditchburn project, sorry if there has been a bit of a gap since the last one, but i have been very busy with my day job, and also this weekend i drove to London to visit the Jukebox and Retro Fairat Chessington. the fair was superb, and allowed me to purchase many 7” singles for my Jukebox many of them only 50p each, great bargains to be had there, there was also a great selection of Jukeboxes on display and for sale, some really good prices on some of them, I noticed that a lot of the show prices were far cheaper than found on Ebay, so it was a good place to grab a bargain, unfortunately no Ditchburn machines on offer, but there are very few out there for sale now. I did manage to spend most of my time at the show talking to people about Ditchburn, thanks to everyone who put up with me and my Ditchburn Chat, the highlights for me were talking to Chris Black the MD of UK jukebox manufacturer Sound Leisure, who told me his father worked at Ditchburn back in the day, Sound Leisure had a new Jukebox on display that played LPs, the mechanism was quite impressive. I also had a chat with Chris Freeman, who worked for Ditchburn until 1963, he was based at the Watford depot, he informed me that Ditchburn had 5 depots around the UK for Juke box servicing, they also carried out machine refurbishments at these depots as well, he has promised me some photos from back in the day, he also had some great Ditchburn stories as well so hopefully we will feature these on the website soon, hopefully he will be in touch soon with some great additions to the project. the depots are another subject that i would like to cover on the website, there were many support engineers and money collectors that were based at the local depots, it would be great to feature this as part of Ditchburn Project as well. One of the vendors at the show was the Jukebox Gallerywho are based in the Netherlands, they had a great selection of machines on show, i spoke with Corwin Bierlaagh on their stand, he told me that he has a restored MK2 Music Maker that is for sale via their website, it is a beautiful specimen of a machine that has been extensively restored , it also has a price tag to match the amount of work that has gone into it, I may have to sell a few limbs before i can afford it, but anyone out there that has a few quid to spare you can check out the Ditchburn Mk2 for sale hereCorwin has kindly allowed me to feature this Jukebox on this website, see the photos in the Mk2 Jukebox section here. Paul Latham contacted us, he is a record collector and he has all the UK releases on the Domino record Label, he also informed me about the Spiral Record label that was also owned by Ditchburn, this Label started in 1971 and ran until 1973. Paul has all the releases that were issued on the Spiral Label also and has sent me the Back Catalogue list of these releases, Ditchburn used the name Music Maker Ltd to produce these records, the style was more contemporary rather the than the Pub sing-along style of the Domino Label. check out the Spiral releases here.We also have lots of other things coming up soon, i still have a quite a few interesting articles from Arthur Phillips to complete and add to the website, i also have some photos from the Lytham’s past group to add, showing Dock Road in all its glory. plus lots, lots more. I am starting my annual holiday in a weeks time, the most of which will hopefully be spent getting the website up to date. Check the whats new section again soon folks for more of the latest updates and Ditchburn News, all the best …. Karl Posted 17-10-18Hello fellow Ditchburners …. tonight we have added a new area in the History section, this covers the history of the company from 1955 to 1973, and will contain information on the Ditchburn products produced during this period including, Jukeboxes, Background Music systems, and vending machines. to start the section off we have an article from Arthur Phillips which looks at the importing and maintaining of the Tonomat Jukeboxes from Germany, Click Here to view the articlePosted 15-10-18Good day to you all, sorry for the short gap between posts, but been a busy time here in Ditchburn Land, I spent the weekend at my sons wedding in York, which i have not visited for many years, it certainly is a city full of history and i can highly recommend a visit. Back to Ditchburn news… Firstly we have added the Red Domino Label info to Arthur Phillips Domino Records section. Arthur has lots more articles and information that we are going to publish over the next 2 weeks along with info on the Ditchburn Background Music systems. and also production numbers of the later Ditchburn Jukeboxes, Whilst searching for all things Ditchburn i came across a photo of a Music maker MK2 that is in a museum in the Czech Republic, it looks like one of the best restorations i have seen and sure is beautiful, i clicked on the link to the museum, which is called Terra Technica, and what opened before me i could not believe, an absolutely amazing place and caters for both the Jukebox and Pinball enthusiast, of which i am …. and its HUGE… I contacted them regarding some photos and info of the MK2 and they kindly said they would get me some photos for the Ditchburn website, but i could not just leave it there … i was totally intrigued by this place … so i decided that as a birthday treat for myself i would take a trip to Terra Technicain February 2019, Ryanair have direct flights from Stansted UK to Brno Airport which is about 1 hour drive to the site, there are hotels next to Terra Technica also … it is also part of the Excalibur City Complexso there are many other things to do whilst there including bars, restaurants and entertainment for the kids. So i have booked my flights and hotel and I’m Looking forward to this amazing trip mainly to see a fine specimen of a Ditchburn MK2. Posted 09-10-18Hello again fellow Ditchburners .. Today i have updated my restoration progress of my Ditchburn Mk2R music maker Jukebox, and added a you-tube video of current progress, enjoy folks.Posted 07-10-18Hello again, Today we have added a new page to the History section, all about the Domino Record Label and its releases, I would like to thank Arthur Phillips for taking the time to compile and send us all the information on this page. the recording studio served both the Jukebox market and also recording the background music for the Symphonaire BGM machines. Posted 06-10-18Hello again From Ditchburn Land, Have been doing lots of website tweaks and we are updating the new “Message Board”if you have anything you would like to post on the board send us an email, Facebook message. and now you can also contact us using our new message entry box on the contact us page. Posted 03-10-18Hello, we have added a “Message Board”to the “Tell your story” page for the messages that we receive via Social Media, Facebook and email, and this helps keep the main pages for larger articles, we are always on the lookout for Machine manuals, Ditchburn Sales Catalogues and any Ditchburn related documents, please share them with us and help preserve a little slice of Ditchburn History. we have some more articles from Arthur Phillips coming soon.Posted 03-10-18Hello and a quick update to yesterdays post, i have added a Photo of Tom Greaves, to Arthur’s article.. this was sent to us by Philip Marriott, Tom was Arthur’s first boss at Ditchburn and the father of Philips wife. i have also had a tidy-up on the website, i am currently moving most of the Photo gallery from the History section to the Juke Boxes section this makes the site less fragmented. Posted 02-10-18Hello to our readers again, as promised a couple of days ago, we have an article written by Arthur Phillips, who started at Ditchburn as an Electrical Engineer, his story follows his 10 year employment with the company and his journey through the ranks and departments to become Ditchburn’s Chief Audio Engineer. Arthur’s story is one of the most detailed that we have yet published on this website and gives a great insight to working at the Lytham factory, It also details the later years of the Vending and Back Ground Music side of the business, I have had many enjoyable emails back and forth this week, with Arthur also discussing the early years, most of his recollections of this time come from conversations he had with his fellow work collogues, information he gained whilst working with Ditchburn, and also directly from GND (Geoffrey Norman Ditchburn) himself.One thing that has arisen from our conversations is that what we call the MK1, MK2, MK2R, etc. had a different reference within the Ditchburn organisation, they would refer to them internally as the MK1 to MK6 machines, and this is understandable especially as there were a few variants of the MK2 fridge, I was hoping the Arthur would be able shed some light on the numbers of Juke boxes produced in the early years but Arthur has given me some information that totally changes what we understood to be correct, More on this in a later article… Back To Arthur’s wonderful Story which I’m sure you will all enjoy CLICK HERE to view Arthur’s Story.Posted 28-09-18Hello to our readers,its been a while since my last post, but plenty has been going on behind the curtains, I’m currently off work at the moment due to an illness, but i am trying when i can to do little bits on the restoration of my MK2R Jukebox, the first thing i have done is to complete the Electrical Schematics, these have now been posted in the MK2R section of the website Click Here to view the MK2R Technical Section Also to this section i have added more documentation regarding the Acos Pick-ups and Tone arms that were used on the MK2 and MK2R Jukeboxes. We were recently contacted by Arthur Phillips, Arthur was the Chief Audio Engineer at the Ditchburn Factory, he worked there between 1963 and 1973. Arthur is currently writing his story of his time at the Lytham Dock Road factory, and of his recollections of earlier years through conversations he had with Geoffrey Norman Ditchburn during his employment at the company, Arthur also was involved with the vending side of the business and Also the Domino Record Label and recording Studio that Ditchburn set up to supply records with the Jukeboxes and also to provide music for the background music systems that Ditchburn later provided. it will be an interesting read and will be a great addition to the “Tell Your Story” section on this website.Posted 09-09-18Hello again to those following the Ditchburn website … for this update Tony Holmes has sent us some photos from the past, firstly two adverts for the MK2R and two photos of the later Music Maker 200sWe have been contacted by Suzanne Taylor via our Facebook page regarding some memories from her mother when working at Ditchburn, we have added this to our Tell Your Story Page.Coming up in October is the “JUKEBOX and RETRO FAIR” at Chessington Community College, this take place on the 27th and 28th of October, I’m hoping to get there all being well work wise, so hopefully I will be able to catch up with a few people.Posted 27-08-18 Welcome again to Ditchburn Land, i must apologise firstly for my disappearance over the last month, my day job has had me away from home installing some new robotic technology at KP snacks at Ashby UK, putting our beloved Hula Hoops snacks in boxes. this is keeping me very busy at the moment so I have not had time to update the website as much as i would have wanted, but it doesn’t mean things have stopped behind the scenes, lots of Ditchburn things have been happening and i have plenty of things to post aboutFirstly i have added a questions and answers section to the “Tell your story” page During my research for the Ditchburn Project i have come up against many un-answered questions, some have stemmed from tidbits of information people have given me, sometimes based on distant memories, some are just dead ends with no further information to be currently found, as a writer for a History project I have be careful that I don’t re-write history by publishing inaccurate information or misleading information, so i have compiled a list of questions that still need answers, but more importantly i need proof to verify these answers, maybe a newspaper cutting or photo etc or at least verification from multiple people that the answer is factual, as time goes on, the list will grow, and i will publish the answers here with the verifications. If anyone can help with any of the questions it would be very much appreciated or if anyone has a question they would like to add to the list please email me. see the Question section here.Tony Holmes wrote to me recently to tell me a rather sad story regarding a jukebox that he supplied many years ago to the Beatles story in Liverpool. he says…. “ About 20 years ago I supplied this machine to the Beatles Story exhibition at the Albert Dock Liverpool when it was being constructed. I visited the event about a year later and they were using it in a cafe setting with music playing through the speakers. This week I went there again and it’s still in the complex but sadly it just stands against the wall and it’s not connected or lit and it’s vandalised and missing the telephone dial” really sad but overall the machine is restore-able, maybe someone should contact them to either offer a restoration or buy it to restore, its a shame that a small slice of jukebox history is being left abandoned … see photo hereAs some of you know i have a long term project ( its long term as I’m hardly ever at home ) which is restoring my Ditchburn MK2R which is shown on the front page of this website, The Ditchburn Amplifier was sent to Geoff Young ( the Jukeboxman ) for repair, one of the main concerns for us, was for the two 70 year old PX4 valves, as they are currently £400 each for NOS replacements, the great news was that Geoff tested the valves and even though one was a slightly unbalanced ( but not audibly weak ), they were both pronounced working… and last week i picked up the amp from Geoff’s workshop in Lincoln… Geoff played some Vinyl through it and to me it sounded fantastic, it has a beautiful warm sound that only the valve era can produce. a big thank you to Geoff for his great work, which included getting rid of all them leaky electrolyte caps, slapping a couple of new preamp valves and much more, but more importantly bringing the 70 year old amplifier back to life again … Thankyou. ( visit the Jukeboxman website here )One of the discussions i have had with Geoff and Tony is about the tone arm on my Jukebox, when Ditchburn brought out the MK2 fridge and the MK2R they advertised the pick-up as having an everlasting Stylus, i can assure you that poor old Norman would be in court today for false advertising if he was still around… the Pick-up they used on the MK2 and MK2R was the Acos GP-20 tone arm and the HGP-31 crystal pick-up, but due to the fact that the crystals failed due to humidity damaging the crystals they were not everlasting and finding a working one today is like finding hens teeth … but surprisingly on my searching the internet i found a tone arm and pick-up for sale in Russia, still brand new in its 70 year old retail box, the pick-up is sealed in a screw top tin so hopefully it will be free from any humidity issues, it arrived at my house this week, but i am yet still to test it, but looks in new condition. Geoff has given me the input option on the amp between using either the crystal or Magnetic pick-up, so if the pick-up has deteriorated, i can still modify the head for an alternative type of pick-up. ( see photos here ) I have found some exceptional information about the HGP-39 Pick-up during my research so i have added it here HGP-39 PICK-UPAnd Finally for this update, Geoff Young sent me a page from a spares brochure for Ditchburn Jukeboxes, this has info on the Wall Box, i have added it to my questions section, because after discussion with Geoff, we are still not sure how this works as all the early machines were manual selection and you had to push buttons or turn a knob to make the selections, one of the many Ditchburn mysteries yet to be solved( see photo here )Posted 23-07-18 Clive Mark has sent us some additional photos of a car badge that was made for the Ditchburn badge and also some photos of a set of Ditchburn playing cards. Tony Holmes has also sent us some great photos of a pair of MK2 Music makers and also some photos of un-restored MK2R Music Makers , now in the photo gallery. Geoff Young ( the jukebox man ) also sent us some fantastic photos of some restored MK2R Music Makers that he restored in 1982Posted 15-07-18 Clive Mark has updated his article on the “Tell your Story” page to include some information on the Ditchburn Clairtone StereogramToday we have also added some information regarding the acos tone arm types used in the MK1, MK2 and MK2R technical and Schematics sections.Posted 14-07-18Today is a very special and exciting day for me as we have now completed, and can finally publish the article written by Tony Holmes following his full restoration of the only known surviving Jack Hylton Mk1 Jukebox made by Hawtin’s in 1946. the restoration was done in 2014, and Tony photographed the whole process, ( thankfully ) and we appreciate the fact that he is sharing it with this website and with our readers. Enjoy the Full Restoration of the Jack Hylton MK1 Jukebox by Tony HolmesPosted 13-07-18Today we have added the Ditchburn 1972 Company Handbook, that was set to us by Tony Holmes, it contains an amazing amount of detail about the humble beginnings of the company, and also opens some more unanswered questions, like where in Blackpool was the first Ditchburn Factory before it moved to Lytham in 1949, maybe Norman utilised the Hawtin’s factory ?, i need to do some more investigation as i cant find any Ditchburn documents with a Blackpool Address See the Handbook HEREAs you can see from the top of this page my lovely enamelled Ditchburn Music Maker badge arrived from www.jukeboxparts.co.ukthanks for the speedy delivery guys. Also today i started reading the book Jukebox Britain By Adrian Horn ( recommended by Tony ) a great book with lots of Ditchburn references.Posted 12-07-18Hello Music Makers, We have added some more photos to the photo gallery here and we recently received a request regarding the loan of a Mk2 Jukebox to the Blackpool Museum Project, i have added the request and information about the project to the Tell Your Story Page.Posted 11-07-18Hello Music Makers, welcome to another day in the wonderful world of Ditchburn, Today we are proud to present an fantastic article by Tony Holmes on how he acquired the only known surviving Jack Hylton Mk1 Juke box, there is more to follow on this wonderful machine so watch this space for more updates, check out the Tony’s article on the Tell Your Story page herePosted 10-07-18 Lots and Lots happening behind the scenes tonight on the website, but not much that is is visible at the moment … but not long, and it will all be out there soon… We have added the original Hawtin’s Sales sheets to the Mk1 info and Mk2 info pages in the Juke box section, this does throw a few questions out there… regarding what amplifiers were fitted to the MK1 … but as there is also a sales sheet for the MK2 around this same time, i think this was in the later stages of production and just before the business was handed over to Norman Ditchburn… if only… i had a time machine !☺Regarding the restoration of my Ditchburn Amplifier, the bad news yesterday turned out not to be quite as bad as i thought, Geoff Young “the Jukebox man” contacted me today to say although one of the PX4 valves showed low emission during the testing it has not necessarily failed, sometimes they can rise again when in the correct electrical environment, so fingers crossed once the little mite has had a couple of volts across its filaments for a while it may spring back into life… but hey… when your a 70 year old valve and not had your bits tickled in a while .. i guess it takes a bit of foreplay to spring you back into action ☺Posted 09-07-18Just when you think there is just a little bit to do on the website … and then its all hand to the decks, but i mean that in a really good way, especially after the bad news i had today, but more of that later, Yes, this has been one of my busiest evenings ever, but it has been incredibly good fun and very satisfying. Firstly Tony Holmes has written an article on how he acquired his MK1 Jukebox, and it is quite fascinating, we should be publishing that over the next day or so when it is fully finished, We also had an article from Clive Mark about his, and his fathers time at the Dock Road factory. in the Tell Your Story section. we have also added a few photos to the website as well. So onto the bad news i had today, I had an Email from Geoff Young “the Jukebox man” who is rebuilding my Ditchburn Amp, on Saturday he took the two PX4 valves to a friend with a PX4 tester to make sure they are OK, unfortunately the news today is that only one of my PX4 valves are working, which means that i need to buy another PX4 Valve, and as these are quite scarce they don’t come cheap… at least one of them works.. so i guess it could have been a lot worse or at least double worse. so until tomorrow evening folks… Dr Ditchburn Signing off … Posted 08-07-18Good day to all my Music Maker Friends, This weekend has been fully taken up with lots of back-end things happening on the website, the Jukeboxes section now have the info, technical, and Restoration pages added, although still in the construction phase we will start adding more content soon. we have had some photos sent to us by Abigail Hudlass-Galley of a music maker Panoramicthat is soon to be restored, we have also added some more photos sent to us by Freddy Bailey in the Photo Gallery, Coming soon in the “Tell Your Story” section is an article from Tony Holmes on how he obtained the only known surviving Jack Hylton Music Maker MK1. Posted 07-07-18Hello everyone in Ditchburn Land … This week i have been busy working near Lincoln at the new Jordan’s Ryvita factory, because of the hectic work schedule i have had little time to update the website, but some page links are now working, but being in Lincoln did allow me to start the process of the restoration of my MK2R Jukebox, as fortunately Lincoln is also the home of Geoff Young, aka.. “The Jukebox Man” , so on Friday i took my Ditchburn Amplifier to Geoff’s workshop for inspection, I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Geoff, he is extremely knowledgeable and has done some amazing amp rebuilds, and is a genuinely helpful and nice guy, I will be following the progress of the Amp restoration here on the website, Geoff’s first task is to get the PX4 valves tested which he is doing this Saturday, we also now have restoration pages added into each model in Jukebox section of this website, so if anyone has photos of a Ditchburn restoration that they have done or are currently undertaking, send us some photos and we will add it to restoration sections. The restoration of my MK2R will be a long process due to my work schedule ( I’m predicting it will take over a year ) you can follow the MK2R Restoration here.I have also added Geoff’s Facebook and website to our Links on the “Contact Us” page Check “The Jukebox Man” out here.Posted 29-06-18What an unbelievable time i have had the last few days, i have started to spread the word about the Ditchburn Project, and the response has been amazing, some really great feedback, and i have received some beautiful photos from Ronnie Garside, and today I received a video from Tony Holmes of the only known surviving Jack Hylton Music Maker MK1, check out the video in the Juke Boxes Jack Hylton Mk1section Also today Barry Cartmell sent us some great photos of the Dock Road factory, thanks Barry… posted 26-06-18The website is now starting to take shape, and more pages are getting added, the aim is to get the History section up and running first and then move on to the other sections. we hope you enjoy you visit here and please join our face book page to get notifications of further website updates. Posted 03-06-18Well... for a start this website is “what’s new” ☺Welcome to the History Of Ditchburn Jukeboxes website, I have started this website as a definitive place to go for all things Ditchburn, The idea for the website started when I acquired a Music Maker MK2R ( The one shown on the Home page ) and started to search for information about Ditchburn on the internet to help me restore it to its former glory, I found a few articles and bits and pieces, but information was fragmented and spread over many different types of websites, and sometimes contradicted itself, so I thought it would be great to have a website that preserved the history of Ditchburn Jukeboxes and provided all the history and information in one place. I started another website about 3 years ago that was a very similar project for a company in Norwich called Autowrappers that produces packaging machinery, www.autowrappers.co.uk this company started around the same time as Ditchburn ( 1947 ) and is still going strong today, the response was fantastic and the amount of information sent to us was far more than we ever expected, and it has now become the definitive go to website for the history of Auto-wrappers. Please check it out.I am hoping that we can bring the history of Ditchburn website to a similar standard, the current plan is to include the following … 1, The history of the company though the years until its takeover by Gainesmead in 1972 2, Information about its subsidiary companies, including the background music, Record Labels, and vending ventures 3, Information of all the models of Jukeboxes Manufactured at the Blackpool and Lytham St Anne’s Factories and also the later German imports that were customised for Ditchburn. 4, Jukebox Technical Information for each model produced, including Schematics and drawings to assist others in the future to restore and repair of these wonderful machines. and possibly a database of all known surviving machines. 5, The People that worked for and with the Ditchburn Organisation. And its distribution sector. 6, Other Content and stories linked to Ditchburn. 7, A Restoration section following the work of others, bringing these machines back to life ( including the restoration of my own MK2R), 8.also a Jukebox Links page for all companies and people providing Jukebox services including Jukebox forums that offer advice and help relating to Ditchburn Jukeboxes. If anyone would like to see anything else added to the website, please let me know via the contact us page and I will do my best to get it implemented, I see myself as the guardian of this website, not the owner, I do not own any of the content, it has all been provided by the generosity and help of others for which I am very grateful.If anyone has anything they would like to share on the website, please email me atJukebox@ditchburn.co.uk The website will be updated on a regular basis, so please check back at this page to follow the progress of the website.
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