Tell Your Story….
1. Posted 09-09-18 via Facebook messenger From Suzanne Taylor
I am Suzanne Taylor and i am just with my 91 year old mother who would like to share some memories of Ditchburn, Her name is Mary Mead. She worked for Ditchburn from about 1955 to 1967. First as a clerk in the general office, then later in sales. Mr Norman Lever was the general manager, and Mr Mike Town was the Sales Manager. She worked for both of these gentlemen, Her friend Hilary Rhodes worked for Mr Bill Andrews the works manager, and another friend Val Whittle (nee Preston) worked in the (vinyl) records department.
A collection of Short messages sent to us via Social media, Facebook or email
I was an apprentice at Ditchburn’s in 1968 and worked alongside Arthur Philips, Peter O'Dea, Roy Kerry and an old guy called Bob who was somewhat deaf. He also had the habit of falling asleep at his workbench with a live amplifier in front of it which often resulted in a sudden awakening. Peter O'Dea and myself were of a similar age and renowned amongst the workforce as the factory pranksters. Happy days!
2. Posted 04-10-18 via Facebook messenger From Roy Livingstone
My father worked for Ditchburn’s he would have started there early-to-mid 1970s, and worked there well into the 1980s. His name is Dave (David) Braebaum.
3. Posted 02-10-18 via Facebook messenger From Neil Braebaum
Thank you for the article on Ditchburn’s of Dock Rd Lytham. I had a friend who worked there for a time, he took me to his work place, one Saturday I think it was, and showed me what he was working on. This involved a continuous loop of recording tape on a special tape player. The tape had some sort of dry lubricant on one side so it play continuously from one spool feeding out from the centre of the spool and returning to the outside. My friend was called Roy Potter, he spent most of his working life at what is now called BAe but I know he enjoyed his time at Ditchburn’s working on these tapes. Do you remember him at all? Roy did a lot of work voluntarily for the cycle clubs and helped plan many of the cycle routes around the Fylde, received an honour for this work (MBE I think). He died about 5 or 6 years ago. Best wishes, David Bennett
4. Posted 06-10-18 via Email From David Bennett
5. Posted 03-03-19 via Email From Ken Adams
I joined Ditchburn Equipment Ltd in 1959 and was there until the Juke Box business was sold by BET to the Gainesmead Group in the 70's. I joined to take over the job of Mr Ditchburn,s daughter, Joy, who was leaving to get married. (To Paul Mills) who later joined the company as Sales Manager of the Vending Division. My job was to fun the Statistics office, with 3 very able ladies as staff. At that time there were about 1200 machines sited throughout the country and 20 or so collector/engineers looking after them. We received their reports and recorded sites, takings and service etc. Phonographs (Mr Ditchburn never called them Juke Boxes!) the models were… (internally numbered within the company using the following system. The Mark 2 (16 45rpm records) The Mark 4 (a hideaway version with remote selection - and very unreliable) The Mark 5 (100 selection Tonomat and another problem machine) The Mark 6, (a 30 record conversion from the mark 2), The Mark 7 (200 selection Tonomat unit that became the basis of the operation. Later came the Mark 9 (Panoramic from Tonomat) These were before the Seeburgs and then The Wurlitzer’s were imported. Happy days indeed.! The machines mark numbers were always, in fact, in Roman numerals. There was no Mark I or III when I arrived in 1959 and I assume that they had been discarded at that time. The Mark IV was definitely the 16 selection hideaway model and the Mark V the 100 selection Tonomat. I only remember the Mark VI being known as that, the 30 selection conversion of the Mark II. By 1959 the were only 45 rpm records used. Although Phonograph was used generically, all the Ditchburn machines, before the Seeburgs and Wurlitzer’s, were known as Music Makers with the appropriate Mk number. The Tonomat 200 became the Music Maker Mk VII etc. Seeburgs and Wurlitzer’s were always known by the names given by the manufacturers. By that time, the factory was only being used for repair and reconditioning. Mr Ditchburn's first task when he arrived on a Monday morning, was to walk round the factory. He knew most people by name and was very highly respected by the staff. I was involved in the change from operating to sale and rental of machines and then the introduction and development of Back Ground Music Systems. At the time of Gainesmead, I was Sales Manager of the Background Music division. I am happy to answer any questions I can about my time with the company. I do have a couple of photographs with Mr Ditchburn on and will dig these out for you. Ken
I started in my very first sales position with Ditchburn Vending in Dock Road. I received full training and was given a Bedford Beagle Van/ estate car with a demonstration machine. I was quite successful at selling the machines but soon moved on to other sales positions finishing up as Regional Sales Manager with a German Company. The training I received at Ditchburns stood me in good stead throughout my career. My sales manager was Dennis Harrison with Derrick Davies heading up the sales team. I am now 81 years old
6. Posted 16-04-19 via Email From Peter Boden Haigh
Hi, my Dad Peter Sinclair worked for Ditchburn/National Vendors, I remember as a child him servicing juke boxes in the garage at our home in Ansdell. I have many records with holes in !! I went to school with Joanna Town. My Dad was background music engineer, head office trouble shooter, liaison service manager for NW and Scotland...Would you be interested in hearing his story at all. (editor) We certainly Would ! Nonie
7. Posted 07-07-19 via Email From Nonie Sinclair
Here is a list of people I worked with. Norman Leaver Manager Hilda Pomfret Office Junior Minnie Hawkins Office Manager Mr. Carr Accounting Toni? Mcalvany Final Inspection Charlie Smart Final Inspection (before that fitting Assembly) Jack Wilkie(Wilknson) Labourer Harry Freeman Sub Assembly One of the original working in Blackpool Charlie Nichols Machine Builder Wally -------? Machine Builder Alf --------? 3 spindle drill operator Jeff Goods ? 3 spindle drill operator Bob Tolson Machine Builder Charlie Bream Machine shop Frank Leaver Machine shop later foreman Bert -------? Electrical shop Jack Chandler Electrical shop (apprentice at the time) Jerry Walthamstow Sub Assembly Bill Andrews Shop superintendent Ernie Worsley Shop Foreman Reg Halloran Paint shop Boss Peter---------? Paint shop Assistant (took charge after Reg retired Tom Dolman Apprentice Machinist Reg Simpson Worked mostly on Telematic Relays
8. Posted 10-07-19 via Email From Tom Dolman
Just remembering a few people from 1967 - 1968 Ronnie Eastwood - electrical foreman Ken MacNiel - electrical charge hand Les Dyson - fitting shop foreman Harry Kamiya - fitter John Doyle - audio research John Hesketh - electrical engineer ( who also presented a country and western show on hospital radio at Blackpool Victoria)
9. Posted 03-02-20 via Contact Form From Roy Livingstone