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Hi Guys n Gals This is the story about how i started the Ditchburn Project, i am currently undertaking this project to research the history of Ditchburn Jukeboxes of Lytham St Anne’s, and quite a fun project this is turning out to be ... how did i get into this you may well ask ? ... well here is the back story to it …. Well it all started in 2008 during a phone conversation with Freddy Bailey, at that time i had sold Freddy some Slot machine books via Ebay, and he rang me from the USA for a chat, it was only then that i mentioned that i lived in Lytham St Anne’s in Lancashire UK, and he told me about his visits to Lytham when he and his father were operating Ditchburn Juke-boxes and how they became one of the first manufacturers and operators of Jukeboxes in the UK. I had lived here since 1996 and was not aware of Ditchburn until that call with Freddy, and neither that my home town had this Jukebox history, at that time i was collecting Slot machines and Pinball Machines, it was then that the company that i worked for was looking to open an Asian Office in Thailand and i was going to be running it, the down side was Thailand did not allow gaming or gambling machines ( or even books on gambling machines ) hence that was why i was selling up my collection and books. Unfortunately just before i was about to move, the company i worked for went bust (a victim of the big RBS bank loans scandal) fortunately the company was bought out and my job was safe, but the office in Thailand plan was abandoned, so i stayed in Lytham St Anne’s, my interest in coin machines was lost after i had sold all my collection, but since then i decided that one day i would like to own a Ditchburn Jukebox if the right one came along, Over the years i had a seen a few for sale, the later German Tonomat imports did not really interest me ( even though people have said they are good machines ) and the early machines were ether incomplete, wrecked, or way out of my price range. I guess my interest was kept alive after seeing the Jack Hylton Mk1 Music Maker owned by Tony Holmes, and what a beautiful machine that is, But finally this year my dream was fulfilled when I managed to acquire a Ditchburn Music Maker Mk2R, Surprisingly this machine fitted my exact requirements, even though it is a factory modified Mk2, but im more a fan of the 45 era and this was a 45rpm 30 selection Simplex Mech, and most of all... it was a complete machine including the original amplifier ( unfortunately not working but repairable ). It was in the beginning of May this year that i picked the machine up from a really nice guy called Dean near Middlesborough, who kindly helped me get it in the car, on the drive back, it felt quite an emotional Journey as i knew that this baby was going home to where she was born. The Machine does require a full restoration, of which i intend to do most of myself and document on this website, but in all, its a fine original specimen of a machine, so i started to look for information on the Internet to help me restore the machine and rebuild the original amplifier, and that was when i realized that there was very little information about Ditchburn Jukeboxes on the Internet, most of it was sparsely scattered across different websites and forums and some information was based on rumors and some contradicted itself. so it was then i decided it would be a good idea to start the Ditchburn Project, i had already seen the fantastic Bal AMi website which is a great place for any Bal AMi owner. I had already been involved with a similar history project relating to a packaging company based in Norwich called Auto- Wrappers, the company has similarities with Ditchburn, as it also started in 1947, just after the war, and the business grew to a very similar size, The Auto-Wrapper project started in 2015 when again i tried to find info about the company and there was very little out there so after setting up the web site and putting articles on there that myself and a colleague had previously collected, the website snowballed and more and more info poured in.. please check the website out at So my thinking is that it would be good if i could get the Ditchburn Project to the same level, I contacted Freddy Bailey and he kindly kick started me off, by letting me use some of his previously published articles and photos and he sent me some new articles as well, ( Thank you Freddy ) and hopefully this should help me when i contact the local media here in Lytham to help spread the word about the project as I’m sure there are people still living here in Lytham St Anne's that might have some old photos or other information tucked away that could grow the project and the website even more, I want to let everyone know that am not doing this website for any commercial reasons whatsoever, there is no money in it for me, ( in fact it is costing me lots, but i know it will be worth it in the end ) The reason for the project is to preserve the slice of History that is Ditchburn of Lytham St Anne’s and for all the people that made it happen, and to also have a central place that contains information regarding Ditchburn, and hopefully it will provide information and help educate people of many generations to come. The website is in the very early stages of development, so please be gentle with me its going to take up a lot of the little spare time i have along with the Juke box restoration, but I’m looking forward to it, if anyone would like to share photos, stories, information regarding the Ditchburn Company and their Jukeboxes please email me via the contact us page, and i will do my best to publish your articles on the website along with a credit against your articles photos etc. also if you know of anyone that is connected or worked for Ditchburn please pass this website info onto them and hopefully they can help this project grow. Karl Dawson
Why I started the Ditchburn Project. By Karl Dawson
1. Posted 27-06-18