What’s New.
Posted 03 -01--22 . Hello everyone, and welcome again to the Ditchburn Project, some of you may have noticed that it has been some time since the last update, for which i apologise, i wanted to try and keep all the updates coming on a regular basis but unfortunately researching for the website and restoring jukeboxes and other Ditchburn machines for the museum has been costly, and as this website and museum is totally funded by myself i have to work my day job to support and fund the museum and website, most of this year i have been working in India supervising the installation of a new KIT KAT production line for Nestle, this has meant little time for website updates, but the good news is i have a huge backlog of things to add to the website and some great new things to come. I have had to put opening of the Ditchburn Jukebox Museum on hold for yet another year due to the Pandemic and i’m not sure if we will be able to open next year as the current situation is not showing signs of slowing as i type this, sadly the museum being a small place is not an ideal premises to practice social distancing. but it will happen when the conditions are right, at least this delay will allow me to work my day job more to fund the project and also finish restoring some of the Jukeboxes that will be on display, of which we now have many. Check out the latest update on the Museum page HERE Back to this website update … This update is themed around the Ditchburn MK2R ( the red Jukebox shown in the pictures above) , during the late 50s the 7” 45rpm single became more and more popular, most of Ditchburn’s original MK2 jukeboxes that were still situated in cafés around the UK, were still using the 10” 78rpm disks, Geoffrey Norman Ditchburn was a man that was known to be very careful with his money and and in 1958, rather than replacing his still good but dated 78 jukeboxes with brand new 45rpm machines, he decided to convert the MK2 78rpm Jukeboxes into the MK2R ( the R standing for Reconditioned ) this conversion actually was quite complex as the player mechanism was totally rebuilt from a 16 disc 78rpm unit to a 30 disc 45rpm unit, the cabinets were cut down and a new top was added to make them look more in keeping with the latest USA machines. Robin Colvill of “Robs Jukebox Restorations” recently did a restoration of a Ditchburn MK2R and he has kindly allowed us to show the restoration process, with the many photos that he had taken during the work on fully restoring the machine, the machine arrived to him from his customer in extremely poor condition with many parts missing and he painstakingly restored the machine back into a wonderful specimen of a Ditchburn, and his customer was extremely pleased with the end result. Check out Robs MK2R restoration Here Last year we had an Email from Louisa Harrison, Louisa’s father worked for Ditchburn in the late 1960s she had been passed a MK2R from her father that was rather unique and one of a kind, it was custom made for a fashion store in Liverpool we have added photos to the MK2R Jukebox section Check out the custom MK2R in this section here Louisa aslo kindly donated lots of Ditchburn service Manuals that are mostly for the Vending side of the business, i have finished scanning these now and they will be added to the website on the next update alomg with the official opening of the Vending section on this website, these will be available for free download from this site and will hopefully help. on the subject of Vending we also have been kindly sent some other vending vintage brochures by Stuart Feltham the majority of these are non Ditchburn, but i will eventually scan these and put them in a special area on the website so they can be shared with others, Stuart runs a very interesting vending website called Rose Cottage Vintage” it deals with swet vending machines that we used to see when we were younger and he has a quite a few that he has restored and for sale, please take a look HERE Other BIG NEWS is earlier this year we had a visit to the Museum from the BBC as part of the Antiques Road trip series, they were filming in and around the Blackpool and Fylde area and they wanted to know all about the History of Ditchburn of Lytham St Annes, i understand that we will feature in a 10 minute segment on the show and talk about the local history., this is due to be broadcast early in the new year, Im hoping that it will bring more people to the website and make them more aware of the amazing History of Ditchburn. I have also recently been in contact with the daughters of Geoffrey Ditchburn and they sent me a wonderful picture of their father that hopefully will get used on the BBC show and of course we will feature it here on this Website. Until the next update which should be a lot sooner, stay safe, stay healthy. Karl Dawson Posted 04-01-21 . Hello again, and a very happy new year, Last year was totally crazy, no one could have predicted how it would change our lives, it certainly made things difficult here at Ditchburn, we were hoping to open the museum this year but more about that later, firstly This update is dedicated to Ron Walker, we have added Ron to the People page, Ron worked for Ditchburn from 1958 to 1973, he became Ditchburn’s top salesman and won many awards for hitting the sales targets, Ron’s son Paul contacted us with lots of documents and photos that spanned Ron’s career at Ditchburn, so it was only fitting to dedicate this update to Ron and his achievements, CLICK HERE for RON WALKER Paul also included some great Ditchburn related photos that we have added to the website including…. These fantastic Group Photos taken at numerous Ditchburn sales conferences CLICK HERE Photos from the 1961 Trade exhibition featuring celebrities that visited the stand CLICK HERE and lastly a photo taken during the visit from the president of the Wurlitzer Company Mr R C Rolfing CLICK HERE Other Ditchburn News …. we have an update on the Ditchburn Museum Here Our next update will be very soon, and the theme will be the MK2R Jukebox, it will include some new photos of a one off Ditchburn Mk2R that Ditchburn manufactured for a fashion store in Liverpool, also a fantastic restoration of a MK2R Jukebox by Robin Colvill of Rob's Jukebox Restorations. We will also have some new manuals in the Download section till then many thanks for visiting and see you all soon. Posted 26-10-20 . Hello again, its been a few months since the last update, surprisingly we have been very busy here at the Ditchburn Project, and work behind the scenes has taken very much priority, we have been busy restoring machines ready for the Museum, We also have a huge backlog of information that we still need to add to this website, i have had to change the structure of the website slightly to accommodate the new additions, you will be able to see from above that the Jukebox button has been replaced with a Machines button, this takes you to an index page that allows you to select one of the three divisions of the Ditchburn company ( Jukeboxes, Vending, and Background Music ) and that is a slight clue to the upcoming new additions to the website, Also coming soon is a new addition on the “People Page” featuring one of Ditchburn’s top salesman Mr Ron Walker, we were contacted by Ron’s son Paul who kindly shared many photos and documents relating to Ron’s time with Ditchburn, there are some fantastic images and Ron also won many of the sales competitions set by Ditchburn due to exceeding many of the sales targets, thats to come later on the next Ditchburn update. Posted 14-04-20 . Hello to all our Ditchburn friends, hoping everyone is staying safe during this weird part of our lives,our thoughts and best wishes go out to everyone who is affected by this terrible virus and with the amazing determination of our NHS and support workers staff we will overcome this and get back to normal soon, The Ditchburn Project is based in Lytham and our business and offices are based in Lytham St Anne’s at the Banthai Restaurant premises, part of our original goal was to restore enough Ditchburn Machines to put on display so we could eventually open the Ditchburn Jukebox café and Museum (as shown in the photos above) unfortunately the corona virus pandemic has put this on hold for the foreseeable future. but we will carry on working behind the scenes to make this happen eventually, possibly for summer 2021 when the UK is all back to normal … As i mentioned behind the scenes lots has been happening and still plenty more to do, Firstly i would like to announce that we finally have a copy of the Ditchburn Music Maker T200 manual in English available for download, I was originally going to use a typed copy that John Crompton had promised me which i was hoping to pick up from him in March, but unfortunately the virus hit and we were unable to travel… i was then contacted by Stuart and Sue Saunders .. Stuart was restoring a music maker 200 and asked if we had the T200 manual in English, which at the time i didn’t, i told Stuart that Jukebox World in Germany had the German version at that would help because it had the diagrams and parts lists Stuart later contacted me to inform me that they had purchased the T200 manual form J ukeboxworld.de and Stuarts wife Sue had translated the manual into English, they emailed me the copy and i tidied it up for publishing i also contacted Hildegard Stamann at Jukebox world to ask permission to use the diagrams that were in the original German manual, Hildegard then contacted me back to say she had read through the manual and also made some corrections to the technical translations and also added extra technical information that was not included in the original manual, well it was a dream come true we now have a full English version for the T200 MM200 machines, a big thank you to Stuart, Sue and Hildegard for making this all possible and allowing us to publish this on the Ditchburn website, if you would like a bound and professionally printed copy of this manual it will be available from the Jukebox world website please contact them for info the downloadable version can be found here Posted 01-02-20 . Again another two months have whizzed by without much activity on the website, although it may seem that not much has been happening, the last few months I have been very busy and the majority of the time i have been doing research and looking though multiple archives, This update will be one of the biggest and most exciting i have done for a while so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride…. Firstly I visited Dave Franklin who is an Ex Ditchburn engineer in Devon and had a chat about his time with the company, Dave currently restores Pinballs and Jukeboxes and gave me one of his Ditchburn Service Report Sheets that they had to fill in when they did service visits You can see the Report Sheet Here David also gave me a picture of his company van that he used to transport the various machines See the Van Here Harry Patterson contacted me as he is currently restoring a Ditchburn Music maker T200 ( Telematic ) he also sent me a picture of his fully restore Tonomat Teleramic which looks wonderful See the Teleramic here It seems quite a few Ditchburn restorations are happening at the moment Tera Technica recently bought a Ditchburn Mk2R which is the 30 play 45rpm conversion of the Mk2 music maker this will hopefully be on display at their museum in the Czech Republic soon after some restoration im looking to return there in the next month or so to see the progress. Stuart Saunders is also currently working on a restoration of a 1968 Music maker 200 which was a conversion from a 1957 Telematic 200, This model of Ditchburn featured in the 2019 Elton John film Rocket man you can see Stuarts Restoration and a rocketman screen shot here Today i have opened the Background Music section on the Website, its still in the early stages but covers all the BMS machines manufactured by Ditchburn in the 60s and 70s Visit the Background Music Section here Also the Serial number Database has been updated with the addition info that people have sent me over the last 2 months, thank you everyone that contributed, and please if you own a Ditchburn help by sending us a photo and the serial number and we will add it to the website. See the Serial number data base here And finally the last bit of news but the most exciting… as some of you know i have spent the last year trying to trace family of Geoffrey Norman Ditchburn hoping that they will be able to help us fill in the gaps of missing information on the History of Ditchburn website, and help keep the history alive for many generations to come its been an enormous task and i have come across many false hopes and dead ends but i had a lead that Rosemary Ditchburn, one of Mr Ditchburn’s daughters was living in Wales, all i had was postcode information from the 2010 electoral data roll, so firstly i was not sure if it was the same Rosemary Ditchburn and secondly, if she still lived in that area, and thirdly as i had no contact telephone number i did not know if she would be at home. but as i was working close by, i decided to visit the area, i went prepared with photos from the website just in case she didn’t have a computer, when i arrived at the address i was very nervous could this be the very same Rosemary Ditchburn i walked up the path to the house, shaking with nerves and anticipation as i got close to the front door, a pleasant and polite lady greeted me at the door i asked her if she was Rosemary Ditchburn, she said yes, i then asked her if she was the daughter of Geoffrey Norman Ditchburn …. she said YES!!!!! it was quite emotional for me i was stumbling over my words, i was trying to explain that i was from the Ditchburn Project and we were trying to preserve the History of Ditchburn, she must have thought i was a very strange man.. we chatted for a while and she said she would look at the website, She also said that she would speak to her elder sister Joy that evening, to let her know about the website i had a million questions to ask but thought it would be better to let her see the website and understand what we are trying to do, i thanked her very much, and left my contact details with her. as i walked back down the path a feeling of happiness came over me this feeling alone made it worth all the hard work and effort that has gone into this website and the Ditchburn project. I’m now looking forward to meeting with Rosemary and Joy sometime in the future to discuss all things Ditchburn. until next time …. all the best, Karl Dawson ( The Ditchburn Project ) CLICK HERE to see previous WHATS NEW posts in the WHATS NEW Archive
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