Queen’s University professor tells the story of company behind Cindy and Scalextric

A professor at Queen’s University has written a book on the largest firm in Britain’s toy-making industry in the 20th century.

By Graeme Cousins
Monday, 14th March 2022, 5:02 pm
History of Tri-ang
History of Tri-ang

Kenneth D Brown is Emeritus Professor of History at Queen’s and a specialist in modern British political, economic and social history, in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The latest book from Professor Brown, who has also written about the history of Meccano and the life of politician Herbert Gladstone, details the history of Lines Brothers Ltd.

It tells the fascinating story of a family business whose iconic Tri-ang trademark was universally recognised and whose most famous products included model railways, Spot on and Minic cars, soft toys, Pedigree prams, dolls’ houses, Scalextric, and Cindy dolls.

It is a serious economic, business and industrial history, touching on important themes such as the interplay between government and business, the nature of entrepreneurship, the significance of company culture and organisation, and the changing nature of childhood. Above all, it is a story of strong personalities, familial tensions, and an underlying determination to bring delight to children.

“This is the definitive history of and by its leading historian,” said Professor David J Jeremy, Emeritus Professor of Business History, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Professor John Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law), Northumbria University, Newcastle, added: “This is a rigorously researched and well-written history from an excellent scholar whose publications have been major successes. The references indicate the deep research, while the narrative flows effectively, building a very strong picture of an iconic British business.”

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