Tell Your Story
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 www.autowrappers.co.uk   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