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Life Before Liverpool Shopping Park

Soon to be full of fabulous retail shops and restaurants, Liverpool Shopping Park was originally home to Frank Hornby, famous for Hornby Railways and Meccano.

Born in Liverpool in 1863, Frank Hornby began making metal models for his two sons in his garden shed. By 1914, Frank’s Meccano business had outgrown the West Derby Road site and through shear hard work, his finances allowed him to build a new factory from scratch. A site was found in the Old Swan district of Liverpool at Binns Road, an address that would be associated with Meccano for the next 65 years and now to be home of Liverpool Shopping Park!

Faced with the global success of MECCANO, two new factories opened in Berlin in 1912 and Belleville (France) in 1920. The Belleville plant was quickly replaced by one in Bobigny, which, in 1951, could produce more than 500,000 boxes of Meccano a day.

In 1959 a new factory was built in Calais and is to this day is the main production site for MECCANO products.

In 1965, Meccano Junior was born. Parts are made in plastic to allow children from 4 years old take part in the Meccano Magic.

In 1979, the Liverpool factory closed. It was then the French subsidiary’s responsibility to carry the torch and continue the Meccano story.

In 2000 Meccano bought the Erector brand, which had been sold in the United States since 1913, and unified its presence on all continents. Even today, Meccano is sold under the Erector brand in the United States.

In 2013 Spin Master, a leading global children’s entertainment company, acquired Meccano and to this day the Meccano factory is still manufacturing in Calais, France.

Learn more about life before Liverpool Shopping Park and all about the products made within the Binns Road factory by visiting


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