The Bassett-Lowke company was founded in about 1898 by Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke. The company started life as a mail order business specialising in model railways, boats and construction sets. This was achieved by contracting out the manufacture of models to companies such as Twining Models and Wintringhams of Northampton. Bassett-Lowke did carry out some design work of its products and also some limited manufacture.
The model trains where produced in 15 inch gauge live steam, to Gauge 2, gauge 1 and 0 gauge.
The decline of the company started in the late 50’s. This can be attributed to the fact that the same items could be bought cheaper from other manufacturers and the general decline of interest in technical toys.
In 2008 that famous and household name toy maker Hornby aquired the Corgi brand, so as part of that aquistition meant that Hornby now own the Bassett-Lowke brand.
Original Bassett-Lowke locomotives were often re-named when moved and it is uncertain whether a locomotive is new or an old one with a new name. The list (probably incomplete) is not definitive. The majority of Bassett-Lowke locos were designed by Henry Greenly.
Class 10 Atlantic • Little Giant for Blackpool • Mighty Atom for Sutton Coldfield • Entente Cordiale for the 1909 Exposition Internationale de lEst de France at Nancy • Red Dragon for the Imperial International Exhibition of 1909 at White City, London • Green Dragon same as Red Dragon • King Edward for the 1910 International and Universal Exhibition at Brussels, Belgium • King Albert same as King Edward • King Leopold same as King Edward • George the Fifth for Southport Class 20 Atlantic • Prince of Wales for Southport Class 30 Atlantic • Synolda for Sand Hutton Miniature Railway, then to Belle Vue, Manchester, later Southend-on-Sea, currently Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. • Sans Pareil for Luna Park, Geneva, Switzerland, then to Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. • Count Louis for Count Louis Zborowski, then to Fairbourne Railway. Now (2011) at Evesham Vale Light Railway. Class 60 Pacific • John Anthony for J.E.P. Howey, then (re-named Colossus) to Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. The Class 10 and Class 20 had narrow fireboxes. The Class 30 and Class 60 had wide fireboxes. The range of locos that is now being manufactured by Hornby consists of 0 Gauge electric driven locos which are manufactured from pressed sheet steel and soldered together. This is the same process that was used 100 years ago.
The current models are electric driven and can be used on 2 or 3 rail systems. If you wish to see the current catalogue, why not visit