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The London borough of Hackney Lesney exhibition

A few pictures and a short report from the Hackney Museum on the evening of March 18th 2004. Mr Jack Odell OBE and Mr Lesney Smith OBE were the guests of honour and had come to officially open the exhibition, The invite said from 6.30 so we arrived shortly after six to find that the place was already full of people including Mr Jack & Mr Leslie, There were lots of ex-employees among the many guests including George Galvin, father of my good friend and forum member Gary (garymbox1), I got to briefly meet Marcel Bakker from Holland and also Mike Forbes of the Diecast Collector magazine.

The highlight of the evening was when Mr Leslie made a speech reminiscing about his memories of the Hackney factory that was both humourous and informative, the crowd stood in silence to hear him you and could have heard a pin drop, My own highlight of the evening was a handshake and a few words with the two honoured gents, I took the liberty of asking Mr Jack if the brass roadroller that he made for his Daughter that started the Matchbox series all those years ago still existed, Jack's reply was "No, but I'm still here!", - somehow he got onto the subject of decals and told me that the first decals were tried out on the A2a Walls ice cream truck had to be applied with methylated spirit, they were difficult to apply so they switched to waterslide.

I would like to congratulate Helena who worked so hard to make the event the success it was, also the museum staff worked hard to keep the wine glasses filled and a good time was had by all, I think everyone would agree the evening was over all too quickly.

Unfortunately the pictures are not very good quality,


Our Invitation to the exhibition (actual size)

I got Jack Odell and Leslie Smith to autograph our invitation but my grandaughter
Julie thought it would look better with a smiley face, I guess its not a bad drawing
for a three year old.

Gary Galvin, My wife Debbie and exhibition organiser Helena Wetterberg.


George Galvin, Leslie Smith OBE and Gary Galvin


Leslie Smith & Jack Odell pose for pictures.


and more posing!


I got the feeling that they really enjoyed the evening


.............and more posing


Leslie Smith gave a speech ............


......... and the audience listened in silence


Debbie got Jack & Leslie to autograph our invitation


Mike Forbes and Marcel Bekker engaged in a little hero worship!


Jack told Gary that "I don't remember that one!", he still has a great sense of humour.


The pictures below were taken prior to the exhibition opening.

There are toys from all eras on show


This is the Museum's own Matchbox collection.

It was donated by a Hackney Councillor


A Modelmakers pattern or "buck"


Original draughtsmans drawing for a wheel

Larger image


A nice display of early items

and a two legged Muffin!

(no one will notice will they Gary!)


Another display


The walls are decorated with images taken from the Sasek

book and there are videotaped interviews with ex employees



  My own Late 60's display

Larger image


Yesteryears and catalogs,

the Bentley is a first shot in plastic