The 1980s was a time of much change at Mamod with not much documented during the era as it managed to change hands at numerous points throughout the decade. In the final part of our look back at the history of Mamod, we chart the progress the company made in recent years up to the models we see today.
Mamod underwent significant upheaval during the 1980s with various owners laying claim to the company during this period. As the world moved out of the 1980s and into the 1990s a new approach was needed to ensure that the organisation remained sustainable. With changing tastes in the UK, Mamod embarked on a scheme that was designed to safeguard the longevity of the brand.
In 1992, Mamod moved all of its assets to Birmingham and for the next seven years it was focused on improving the quality of its engines which had fallen to an all-time low. This was a critical phase for the company as it faced financial hardship if the plan did not succeed. By 1996, it moved to Smethwick, West Midlands, where production has stayed up until the present day.
Before the turn of the millennium Mamod re-introduced the SP5 (SE4) twin cylinder stationary engine. Improvements had been made to the model including the introduction of new base plates and a larger flywheel. The SP5 boasted a brass chimney or diecast chimney depending on the specific design.
As the world welcomed in the year 2000, Mamod was hard at work creating models that would suit the new millennium and the client base that came with it. The next few years saw the introduction of various new models which showed the vast array of stationary and non-stationary products Mamod was capable of making. The SPSD (2000), Millennium Blue Bus (2000) and The Le Mans Racing Car (2001) all hit the shelves shortly after the turn of the century with the latter only being suspended in 2010.
Between 2004 and 2006, Mamod created some innovative models that would highlight its diversity when it came to building these products. Following the success of its new locomotive in 2002, the company produced the William Locomotive two years later. This was a very similar model to its predecessor but slowly progressed over the next five years. 2005 saw the introduction of the Post Office Van, SP6 Stationary and Harry the Rocket.
Both the SP6 Stationary and Harry the Rocket were the first of the their kind, the former being the first stationary model to use a double acting slide valve engine with slip eccentric, while the latter was the first time Mamod ventured into the world of competitively priced and simplistic locomotives. The SP6 Stationary managed to strike a chord with customers but Harry the Rocket was very ugly and was discontinued just a year later.
As 2007 approached it marked a major shift in tactics for Mamod. It was a time when many model outlets were hitting financial difficulty and being forced to close. With Mamod seeing its customer base growing to people purchasing products to sell on eBay, the company decided to invest in its website allowing it to sell directly to the public.
It was a gamble but one that paid dividends as it helped Mamod to whether the recession which followed in 2008. It also helped to encourage people to visit the firm's Smethwick factory and fuelled ambition to produce more models.
Since then the company has continued to roll models off the production line with the launch of the popular Brunel Locomotive in 2010, the Diamond Jubilee Saddle Tank in 2012 and the SP8 Beam Engine in 2013. With 2014 set to see the release of the long-awaited Telford Train, the future is looking bright for Mamod.