Toys of Christmas Past: 60 Somethings
The forerunner to Scalextric was Scalex, who made a range of toy racing cars with clockwork motors which were activated by pulling out the steering wheel. By 1956 the novelty of clockwork racing cars had worn off and sales began to fall. Eventually, the future of the company and its 100 employees was threatened. In an attempt to revive his company’s flagging fortunes, Fred Francis experimented by putting small electric motors into Scalex cars and running them on model railway track. Scalextric was unveiled at the Harrogate Toy Fair in 1957 to immediate acclaim. It appealed to both adults and children, combining speed, competition and the glamour of Formula One motor racing. Demand for the toy was immense and the factory struggled to keep up with the orders. The popularity of Scalextric continued. In 1960 plastic bodies replaced the original tinplate and by 1964 Scalextric was being advertised as ‘the most complete model motor racing system in the world’.
Luckily for the employees of Scaletrix, the success of the toy guaranteed them continued employment for the rest of their working life. Not everyone is so lucky; companies do go bust and unfortunately, in 2018 we have seen a number of companies go into liquidation. We receive queries from employees who are or have worked for a company that has gone into liquidation. For most people, the pension scheme is the employer and the great fear is that you have lost your job and your pension. This is not the case. A pension scheme is a separate entity with trustees whose role it is to look after the interest of the beneficiaries of the scheme.
Here is a note that we put together on “How safe is my pension”. We hope this gives you some comfort.