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Victory Industries of Guildford
1945 - 1948
Victory Industries Ltd was a very small company that began it's life during the second world war in a small boat house which stood directly alongside Kingston Bridge in Hampton Wick near London. It was founded by two men, Captain William John Warren and Gerald Fenner Burgoyne who set up the company to manufacture small electrical components for the Ministry of Supply.
Although the company name is generally assumed to relate to the end of the war, it was actually derived from The Victory Inn, an old coaching inn that was once the main point for refreshment along the Hogs Back in Surrey. The Victory Inn had closed down in the early 1930's to be replaced by the Hog's Back Hotel sited on the opposite side of the A31. After a very brief period trading as "The Doone Cafe", the old inn had been bought by Burgoyne and converted to a residential property. Burgoyne promptly renamed it "Old Victory House" and subsequently sold the property to Warren at about the same time that the two went into business together.
As the war drew to a close, the men began to look at how they could develop their company and in July 1946 took the decision to move from the restrictive premises in Hampton Wick to The Barfax Works, a small factory situated in Worplesdon Road in Guildford which had previously manufactured tobacco pipes and walking sticks.
No records have so far emerged to show exactly what happened over the next couple of years, but in 1948, the company released it's first model. "Miss England" a beautiful all metal speed boat powered by a simple pulsating water engine.
To begin with, Victory marketed the boat themselves and these early version show their name on the instruction sheet. However "Victory" was already a registered trade mark for G. J Hayter & Co, widely known for their range of Victory jigsaw puzzles and they made it very clear that they weren't happy about someone else using their trade name!
Victory were rescued from this dilemma by J & L Randall who marketed a wide range of toys from various manufacturers under their MERIT label. They took over distribution and marketing of the boat and the Victory name was promptly removed from the instruction sheet.
The success of "Miss England" was quickly followed by the introduction of a small battery powered car at the Model Engineer Exhibition in August 1948.... To learn more click below
The 'Mighty Midget' Electric Racer