Did Charlton have a flexi-disc factory?

A question from Darren

I was thinking about Flexi discs in the middle of last night – you know, those cheap acetate records that used to come in mags? Nobody – except a dodgy company in San Francisco make ’em anymore.

However, the company that made them in the UK was based in Charlton. Any idea who that was?

I remember flexi-discs, but have no idea where they were made. Can you help Darren?

15 thoughts on “Did Charlton have a flexi-disc factory?

  1. mary August 30, 2011 / 14:05

    No idea – but Greewich Industrial History Society would love to know a lot more

  2. Alan Burkitt-Gray August 30, 2011 / 17:37

    Wouldn’t be acetate, as that was used for hard recording discs, such as 78rpm ones, until the 1950s. The floppy ones were some very think vinyl, I think. Private Eye used to issue one each year with its Christmas issue.

  3. Alan Burkitt-Gray August 30, 2011 / 17:39

    But maybe I’m wrong …

  4. Matt Haynes August 30, 2011 / 18:35

    Eeek! Sudden flashbacks to the mid-eighties. Yes, there was a flexidisc factory in Charlton… I know that because I actually used it in my past life! At the time, there were a couple of other pressing plants making flexis (Lyntone in Holloway, Mayking in Battersea), so I only used the one in Charlton once and, sadly, all I can really remember is the journey home on the train clutching a box of them. But, from memory – and bear in mind I didn’t know Charlton at all at the time – it was just a large faceless block on a trading estate, and presumably somewhere near Charlton station. So logically it was somewhere in the sprawl of sheds north of Woolwich Road… I’m racking my brains trying to come up with a name, but failing. Though I’ve still got a few in the loft, so possibly it’s stamped into the vinyl…

    Matt (Beware of the Trees blog – and thank you Darryl for the “hello” in your Lewisham Festival post the other day!)

  5. mary August 31, 2011 / 10:29

    I’ve got all those Private Eye discs somewhere – now if I could remember where I put them!

  6. mary August 31, 2011 / 10:39

    Easier than I thought. Nothing much on them about what might be the source except there is a code and number on some of them. All of them are Pressdram – which I assume is Private Eye’s production company. One of them has what could be trade mark ‘Farginson’. Otherwise they are (for interest)

    “Abominable Radio Gnome”
    “His Master’s Vass” Exclusive Recording on behalf of the Conservative Party by Lord Gnome and the Staff of Private Eye”
    “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus” A Special Christmas record issued by Lord Gnome, starring Peter Cook, Barry Humpheries, Richard Ingrams and Dudley Moore”
    “Just for the Record”
    “The BBC Gnome Service”
    “Dear Sir. Is this a Record”
    “Private Eye’s Rites of Spring.A curious garland featuring The Turdies”
    “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Record”
    “Hullo Sailor. This One will run and run”

    and one other

  7. Darryl August 31, 2011 / 10:49

    Blimey! Thanks Matt, and Mary. Pressdram is Private Eye’s holding company.

    • John August 31, 2011 / 12:18

      As in the notorious case of Arkell v. Pressdram (and the proposed reply therein …)

  8. Darren August 31, 2011 / 16:37

    That Private Eye comment may have led to a clue. Could there have been a company called Lyntone in Charlton? This link says that is the manufacturer of the Private Eye discs (but with a Holloway address) http://www.discogs.com/label/Lyntone

    • Matt Haynes August 31, 2011 / 17:37

      No, Lyntone was definitely only based in Holloway – both their office and pressing plant were on Wedmore Street (see earlier post above!). The company in Charlton was a different one, with its own premises… I just can’t remember the name…


  9. mary August 31, 2011 / 19:19

    It says in the article that the manager is a John Moon – is he still out there?? Moon isn’t that common a name.

  10. Transpontine August 31, 2011 / 21:24

    Moon not a common name? Mary, you obviously don’t watch Eastenders!

  11. lurch September 4, 2011 / 14:25

    i can remember the factory,it was on the trading estate opposite the topp’s tiles.opposite the city electricals shop.i used to raid the bins outside for flexi records,back in the 80’s.

  12. Chris September 5, 2011 / 13:56

    Completely apropos of nothing, I had the pleasure of referring someone to Arkell v Pressdram when they made a derisory offer for my flat many years ago.

    My solicitor hadn’t heard of the case, but after he checked that it was bona fide he sent the letter. “My client draws your attention Arkell v Pressdram….”

    It was great.

    Oh, and Farginson was the Eye’s name for Michael Parkinson chat show types as I recall.

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