About Us

Welcome to John Ayrey Die-Casts Ltd

Whether you are an existing customer, or have never dealt with us before, we hope that you will find something to interest you on our website.

Details of all the current model ranges we sell are shown in the Product Catalogue section. Please remember, we are TRADE ONLY. If you wish to purchase individual models, please see our Retailer Directory.


The origins of the Company go back almost seventy years, to January 1950 when John Ayrey and his father opened their first model shop, only about a mile away from the previous Shipley premises. From the earliest days they imported models into the UK from Germany and the rest of Europe. This included Eheim trolleybuses and Seuthe smoke systems amongst others.

The Company grew, opening additional Retail shops in Huddersfield, Leeds and Manchester. The retail shops were sold in the late 1970’s and the Company concentrated on the import and wholesale distribution of die-cast collector’s models.

The business was run by Mr Ayrey until his retirement at the end of 1996, when control of the business passed to the present Managing Director, Norman Hinchliffe. Norman first became involved with the business in the 1960’s, when he worked for Mr Ayrey in his retail shops.

Having successfully grown the business over 20 years John Ayreys had outgrown its premises in Shipley town centre and during 2016 relocated to a new business park in Baildon.

The business is still very much a family affair, Norman and his wife Judith, and her brother Michael and wife Susan are the major shareholders of the Company and all four take an active role in the running of the business. In addition, Norman & Judith’s four children either are currently or have previously been involved in the running of the business, and all take a keen interest in the operation of the Company.

In March 2000 the Company opened a small ‘Cash & Carry’ showroom in Christchurch, Dorset, which proved very successful, and outgrew the initial premises. In April 2006 the Christchurch operation moved to much larger and more spacious premises at Three Legged Cross, just off the A31 near Ringwood, Dorset. These larger premises are able to stock and display a much wider range of product than was possible at the old Christchurch location.

The day to day running of the Baildon branch is in the capable hands of: Dan Blake (Director of Sales & Purchasing), Iain Hinchliffe (Director of Operations), and Heather Hinchliffe (Finance Director), whilst the Dorset branch is ably managed by Branch Manager Bill Troman.

Whilst John Ayrey retired from the business completely in 1996, he still takes a keen interest in the business and helps the staff in Dorset on a part time basis.

In 2017 John Ayrey Die-Casts acquired Frizinghall Models & Railways which Norman worked part time at in the mid 1960’s. The shop was relocated to the first floor of the new Baildon premises and continues to serve the local train enthusiasts.

(1.391 secs)