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A Visit to Noch - Part 1

Julian Lilley

JULIAN LILLEY looks at the history of Noch.

Noch Visit

Following the visit of their Managing Director Dr Rainer Noch to the UK earlier in the year, part of our sales team were invited to their head office and main manufacturing plant in Germany.

The team included Matt Taylor, Kevin Player, Warren Kerfoot, and yours truly. Before I go into details of our visit (in the next issue of RIGHT LINES), here is a timeline history of Noch; not the usual "War and Peace" version - although this famous book's title is probably appropriate in this case!

Introduction

In 2011 NOCH celebrated their 100th birthday. The company was founded 1911 as a plumber's workshop in Saxony. For 75 of those years NOCH has dealt with model railway accessories, initially carrying out the role of a distributor. They quickly realised they could produce better quality products and started to manufacture their own range of scenic accessories. For the last 50 years they have been located at Wangen in the region of Allgau in Southern Germany, just north of the Swiss and Austrian borders.

Noch Visit

Wangen's town hall, the town's coat of arms, and the City gate.

NOCH are currently managed by the 4th generation employing over 80 people today.

1911

Noch Visit

Oswald Noch, founder of NOCH.

1930

Noch Visit

Erich Noch starts the "Engineering Office NOCH" as a subsidiary of his father's workshop.

1935

Noch Visit

The company moves to 5 Nikolai Street in Glauchau and starts distributing Marklin model railways.

1936

Noch Visit

NOCH starts selling model buildings manufactured by their resident carpenter.

1940

Erich Noch is conscripted, and suspended the company until the end of the war.

1945

Noch Visit

After the Second World War, Erich Noch returns and starts the company again. He builds complete model railway layouts for wealthy customers.

1949

Noch Visit

The first NOCH Catalogue is published including tunnels and background models. At the end of the year, NOCH produce their first model railway rolling stock.

1953

Under pressure from the socialist government of East Germany, NOCH nearly collapses. Private loans keep the company afloat.

1956

Noch Visit

Erich Noch presents his products at the Nuremburg Toy Fair for the first time.

In September he escapes from East Germany, and rebuilds his business in Maisach near Munich, where he continues to build ready-made model railway layouts for private customers.

1961

Noch Visit

NOCH relocates to Wangen in the Allgau region. He uses modern vacuum thermoforming technology to build tunnels for the very first time.

1963/1964

Noch Visit

Noch produce static grass-covered mats for the first time.

1966/1967

Noch Visit

Peter Noch, the son of Erich Noch, develops highly detailed NOCH injection moulded trees.

1971

Noch Visit

NOCH extend their factory due to their continuing success, in order to enlarge its production.

1982

Noch Visit

They develop an innovative hard foam, which means that NOCH can produce extremely realistic walls and tunnel portals.

1984

Noch Visit

NOCH introduces the TERRA-FORM system, which simplifies the construction of model landscapes.

1989

Noch Visit

In the late 1970s Peter Noch, Erich's son, joined the company. Together, father and son managed the company until Erich died in 1989.

1997

Noch Visit

The fourth generation, Dr. Rainer Noch, joins the company. He launches the NOCH model figure range.

2002

Noch Visit

A new office is built.

2005

Noch Visit

NOCH first produce the Gras-Master, allows the modeller to electrostatically cover model landscapes with static grass.

2007

Noch Visit

Laser cut products are introduced, adding these highly details accessories to the NOCH range.

2009

Noch Visit

The NOCH factory is expanded again, and a facility is opened in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

2010

Noch Visit

NOCH launches the Laser-Cut+ range, which set a new quality benchmark for detail and realism in model buildings.

2011

Noch Visit

NOCH celebrates their 100th anniversary.

2017

Noch Visit

The figure range is 20 years old. NOCH are now a leading manufacturer of model figures available in O, H0, TT, N and Z scale.

2018

Noch Visit

The first UK 'NOCH Shop' installed into Model Railway Solutions in Poole. More are being planned for 2019.

That brings us right up to date with the history of Noch - in the next issue of RIGHT LINES we'll take you through our visit!

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