‘Mr. Hornby’ spills on post-Hornby plans

19 May 2023
As Simon Kohler prepares for pastures new, our exclusive video interview shares what he has in store, next.

After more than 40 years of service, Simon Kohler is to leave the company at the end of May. Having started as an area sales representative in 1978 for the renowned Watford based transformer and controller company, Hammant & Morgan, a recent Hornby acquisition at the time, Simon moved to Hornby’s Margate office in 1982 and took up the position of Hornby Railways Brand Manager.

Over the following years he saw and adapted to many changes at Hornby and for several years was responsible for the Marketing of both Hornby and Scalextric. With a fresh focus on Hornby’s key brands towards the end of the last millennium and with the transfer of manufacturing to the Far East, the Margate based company’s fortunes changed dramatically.

"Those were exciting times", quoted Simon, "and from there we have continued to progress in both design and inventiveness and I am proud to have been part of that amazing journey". In 2014 Simon left Hornby only to be called back in 2017 and over the following years with the investment in people and innovative product design Hornby’s fortunes changed and for the better.

In 2020 Hornby celebrated its centenary year with a whole host of collectable models that Simon had assembled and just recently he was proud to have been associated with the introduction of the ground-breaking Bluetooth™ HM7000 app train control system and Hornby TT:120.

Asked if he would miss Hornby Simon replied, "Hornby has been a major part of my life in one form or another for over 50 years, so of course I shall miss it. I have travelled to many parts of the World, not always in comfort, and made many friends but it is time that I moved over and let someone else bring some fresh thoughts to Hornby so it can continue to develop and adapt to the changing world around us."

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Olly Raeburn, CEO at Hornby since January this year added: "Simon has made an enormous contribution to the company, the hobby and the industry over the years and will leave a lasting imprint on all three. It goes without saying we wish him all the very best for the future."

Watch what Simon has planned in our exclusive video, below:

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