History of DiBro

DiBro Ltd is an abbreviated form for Dickinson Bros, the three eldest brothers namely, Ewart Neville Dickinson, Harry Osmond Dickinson and David Richard Dickinson whom started a printing business in Moorfields, Liverpool in 1933.

The main activity being the printing of general business stationery and more especially the ‘Swan’ brand trading stamps which were sold to small grocers and retail shops in Liverpool and outlying districts. The business was one of the first printers in England to purchase an automated fast Heidelberg printing press in 1935.

At the outbreak of World War II the brothers were seconded to the various armed forces for the war effort, fortunately at about this time Denis Austin Dickinson the youngest brother attended to the business for a short period before being called for duty himself and during this period after a heavy bombing raid in 1941 when Moorfields was badly damaged, the business was moved into Cheapside, Liverpool. Not long after this move their being no member of the family to run the business it was leased to another notable Liverpool printing business namely Samuel Hill & Reader their premises in Church Street having been completely destroyed in the May blitz of 1942.

In 1945 the brothers together with their younger brother John Alexander Dickinson having returned from the services realised that due to the shortage of raw materials and with Ewart Dickinson having an engineering and inventive bent, to move away from printing and make a future in manufacturing. The printing business was sold to Elliot Bros & Yeoman Ltd and the proceeds used to purchase a factory in Litherland from where we began making simple toys for F.W.Woolworth Ltd. The toys were made from metal and involved over 70 metal powerpresses, spray painting and a full engineering toolroom.

In 1953, the company became a limited company under the name of DiBro Ltd employing over 200 people in three factories. At about this time Denis Dickinson introduced the first plastic injection moulding press, which started a move away from the traditional metal pressings and were able to manufacture much safer toys and also to manufacture products for other industries.

In 1959 Thomas Ewart Dickinson joined the company having previously served his time in the metal finishing industry to set up a vacuum metallising facility to both finish the new plastic toys being manufactured and also to provide a service to other plastic product manufacturers. This lead to the processing of plastic parts for such companies as Meccano Ltd for their ‘Dinky’ toys in 1960’s and during the 1970’s to the vacuum metallising of bottle jigger caps for Teachers whisky and cosmetic caps for Avon Cosmetics Ltd, Faberge Ltd and many more.

During this period the toy industry had changed from simple metal clockwork and toy guns etc to more sophisticated toys, which being labour intensive to manufacture in the UK, were now being imported from the Far East. In 2014, DiBro was purchased by its current owners and continues to thrive on innovation by its dedicated team.

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