The Dragon Data Archive pays a vist to the National Archives to investigate the WDA files for Dragon Data records.
Information revealed in the documents showed how much of an investment was made by the WDA along with Prutec. There was also good insight into cost per unit on the Dragon 32 and projects they had planed but unfortunately never materialised. Interesting, was the lack of reflection on the Dragon Data failure given how much the WDA had invested. Also no direct mentions of Eurohard and Touchmaster (a spin off from Dragon) in the files that I could find (upto May '84).
Please download the PDF documents for the full details of the WDA files, see below for selected highlights.
|This shows that the factory wasn't specifically for Dragon Data and had been empty for some time.
First mention of Dragon Data as Mettoy makes an equiry to the WDA.
The Dragon Data project is seen as viable. During the duration of
Dragon Data's existance Mettoy were in financial difficulties.
|Oct 1982 : The Memorandum
The 'memorandum' was the outline financials and proposal to the WDA for
Interesting section on future projects. The Educational Unit was probably dropped after they lost the contract to supply UK schools to the Acorn BBC micro. The Business Machine could be a reference the Beta / Dragon 128 project, which was in the final development stages in early 1984, like the other projects here never got release. The "Future" project sounds like an interesting project but apart from Prestel being developed for the FarmFax machines and the Alpha prototype no other development info is known about this project.
Dragon Data confirmed at the Kenfig factory with an expected 100 jobs over
the next 3 years.
Mettoy operating at break-even.
Dragon Data first flaged as a problem client.
|29 Aug 18
GEC get involved.
Still a problem client as GEC take over marketing. It's quite probable
that the "electronic writing pad" is what eventually become the Thorn EMI
Liberator. The project was instigated in late 1983 by the UK Government's Central
Computer and Telecommunications Agency, who originally contact Dragon Data
to develop the computer. The Liberator development team included a number of
ex Dragon employees.
Dragon moves up to a major problem client, changes in managment and new
Serious problems for Dragon as they still continue to look expanding into
foreign markets. No further information on the other proposed
Extract from the WDA's portfolio summary:
WDA seem pleased about the lack of press coverage of the Dragon Data failure and their involvement.