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Essex Models and Miniatures archive
It’s been a year since my last visit to this toy fair in Brentwood, this time I didn’t actually buy much but the models I did buy fill a few gaps.
The Matchbox collection has always been the main focus and still trying to fill the gaps in the collection along with upgrading some of the playworn versions I have.
Firstly the Matchbox Jaguar 3.4 litre number 65, this is the smaller casting designated 65a with grey wheels and no glass, although most were blue the metallic blue is not as common.
The later casting with opening bonnet and usually dark red also numbered 65 would of been designated 65b, this one is already part of my collection, was also available with black wheels
Next another Matchbox. and another I didn’t have, the red version of the Fiat 1500 number 56.
Quite rare as was only available in a Matchbox garage gift set G1.
For more on the Matchbox Fiat 1500 Click Here
Next an upgrade of one of the Dinky Dublo vehicles the Morris post office van
This replaces a poor example I’ve had for years
Lastly another Triang tugster for the collection, this one in green, in mint condition and with it’s box
For more on this Triang model Click Here
The Dinky Supertoys Cement mixer, number 960 was produced between 1960 and 1968, the first issues describe this as a ‘cement mixer’ on the box and later changed to ‘concrete mixer’.
This has a rotating and tipping drum, the rotation is operated via a ring gear on the drum and though to the rear wheels.
Added play value was using the tipping drum and hollow shute to pour sand or water on to your miniature building site.
This model is based on the Albion Chieftain although the mixing part of the truck doesn’t look like any mixer from the same period and assume this was designed for the play value rather than vehicle accuracy, further observations on this fact is below.
Joal also produced this model and there is speculation as to whether the Dinky dies were used or it just a very good copy, this is Joal number 202 from the 1970′s and also the Albion Chieftain, again further research is below.
On the other hand Budgie Toys also made a version but used the Leyland Super Comet as the basis of their truck, and a completely different drum mechanism although still a tipping type mixer, this is Budgie number 310.
Some of the research I do involves not just the models but the vehicle where the inspiration and model come from.
There seems to be some discussion, and disputes over the Albion and Leyland LAD bodies produced by Dinky although to me the casting is very clear in design.
The Albion Chieftain as is the Dinky cement mixer number 960 and also the Joal mixer number 202.
Whereas the Budgie mixer is a Leyland Super Comet and so is the Dinky Marrel multi-bucket below.
The proof is in the body shape, the Leyland has the wrap around lower skirt and the Albion has seperate mudguards.
You need more proof, how about the real trucks?
1961 Leyland Super Comet, note the wrap around lower skirt just above the wheels.
1963 Albion Chieftain no wrap around skirt and seperate mudguards.
Real pictures from simoncars.co.uk
The Motor Panels cab design used was shared with Leyland, Albion and Dodge It is therefore often referred to as the “LAD” cab (Leyland-Albion-Dodge).
The Albion is also a smaller truck that can clearly be seen by the two Dinky trucks together, also notice the mixer had the Albion crest as seen on the real truck, the bumper types are also different.
Is the Joal casting the old Dinky dies?
Lets look at some details and you can decided for yourselves
My first observation is the sharpness of the Dinky detail opposed to the Joal version also the Albion crest is missing, although this in itself proves nothing as dies wear, some of the old Airfix moulds sold to Dapol have been re-released and obvious signs of wear can be seen in the plastic mouldings now produced, and that’s plastic, now imagine what a hot metal die has to go through.
The castings look at first glance to be almost identicle but my personal opinion is that this is a good copy rather than the original dies from Dinky.
The Dinky mixer design
Possibly to you and certainly me, the mixer looks too small as to what we are used to seeing, also the way it works doesn’t follow the real mixers seen mounted on all of our past and present concrete trucks.
First the models above have a tipping drum, secondly the ring gear operation is not used on the concrete mixers I know as they are driven directly from the rear of the drum, unloading is achieved by reversing the drum and a long screw paddle inside the drum discharges the contents, and more like the picture below of an Albion of the same era as the Dinky mixer.
The idea of a tipping mixer and the ring gear is the same as most older small cement mixers used on building sites, they tip to discharge and operate via a ring gear on the outside of the drum, this leads me to believe that the design was inspired by site cement mixers rather than a lorry mounted design of the day, an old diesel site mixer seen below shows the exposed ring gear and also notice the cradle design, also similar to the Dinky mixer.
If such a lorry existed then no picture or information now existing on the internet or my vast book collection of lorries and construction plant.
There is a possiblity this type of mixer did exist and may of been for batching large amount of mortar for the 1950′s building boom, but without pictures , this I can not verify.
The original concrete mixer was designed in America way back in 1933 and even then looks more like a modern concrete truck than the Dinky mixer does.
The Dinky Supertoys Marrel multi bucket is one of those holy grail models I have been after for years, I had one without the skip but sold that a few years back, this latest addition is not only complete but also came with it’s original box.
Based on the Leyland Comet truck this is Dinky number 966 and often mistaken as the Albion Chieftain, it’s not.
I have only ever seen it in this colour, I also notice the box quailifies that this model has windows, did the first issues not have windows fitted? Or was this a common addition to the boxes as Dinky included windows in all their models.
This model was released in 1960 and was produced until 1964.
This also has operational skip locks at the rear this helps hold the skip on the real trucks, a feature not often seen even on modern models.
Dinky produced a much later skip truck in 1977 and part of the Convoy range although much simplified and not a patch on the old Leyland Comet.
History of the skip
In 1914, Antoine Marrel, a Berthier car dealer at St-Etienne with a passion for mechanics, dedicated his time and skills to developing a lifting/hanging device. It was the beginning of a great story, and in 1919 The Societe Bennes Marrel was created. The company acquired its fame by launching the very first dumpster activated with cables and gallows.
The Marrel Multibenne or multibucket was designed by Antoine Marrel himself.
It was in the 1960s that the skip as we know it came into its own, beginning its 50-year rise as the bulk waste disposal method of choice for both the domestic and the commercial markets.
Back in the early 1920s the shipping industry in Southport began to use a type of container that loosely resembled a skip and which was removed by a petrol-engine lorry as opposed to the horse-drawn refuse carts that were commonly used throughout the town. For most commercial waste disposal, however, tipper wagons remained the most common option. These were delivered to site by a team, which waited while it was hand or machine loaded before removing it again. The result, however, was the effective double handling of rubbish and the wasting of the delivery team’s time while the wagon was loaded.
By the time the 1960s arrived, the boom in real estate development coupled with an expanding industrial sector meant that volumes increased and time became precious, leading to the development of the modern day skip. These were originally developed in Germany and were adopted by a London company called George Cross & Co., which quickly set about introducing the concept to a ready and willing UK market.
The original skips came in a “one-size-fits-all” format of around six cubic yards and remained that way for many years until skip hire companies embraced the changing needs of the market and developed a range of sizes and shapes to suit different uses and waste volumes.
The real trucks
The third generation Leyland Comet
In 1958, as part of an effectivization program, the Comet received a new cab – called the “Vista Vue” cab, it was developed by Albion for a variety of their models. Dodge UK also used it for their 300 model, consequently this cabin shape is often referred to as the “LAD” design. There was also a heavier duty “Super Comet” model introduced, which eventually largely supplanted the “regular” Comet.
Real truck text from Wikipedia
Picture from www.truck-photos.net
Based on the Ulysses 3 ton Mobile Yard crane which had been introduced in 1949, the Dinky Coles Mobile Crane. It had crank operated jib and hook and 360 degree rotation.
First numbered 570 when it was introduced in 1949 and later became 971 in March 1954.
This model was withdrawn in 1966.
The real cranes
Information on the real cranes is sketchy to say the least but a useful page I found was here https://sites.google.com/site/colescranedatabase/main-database/new-mobile-cranes-1946—1960
From the above webpages the following is the description of a yard crane in general
Self mobile cranes with either cantilever or strut booms designed for lifting moving and stacking goods both inside and outside industrial works and storage sites. There loading capacity is lower than the industrial crane but this rating can be raised for static lifting if outriggers are fitted stabilising their base. Movement and lifting are operations are both carried out from operating cab mounted in the slewing deck. They are more moveable than the Industrial Unit.