Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Trailers

Corgi RNLI Landrover and Lifeboat

by Peter
Categories: 4x4 vehicles, boats, Corgi, Diecast models, Land Rover, Trailers
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One of the latest Corgi issues is this Land Rover and lifeboat combo for the RNLI and sponsored by Toolstation.

According to the Corgi website, this is new tooling and has been given the number, CP64406

The following is from the back of the box;

Land Rover Defender and RNLI D Class Lifeboat.
As well as saving lives at sea, the RNLI is ready to respond to flooding emergencies.
The charity has a Flood Rescue Team (FRT) made up of 300 specially trained volunteers and staff, all ready to head to severe floods in the UK and RoI.
Sixty of them are trained for flood rescue in other countries. in case the FRT is neede abroard.
The FRT, which is sponsered by Toolstation, uses inflatable lifeboats that are easily transported and can operate in shallow, fast-flowing water.
The RNLI relies on voluntary donations to equip and train its lifesavers.
For more information, visit

The real Lifeboat

The real D class life boat shown below

RNLI lifeboats can be divided into two categories: inshore and all-weather. The D class lifeboat is one of three classes of inshore lifeboat (ILB) – the B, D and E classes.

The D class has been the workhorse of the service for nearly 50 years. The inflatable D class is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats and is specifically suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.

In 2010, D class lifeboats launched 2,401 times and rescued 1,639 people, saving 103 lives.

Launching from a trolley or davit, the D class lifeboat is ideal for rescues close to shore in fair to moderate conditions.

The D class lifeboat has a single 50hp outboard engine and can be righted manually by the crew after a capsize.

First introduced into the fleet in 1963, the design of the D class has continued to evolve since its introduction and the latest version (also known as the IB1-type) was introduced in 2003.

Equipment includes both fitted and hand-held VHF radio, night-vision equipment, and first aid kit including oxygen.

Date introduced:​1963 but design has continued to evolve ever since​
Launch type: Trolley or davit​
Number in fleet:​112 at station plus 37 in relief fleet​
Max speed:25 knots
Fuel capacity:​68 litres
Range/endurance:3 hours at maximum speed
Construction:​Hypalon-coated polyester
Engines:​1 x Mariner at 40 or 50hp
Survivor capacity:​5

Matchbox caravans

by Peter
Categories: Caravans, Diecast models, Matchbox, Trailers
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Today we are looking at something that has ruled the summer roads  and camp sites for as long as I can remember, caravans, from the beginning Matchbox created quite a few  and over the years many others graced the range.

The first three pictures all have the same Matchbox number and as each was replaced kept the same place in the 1-75 range.

The first one here is the Berkeley Cavalier Caravan number 23b, what happened to 23a I hear you ask, well it was the same caravan, 23b had a heavier casting line around the door is was available in different colours, pale blue, lime green and metallic  green finish. Released in 1957 , the 23a version was released in 1956 and only available in pale blue and was replaced a year later by 23b.

Next the Bluebird Dauphine Caravan, the same number, 23c and has an opening side door, this was released in 1960 and replaced 23b.

The next offering was produced in 1969 and a big change from previous caravans, this one didn’t have a name and had been marked as a ‘Trailer caravan’ the door is now cast rather than opening and has a full interior with removable roof, going by the balcony this was a luxury caravan, available in yellow or pink.

In 1970, a change of number and wheel type, this is No57 with the then, new Superfast wheels, still called just a trailer caravan, the balcony has now gone although has kept the detailed interior and removable roof.

Available in yellow and cream, a rare version is in white with red decal/tampo showing a red palm tree and the wording ‘Red Sunset’ only seen one and the seller was asking £50.00.

Next we jump ahead to 1977 and number 31, the names get shorter as this one is just called ‘caravan’

This was available in many colours and back to an opening door that was operated from a lever underneath.

This was typical of the caravans on the road at the time.

An even bigger jump now to 1999 and the Matchbox ‘pop-up camper’ popular in the UK even now as they can be towed without the massive wind drag associated with full size caravans, this was produced from 1999 until about 2011 and may still be available.

Folded down (above) and fully unfolded (below)

Available in many colours and decal types, made in China from 1999 and later in Thailand.

The last one today is a much later model from Matchbox Mattel and made in Thailand, this is MB747 released in 2007, this time called ‘travel trailer’

The real caravans
1954 Berkeley Cavalier

1960 Bluebird Dauphine Caravan

Pop up caravan/camper