Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Bedford

Fun Ho! diecast

by Peter
Categories: Bedford, Buses & Coaches, Diecast models, Fun Ho, Trucks
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A few recently acquired diecast vehicles come from a company called Fun Ho! and made in New Zealand.

These are ‘Matchbox’ sized and although simple castings have the same appeal as early Matchbox in my opinion.

Firstly two Fun Ho Landliner buses.


Although not the same they have the echo of the Matchbox Greyhound buses about them.

Another I have is the Bedford TK milk tanker, one of a few different liveries.


The chassis length suggests it may of been designed for a rigid truck as it looks to long, although may of been just designed that way.


Text below from Wikipedia

Fun-Ho! Toys were a brand of diecast toy cars and trucks manufactured and distributed by Underwood Engineering Co. Ltd. of Inglewood, New Zealand. Production was started by Jack Underwood about 1935 and continued until 1982.

One interesting aspect in the casting of Fun Ho! toys is that when a changeover from lead was made, the logical industry choice of zamac or similar zinc alloy was passed up and most Fun Ho! toys are made of aluminium.

To read more on this brand visit Wikipedia

Atlas Editions, Dinky Bedford 12cwt van

by Peter
Categories: Atlas, Bedford, Diecast models, Vans
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Today, my second sample of the new Atlas Editions, Dinky range has arrived, number 482, Bedford 12cwt van.


Again as with the Mini Traveller, the quality is amazing and attention to detail spot on.


This is one series I will continue to collect  as to me, these represent the best of British Dinky diecast.


The more common liveries done by Dinky was ‘Kodak’  also yellow and ‘Ovaltine’ in blue, the Atlas colour scheme and livery of ‘Dinky Toys’ was also done, haven’t seen many but the picture I found below of an original Dinky van with box was up for sale at £120.00 and have seen them listed in mint condition with box for over £200.00.


For more on this collection , see the Atlas Editions website below.

Atlas Editions, Dinky collection


Related articles;

Atlas Editions Dinky Triumph TR2 Sports

Atlas Editions Dinky MiniTraveller review

Bedford CA vans Click Here

Skip Trucks

by Peter
Categories: Bedford, Corgi Juniors, Diecast models, Ford, Husky, Leyland, Majorette, Matchbox, Scania, Trucks
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Skip lorries, it seems, have been around forever but didn’t really hit the streets in the UK until the 60′s

Diecast makers  have made many trucks over the years a few are below.

Firstly we have the Matchbox Superkings number K28 and released in 1977 and based on a Bedford TM truck chassis

Much later in 1985 this truck evolved into a Leyland truck using the same skip body and the same skip, this is number K123 and has vastly improved wheels with front steering, although the amber roof beacons seem to be lost in the holes provided in the casting

On the smaller scale Matchbox created a Ford Cargo skip truck and made available in different colour versions, numbered MB45 and with later type wheels, released in 1986 and made in Thailand.

An earlier Matchbox skip truck was a rather futuristic design and numbered 37 and released back in 1977, this one is still easy to get in many different colours.

Below an early Husky skip truck based on the Bedford TK and complete with a diecast skip, this was numbered as 27 and Released in 1964 and  withdrawn in 1969, it was briefly part of the Corgi Juniors range too.

Corgi Juniors also made a Ford skip truck but this time based on the Ford D1000 from the 60′s, numbered 54 and listed as a Ford Container Truck.

And lastly one from the French diecast maker Majorette based on a Scania chassis, numbered 222 and listed as Multibenne

Related articles;

Joal Skip truck

Dinky Marrel multi-bucket

Dinky Convoy skip truck


The real trucks

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 shapes to suit different uses and waste volumes.

Dinky, loudspeaker van

by Peter
Categories: Bedford, Diecast models, Dinky, Vans
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This, I acquired from a car show last summer among others, it is the Dinky loudspeaker van, No 34 or 492, not absolutely sure why there are two different numbers but this is what my research revealed.

This was produced by Dinky toys between 1948 and 1954 making this diecast van at least 57 years old.

This is a basic casting with no base plate with simple wheels and axles and quite a common model to see around the internet.

The Dinky van is actually based on a Bedford HC and I was lucky enough, not only to find a picture of the actual van but one with loudspeakers fitted.

The real van

This is the 5/6cwt Bedford HC, a model introduced in 1938 and based on the running gear of the contemporary Vauxhall 10hp saloon. This example belonged to Lodge Radiovision Ltd, and was fitted out as a speaker van, the conversion undertaken by Wensley, who, like Lodge Radiovision, were also from Wakefield in Yorkshire.

The real van, text and picture from

Production of vehicles for civilian use ceased during WW2, with the HC re-entering production for a brief while, following hostilities. The JC, and later the PC, continued in production until 1952 when the all-new CA was ready for release.