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dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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-772 British Road Signs (1959-63)

I am not sure this belongs here, but cannot quickly decide where else to post it.  Another Dinky collectory, restorer, and good friend, recently saw a posting on eBay from a chap in England, selling what purports to be somewhat unique road signs, made by folks at Mecanno and unauthorized.  I am attaching a couple of photos that he sent me, and he as a few more I will get later.  The quick summary is they appear to be related to the 772 International Road Signs made from around 1959 through 1963 or so.  They have the same inscription cast into the base and are also the same height, and other casting details appear to be identical, but for the wording....which is simply "no waiting".  They also appear to be painted a unique color.  The chap selling them says he heard that were made by Meccano employees and given to other employees and were never listed or sold.  The ones he is selling are not very expensive, so there is no attempt here to cash in on something very rare, etc.  Since it appears to be a genuine Meccano piece, at least at first glance, it is interesting, and if true, is another tidbit of interesting things Meccano.

    I looked in Jacques encyclopedia for some mention, but found nothing.  Has anyone else heard of these before?  If they are some type of Dinky "forgery", why, as they are not expensive.......doesn't make sense to me!  I might get one just for interests sake, and if not, will closely examine and photograph my friends.  Over the years I have learned that with Dinky related items, almost anything is possible!  What do you think?

              Best regards,  Terry

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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Hello Terry, this exceptionally coloured sign belongs to the no. 769 British Road Signs Town set, half a dozen signs. I found several, single or the set, on the internet. See also the Vectis image and the 1964 catalogue page detail shown below. Another half a dozen in the complementary British Road Signs Country Set no. 767. Both available 1959-1964. So you might place these pictures in the 769 thread. The others shown (with black - not white - bases) are from the early, more familiar no. 47 / 770 Road Signs Set. Kind regards, Jan 

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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Jan---Thanks.....I should have looked further. I had never seen it before, and just went by what one of the sellers said in their listing. That makes lots of sense!
Best regards, Terry

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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Actually this is in the right thread because originally these signs were only available in the massive 772 set, before it got split up.

Which brings me to a small question: Has anyone seen a 772 set they know is unmolested, and has the signs placed in factory order? Every image of this set I can find shows the signs in a different order.

As for my own set (pictured below trapped in my crowded display case), I believe I may have removed the signs decades ago for photography, and probably was careful to put them back the way they came, but at this remove I can no longer be sure.

 

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

You're quite correct, Johnny, as the 772 thread is concerned. I should have looked further too! May be the factory order was random, which was possibly much quicker to fill than painstakingly looking for the correct signs and their correct places, being so large in number and hard to see their differences in a glimpse. I do not seem to uncover any two contents which are the same (but I may be wrong). Kind regards, Jan

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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Jan, no doubt your guess is right. Part of me somehow wants to believe that there is a correct order, but certainly I cannot find any images out there that show the same order. I guess we will never know until we have a time machine to take us back to a toy shop with half a dozen new samples in stock ...

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Greetings all!

There has been some recent discussions in regard to what order the signs were originally placed into the box in the factory.

As I do not have an example of this set in mint, unmolested condition, I just past the Topic by, but a little voice in my head, said to me, "check the catalogues", so I did so, and the image I have copied from the UK 1962 catalogue with the print code of 7/562/600 is attached below. A similar image is in the 1962 USA edition as well as the 1963 UK edition.

Although it is not conclusive, I think this image (and I apologise for the quality as it has been considerably enlarged!) will at least provide an example of a set in the factory that was used to make the photoengrave plate for the catalogue. One should be able to decipher each sign.

It is interesting that one sign appears to have a different base and post than all the others which is most likely the "No Waiting" sign that Terry has obtained. The speed limit sign of 30 is also in the 772 set, but I could not see the other sign "No Entry One Way Street" so that must be the only sign that did not make the cut for the 772 set and was a later issue for the 47/770 road sign set..

I hope this has been of some help in determining an order used in the factory.

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

20160928/991/1126

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

Thanks so much, Bruce! Naturally i thought of checking catalogues but did not have any showing the signs to hand.

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA

Bruce----Very nice of you to find those in the later catalogs and show them. It sure makes sense those probably represent what the factory was putting out, and they were not somehow re-arranged just for the photo. Of course Jan's thought that they might have been randomly packed is also very possible, unless there was some advantage to packing in a specific order.
Best regards, Terry

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Good to find this 'ideal sample layout', Bruce! In the case of randomly placing the signs into the box the only thing that had to be taken into account are the higher HALT (left) and SLOW (second from the right) signs, to be placed into the lower cuts in order to fit. The rest is free to be inserted anywhere. Kind regards, Jan 

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Many thanks John and Terry for your kind words.

Actually, I have located 46 772 British Road Signs that have been auctioned through quite a number of auction sites over the past 15 years of which six lots match the catalogue picture.  Of course it might be just a coincidence, or these six were never used for the purpose for which they were intended. Or, they had extremely fastidious owners who returned each sign into its "rightful" place! Of the remaining 40 sets, as far as I could quickly tell, none match any other set, they were all different - signs all over the place, with some even containing two or three of one sign. I think there is a message there in that packaging of the set was regimented to a certain degree.

Below is an image of one of those 772 British Road Signs that match the catalogue image.

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

20160928/992/1742

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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Bruce----Just another great example of a mystery at Meccano. But all of these lead to fun speculation about what Meccano really did and why.......which leads to some great discussions, like this one. Thanks for "stoking the fire" on this one and others.
Best regards, Terry

micromodels's picture
micromodels
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Hi Jan and all,

Thought you might like to see a 769 'bubble pack' version. (could not find the 769 thread!).  I also have a 772 set with a box falling to pieces and the signs rattling around.

Ron F

 

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

Very interesting! Those bubble pack versions must be quite rare!

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

The other day I reshuffled the contents of my British Road Signs Set. The signs seemed to have been placed in a rather random order some time before it was acquired by me (like the majority, as confirmed by pictures on the internet).

Now it matches the picture in my 1959 Dinky Toys catalogue. However, there is one difference, because the Derestriction sign in the catalogue illustration is replaced by a ‘30’ sign in my set. Indeed, it appears that there are sets with one Derestriction sign and one ‘30’ sign, and deviating sets lacking the Derestriction Sign but containing two ‘30’ signs. In DT&MM (Compendium page 62) and the GBofDT (page 153) this is indicated by: ‘30/Derestriction (2)’. Kind regards, Jan

 

Fred7A
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DTCA Member

For me the accessory items really add interest to a collection, and I love the way in which this set of signs is presented.  I think that the 30 mph / derestriction issue is easily solved - they are both the same sign, with 30 on one side and the derestriction symbol on the other, so you simply need to turn one sign round the other way!

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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This made me laugh out loud, which is something sorely needed in these times -- thank you! I knew full well that the 30 signs had a derestriction sign on the other side -- which was quite authentic incidentally -- but when Jan posted his message I had completely forgotten this fact. I looked at my set, which is visible but inaccessible behind rows of vehicles in a display, and wryly concluded that I had one of the "deviating" sets with two 30 signs. LOL!

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Thanks, Fred and Jon, my shortsightedness deserves a good laugh indeed! I was puzzling and puzzling why my and many other sets shown are differing from the 'standard' contents. On the other hand, I did not see sets with two Dereliction signs. Now I am relieved that my set is 100% OK, anyway. Finally, below, the official arrangement, a correction which I quickly implemented, of course! 

Thank you very much for your appreciated comments. It is so silent here these days, which our hobby does not deserve. Kind regards, Jan   

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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Jan -- yes, it is too silent here, so I am ever-more grateful for your interesting and detailed contributions.

Unfortunately I have not been back to the UK for about 20 years, but I assume that when leaving a village, one still sees the derestriction signs on both sides of the road, as in this picture, with the "30" limit on the other side of each one.

Here (courtesy of the Dinky Toys Encyclopedia) is the drawing for the 30/derestriction sign:

Incidentally derestriction signs were also produced by Dinky in the form of a sticker on the 755 and 756 Lamp Standards, making these items unsuitable for lighting within a village (unless one removed the stickers). Given that motorways were a new and exiting thing in 1960, Meccano Ltd. probably figured that children would use the Lamp Standards to model motorways or at least divided roads (dual carriageways)!