I just recently purchased and received a very nice example of this wonderful model, and noticed that no posts were listed on our forum, so decided to add mine. For some reason, I had neglected purchasing this earlier, so when a nearly mint example came along, I decided it was time. The 956 Bedford Turntable Fire Escape Lorry was introduced in 1958 and enjoyed a fairly long production life, ending in 1970. Along the way, it underwent several changes, reflecting the changing times and fortunes of Meccano Ltd. It was first introduced without windows and with the normal Supertoys ridged wheels, but windows were added fairly soon, as was the change to plastic wheels. Then, somewhat later, the baseplate was changed from glossy to matt finish, and three rivets to two. Lastly, the winding handles lost their wonderful, very nice "sleeves", and the third loose ladder was also deleted. A similar fate fell on the Coles 20 Ton Lorry Mounted Crane, which also lost the sleeves on its winding handles. So my model has all of these changes, but was still packed in a striped Supertoys box.......did they always come in that style of box? I am not sure of the date of manufacture, as their is not date stamp inside the box lid, but am assuming mid to late 1960's. Even with all of the changes and the evolving fortunes of Meccano at that time, I was still impressed with the overall quality of this model; the painting and detailing is still very well done, and overall quality control seems to have been well achieved. One of the reasons that I decided to buy a later version, with windows, was that it would also go well with my previously purchased 257 Fire Chief's Car, and the 259 Fire Engine, which also came with windows. All in all, a very nice model, well made, and with the fun of the turntable ladder and its extending feature, must have been a popular toy.
Best regards, Terry