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-956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

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


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Hi Terry,

 

I am not aware of a yellow lid box for this model. "WITH WINDOWS" has been added to the later blue striped boxes circa 1958 - 59. As your model has plastic hubs it must be post 08 - 1960.

Jacques.


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Terry, a nice, pristine example you have found! Like the Coles Lorry Mounted Crane yours is also such an example of the final issue, featuring plastic hubs but also having 'lost' the grip of the handle for operating the ladder. 

My example, as shown below, is an 'in between', having pastic windows but diecast hubs still, and the grip to the handle still present. There is something hybrid there, because the box is of older stock, lacking the statement 'with windows' and the stamp inside: 35 9 VD. 

I have chosen the company of 'oldies' of the 1950s for my picture. Long ago I had a m/b Rambler, but I could not get used to it and sold it. Kind regards, Jan 


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Greetings Jan

You are quite correct with your analysis in that "there is something hybrid here"! 

The box was quality inspected in March 1959, at least a year before window glazing was added.  This is a case whereby a previous owner up-graded the box to match the high quality of the model, not stopping to think that it was not the correct box!

Still it is a lovely set, box and model, and I am sure not many visitors to your home would even know about the above!  (Or care for that matter!  (I am intrigued though with the model next to the 956 Turntable Fire Escape, the 955 Fire Engine with Extending Ladder - plastic hubs with the box having block printing. Does it have an inspection stamp? Or an original price written anywhere?

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

21 February 2016

#783


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Hello Bruce, if this is the one you mean (see below): it has an inspection stamp MP 9 55 inside the lid, but no other writing or stickers on the outside revealing this example's retail price. It has diecast hubs and box and model make a sound match in my opinion. I hope this helps! Kind regards, Jan 


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Dinkinius
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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Good morning Jan - yes indeed, a perfect match, box, model and owner!  I just could not enlarge the image the first time around and it looked strangely like plastic hubs!  I sort of knew that Jan would not have had a plastic hubbed 955 in that box!

But many thanks for the quality inspection stamp details - have added them to my list! September 1955 was a very busy month for Meccano, mainly concentrating on their new model, the 965 Euclid Rear Dump Truck!

"MP" apart from quality checking the 955 models, also handled the 923 Big Bedford Heinz Van the following month.

I am really envious of the quality of your models. It seems we are surrounded by fastidious collectors! Top marks to you!

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

21 February 2016

#787


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Terry and Jacques

The 956 Turntable Fire Escape based on a Bedford chassis and body was only ever issued in a blue striped box. No Quality Inspection Stamps have been found in any 956 boxes where the models have been produced with window glazing. The latest issue I have found without windows and shod with Supertoy hubs was inspected in June 1960.

The 956 Turntable Fire Escape based on the Bedford chassis and cab was deleted and replaced with the same sales number by the Turntable Fire Escape based on the Berliet cab and chassis in 1969. The latter model had either a silver, black or white rear platform. It was also issued for the Danish market with "Falck" labels.

This is another example whereby the name of the manufacturer of the real vehicle was never incorporated on the box, instruction leaflet, sales and marketing material for either model, Bedford or Berliet.

The following images are examples of this model.

Bruce   (150)

18 February 2016

#778

 


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Bruce--Thanks for adding your usual added comments.....this model certainly led an interesting life and sure did evolve over time. I was aware of those various changes happening over time, and assume that losing those "grip handles" was probably the last change. Do you have any idea when that occurred? I am guessing about the same time that the Coles 20-ton Lorry Mounted Crane had a similar change, obviously in a cost reduction move, but a sad change as to me, it is quite noticeable. But a clue as to how desperate they were to save money at that time. And Jan, nice to see your lovely example, for sure an early hybrid type.
Best regards, Terry


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Terry

Based on my research into the 965 Euclid/Terex models, the loss of the winding handle grip at least for this model occurred during early 1969.  This has been confirmed with the change-over period when Euclid bases were still being used on the first Terex models. I have never seen a Terex with a grip on the winding handle. None of the drawings I have include the change with the winding handle which I can presume is due to the handle itself not changing, just the deletion of the grip which Meccano most likely considered being unnecessary to go to all the trouble with occupying the design staff to alter the plans with such a minor issue.

Having said that, there is always something that pops up that changes things!  With the images below we have two Euclid models in a late issue lidded box before the box was changed to end-flap. One having the grip and the other without. Then we have an even later issue in an end-flap box and the model has the grip!  Of course we always have to take into consideration later day collectors who swap models and boxes around willy-nilly. The change with the lidded box, dispensing with the familiar blue-striped lid, occurred gradually from at least July 1962. Unfortunately neither of the 965 half pictorial yellow lidded boxes have an original price written on them which would have aided in possibly determining a year when sold.

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

21 February 2016

#782


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Bruce--Thanks again for your always welcome comments and added information. It would appear that the Bedford Turntable Fire Escape truck lost those winding handle grips in its last year of production in 1969, so my example must date from that time also. It is a pity that Meccano apparently quit dating those boxes prior to that, as we could have really nailed down dates for these and other changes. Do we know about when dating stopped?
Best regards, Terry


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Terry

Meccano generally ceased quality checking and stamping between 1962 and 1963. After 1958, the practice of quality inspecting seems to have been relaxed, as the numbers I have found have decreased. This may not necessarily mean the practice was being terminated - just that many stamps are indecipherable with the stamp pad being badly in need of replenishing its ink!

The last quality inspection date stamp I have is for a 276 Airport Fire Tender stamped 1163ER or November 1963. I have found very few inspection stamps for 1962 through to 1964. The last inspection date I have found for the 956 Turntable Fire Escape has been January 1961. This is where price tickets come in handy!

Also, those models that have some form of movement such as a crane, fire engine, tipper, etc apart from the box lid receiving a stamp, the packers invariably included a test and quality inspection ticket which were about 2" square. These are similar to the test tag that are often found in Hornby-Dublo locomotive boxes. Most of these unfortunately have never survived.

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

21 February 2016

# 784


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Browsing in Pascal's Dinky Toys - autos, camions, engins, I found on page 72 this fine picture of a similar example as Terry's (plastic hubs, no grips), but still with the obsolete pre-1961 box, without the 'with windows' statement . Of course it all depends on the control stamp inside if this box might nevertheless have belonged to this model ever since they left the factory. Both seem to be in the same virtually mint condition. Kind regards. Jan 


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Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 22:49

Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Pascal can not be trusted, some photos in this book have been fiddled with. Some where you can find two identical photos with different colours for the model. Pascal has changed the colour.and there are many errors which prove that Pascal does not know anything about Dinky Toys. Pascal is a journalist, he does not collect Dinky Toys, his book is purely commercial.

If you have a CD, please refer to ERRATA on the home page.

Jacques.


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Re : -956 Turntable Fire Escape (1958-70) [Bedford]

Dear Jacques, I never trust anyone ...wink Kind regards, Jan