I recently upgraded my BBC Mobile Control Room, and noticed that the baseplate on my new example was slightly different. The one on the left has had two channels added towards the rear, presumably to add strength. The one without the channels must be the earlier version. Both have the body casting with the slightly untidy die marks on the grey section of the roof.
I checked my ABC version, and that also has the channels, but the base is different again, as the number 967 has been removed.
Well spotted Fred, I'll have a look at mine.
Here are mine.
My ABC is the same as your one Richard. Sometimes I think that when the designers got bored they used to spend time changing details like these!
There are two body castings I know of, one with four slightly rough die marks on the grey roof section, and one without these (sorry I don't have a picture available). Which version are your examples?
Here under, photos of the both tops.
I think that the mould of my "BBC" model was a little bit "tired" when my item was produced ! It present some defaults as you can see on the second photo.
Thanks for the topside pictures. I don't have an example of the "neater" roof casting - both of my BBCs and my ABC all have the same roof as your BBC.
It seeems that all the BBC models have the poor roof and that the die was improved bevore making the ABC.
Please advise if I am wrong, if you have an ABC with the poor roof or a BBC with the good roof.
Most interesting. Checked mine and they are poor roof on both, baseplate supports on the ABC only.....
BTW The Camaraman came with a tipper lorry from the Pound shop, but doesn't he look perfect?
Your cameraman looks great Chris! I've recently bought a repro camera and man for my ABC, and just need some cables now - any ideas what I could use?
What about a piece of electric wire ? the thin type used in electronics. Try your TV / radio shop.
"What about a piece of electric wire ? the thin type used in electronics. Try your TV radio / shop."
Of course! Am I correct that the colour should be yellow?
Chris, it looks like your BBC has the "good" roof, as all the grid lines continue to the edge of the grey area. Looks like either colour can come with either casting - typical Dinky!
So the mystery remains. Both BBC and ABC have the good and the bad roofs.
Where they two dies ?
Its seems that on Chris's ABC the sliding pannel on the roof is thicker than on his BBC. Am I right or does the light makes it look so ?
I think that an old ethernet c
Fred you're right about the BBC roof, I must be going blind!
I'll have a look at the panel thickness when I can get them out again and let you all know.
Has anyone removed the base plate of one of these models. If so, is there a number 1 or 2 cast somewhere inside ?
Reporting in, mine as follows: BBC has smooth base and recess across the flat roof area. ABC has ridged base, smooth roof and plastic hubs.
Searching some more information about the Mobile Control Room I rediscovered a (hopefully) interesting piece of discussion of my own on the former Talkmodeltoys discussion forum. It is about its identification:
Dear all, subsequent to the discussion in the 969 thread on the prototype of this Mobile Control Room, I tracked some sources to – I hope – a solution (or possibly leading to a new discussion).
My start is in the Dutch Modelauto issue 29 of March/April 1989. There, Wim Grift presents a nice article on the well known BBC trio. He also puts a question mark behind the prototype origin of this model. In reaction, there is a letter of R.P. Nonnekes in the Modelauto issue 31 of July/August 1989. There, Nonnekes states that Meccano Magazine of July 1959 speaks about a Morris Commercial chassis. But, then he refers to an article in Model Collector of January 1989, in which the confusion risen is said to be solved under the heading: ‘It is a Bedford 25 year mystery solved’.
When I made these notes in my own catalogue, I did not have the disposal yet of that article. However, some years ago a collector friend donated me a pile of Model Collectors, so now I am in the position to read it myself. I’ll quote that one, a letter by Jeff Longbottom of Bolton:
“With reference to the make of vehicle on which the Dinky Toys BBC Mobile Control Room was based, I offer the following.
During the 1940-1960s, BBC carried a two-part fleet identification system, namely a type/series mark plus a vehicle number. The type/series mark ran sequentially through the various types – for example, MCR4 – MCR12, RL2 – RL34, and so on. The vehicle number was made up of a letter and a number, such as F604 – A905, the letter denoting the make of chassis and the number duplicated from the registration details. (Earlier types had the letter prefixed, later types suffixed.) Some examples of letters used are AL = Albion, B = Bedford, C = Commer, F = Fordson, K = Karrier, M = Morris.
In the case of the vehicles on which the model is based are concerned, the details are as follows:
MCR (Mobile Control Room); B (Bedford)
MCR13 B813 PGN813 1955
MCR14 B814 PGN814 1955
MCR15 B815 PGN815 1955
MCR16 B816 PGN816 1955
The only conclusion I can draw is that some have confused this particular batch of vehicles with a not dissimilar type of bodywork which was, in fact, carried on a Morris chassis. This was a unique vehicle in the BBC fleet and followed on the type/series numbering from the previous batch, i.e.:
MCR (Mobile Control Room); M (Morris)
MCR17 M913 …913 1956
Although this vehicle was a one-off as far as the BBC was concerned, the confusion could have been compounded by the fact that virtually identical vehicles also employing Morris chassis were brought into service at the start of the ITV system between 1955 and 1959 by the following companies: Anglia TV, Associated Rediffusion, ATV, Granada TV and Scottish TV.
I hope this will help to clarify the matter.”
Well, I hope so too, this sounds fairly expert, doesn’t it?
There is an addition in italics by the editorial board below: “The writer of this letter provided a reference to a photograph owned by BBC Enterprises of MCR13. However, as BBC Enterprises required a fee of over £60 to reproduce this photograph (including a search fee of £20) we decided not to take up the option.”
The BBC seems to have kept this picture a firm secret, as I guess no one has ever found or published it somewhere …
As my own model is concerned, I bought it 35 years ago, 5 June 1982, in Driebergen, the early, pre-Houten venue of the NAMAC fairs. It was from John Teychenne, in those days a regularly seen London trader in Dinky Toys, with a model shop at Charing Cross, I believe. With that model I completed my BBC trio, some twenty years after my brother got the BBC Extending Mast Vehicle as a Sint-Nicolaas present (now on loan in my collection) and I had the BBC Roving Eye Vehicle as a birthday present. The trio shown below.
Also presented below the design drawing detail that was published by the Richardsons in their GBofDT, page 209. A pity that it’s only a detail, but in this case I presume that the alteration on the roof, as discussed before, may not have been recorded there and was just a practical change/repair of the die.
In 2000 a friend of mine – who sadly passed away in the mean time – donated a lot of publicity material of the Dutch agent Hausemann & Hötte, including such a beautiful, crisp image of the Mobile Control Room. It was used in the Meccano Magazine-like pages of ‘Na Vijven’, a Dutch hobby periodical in those days.
Finally an unusual photo detail, once published by Dave Busfield, showing the Mobile Control Room quite surprisingly.
Kind regards, Jan
Job No 20032, base - tv mobile control room, drawn on 3rd September 1957, is in the HRCA drawing archive. The embossing was added to the drawing on 29th May 1959, and the sales number deleted on 19th April 1961.
The drawing is the copy sent to the production floor on 6th July 1961. The other drawings for this vehicle i have are:-
TV Mobile Control Room Complete, Job No 20030, drawn 2nd September 1957, Axle Job No 12496 was Job No 12495 changed 8th May 1959, production 12th May 1959.
Cab Windows, Job No 20033 drawn 29th June 1958, production 18th March 1959
Rear Windows, Job No 20034, drawn 30 June 1958. Issue 2 changed the colour from '20 Green' to '23 Green', Issue 3 added Job No 60762 in white on 28th April 1961
... underlining that the factory drawings list in the GBofDT is not complete at all! Thank you Andrew!
For whom and how are (the images of) these drawings accessible? I'd like to express that this seems to urge for a close(r) cooperation between the DTCA and the HRCA! Kind regards, Jan