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-960 Albion Chieftain Concrete Mixer Lorry (1960-68)

There are two different gearing setups on the 960 Albion concrete mixer. When looking on the underside with the cab towards you, the pinion wheel is either on the left of centre or the right. This is determined by the squared off corner of the mounting bracket that faces aft with the pinion wheel being mounted on the same side of centre. The upshot of this is that the barrel rotates either clockwise or anticlockwise as the toy is pushed forward. At a rough observation about 10-15% of the toys have the pinion on the left with the right being normal.

I have just noticed the brace in the 'tool box' behind the cab on the left-hand model. This does not coincide with the left versus right pinion wheel - just later issues of 960.
Ron

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An original model with many variations mainly in the colours of the mixer :

starni999
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Lovely model this one.
In reality of course the barrel would rotate both ways, it has a screw mechanism built in and in transit it would rotate to force the mix down into the barrel, and once at site rotate in the opposite direction to scrape the mix out of the barrel. The driver would typically use a gear leaver to do this, either from inside or outside the cab.
What a shame Dinky didn't use this cab to make an Atric lorry.
Chris Warr.

micromodels's picture
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Hi Chris Warr,

This is what an articulated Albion may have looked like. I apologize for the Tekno trailer as it is the only one that looked right proportionally.

Ron Ford.

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Hi Jacques,

Here is the colour swatch for the Albion mixers I have.

Ron

starni999
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Thanks Ron,
Looks great doesn't it? No need to apologize for the Tekno, I collect them too. :)
Chris Warr.

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buzzer999
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I have a few Techno items, the quality is superb

Dave

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micromodels wrote:
"There are two different gearing setups on the 960 Albion concrete mixer. When looking on the underside with the cab towards you, the pinion wheel is either on the left of centre or the right. This is determined by the squared off corner of the mounting bracket that faces aft with the pinion wheel being mounted on the same side of centre. The upshot of this is that the barrel rotates either clockwise or anticlockwise as the toy is pushed forward. At a rough observation about 10-15% of the toys have the pinion on the left with the right being normal.

I have just noticed the brace in the 'tool box' behind the cab on the left-hand model. This does not coincide with the left versus right pinion wheel - just later issues of 960.
Ron"

Greetings Ron in the Land of the Long White Cloud and everyone else!

I am attaching images of my two 960 Albion Lorry Mounted Concrete Mixer together with their boxes:

Notice that both models have the centre brace mentioned by Ron in his Post. Also, the uncommon black tyres in the last issue on the left. There are also a number of other casting differences between the first model issued in the traditional blue-striped box and the later issues.

Kind regards

Bruce

micromodels's picture
micromodels
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Hi Bruce and all,

I see that you have a left pinion on the late issue Albion and a right pinion on the earlier one.

Here is a picture of the bracket.

Ron

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Hello Ron et al!

I thought at first the bracket had something to do with the pinion being on the other side, but perhaps it is the axle/pinion that can be reversed. Must get my models out and have a closer look. (No display cabinet permitted in this household, so I have to go through a number of 50 litre lidded plastic containers and check them out!)

Nice to see your posts and we all look forward to more of them!!

Kind regards

Bruce

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dinkycollect
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Cement and concrete mixer boxes.

The word cement was inadequate, "mortar" would have been exact.
There are also yellow lift off lid boxes, yellow end flaps boxes and yellow Visi-Pac boxes.
I have not yet seen a gold Visi-Pac. Have you ?

Bruce,

No display cabinets allowed is a case for a divorce.

Can you let us know which are the casting variations that you have noticed ?

Some of the brackets have been folded the wrong way around. The square corner is usually on the left but it can be found on the right without any difference to the fitting of the rear axle which is a sub-assembly of axle, pinion and wheels. Only the wheels on the pinion side drives the axle. The bracket is not symetrical and can be fitted in one way only. Only the rear axle sub-assembly can be reversed.

On the real trucks, the mixer is not driven through a gear box but with an hydraulic motor. When loaded, the rotation is not smooth and a gear box would not resist Of course the mixer does not tilt, it is by reversing the rotation that it can be emptied.

Dinkinius's picture
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Jacques

It is interesting that Meccano changed the wording from CEMENT to CONCRETE. Actually your suggestion of MORTAR would be an inaccurate word to describe the use of the mobile mixer. Mortar is used as a joining agent in brickwork, mixed on site and in small quantities to prevent drying out. Cement on its own with sand is used as a rendering agent, covering existing brickwork. Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, gravel and aggregate mixed in a set proportion, used in the construction of buildings, bridges, road surfaces, kerb and guttering, footpaths, airports, etc. So in reality, Meccano changed the wording to suit exactly what was mixed in the barrel!

On another note, I see that you have a blue-striped box with the wording CONCRETE replacing CEMENT. Assuming you do have the box, does the inside of the lid contain a quality inspection date stamp?? This will give us an idea of the approximate date the change took place. The last date I have of a box with CEMENT wording is December 1960.

Kind regards

Bruce

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dinkycollect
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Hello Bruce,

According to the Chambers encyclop

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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It should be CHUTE, they are getting confused with Neville Shute the English author.

Dave

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Dinkinius
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Jacques

In bricklaying, out here we referred to the bonding agent between bricks as mortar. Cement, as I stated was a mixture of sand and cement. But be it as it may, up until the late 1950s, large concrete works necessitated the construction of a small mixing plant on site. This was quite expensive and time consuming until the creation of a special vehicle that could bring the concrete to the construction site from the plant. In a similar fashion, the 966 Marrel Multi-Bucket system was invented, or as it is known out here, the skip bucket designed to expeditiously remove construction waste. Both these special vehicles were an innovation and Meccano saw fit to model them both using different cab-chassis, Albion for the mixer and Leyland for the Multi-Bucket, both models coming from the same Leyland Group stable.

The earlier use of the word "Cement" was a misnomer and Meccano to their credit realized this and changed the title to "Concrete" its correct title. The incorrect title Lorry Mounted Cement Mixer was last used in the January 1961 price leaflet and for the May 1961 leaflet and the May 1961 catalogue, the title had been changed to Lorry Mounted Concrete Mixer. Progressive thinking.

The only boxes with CONCRETE in my collection are those shown previously, the later yellow DINKY SUPERTOYS pictorial picture box and the end-flap DINKY TOYS pictorial box. I sold my earlier examples in a blue striped box to fund something or cause!

The factory stamps I have obtained include BT 660, BU 6 60, GU 660, 7 60, GT 7 60, GU 7 60, and T 12 60. So we have June, July and December 1960.

Dave

Your are quite correct about Neville Shute Norway to give him his full name. He was a noted aeronautical engineer with firstly de Havilland, then Vickers where he worked with Sir Barnes Wallis on the R100 airship. He only used Neville Shute as his literary name, penning such great books as On the Beach and A Town Like Alice. He emigrated to Australia in 1954 and died here in 1960. He is well remembered in our country.

As for the incorrect spelling of Chute, the last yellow DINKY SUPERTOYS pictorial picture box has the correct spelling. The following are two images of the wording on the last lidded box to carry these details.

However I did mention in an earlier post that the model had some casting differences. Although all these were photographed years ago, the images have disappeared so I have just photographed some of these changes and these are below. These are only applicable to the models in the last two types of boxes. There may be more changes comparing the first issues in the blue striped boxes and the later issues.

The model on the right is the last issue which shows the strengthener added to the mixer bowl support frame which was extended to include the area surrounding the rotating cog.

A general view of the 960 showing the additional support for the mixer bowl frame, the ejector lug showing on the tool box lid on the right (last) issue.

A closer view of the two rectangular areas behind the tool box that clearly shows the wear of the die/mould in that the later issue on the right the loss of the clear straight edges.

There were also other minor changes such as the size of the cogs with the barrel as well as those in line with other Dinky Toys of the time, glossy base to matt base, raised rivets from dimpled rivets.

Does anyone have a blue striped box with the title changed to CONCRETE instead of CEMENT? If so, can you share with us the details of the factory inspection stamp on the inside of the box lid AND the original price if the box has one.

Kind regards

Bruce

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Bruce,

Thank you for showing us the casting and box variations.

About the Shute / chute, you mention : "As for the incorrect spelling of Chute, the last yellow DINKY SUPERTOYS pictorial picture box has the correct spelling."

does this mean
that early yellow DINKY SUPERTOYS pictorial picture boxes have the wrong spelling ?
that there is a variation of this box ?
and that the end flaps boxes have the correct spelling ?

From your pictures, I can not see any variations from my early model.

Jacques.

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Dinkinius
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Jacques

When I wrote "As for the incorrect spelling of Chute, the last yellow DINKY SUPERTOYS pictorial picture box has the correct spelling" I was referring to the last LIDDED box. Please refer to my first Post with the two models side by side on their respective boxes.

With the last box, the end-flap DINKY TOYS box, there is no description, not even any mention of the maker's name apart from a simplistic side outline drawing.

Bruce

Dinkinius's picture
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Jacques

Further to my last post, here are some more pictures. As mentioned, the last detailed description of what the Concrete Mixer does can be found on the yellow lidded pictorial box.

Whereas, the last pictorial end flap box, makes no mention of the operation of the Mixer, apart from "No 960 AN AUTHENTIC SCALE MODEL" on a black background, and on the corresponding opposite side, the red panel has an outline drawing of the model. Maybe by then, there was no need to explain its operation as lorry mounted concrete mixers had become a common sight on British and other country's roads.

In regard to the use of the word "Cement" and then "Concrete" It is interesting though that the Agent's numerous Order Forms right up to the last Order Form in my collection dated June 1968 (for orders that included the holiday period of 19 July to 5 August 1968 when the factory closed), referred to the 960 as LORRY MOUNTED CEMENT MIXER!
Someone was opposed to any changes!

Kind regards

Bruce

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dinkycollect
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Hi Bruce,

Thank you for this information, it fills a gap.

About the CEMENT / CONCRETE on the boxes and order forms, the guys who designed the boxes and those in charge of the forms may have never met at work. At that time, there were still about 2000 employes at Binns Road. The fact that the forms were never modified is certainly not an oposition to a change but a lack of communication between departments.

You seem to own a lot of interesting documents, are they all from Liverpool ar are any from Bobigny ?

Jacques.

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Jacques

Your point is taken about the size of the factory work-force and that many may have only had contact with those immediately around them. However, I do feel that in cases of model designations, drawings, artwork, advertising etc, the factory would have been like any others; a periodic meeting of heads of departments to ensure that everyone is working on the same page so to speak. It certainly would have been the case with the production and sales departments to enable artwork for new models being released and when, together with the writings of Mr Toyman in the 1950's associated with the publishing of each month's edition of MECCANO Magazine.

As for my Meccano ephemera, I have over 500 paper items, as well as a prototype, and a model mounted on wood with a felt base that served as a paper weight by the company's General Manager (Sales). I am continually adding to this part of my collection, as there is nothing like a good paper chase! These of course are all from the Liverpool factory.

Over 15 years ago I had a number of Meccano France items, sales dockets, die-line drawings and correspondence that came into my possession in an unusual manner, but as I could neither speak or read French (my French teacher in high school gave up with me!!) and at that stage I was not interested in paper (much to my later regret) I handed them over to another collector whom I have lost contact, but may read these words and make contact again. There was not all that much from memory, and this took place in the late 90's. I am surprised, given the number of French, Dutch and Belgian collectors, more would have been saved. What about that former public servant you wrote about somewhere?

Bruce

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Hi Bruce,

I do not like to talk about this megalomaniac guy who has very bad maners and can not even write French properly. Any way, as he has plenty of money and he thinks that he is the greatest expert in Dinky Toys which he his certainly not (who is ?) he could buy most of the factory drawings that Mike Richardson had saved from the factory but he did not keep them and had them auctioned by collectoys without even keeping copies. These drawings are now scattered all over the world and god knows where.

This self named expert is now runing the manufacturing of the Atlas rubbish, this shows his interest in Dinky Toys : profit, profit and more profit which he does not need.

There are also some members of DTCA who own original documents and do not want to show them. Fortunately, not so many collectors do share what they own which is unfortunate.

There is also an other guy (in fact his name is Guy) who has a lot of documents from the french factory but he keeps them for himself and publishes tiny parts of these documents only which is not as interesting as to see the whole document.