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Jan

--34b 'Royal Mail' Van (1938-52)

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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56
--28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

José Heraud drew my attention to this recent eBay auction of a Crawford’s Biscuits Van, 3rd type, and wondered if this information would be useful for the DTCA documentation. The winning bid was GBP 405.00. The van is a treasure itself, but the circumstance this one is presented in is really a surprise (anyway, for me). I will quote the explanatory text of the seller, followed by some images, which I resized and improved a little bit:

"This is a vintage biscuit tin from Crawford's Biscuits, originally for samples/display in the late 1940's, marked Liverpool.
I collect old packaging from the 40's and 50's for graphic design reference but need to have a sort of the ones I no longer need. This has been stored away in a box under the bed for over 10 years now so time to say goodbye.
The tin measures approx 23 cm long by 11 cm wide by 6 cm deep. It has a paper covered design, marked on the sides 'CRAWFORD'S DELIGHTFUL BISCUITS'. The base printing is faded but is marked 'SAMPLES' and 'ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR GENERAL USE ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR UNIFORM QUALITY AND GENERAL EXCELLENCE'. The top of the tin has a printed price list for 'CRAWFORD'S ICE WAFERS, CUPS, CORNETS & CONES'.
Possible for shop display as inside are a card box section and divider which hold a small brass badge in the shape of a ship marked 'CRAWFORD'S BISCUITS' and a small toy red delivery van, also with 'CRAWFORD'S BISCUITS' logos on both sides. Inside casting of van is marked 'DINKY TOYS MADE IN ENGLAND MECCANO LTD'. Both are in quite good condition; the brass badge is complete and unbroken, with pin/clasp at back. Has age related patina but would clean up very nicely. Toy van has a few paint chips and very very slight wear to small parts of logo, light rusting on wheel axles; but overall very nice. I don't think it was used as a child's toy. Both Meccano and Crawford's were based in Liverpool at this time.
The card inserts are rather worn and grubby and I think there might have been an extra divider as the remaining one doesn't quite cover all the tin inside. Not sure how it would have sat originally. The box section that holds the badge and toy is typefaced 'CRAWFORD'S SAMPLES, DELIGHTFUL BISCUITS, BADGE, DELIVERY VAN. One of the most curious things about this packaging is that the underside of the box section is sewn/stitched together (as in last photo). We can't work out how they could have done this either by machine or hand!"

N.B.: remarkable that this example isn't pre-war, but a ridged hubs post-war issue, without loudspeaker bae inside the roof, so 1946/47!

Kind regards, Jan


fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK
Joined: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 01:44

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

Jan,
What an absolutely fascinating find ! On a slightly related theme, a friend of mine was a toolsetter for The Barnsley Canister Company (until it was taken over and closed down about twenty years ago by Metal Box Ltd). The company produced very high quality lithographed decorative tin packaging and giftware, and during the clear-out, he found a couple of sample tinplate sheets printed with pre-war Hornby O gauge railway carriage components. His boss made him cut them up in the guillotine and scrap them, but he showed me a small piece that he smuggled out which had the "Hornby Series" markings and part of a hand-written "trial sample" label with a reference number on. Sadly, he died three years ago, and all his belongings were disposed of. I often wonder whether any Hornby or Dinky tinplate production items were actually printed there - were they printed in-house, or by a known outside contractor in the same was as some of Dinky's aluminium parts?
- Kevin.


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dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance
Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

It is not surprising that several Dinky were branded as Crawford's and that two promotionnals were made with that name.

Meccano and Crawford's were not only both in Liverpool as mentioned in the eBay sales add of the 28 van but both their factories were on Binns Road.

In 1960, United Biscuits UB buys Crawford's and in the late 70's Meccano Ltd. hires Crawford's marketing manager hence the UB taxi (ref. 115) which David Cooke forgot to mention in his "Dinky disasters" article in the last issue of the Journal.

Thank you Jos


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dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

What an interesting find, what with that box and the contents, including the van. Jan, it was intersting, as I just supposed it was a pre-war set, but when I looked at those closeup photos I right away thought those axles look too thick for pre-war, and then I saw those ridged wheels....then I read your post confirming what I saw. Very nice piece!
Regards,
Terry


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dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance
Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

Kevin,

I remember seing a few of these plates at the London Toy Museum near Paddington Station. Each plate was I think for four Dublo coaches. Where are they now ?

I know that in France the Dinky base plates were subcontracted and there is evidence that Meccano Ltd; subcontracted some tools to Thomas Keating of Billingshurst (Sussex).

These tools were for the die for the 110 Aston Martin DB3s, the 109 Austin Healey 100, 162 Ford Zephyr.

The job has been done by Dennis Childs and his colleages Gerry Slee.

The jib and turret tools of the Coles mobile crane,and the turret of the Centurion tank were made by some of his collegues.

Other dies have certainly been subcontracted to other companies.


janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

The full account by Dennis Childs is to be found in Collectors Gazette 123 of July/August 1993, pp. 8-9.
Kind regards, Jan


dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance
Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

Jan,

I am sure that Mike R. will not be cros with you if you post a link to these two pages of the Gazette or send copies by email. This article must be interesting.

Jacques.
(100)


fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK
Joined: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 01:44

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

Hi, regarding the Barnsley Canister Company Hornby "O" gauge sample sheets, they were cut up and destroyed by B.C. employees and management to prevent Metal Box Company taking them at the time of their hostile takeover. It soon became apparent that Metal Box only wanted the know-how, machinery and order book - everything else was irrelevant. A few complete (very old) decorative tin containers from company archives did escape into private hands, but the whereabouts of the small offcut that my late friend showed me is unknown - probably thrown away soon afterwards, or during the house clearance after he died. He had no surviving family, very few friends and not many possessions, preferring to spend his money travelling abroad.
Kevin.


starni999
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DTCA MemberUK
Joined: Thu, 07/09/2015 - 01:19

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

Facinating!
Would have got a much higher price through a specialised auction house I reckon.
So a Post War Type 3 28 does exist! I always hoped it would.
In effect it's a red / black hubs 280 used as a promo, but I do wonder if there are any others out there?
A fantastic find, and one I would certainly have bid on if I'd seen it.
Chris Warr.


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dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance
Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : --28p Delivery Van 'Crawfords' (1935-41)

Or in the Dinky Toys Encyclopaedia