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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

-957 Fire Service Set (1959-64)

For the more wealthy children, this gift set came available at the end of 1959, and it was included in the catalogues until 1964. Patrick Trench mentions 1966 as the end date in his Compendium - but that concerns the image of this trio and does not refer to the no. 957 gift set packaging anymore. Indeed, the individual models, the no. 257 Fire Chief’s Car, no. 955 Fire Engine with Extending Ladder and no. 956 Turntable Fire Escape remained for sale a few more years afterwards.

Meccano Magazine of December 1959 presents a beautiful colour image on the occasion of the introduction of this gift set, on the second last page. The characteristiscs of the content changed with the evolution of the individual models. From the beginning they all had plastic windows, although they seem to be fitted without them on the box illustration (which may date from slightly before their introduction). At the end of the gift set’s availability, both the Fire Engine and the Turntable Fire Escape were fitted with plastic hubs. The wheels of the Fire Chief's Car have never been painted red and diecast, as pretended by the same illustration. The white tyres also seem to be hardly ever or never been seen in this set. Individuals examples show white tyres every now and then, but those are in the minority.

The three fire brigade models are nicely packed in the box, embedded in the recesses of a yellow cardboard insert on the bottom. The box is really complete only, if a yellow piece of cardboard on top, with recesses, covers and holds the models in place. The yellow top of the lid and the blue stripes along its sides emphasize in colour the mix of both Dinky Toys (Fire Chief's Car) and Dinky Supertoys (the other couple) that form the combined content of the set. This combination is also heterogeneous in terms of reality. In real life, a Canadian fire chief's car will most probably not often have been sighted in the company of a so typical duo like the British Commer and the same Bedford fire fighter vehicles.