By Maz Woolley
All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.
The Atlas Dinky Trucks series continues with another release based on the Bedford TK cab already seen in the series as 434 Bedford TK Crash Truck. Dinky made good use of this cab as it also appeared as 450 Castrol Box Van, 435 Tipper, 978 Refuse Truck and 402 Coca Cola delivery Lorry.
Atlas have reproduced the toy box well with the period drawings capturing a world swept away in the UK by the discovery of North Sea Gas reserves.
On the side panel, shown below ,details of the accreditation of approved coal merchants were described which provides an explanation of the logo on the cab door.
This TK version was in production between 1964 and 1968, or 1969 as sources disagree. Liveried for Hall and Sons it is the type of vehicle that delivered coal, coke and anthracite to people’s homes. In the early 1960’s houses still had open fires and many had solid fuel boilers to heat the water and house. Coal deliveries were a common sight on urban streets. By the end of the 1970s the clean air act and the cheap new gas coming in from the North Sea meant that houses had boarded up fireplaces , fitted central heating and an old trade was in decline.
Although the Dinky toy is a slight caricature of the TK cab it made a nice strong looking toy. With its hefty chassis and nice solid wheels and tyres it looked up to the job of moving heavy loads around.
On the back Atlas have reproduced the extras which came with the original model. 6 sacks modelled full of coal and a set of scales to check the weight before delivery, though like the original Dinky there was no weight to put on scales to balance the bag.
As side on shot emphasises the heavy nature of this model and many must have survived well in the toy box, though without the sacks and scales in most cases, and many without the board on the cab too.
The Atlas replica of this Dinky Toy is well executed and captures well a feature of life within the memories of many who will collect the model. A way of life which has long slipped into history like Whites ,and Alpine, Lemonade deliveries and Mothers Pride bread deliveries. All delivered to the doorstep.
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