John Day General Post Office Models

John Day Catches the Post           March 2014

by Maz Woolley, with pictures by DARYLE TONEY

John Day Scenics models are 1:76 White Metal kits produced in small numbers by Daryle Toney here in the UK. The pictures in the gallery below have been supplied by Daryle and show the latest model in the range which is a ¼ ton Morris Post Office van. The kit is much more cleanly cast than previous John Day models and there is much less preparation needed before painting this model than was previously the case. Another new feature is the wheels which instead of being cast into the base plate are supplied as individual wheels with a small projection at the rear which slots into a hole cast into the chassis. This feature is already being rolled out to the original range as models are re-cast.

This version of the Morris van was only supplied to the Post Office here in the UK and replaced the Morris Z van which had been in use before and after the Second World War. Based on the then new Morris Minor car it was fitted with unique rubber wings and had separate headlights mounted on those wings. Where the original saloon had headlights by the grille the van had sidelights. This version of the van is said to have been produced until 1956 but was then replaced by the more conventional version of the Morris Minor Van that was produced for general sale from 1953 onwards.

Models of the Minor based Post Office van are freely available in 1:76 scale from Oxford and Classix or as Kits from Springside and others but these are mostly based on the later post split-screen version. The Dinky Dublo post van and its myriad copies are all based upon the standard split screen Minor van. So at the moment the John Day seems to be the only model of this version of the van.

The model is an excellent representation of this vehicle and captures all the features well down to the locking bar fitted to the rear doors. It even features the unique fitments to the driver’s window that allowed it to be opened. Inside there is only one seat which is correct though the inspectors seat is fitted which was basically just a seat cushion which was fitted to some, but not all, of the original vehicles. The decals supplied have been created for this range and are to a very high standard indeed.

It is intended to produce further GPO vehicles and a Post Office Telephones version of this model with ladders and rack is planned. In every case the features that are unique to the postal service are to be modelled which will please modellers.

It is good to see a new casting in 1:76 from a small UK artisan producer and especially one that captures a unique vehicle.


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