Miniatures News, September 1957

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Playcraft Toys scored something of a scoop by introducing their Corgi miniature of the G.P. Vanwall about the time of Moss’ great victory in one of these cars at Aintree. We understand that Moss and Brooks accepted examples of these Vanwall replicas, suitably mounted, and that you can obtain them from any good toy shop for 3s. 3d. each.

Otherwise the outstanding news of the month so far as miniatures are concerned is the introduction by Lesney Products & Co., Ltd., of a series of miniatures in their “Models of’ Yesteryear” range. These quite small replicas set a new standard of accuracy and high finish. They come in jolly blue and yellow cartons like overgrown match-boxes, on which are printed sensible, well-worded brief histories of the models inside. To date the Lesney range consists of a scale 1925 Allchin 7-n.h.p. steam traction engine, a 1920 B-type London General omnibus and a 1907-22 L.C.C. E-class tramcar of the kind which made its last journey in 1952. A Sentinel steam lorry should have been added by the time this account appears. The Allchin traction engine is complete with straked rear wheels, flywheel, draw-bar and steering turntable and is 2½ in. in length. The ancient omnibus, which is 2¾ in. long, has upper-deck seats, stairs, ½-elliptic springs and correctly-spoked back wheels with brake drums, and it carries delightful scale advertisements for Dewars whisky, Nestle’s milk, Oakley’s knife polish and Pear’s soap, while its destination-boards are for Putney Common, from Kings Cross. The L.C.C. tramcar runs on eight flanged wheels and has steps, stairs, cow-catchers, etc. To those who haven’t grown up these truly excellent miniatures will prove irresistible. They are available from good toy shops and are excellent value at 2s. 3d. each. We hope for many more of these Lesney reminders of yesteryear — perhaps a Showman’s road loco., steam tractor, old commercial vehicles, and the obvious veteran cars.

Meccano, Ltd., announce Austin-Healey, M.G. Midget and Triumph TR2 Dinky miniatures in touring as distinct from competition colours (3s. each) and Lambretta have brought out a scale plastic replica of their well-known scooter, complete with rider, spare wheel and clear windscreen. It measures 6⅝ in. by 2⅝ in. by 5¾ in and costs 7s. 11d., from Lambretta dealers. — W. B.

Moss at Grosvenor House

When you gain a reputation for being quick off the mark and a jump ahead of your rivals you are sometimes hard put to it to continue in this hard-won tradition. Not so the B.A.R.C. which, since J.C.C. days, has been first in many fields and has earned an enviable reputation for putting on for its members the biggest and best parties — after Stirling Moss had won the G.P. d’Europe at Aintree in a Vanwall, John Morgan and Bunny Dyer at once set about organising a celebration.

This took place in the Ballroom at Grosvenor House on July 29th, just over a week after the great British victory. Invitations to take cocktails with Moss had been sent out two days after the race and now 500 B.A.R.C. members and guests assembled to pay homage to Tony Vandervell, Stirling Moss and Mrs. Topham, the first gathering of this kind since a similar B.A.R.C. function to celebrate the breaking of the Land Speed Record by the late John Cobb.

Tony Brooks, who shared the winning Vanwall with Moss, wasn’t present (but sent a telegram). Mike Hawthorn was, and we were reminded that the older generation, too, had come to pay homage to make and man that had achieved our first grande epreuve victory since 1924 by seeing Gordon England in conversation with H. R. Godfrey — flat-twin speaking to vee-twin, as it were.

Mr. Vandervell, called upon to speak, was very modest and Stirling likewise; and Moss was also impartial to a degree, committing the happy error of attributing the party to the B.R.D.C.! A happy hilarious evening, as relaxation from a race over which Mirabel Topham, John Morgan, Tony Vandervell and Stirling had each in their own way tried exceedingly hard for the success which rewarded them. Also, another B.A.R.C. landmark! — W. B.