... Readers of this blog will, of course, be more than familiar with the 1970s military vehicles and aircraft produced by the English firm, Matchbox. And, I guess, a good few of you will be just as familiar with the die cast vehicles that, originally, came in little boxes that were ... just like matchboxes. The British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph (a 'not quite sure how Tory a newspaper we are' newspaper) had a feature on the 60th birthday of Matchbox recently that is well worth a look at - the photos are here. The actual newspaper included a little about a fine chap in Northamptonshire (a 'gentleman's county') who has around 11,000 Matchbox vehicles. I don't have 11,000, but I do have most of the ones I was bought in the 1960s, and, this is the important bit, they are currently played with by my grandson. Here are a few of my childhood favourites that I picked out of the sandpit (old basin filled with sand) this evening:
No: 11, Taylor Jumbo Crane, and No: 6 Euclid dump truck. I loved these two, and I was actually able to see cranes just like No:11 driving down the Dock Road in Liverpool, where my father was manager of a dockside pub. You will notice that the hook is a bit distorted - by the baby teeth that no longer exist in my aged head!
A bit bigger than the original Matchbox size, a Matchbox King Size No:13 Ready-Mix Concrete truck. The windscreen is cracked, but the simple mechanism that turns the drum still works.
These toys are 50 years old, have been played with by three generations of children, and will probably make a fourth (and, God willing, I may live to see that).