Budgie Toys No.238
British Railways Delivery Van (Hard Top)
Issued 1960-66 Length 150mm
In the 1950's and early 1960's, much of the long-distance freight moving around Britain was carried on the railways which in those days were operated by state-owned British Railways. At most town and city stations, a Goods Depôt existed to arrange the local distribution of freight. This was done by electrically powered Articulated Delivery Vans. They were manufactured by Scammell and were a ubiquitous sight on the roads at that time. The cab (called a 'mechanical horse') had three wheels with the front one doing the steering. The trailers varied from flat beds to hard top or canvas covered vans.
Budgie made two excellent models of these vehicles, both in quite a large scale, one with a hard top (No.238) and one with a canvas hood (No.240).
No.238 Hard Top Delivery Van was painted in 'British Railways' livery of crimson or dark red and cream. The separate base to the cab housed a black painted (or sometimes unpainted) metal front wheel and had lettering 'Budgie Toys Scammell "Scarab" Made in England'. The rear cab wheels were painted cream with treaded tyres. The coupling system was specially devised for the Delivery Vans with 'ring & socket' interlocking parts which held firmly together when swivelled into place. It was a system which Budgie only used once again on the Air-BP Superfueller (No.280).
The crimson-coloured lower section of the trailer was cast with imitation planking effect on the sides with the hard top unit, a separate casting, fixed onto the lower section and painted cream with 'British Railways' decals and a 'Cadbury's Milk Tray' advert in the centre. In this advert the chocolate bar was horizontal except for a late run which had vertical chocolate bar decals. The trailer wheels, which were a larger size than the cab ones, were red painted metal with treaded tyres.
In 1964 British Railways underwent a major re-organisation of its freight handling activities and as part of this change the logo and colours on its vehicles was switched to yellow. So No.238 Delivery Van was re-issued with a new look of bright yellow with a black chassis and a re-designed coupling to make a permanent link. The wheels remained metal but were now unpainted on the cab and ridged unpainted on the trailer. The Cadbury's advert was placed at the rear of the van sides and only the version with vertical chocolate bars was used. 'Rail Freight' decals with the new style logo were also added.
No.238 British Railways Delivery Van was first issued in a shared A1 type Morris & Stone box without numbers. These had illustrations of both hard top and canvas covered models on opposite sides. To identify which model was inside, the end-flaps had 'Hard Top' or 'Canvas Hood' added in the printing.
The un-numbered boxes were soon replaced by similar ones with 'No.238' printed on the top right corner of both picture sides (A2). The end-flaps continued to carry no numbers so the model inside was identified by 'Hard Top' printed at the bottom of the flap.
Later the manufacturer's name on the picture faces was changed to 'Budgie Models', the term preferred by Guiterman who took over ownership of Budgie in 1961. Interestingly 'Budgie Toys' remained on both picture faces and the end-flaps of this transitional box (A5) and apart from the Canvas Hood Delivery Van, No.240, only one other model had this style of box, No.228 Coca-Cola Van.
In 1964, the yellow version of No.238 was given an entirely new box (B4) with a new updated illustration. Many of these later boxes remained after Budgie ceased trading in 1966 and when the Delivery Van was re-issued in 1984 by Starcourt in an all-yellow version, these boxes were used. For details of this and other late issues see Budgie No.702 Scammell Scarab
No.238 British Railways Delivery Van is quite a common model but finding mint examples is more difficult and the first issue box is scarce. The early crimson & cream variation with the later 'vertical' chocolate bar advert is also scarce.
Budgie No.238 BR Delivery Van - Hard Top
1) CRIMSON & CREAM cab/chassis/trailer HORIZONTAL Cadbury advert pmw A1/A2/A5 boxes 'Hard-top'
2) CRIMSON & CREAM cab/chassis/trailer VERTICAL Cadbury advert pmw A5 box 'Hard Top'
3) YELLOW cab/trailer BLACK base/chassis VERTICAL Cadbury advert umw B4 box