Budgie Models No.706
Routemaster Bus "Watford FA Cup Final'
In 1984 Watford played in the final of the FA (Football Association) Cup against Everton at the magnificent (but since demolished) Wembley Stadium in London. To reach the final was a huge achievement for Watford who had climbed from the Fourth Division under their famous manager Graham Taylor to eventually join the First Division (now the Premier League). It was the first, and so far the last appearance of Watford at a Cup Final and in the event Watford lost the match 2-0.
Budgie may have had former links with Hertfordshire based Watford FC because the Budgie offices had been at St Albans just next door. Whatever the reason, Budgie commemorated Watford's achievement with a special issue of the Routemaster Bus. It used the standard casting of No.236 but was painted red and yellow, the Watford colours. The base remained red.
Like other Routemasters, the model was fitted with windows and on the grille there was silver trim. On the sides were labels about the Cup Final 1984, and on some models labels for Christmas family enclosure, whilst on each corner the Watford crest was promoted beside the destination panels '321 Town Centre'.
One interesting feature of No.706 was the unusual wheels which were domed metal and finished in a charcoal-black colour with treaded tyres. These were unique among Budgie models.
No.706 was packaged in a yellow Budgie window box with 'Made in London by Budgie Models' on the bottom of the box with the phone number '01-800-1185'. There was no mention of Starcourt Ltd.
Variations of No.706 can be found without labels which were probably old stock released after the Cup Final.
Adding No.706 to a collection is not difficult as it is quite common but it is maybe a little more scarce than the other late Routemasters.
Budgie No.706 Routemaster Bus Watford FA Cup Final
1) RED lower/YELLOW upper body, 'Watford' labels, CHARCOAL-BLACK pmw, Budgie window box
2) RED lower/YELLOW upper body, No labels, CHARCOAL-BLACK pmw, Budgie window box