Morestone 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach

Issued 1949    Length 164mm

 

One of the more delightful models which Morestone produced in the early years was this 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach. Based on the traditional 'Wells Fargo Stage' and reflecting the popularity of American 'Western' films and TV programmes in the 1950's, this was a mechanical model made (and probably designed) by Reg Birch and his toy making business F W Birch & Co. and on early models a copyright casting was included inside the coach on the right-hand side. There was no other identification.

 

The principle of the 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach was a simple one. As it was pushed along, the horses moved forwards and backwards as if galloping. This effect was achieved by adding an inner eccentric wheel onto the right-hand front wheel which connected via a separate rod to a sliding piece on the shaft. The two horses were attached to this piece so that as the wheel turned, they moved forward and back.

 

Like many diecast toys at this time, the solidly made coach was cast in two halves with 'Wells Fargo & Co' above the side doors and quite a bit of detail on the model. Painted metallic brown, the side panels and window blinds were highlighted with green trim. Beside the driver's seat at the front and on the inside of the roof were two pins onto which the driver and the rifleman-guard were attached. These figures were coloured dark brown with red coats and white cowboy hats and face trim. The specially designed horses were always shiny dark brown. 

 

The wheels and mechanism of the 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach was the special feature of the model. Both sets of wheels had their own crimped axles but the front one was fitted onto the mechanism which in turn was attached to the body of the coach by a central pin which meant that as well as 'galloping' the horses and front wheels turned from side to side. The wheels were always yellow although perhaps because they were assembled separately, it was not unusual for the front and rear wheels to be different shades of yellow. Also, the front wheels were usually painted on the outside only.

 

The 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach had an off-white or pale-brown end-flap box in a similar design to the box for the Hansom Cab. It had a rather inaccurate illustration in blue on both faces and 'Morestone Series Stage Coach' printed on one side with 'Made in England' on the other. One end-flap stated 'This Carton contains a Morestone Series Stage Coach, Galloping Horses & Cowboys' and at the other end 'Complete with Galloping Horses & Cowboys'.

 

It must have been quite popular in its day because examples of the 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach turn up at auction occaisionally and are often still working fine although usually missing the cowboy figures. The box is rare.

Morestone 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach
Morestone' Galloping Horses' Stage Coach

Morestone 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach

 

 

Metallic BROWN coach with GREEN trim, YELLOW wheels

UNPAINTED underside, mechanism & shaft

 RED & BROWN driver and rifleman

'Morestone Series' box

Morestone 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach
Morestone 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach
Morestone 'Galloping Horses' Stage Coach

Nicholas Martin Diecast

Morestone, Budgie, Benbros Vintage Toys

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Abbreviations used on Nicholas Martin Diecast

   

  • umw - unpainted metal wheels

  • pmw - painted metal wheels

  • pw    - plastic wheels

  • gpw  - grey plastic wheels

  • spw  - silver plastic wheels

  • bpw  - black plastic wheels

  • um    - unpainted metal

  • id.     - maker's identification

 

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