When Morestone launched the Railway Locomotive there could have been no expectation that the model would be in production for most of the next thirty-six years! Made by Modern Products, it was an immediate success and helped Sam Morris build Morestone, and later Budgie Toys, into a worldwide toy business.
The 0-6-0 Tank Locomotive was designed to be '00' gauge and possibly this was correct for the first issue, but being all metal it was not suitable for electric track and subsequent models were fitted with wheels which were not '00' gauge.
It was cast in two halves with a solid base or chassis unit slotting into the body and held in place by a rear pin. The wheels were fixed to the base and joined by connecting rods. Good detail was achieved in the casting of the body (remembering that this was 1948) with 'British Railways' and the number '7118' being included on each side.
The Morestone models had no identification but probably at some late stage a change was made to the casting to include 'Made in England' on the inside left part of the cab. The green models did not have it but some late red versions possibly did prior to the Locomotive being re-issued as Budgie No.224.
The first versions were painted mid-green with black trim on the coal at the rear. The side lettering was picked out in silver. The wheels and con-rods were unpainted. A red version of the model was quickly added to the range and it was this variation which became by far the most common.
The Locomotive was boxed in a white card end-flap box with a red line drawing printed on each face. The sides just had 'True Scale Model' and 'Locomotive' printed, also in red. The end flaps stated 'A Modern Product Made in England', and some had 'Gauge 00' added. The Railway Engine was also packaged in white card trade boxes printed with 'British Railways Locomotive'.
In 1959 when Budgie Toys was starting up and several Morestone models were being moved into the new range, the Locomotive was re-issued vitually unchanged as Budgie Toys No.224.
With such a long production life, red versions of the Morestone British Railways Locomotive are regularly seen at auction but the original green colour and the box are scarce.
Morestone Railway Locomotive
1) GREEN silver trim black coal unpainted wheels & rods 'Modern Product' box
2) RED silver trim black coal unpainted wheels & rods 'Modern Product' or white Trade box