Celebrating 75 years of the introduction of the 999 Emergency Service with diecast models

30 April 2012
imports_CCGB_dinky-999_03479.jpg Celebrating 75 years of the introduction of the 999 Emergency Service with diecast models
To mark the 75th anniversary of the introduction of the 999 Emergency Service to Britain, David Boxall compares some of his favourite early Dinky and Matchbox Ambulances along with a selection of Corgi Police vehicles. ...

The earliest 1950s ambulance that I have chosen to feature – pictured here just peeping out of the station area – is the Daimler, No 30h. It is amongst my favourite models and was released by Dinky Toys in 1950 and available until 1954. This vehicle is a basic model with a tinplate base and no windows or interior. It appeared in cream with red crosses and was re-numbered as model 253 in 1954.

The same casting was also released as a military version and appeared as No 30hm (1950-54). This model retains that sturdy, dependable look of its civilian counterpart.

The more traditional British design is also evident in the shape and appearance of the Matchbox model of the Bedford Lomas Ambulance No 14c. This very special little ambulance was released in 1962, and is a toy that many of us will not only recognise but will probably have owned once upon a time. I recall that it was very useful as a play item as the rear doors opened to reveal the detailed interior of seats to the right and a stretcher area to the left.

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There are as many as seven different variations listed in the Ramsay’s British Diecast Models and Toys Catalogue – all with corresponding values. This has become quite a hard model to find in good condition as the transfers are often poor or incomplete, and one or both of the rear ambulance doors are sometimes missing... 

This article was first published in Diecast Collector's June 2012 issue.

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