Tuesday 4 April 2023

Transport(s) of Delight...

I think translating some of this post will be a challenge to the excellent Deepl Translate program which now allows me to put a Czech copy of each post up, without having to find someone kind enough to translate it for no money.   What is it going to do with the title for example?  It will certainly lose the pun in translation.   People of my generation in the UK will know what

Flanders and Swann did with it!   I can remember seeing them at the Fortune Theatre in 1957;  I remember, too, laughing so much that I fell off my seat.

This post is focusing on the new window display in Small Worlds.  Christmas was whipped out by our friend Jana and we have replaced it by a little nod to Easter (more inside the museum itself) and my version of transports of delight, paving the way for them with a road map created years ago by my daughter in law Laura and son Adam for our Playmobil town.  Works for the Sylvanian Families as well....

It was a relatively easy change.  Butterfly is in England at the moment and so the truly creative displays have to wait for her return.  Not that I have thought of the next one yet anyway.  By the way - the red car outside is my fullsize transport of delight.

For many years, alongside other forms of miniatures, model cars have snuck into my collection.  As I said in my last post, an interest in them goes back a very long way. To the age of four in fact when I clearly remember driving with my father from toy shop to toy shop trying to find some Dinky Toy cars. These had just come back into production again after the war. We had little luck finding any at the beginning and I remember too that we made up a song "Never, never Dinky Toys..." as we left yet another toy shop empty handed.  In the end, thanks to my father's persistence, I had many, including their boxes which even then I preserved.   All gone now sadly.

Amongst other makes, I have collected a number of Burago 1/18 scale models, mainly from German Ebay, which are scattered around the houses in the museum. I know that the scale is too small for the twelfth scale houses but it's fine for the Triangs and actually I just like seeing them in use. 

Too small for the opera singer's house!
But just fine for the Triangs

The models are beautifully made and amongst them is the world famous Blue Bugatti raced in the 1920s and 30s by the first female winner of a Grand Prix race, the Czechoslovakian Eliška Junková. She lived till the age of 94, and made motor racing history.   

Post race and ready for the pits....

And as a tribute to another Czech woman driver, my mother, there is also a parade of Jaguars, one of the loves of her life.  

She drove one like this for several years....
...but my guess is she would have preferred to have emulated Junková (they were much of an age) and to have driven this one....

Since the new windows were installed in the museum it is almost impossible to build a display that is not divided down the middle, which can be very irritating.  On this occasion it has worked fine. On one side there are a variety of smaller models on the ubiquitous stands I am so relieved I bought several of when they appeared in our local cheapie shop; they are worth their weight in gold. (As usual, apologies for the quality of any photos taken through the glass.) 

As you can see, many of the models emerged from the motor trade in its widest form - special offers from Shell, Mobil and Michelin, amongst others.

Taking pride of place is a cardboard model of a bridge, dating from the late 1950s and made by a company called Victory Industries, based in Guildford. As you can see from the box, the price was 6/6 Sadly the road itself appears to be absent, but no one needs to know that!

Standing in front of of the bridge you will have noticed another item from the 1950s. Another car boot sale purchase, long ago, which has been biding its time to make an appearance.

I am thrilled to not just own six Triang houses but also this delightful breakdown truck with working crane and trailer still attached.  At last it is getting a chance to show off!  It was 29/6 back in the day but nowadays these come up quite frequently at auctions of collectable toys and the makers would be astounded at what they fetch.  Especially if they are complete with trailer and box, as mine is.

One vintage toy that did not make the cut into the window (space!) was yet another car boot sale purchase, possibly here in the Czech Republic or Germany. 

It's an Esso service station, with limited roof top parking and once again, complete with box. Made in the 1970s by a German company, AK Stelco, known mostly for its rather strange (to my eyes) model cars. Stelco also made a whole range of service stations and multi-storey carparks, including this rather impressive one!  Somewhat better than mine in fact....

The other half of the window is occupied by kits of various kinds. 

In fact I am pleased to say that we were able to demonstrate that it is not just plastic that can be used for kit creations since we have on display models from wood, plastic....


....and in a further pride of place, thin card. 

This magnificent car was built by, yes if you follow my blog you will have guessed it, Colin Rose of osprey and paper castle fame. And we must not forget the brilliant 3 dolls houses he made for Small Worlds. 

At the back of the display sits the inspiration for the Flanders and Swann song that introduced this post. The Transport of Delight itself, the world-famous bright red London Omnibus in a scale of 1/24 by Revell . (Scroll down through the link to see how many pieces of plastic one is faced with!)

It is still neatly packed in its box, waiting for that "one day" to happen that is so much part of my hobby. "One day I shall build that house, install a model railway, put together that kit...."  I do realise that at 81 there is only a limited supply of "one days" ahead. Heigh ho.

In fact I have three large boxes of beautiful vintage cars in the same series as the one standing in front of the Walmer Victorian dolls house. They are all waiting for that one day to come along. This one, complete with lordly lady (can one say that??) and chauffeur is the only one that has been made so far. 

Butterfly and I did it some years ago and spent hours on the engine, where every wire has to be attached to its terminal.  Imagine our horror and disbelief to read the final instruction in that section: "Now glue the bonnet down over the engine".  We didn't do it!

Two weeks ago we had the Spring Fair in the village and Small Worlds always opens, even out of season, on such occasions.  Since the focus of the fair was Easter I put a small display into the museum itself, plus an Easter tree, slightly incongruously, in the window.

So, as Easter rapidly approaches I leave you with a series of Easter Greetings in the form of photos and all best wishes for a festive break, or as we might say here in the Czech Republic:

"Přeji vám sezonu plnou pohody, radosti a krásného počasí. 

Veselé Velikonoce!"

"I wish you a season full of well-being, joy and beautiful weather. 

Happy Easter!"

See you again soon I hope and thanks for visiting!