1905 Shand Mason Horse Drawn Fire Engine

Issued 1960

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A truly beautiful, delicate model. It was originally shown in the catalogue as a soon to be introduced model as number Y16 and described as a Merryweather engine. However the dies were wearing out on the old Y4 Sentinel so it was introduced as number Y4 to replace it. First issues had the transfer of Kent Fire Brigade and had the horses in pure white (pic.2). There is however a rare version described as horses in 'grey' but in actual fact they are more like a white horse that has been in a smoky room and look more creamy (pic.2). These early versions may have the firemen with brass painted helmets and breastplates but like all other models this was soon discarded as a cost saving exercise and they came in all black plastic. I mention this as there are repro firemen but these are metal instead. See pic.3 for the comparison of these two.

It has always been thought that there were only two versions on the side of the locker box but Nick Jones discovered a new version a while back and this may well have been a a trial or a very first issue. My own opinion is that it was as intended but modified with the two raised bars to help in decal placement on the production line. I include Nick's photos of this very rare version here so you can see the difference and it is interesting to note that the horses are as the 'grey' version (pics.8, 9 and 10).

The next version had London labels and these can have a gold border or black one. Some have been described as navy blue border but I have never been able to see the difference between navy and black borders. These models can have the label placed over the first issue boiler sides so the two raised bars can be seen underneath and are a rare version (pic.4). The horses had now become black with white manes and once again as time went on they became all over black. A rare short run had the horses in a metallic bronzy finish and these are scarce. Modifications were made to the drawbar, being fixed by one rivet and later 2 on a square plate. The rear step behind the boiler also had several interesting modifications to it starting with 9 full slots and 3 half slots, then 7 full slots only  and finally with the support arms thickened up for extra strength in this fragile area (pics. 11, 12 & 13).

Box Range for Y3-2

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