I bought this battered die-cast toy engine off e-bay. It cost me 99p. I’m not sure what attracted me to it, other than a vague desire to give it a home.

It’s small enough to be comfortably cradled in my hand. It has a satisfying weightiness. There are no manufacturer’s mark, nor hint to it’s provenance.

It’s a bit of a mystery.

And a wonderfully poignant object, I can only guess at the hours of play it’s generated, and the scrapes, the adventures it’s been through.

I imagine a 1950’s lad, in a too-tight school blazer and cap, stuffing it into his pocket, with hankie and conkers, with catapult and other treasures…

If only I could find out more.



3 thoughts on “Reflecting on a Small Toy…

    1. Hi Graham, do you know whether Lone Star made larger toy trains as this model is 12cm long and 6cm tall, more OO gauge than N gauge?



      1. Greetings Nick. Definitely about 00/H0 then. Could be any date from the thirties onwards. It has flanges so was designed to be pushed along a track although from the state of it I reckon it spent more time on the lino. Definitely been loved, played with and well abused. Most of my diecast models ended up looking a bit like that. As for too tight blazers, Mother always bought mine several sizes too large in the vague hope I would grow into them. After a term or two being used as goalposts, rolled in the mud and general contact with a variety of rough surfaces that ambition was never achieved and I would be hauled off to the school outfitters for yet another oversized garment. They always looked very fetching with Granny’s hand knitted fairisle sleeveless jumper under them.
        Yours Aye,


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