My name is Kenneth Gray, aka Ken or Kenny. I am located in Aberdeenshire, in Scotland's north-east corner. Despite the impression generally held about the climate in this neck of the woods, our weather on the whole is milder than elsewhere in these northern climes. At any time of the year, the UK's daily weather charts can forecast heavy rain and (brrrr!) gale force winds in the west of Scotland but calm weather and sunshine in glorious little corner lying to the east of the Moray Firth. What remains of the warm gulf stream seems to lap our beaches once it has swung southwards from the Pentland Firth.
I come from an engineering background and have been retired for the past eleven years. Yeah, I am an old git of seventy-six summers. In childhood I adored my Dinky Toys and the enthusiasm which had never really left me resurfaced when nostalgia kicked in some fifteen or more years ago. I then began reconstructing my long-lost childhood collection, and once I had the first few duplicates of those beloved childhood toys in my hands I was bitten by the 'bug'. They felt wonderful and I simply could not resist adding a few more. Then some more.
My main memories of my childhood toybox come from the 1948-50 period (before a lot of you guys were born), and the first few Dinkies I acquired in building my current collection naturally came from that period. The ubiquitous 29c double-decker bus, the Daimler ambulance, 27f Woody, and a Hudson Commodore sedan, along with a 30d Vauxhall. The collection grew with the addition of some regular-size 25-series lorries and a few Supertoys; an eight-wheeled Foden, Slumberland van, and a flatbed Guy.
That led me to adding Dinkies from the 1950s, which I hadn't owned as a child, but were still in the true Dinky spirit - no plastic windows and no opening doors. I had passed my driving test in 1955 in an Austin A40 Devon, so I naturally had to have a Dinky 40d. Having satisfied myself in that direction, I began looking for the earliest examples of a particular model. E.g. a 1948 Standard Vanguard with its clipped-on rear axle in place of the modified 1949 version with axle tabs, and a 1948 Triumph 1800 with the rear axle held on cast pillars in place of the axle-tabbed 1949 version. I was extending my expanding collection backwards in time.
I had always had a love for the little 153a military Jeep, and eventually located a first-issue version dating from between its launch date in April-1946 and October / November-1946, when the road wheels and steering wheel were modified. Needlessly, I now have five of those in my collection because it's such an adorable little model. My lonely little first 153a jeep was soon joined by other military Dinkies from the immediate postwar period. And this led me to search for prewar examples of Dinky Toys, both military and civilian.
That in turn brought me to things like the 1932-34 Goods Train cast in lead, type-1 25-series trucks with their flat tinplate radiators, and the tinplate RAC and AA telephone boxes. And we mustn't forget the Hornby-series figures and their post-1934 Dinky counterparts. Then French Dinkies caught my fancy. The joy of expanding one's collection seems endless. I now have most of the Dinkies I would ever want, but there are still one or two elusive models I'd like to add.
Sadly, I very much doubt whether my family and heirs will really appreciate these 'old toys'. They may well be destined for the rubbish bin once I've gone. But in the meantime I enjoy discussing the merits of these Dinky Toys with cyber friends from all corners of the globe.