The dustbin lorry

These days refuse collection is a high tech affair. Huge lorries pick up the wheelie bins and may weigh them, recognise who the bin belongs to and even keep records of it all. To cram as much in as possible a press compacts the rubbish into a tight, tiny space.

Back in the 50s a much more personal service was not a bit like that. A small lorry with opening side hatches can round. The dustmen (or refuse collectors) came around to your back garden, collected your bin, took it out to the lorry and emptied the contents via the side hatches and then returned your bin. Of course, at Christmas time they may have made some extra clattering noises to remind you they felt entitled to a Christmas box – a small some of cash for their kindness and hard work throughout the year.

I do not have a photo of such a lorry, but I do have a Dinky toy version.

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What a little beauty! I certainly had one of these lorries as a kid. It was old (as ever it was not new to me) and battered. This one – and I’m not sure if it is the same one, has been renovated by my brother-in-law who at one time enhanced his income by meticulously doing up such toys.

I have opened one of the side hatches for the photograph.

This is a Dinky version of a Bedford truck.

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The first version of this model came out in 1948 but they were popular and stayed in production until 1965. If this is the very one I had as a child then it will be an early one.

So what’s that big handle on the side for? Well, like the real thing this is a tipper lorry. It has a rear hatch and if you wind the handle you tip the refuse container and the contents can fall out of the rear hatch.image006

It’s a lovely model and thanks to Bill for doing it up.

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