Chamberlain figure (Heyde for Bassett-Lowke)

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Exhibit

Chamberlain figure (Heyde for Bassett-Lowke)

BTMM map 030.gif
location:
Arch Three , Area 30
Classic Locomotives (display)
Shelf 2

A painted cast lead figure of Chamberlain, wearing a hat, mustache and long blue coat, scaled to gauge 0, made by Heyde for Bassett-Lowke.

This was part of a set of "personality" passenger figures released by Bassett-Lowke in around 1925 as accessories for their gauge 0 model railways.

Identification

According to a picture on the Christies auction website, this figure must be either "Joseph Chamberlain" or "Mr Bassett-Lowke". However, it doesn't look particularly like either person.

It does however, look rather like Neville Chamberlain, and has his thick moustache and a similar pronounced stare. Neville Chamberlain would have been Minister for Health in 1925, conducting reforms, while his father Joseph Chamberlain would be much more unlikely to be seen commuting on the British railway network, having died in 1914.

A definitive identification will have to wait until we dig up some contemporary advertising for these figures (or a picture of the figure with its box), but for now, we think that the figure is Neville.

Some years later (1939) a Bassett-Lowke advert adapted a quote from Neville Chamberalin for one of their adverts: "Keep those wheels revolving!"