We, as diecast collectors, can sometimes be somewhat blaise about our hobby and our collecting habits.
I dont know whether I speak for myself here, but I think its too easy to get bogged down going along the same ‘collecting’ path. Our pursuit of the elusive Dinky or Corgi, etc, blinkers us to the myriad of other manufacturers out there.
One such manufacturer is Kemlow.
The reason I say this is because I came across the Kemlow Antar Tank Transporter (below) this week whilst cataloguing at British Toy Auctions.
It stood out for several reasons. Firstly, it was in great condition; secondly I wasn’t sure who made it; and thirdly in all my years collecting , I’d never seen one.
A little bit of investigation revealed the Antar was made Kemlow.
The Antar is a great looking model.
There’s no marks on the model itself, apart from the words ‘Made in England’ – I’ve learned that Kemlow didnt brand their models – and its very similar in scale to a Matchbox 1-75 series, which I believed that the ‘Sentry’ range was aimed at! I dont mean this in a derogatory sense but the Kemlow is a bit cruder. From an aesthetic viewpoint, its reminiscent of a Benbros or Morestone diecast
Like some other manufacturers, the name of the company derives from its founders, namely Charles Kempster and William Lowe. (Can you name any others????)
The company was born in London in 1946, and I dont think they produced diecast models for many years, as it appears they moved down the engineering route, making automotive parts.
According to the little bit of information about them in Ramsay’s British Diecast Catalogue, they did have a relation with Wardle / Master Models and helped in the manufacture and distribution of model railway accessories.
Kemlow still exists today – but you’ll see by visiting their web site, they are a long way from the heady days of making toy models.
Next time you’re wandering around the toy fairs, checking your local car boot sale, clicking through Ebay or wherever you collect, keep an eye out for some other manufacturers.
There’s quite a few British and European manufacturers out there which often go unnoticed – you could be in for a surprise!
If you have any further information about Kemlow, or if you’re a Kemlow collector, let us know in the comments!