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''Duke of York' by Basset-Lowke

Going Lowko over Basset-Lowkes O Gauge ‘Duke of York

Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke – you could hardly be a shrinking violet with a name like that and he was not!

He turned it into one of the best names in model trains (and ships) and it still carries some weight today long after the man and his company ceased to be.
The name has recently returned to the model train market thanks to Hornby but that’s another story for another time.

I’ve just been bought a very nice example of an O gauge clockwork loco from their heyday between the wars.

This handsome ‘Duke Of York’ loco is one of their best selling models as it was available through a promotion with Godfrey Phillips Tobacco company where you could save up your cigarette packet tokens and use them to purchase items from a catalogue which included this model.

Bassett-Lowke had some of their engines made for them by other companies such as Bing, Marklin and Carette but this particular model is I believe of their own design. It’s more of an approximation of several locos of the era rather than an exact replica of one type and it was available in maroon or green, maroon seeming to be the most common. The number on the front and the tender varies from 1927 through to 1931 which is perhaps the years they were produced, does anyone know that for sure? Please let us know if you do.

The example I purchased lately at British Toy Auctions is in very nice condition for something that’s been around for the greater part of a century and it still resides in its original box with the label and a Godfrey Phillips postal label on and the winding key is still there and it struck me what great value these are, around £150 buys a good example like this and aside from being a toy you can still wind up and play with, they are just such a good looking thing that lots of people who aren’t even train fans would happily give some shelf space to in their living room.

So my advice is that you should buy one of these and give it pride of place on display – I have!

These are great buys at the moment, wouldn’t you agree?

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