I hear the sirens calling
As the rain is gently falling


simonsnorkelfireengineI’ve got one of these beauties. A Simon Snorkel Fire Engine die-cast toy, model number 1127, first manufactured by Corgi in the mid-1960s. I’ve had it since I was a toddler. The “snorkel” is the cherry picker, which goes up and down by turning a couple of little metal knobs. I remember being endlessly fascinated by the plastic fireman in the yellow cradle, but I wasn’t much interested in actively playing with the toy. I used to keep it on my bedroom window sill and it’s still in near mint condition. It lives in its original box now and the box is also in great nick.

Oriignally established to rival the Meccano Dinky Toys range, Corgi was one of the main toy vehicle manufacturers of the 1960s and 1970s, and the Simon Snorkel 1127 was a popular model, so there’s always several for sale on eBay. In tip-top condition, they generally go for somewhere near £100. You’d have to pay me a lot more than that for mine, though. An awful lot more.