The Wrenn "150th Anniversary" Limited Edition Brighton Belle Sets in Blue/Grey have been the subject of controversy over the years amongst collectors, the main difference of opinion being the "packaging" whether they were supplied in both Locomotive and Coach boxes. A total of 51 Sets were issued by Basildon in late Period 4, with the majority being issued in the last months of 1992 before closure. The Sets were;
W3004/A BR Blue/Grey Motor/Trailer Car Set - Limited Edition (11 sets)
W3006/7A BR Blue/Grey Motor/Trailer Car Set - Limited Edition (40 sets)
Recognition of genuine Sets is paramount to the Wrenn Collector, and some help full signs to look for are as follows;
1 A small green capacitor was used for isolation on the motor assembly not resistors as used on earlier versions including the Bo-Bo.
2 The "150th Anniversay" transfer was in RED, mounted below the standard Brighton Belle transfer in black on the front of both Power and Trailer Cars
3 Chrome headed screws were used throughout to secure the bogies and chassis to the bodies of both Power and Trailer Cars
4 Suppression between rail DC and the motor was achieved using either types of the standard yellow capacitors (short and long)
5 Boxes were stamped both ends "W.3004/A 2 CAR SET - MOTOR COACH or NON POWERED - LIMITED EDITION" in red ink no certificates were issued and LIMITED EDITION did not appear on the box facias.
6 Due to the length of the Motor and Trailer Cars the internal yellow cardboard inserts were extended to take this length by cutting a second insert to suit and stapling. THIS WAS USED ON THE COACH BOX VERSION.
7 The reverse cream colour of the yellow cardboard inserts should match the internal coach box colour. This is true on all Wrenn B/B Sets/Pullmans/Wagons that use cardboard inserts
In my opinion these Sets were supplied in both Locomotive and Coach boxes as the more common Brown/Cream Limited Edition Sets.
My view on value today, would be approaching £2000.00 per Set, irrespective of the packaging format and assuming the genuine article.
I was sad to hear of the forthcoming closure in October 2015 of G & R Wrenn Limited, Cheshunt, which inevitably means the end of Period 6 (2001-2015) production of these quality "OO Gauge" model railway products for the Collector and layout runners.
I have spoken with Maurice Gunter who assures me that spares and services to fellow collectors will be maintained beyond this date.
My thanks to Maurice, Rita, and the team for their support over the years to myself and fellow collectors.
Wrenn, Basildon issued 3 Private Owner R1 0-6-0 Tank Locomotives during the years 1972 to 1985.
W2201 "Esso" in blue, running number 38 (issued in 1980 only)
W2202 "NTG" in yellow, running number 56(issued between 1972 and 1985)
W2203 "Shell" in silver, no running number (issued between 1972 and 1983)
Production reached 336 (W2201), 594 (W2202) and in excess of 1300 for W2203.
Some variations have been claimed over the years, particularly W2201/2, however in my opinion none existed. This is also commented on in Maurice Gunters book "The History of Wrenn". Several partly finished bodies did come onto the market between 1993 - 2001, many being sold from the Dapol, Llangollen shop during this time.
Please always check the Locomotive finish, and box, as most were issued in Period 3 with the familiar sellotape residue marks matching top and inner boxes.
It is normally thought within the Wrenn fraternity that the WHITE TABLE version of W3006/7 was introduced by Basildon with the introduction of "Agatha" Pullman (W6001AG) circa 1986/7. The main difference with the WHITE TABLE Pullmans is the "richer cream" finish as opposed to the duller BROWN TABLE Pullman and this is reflected in the Brighton Belle Sets.
I have noticed over the years however that earlier Brighton Belle Sets stamped (1984/5/6) have had WHITE TABLES fitted to the duller finish which would suggest the table inserts have been changed. I now believe this is not the case, and Wrenn, Basildon used up the remaining duller finished cream bodies with WHITE TABLE inserts, prior to changing to the "richer cream" finish on the Belle Sets in 1988. White table inserts were of course available earlier at Basildon with the Blue/Grey Brighton Belle Sets.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
In my opinion, two versions of this W3006/7 exist;
W3006/7 Brighton Belle Set 3052 - White Tables - Dull Cream Finish (variation on standard Brown Table Set).
W3006/7 Brighton Belle Set 3052 - White Tables - Rich Cream Finish
Note; Excludes separate Loco boxed/Coach boxed variations and hence those issued between 1991/2 before Basildon closure.
The Wrenn W2226 "Plymouth" Span Can Bulleid, West Country Class Locomotive is SR Green, is probably one of the most common that Basildon produced from 1982 to 1992. Production figures indicate just over 1100 issued before closure in 1992. I believe most were produced between 1982/86 as few have appeared over the years with date stamps beyond 1986. Maurice Gunters book on the history of Wrenn, indicates 52 issued between 1991/92 which makes these quite rare in my opinion.
As with "Winston Churchill" which also had a relatively high production figure, most of the examples you see today are "play worn" due to repeated layout use.
The later Plymouth Locomotives may be recognised by a number of factors including;
1. Armature segments are brown not green - appears on late 1990/91/92 Locomotives.
2. Pick-up wire is thicker and normally blue/mauve
3. Magnet Pole pieces are plated, not raw steel
4. Larger box rings included, and date stamp on the underneath of the inner box will indicate Basildon issue date.
5. Correct box end stamps W2266 PLYMOUTH 4-6-2 S.R. GREEN, labels were not used.
A VERY NICE WRENN LOCOMOTIVE TO ADD TO THE COLLECTION OR RUN IF YOU CAN FIND ONE!
This is the Very Rare Wrenn W2302A "Duchess of Rutland" Coronation Class Streamliner introduced by Basildon in 1985 and withdrawn from production in 1987. Running number 6228. Records indicate that 94 were issued, however based on my experience I believe fewer were issued.This was a departure away from Wrenn using their own body/tender tooling as the main body of the Locomotive was a Keyser white metal kit, finished and sprayed by Basildon.
All were supplied with a 3 pole motor, cab detail, and modified Princess Class chassis to fit the Keyser body.Many of the examples ( particularly Duchess of Rutland and King George IV) suffered from gold lining loss due to age.
Other than W2303 "City of Bristol" this is the most difficult of the genuine Wrenn Streamliners to find today.
This is the Rare W2214 0-6-2 Class N2 Tank Locomotive in LMS Red. Launched by Wrenn, Basildon in Period 3 , mainly produced between 1978 and 1979 just prior to the start of Period 4. Although 945 were recorded as being issued, those seen over the years are few. As Basildon entered the Period 4 era, a further 138 were apparently issued. All to the best of my knowledge are in the "White background guard" style short box, I have not seen any in the "Yellow Guard background" short box which came in later in Period 4. The one exception to this was a copy "Curly R" box not issued by Wrenn Basildon or Cheshunt.
The Locomotive has the standard R1 Chassis and motor, with "metal rimmed" wheels throughout including the rear bogie.
As previously stated I would categorise this as RARE based on what I have seen as a collector over the years.
These are "near mint to mint" examples of these RARE Wrenn Locomotives with limited numbers made in the last years of manufacture at the Basildon factory. Closure was in 1992, and this was the last of the English "OO" Gauge model die cast Locomotive industry.
Further details on the Locomotives listed:
W2273 Royal Scot "RAF"- BR Blue 79 Packer No 2 91623 N/A
W.2297 "Blue Star"- BR Green 52 Packer No 2 18592 N/A
W.2307 "BR Tank Unlined" - BR Black 59 Packer No 2 911041 N/A
W.2411 "Royal Mail" - BR Blue 248 Packer No 2 90208 217
W.2414 "City of Nottingham" - BR Black 182 Packer No 2 90310 174
W.2416 "Biggin Hill" - BR Green 171 Packer No 2 901041 162
W.2305 "Wadebridge" - SR Green 93 Packer No 2 91521 N/A
This is the very rare Wrenn W.2307 2-6-4 BR Tank in black, running number 80079. This Locomotive was the only UNLINED BR TANK Locomotive that Wrenn, Basildon issued, with only 59 produced between 1991 and 1992 before closure. This was only issued with the early BR totem.
Superb layout performance is well known for the 2-6-4 Tank range, which was successfully introduced by Basildon, following the highly successful Hornby Dublo years.
Please be aware of copies which were produced by "others" between 1993/2001. Although Dapol owned the company between these years, they did not issue any Locomotives into the model railway market.
This is a Wrenn/Graham Farish GWR Green Class 94 0-6-0 Pannier Tank which comprises a 1961 G/F body with modified Wrenn R1 Chassis. Running number 9410, for 2 Rail layout operation. This is the second one have completed, as my customer for the first was delighted with the outcome, which started as a repair.
I have called it an "OPPORTUNITY MISSED" referring to the Wrenn, Basildon years. Wrenn cooperated with Lima ( "N" and "O" Gauge, and N. K.C Keiser for the Streamliner Coronation Kits) why not Graham Farish, and launch a quality GWR Pannier Tank into the market. Very few were available to the "OO" Gauge market then, and this is still the case today. Remember this has a cast metal body, and would have been in keeping with the Wrenn, Basildon philosophy. Wrenn style couplings are fitted both frontand rear.
The formal collaboration between Wrenn, Basildon and Lima of Italy commenced in 1967 and lasted until 1977. The main railway models advertised were an extensive range of "N" Gauge, with some "O" Gauge included however this particular area was not popular by customers at that time in the UK market, perhaps because of the reliance on plastic. The "N" Gauge was Lima product packaged in Wrenn boxes,both cardboard (187mm long X 72 mm wide X 33 mm deep with profiled polystyrene insert), and clear plastic containers in two sizes (175 mm long X 35 mm wide X 25 mm deep - Large ; 120 mm long X 35 mm wide X 25 mm deep) for the Locomotives/Coaches/Wagons.
The "N" range spanned 225 advertised models, divided into a number of Series;
Train Sets/200 Series Locomotives/300 Series Coaches/400 Series Wagons/700 Series Wagons/500 Series Track work/700 series Accessories.
British/European/Canadian/USA Locomotives and rolling stock were covered and this was the largest selection in "N" from this era. Two items continued to be offered beyond 1977, the 508W N Gauge Track - NS - 1 Yard Lengths and 509W N Gauge Track - TS - 1 Yard Lengths.
Actual availability of all items advertised at the time is questionable, particularly the range of sets and track work. It is difficult to understand why Wrenn, Basildon agreed to the collaboration, as the Lima product (under Lima packaging) was being offered to the UK market at the same time! This also caused some confusion in the numbering of products and many were issued in boxes with hand written numbering.
It is ironic however, that to the collector today it helps, as we are still able to collect the majority of the range from whether it be in Wrenn or Lima packaging.
Since the purchase of Wrenn from Dapol in 2002, a number of high quality wagons have been issued by Maurice and the team at Wrenn, Cheshunt. The quality has been "in keeping" with those standards achieved by Wrenn, Basildon during the four Periods of production spanning 1966-1992.The wagons have included a standard Period 6 Limited/Numbered production range, P4 wagon tops from ex- Dapol/Basildon stock issued in P6 boxes, and the much sought after "Wrenn Collectors Club" (WCC) wagons.
A selection of these are shown, and available from this website including;
W5030 LMS Ventilated Van - Red - Running Number 59673
W.5300 LWB Fruit Van - Dull Pink "WCC 2007"- Running Number W2914
W.5301 LWB Fruit Van - Blue -" WCC 2008" - Running Number W2914
W.5302 LWB Fruit Van - Orange - "WCC 2009" - Running Number W2914
W.5511 "Milk Marketing Board" 6 Wheeled Tank Wagon - Black
W.5513 Long Wheel base Guards Van - BR Grey - Running Number B950130
W.5515 Lowmac "Golden Jubilee" with 152 Racing Car Load
IDEAL FOR THE COLLECTION AND/OR FOR LAYOUT RUNNING!
This is the Wrenn W5072 "Blue Circle" Bulk Cement Loaded Wagon in Light Grey in a Period 4 LONG BOX, hence its rarety. The wagon has a "tampo" printed board which is of a lighter grey than its W5072 counterparts.
Although over 1200 standard W5072,s were issued by Wrenn, Basildon in 1984/1991/1992, very few in my opinion had this combination of light grey body, lighter yellow board, and Long box (type W7304) packaging. As with all Period 4 wagons it has "metal rimmed" wheels.
Wagon comes complete with yellow plastic insert and stapled card packing pieces.
This is the very rare Wrenn W2301A "Coronation" Streamliner Stanier Pacific, running number 6220 in LMS Blue, introduced by Wrenn Basildon in 1983. The Body was a N. K..C. Keyser white metal kit which Wrenn sprayed and fitted with a MK2 chassis with "shaved" cylinders. Production indicates 81 minimum were produced between 1984 and 1987, however based on my experience over the years as a collector I do not believe this figure was exceeded by Basildon. Others in the Streamliner range include;
W2300 Ready to run Body and Chassis Kit
W2301 Queen Elizabeth (LMS Blue - 6211 - Rare)
W2302 King George 1V (LMS Red - 6244 - Rare)
W2302A Duchess of Rutland (LMS Red - 6228 - Very Rare)
W2303 City of Bristol (LMS Black - 6237 - Almost Unobtainable)
The reasons for Basildons withdrawal of these Streamliners is vague, but certainly many of the base kits were rejected at source, and we are also aware of the poor finishing and transfer lining problems. I have found however, the MK2 chassis to be very reliable in use.
The Hornby Dublo 2218 4MT 2-6-4 Tank Locomotive in BR black is one of the most popular locomotives that Meccano Limited issued between 1959 and 1965. Equally at home on a layout pulling goods or passenger traffic, it has become the "workhorse" to those operating mixed traffic layouts.
The 2218 has the late BR crest and plastic front/rear wheeled bogies, which was carried on during the Wrenn Period 1/2 eras (1966-1971). The main change to the original Meccano tooling that Wrenn made, was the hole in the rear of the Loco was filled in, and of course Wrenn couplings were fitted instead of the metal "clutch" type couplings.
Most examples today are "playworn" and it is rare to find a " near mint boxed" example.
This is the premier London Exhibition for Railway Modelers, with a terrific range of working layouts, craftsman and trade stands. With excellent transport/rail links to Alexandra Palace, this is not to be missed on the 22/23rd March 2014
This is a hybrid of a Wrenn W2215 LMS Tank Locomotive Body, adapted to suit a rebuilt Hornby Dublo 3 Rail N2 Chassis.Running number is 2385. The Wrenn body is from the Triang/Wrenn Period 2 era, and has the correct plastic wheeeled rear bogie. All other wheels are standard Hornby Dublo and the Tank Locomotive is fitted with plastic H/D couplings.
Fully tested on Hornby Dublo 3 Rail track and performed very well.
Comes complete with reproduction box, tissue, and packing rings.
This Tank Loco would add stock variety to any Hornby Dublo 3 Rail Layout
These are the two Wrenn "Caledonian" Royal Scot Class Locomotives in LMS Black (VERY RARE) and LMS Maroon (RARE).
W2293 "Caledonian" 5 Pole LMS Wartime Black - running number 6141
W2260A "Caledonian" 3 Pole LMS Maroon - running number 6141
The W2293 was introduced by Wrenn, Basildon in late Period 4, between 1989 and 1990. ONLY 76 MODELS were recorded as being issued. This Locomotive has a 5 Pole armature.
The W2260A was introduced by Wrenn, Basildon in early Period 4, between 1982 and 1990. ONLY 232 MODELS were recorded as being issued. This Locomotive has a 3 Pole armature.
As with all Wrenn Royal Scot Class Locomotives they had metal tenders and "metal rimmed" wheels. The boxes were issued with a typed label description one end, the other blank as shown in the picture, correct for Basildon issue. Both Scots were also issued in boxes with end stamps.
The Wrenn W.2210/AM2 "Golden Fleece" 5 Pole A4 Class Locomotive in LNER Garter blue, is one of the most sought after by collectors, due to the very limited production from the Wrenn, Basildon Factory. The first of the MK2 5 pole chassis were introduced in 1987, but production of W.2210/AM2 only lasted from 1988 to 1990 with only 118 produced from the Basildon factory. Also the Golden Fleece was only issued with a Mk2 chassis. This makes it harder to copy as these chassis are not that common.
How do you recognise this AM2 version?
1. All 6 driving wheels are flanged
2. Driving wheels were increased from 23mm to 24mm diameter
3. Three pick-ups were provided rather than two
4. Cab detail was added
5. The inclusion of a 5 Pole armature as opposed to 3 Pole providing enhanced performance at lower speed
6. All top boxes had the proper Wrenn end stamp (as shown in the picture) and the inner white box should have a Packer No. and 5 number code indicating issue between 1988 and 1990 underneath
This, the black "Sparrow Hawk" and grey Woodcock, are my personal favorites in the Wrenn A4 range.
As the years role past, the availability/finding of the RARER range of Wrenn, Basildon Period 4 Wagons is becoming more difficult. Boxes have "sticker damage"or get torn/stained over age, and of course original replacements are no longer available. Wrenn, Cheshunt does offer an option of officially issued Wrenn boxes with the Wrenn issue number and description on one box end flap. When I supply these wagons they will have the original Period 4 yellow plastic, or cardboard (if late Period 4) inserts.
So as not to confuse, I always specify the Period of Wrenn, Basildon issue in my descriptions.
THESE PERIOD 1/4 WAGONS IN PERIOD 6 BOXES WHEN AVAILABLE ARE SHOWN UNDER "WRENN P6/5" SECTION, OF THIS WEBSITE.
The Royal Scot Class "Manchester Regiment" - 3 POLE version was introduced by Wrenn, Basildon in Period 4 (circa 1982) and only had a short production life finishing in 1983 with under 200 produced. This was the fourth Wrenn Scot to be produced, Basildon having tooling problems with the Scots from the early days. Note; First advertised in 1976, the earliest actually appearing in 1981. Some problems continued during the introduction of the earlier Scot 5 Pole variations, due to looser windings on the armatures. I have reviewed this under "Tips for Collectors" previously.
The 3 POLE "Manchester Regiment" is difficult to find and hence RARE, but the Wrenn W.2262A/5P (5 POLE) version is VERY RARE.
Only produced in 1989, with a limited production of 37 actually recorded, and hence issued by Basildon.
The earlier 1989 boxed versions used the standard W2262A stamp with the "5 Pole" added to each end flap as a separate stamp. The later version used the full stamp "W.2262A/5P ROYAL SCOT B.R. GREEN MANCHESTER RGMT"
Similar looking to the other Wrenn BR Green Royal Scot Class Locomotives , but with running number 46148, early BR tender crest and VERY VALUABLE today!
This is the Hornby Dublo EDL1 "Sir Nigel Gresley" LNER Class A4 in Garter Blue, originally issued by Meccano, Liverpool between 1938 to 1949. This version was mainly issued in Sets, hence it is shown in a "Hobby Box" for display purposes, and for any re-supply.
This version has the following features, to determine it from the more common versions that you may still see today.
Running number 4498
Pre-war red shaded lettering
Square Ended nameplates
Post-war metal tender coupling
Horseshoe magnet type
A UNIQUE EXAMPLE FROM HORNBY DUBLO THAT HAS SURVIVED OVER THE PAST YEARS!
Announced by Wrenn, Basildon in May 1980, this Limited Edition Wrenn W.6101C "Car No 83" was only produced over 3 weeks between August and November 1990. Hence it is very RARE with under100 actually issued although 350 were originally planned. It is one of only two Limited Edition Pullmans that Wrenn, Basildon produced the other being Wrenn W.6102E "Evadne" which had a similar production run. The Pullman has the full B/B rosettes, comes with white tables (only) and has the "richer cream" finish as all Wrenn Pullmans beyond 1986 had.
Comes complete in P4 box, and includes;
Numbered Limited Edition Certificate
Brass plaque "1931- CAR No 83 -1990
Plinth and length of Rail
NOTE ; ALL came with the plinth and length of rail.
The only other variation to the above two Limited Edition Pullmans is the "Non Limited" versions issued prior to Basildon closure.
In line with the introduction of the successful Wrenn Formula 152 Racing Car Sets (also available on this website) in the early 1960,s Wrenn Basildon introduced a number of buildings to complement the Racing Car Layouts. This is Catalogue Item B.2 the GRANDSTAND, and is one of the hardest to find today. It is supplied in 3 pieces;
Base Seating Area
Flagpoles were available in separate kits and paper flags to attach.
This complements any existing Wrenn Formula 152 Triple Electric Model Motor Racing Layout, and for those considering getting into Wrenn Formula 152.
This is the RARE Wrenn W2236/A "BODMIN" Rebuilt West Country Class Locomotive in BR Green, running number 34016.
Issued by Wrenn, Basildon in 1980, this has two unique features;
The only Rebuilt issued by Wrenn, Basildon with an "A"classification
Issued initally as a mistake with a black shield background
Only 241 of this version were issued in 1980, the further build (making a total overall of 563), were issued with a red background shield. Production was spasmoic through the proceeding years with it finishing in 1988.
To Wrenn Collectors/Runners alike, ALL the "black Shield" issued versions should have an inked (red or black) "Packer No" stamp on the bottom of the inner box, not a full code or sellotape residue marks denoting the period.
The "Black Shield" version is very difficult to find today in "near mint" condition, as many have been "playworn" over the years.
This is the VERY RARE Wrenn No. 2221K Cardiff Castle Kit Locomotive issued by Wrenn, Basildon in January 1969. Its life was quite short, for by 1st May 1969 it had disappeared from the Wrenn, Basildon price list. We can only surmise, that due to the changes at Basildon (Triang/Wrenn Period 2 era commencing in 1970), the emphasis shifted from any further "kit built"issues, to expanding the complete Locomotive and Wagon range. Although we are informed production records indicate 687 were issued by Basildon, as a collector over many years I suspect this figure in reality is far less, even assuming a large number were built and the box/packaging discarded at the time.
The Kit comprises;
Presprayed Locomotive and Tender Body in GWR Green
Locomotive Chassis wheeled with driving rods and drive cog
Tender Chassis wheeled complete
Valve Gear and Motor
Front wheeled bogie
Accessoy Kit with pickup/rails/screws etc
Accessory Kit with nameplates/lining/numbers etc
The contents were packaged in a yellow preformed plastic tray and "WRENN OO/HO LOCOMOTIVE KIT" cardboard box.
Valuation in 2002 was £850.00, however I am not aware of any that sold for this value on the resale Wrenn market.
The standard Wrenn W2217 LNER N2 Tank Locomotive had the largest production figures from Basildon (5,420) over Periods 3/4. The main differences ove these periods was the lighter "sheen" finish on the later Period 4 Locomotives. This of course is true for all Wrenn models.
Occasionally the W2217 appeared with a gold painted crescent above the wheel arch and I have seen this over the years as a collector on some models.
What I have not seen before is the running board in black down the full length of the Locomotive (both sides), which this very rare version illustrates. It has been carefully examined and has not had paint added post Basildon, this is the original finish. A VERY RARE item and possibly a Basildon mistake?
The Locomotive comes in an early Period 3 box with early W2217 stamp. Underneath of the inner box is stamped "Packer No 3" in black ink and has the usual sellotape residue marks denoting Period 3 build.
This is the much sought after Wrenn W2261/A "Queen Victorias Rifleman" Royal Scot Class Locomotive, in LMS Black, running number 6160. Introduced by Wrenn, Basildon in 1982 (Period 4), only 177 were produced over a limited 2 year period (1982/3). Any example of this Locomotive should appear in an early Period 4 box with the underneath of the inner box showing a 1982 or 1983 issue stamp.
This particular example is "Very Rare", as the top box has an "upside down" W2261/A ROYAL SCOT BLACK QUEEN VICTORIAS RIFLEMAN" stamp on one end, the other is correct.
This Locomotive I would put in the same class forRARETY as the the GREEN Royal Scot and the BLACK Caledonian.
This is probably one of the most sought after A4 Class Locomotives that Wrenn, Basildon produced, W.2283 "Woodcock" in LNER Grey, running number 4489. Introduced in late Period 4, only 173 were produced, of which43 were supplied between 1991/2 before Basildon closure.
Wrenn, Basildon only produced 3 Locomotives in Grey, the others being the W2281 War Department 8F, and W2294 "Duchess of Abercorn".
All three of these are essential to any Wrenn Collection, but please be careful as all 3 have been copied over the years. Points to look out for as the box is as important as the contents in most cases.
Avoid the "Curly R" type boxes, these are not genuine Wrenn, Basildon or Cheshunt. Simarly the picture of the Loco on the box facia should always sit on the track.
All the Loco boxes should be from Period 4 and have proper stamps on the box ends, not labels.
The underneath of the inner box should show a " Packer No" stamp with a 5 digit code (pre1990) or 6 digit code(1991/2)
When purchasing always look for a second opinion, it does not cost any money and can save you dissapointment in the future.
The popularity of the Wrenn "City of Birmingham" City Class Locomotive amongst Wrenn and Hornby Dublo enthusiasts is well known. In BR Green, running number 46235, it is seen on "OO" Gauge private and club layouts throughout the world. Produced by Wrenn, Basildon over Periods 3/4 over 4500 were issued prior to closure in 1992. Because of their prolonged layout use, finding an example in "near mint" condition is becoming more difficult today. Another factor is the number that have been changed (resprayed/relined/renumbered) to a more lucrative Wrenn Locomotive.Many Birmingham, London, City Class Locomotives and Winston Churchill Spamcams all suffered this fate during 1992 to 2002 when Wrenn became very collectable. Please look for provinence when purchasing.
Always remember, on lined Wrenn Locomotives with tenders, the lining on the tender should match either/all the "cabside", "boiler" or "valve box" lining of the Locomotive. If it does not, their is a good chance something has been changed!
The Wrenn "KHAKI" coloured Locomotives are highly sought after by Wrenn Collectors, and those wanting to "add a difference" to their operational layouts. Produced by Wrenn, Basildon between 1980 and 1985 we believe, some people view them as mistakes, others like myself recognise then as "bona fide" production items and hence collectable. The recorded range is as follows;
W2236A "Bodmin" W2245 SR Green Tank W2262 "Grenadier Guardsman" W2265 "Winston Churchill" W2275 "Hurricane"
W2238 "Clanline" W2266A "City of Wells G/A" W2266AX "City of Wells" W2269 "Sir Keith Park G/A" W2270 BR Green Tank
W2211/A "Silver Link"
Note; Others may exist as the W221/A is a recent find.
The Khaki colour varies from complete Loco/tender, and seperate Loco and tender. ie either way, Khaki Loco, Green tender or visa versa.
Various theories exist on why the colour difference, but in my opinion it is purely the colour mix before spraying and then baking. No seperate production figures are available on these however based on my experience over the years it is very few.
I would like to point out the VERY RARE "Khaki" Locomotives being W2266A and W2266AX. Why, because a few were fitted with standard green smoke deflectors! I have only seen three examples of these over the years.
This subject is more fully covered on Page 5 & 21 of "The story of Wrenn - Part 2" written by Maurice Gunter and currently available from the company website.
In early 1960 Wrenn, Basildon introduced the Wrenn Formula "152" Triple Electric Model Motor Racing System, which was "ground breaking" in its day. Wrenn enthusiasts still operate these systems today, although the spares are becoming harder to locate because of age.
Three Sets formed the basis of the range (1,2,&3) with two further Sets (2A and 3A) offering additional cars and contollers.These were;
Set 1 "Basic Set" comprising; 4 inch radius Basic Oval making circuit 50 inch X 12 inch, 2 cars, 7 straights T1, terminal section T25, 8 curves T4, 2 controllers E1, return leads and instruction manual.
Set 2 "Two Level Figure 8 2 Car Sets" comprising; 8 inch radius with overtaking, making circuit 63 inch X 20 inch, 2 cars, 6 straights T1, 10 curves T8, 1 deflector T20, 1 terminal section T25, 2 controllers E1, return leads, bridge supports, fencing, oil and instruction manual.
Set 3 comprising similar contents as Set 2 but for 4 inch radius making a circuit 70 inch X 20 inch.
Built in 1/52 Scale, the Sets included the "Triple Electric" feature, enabling you to race 3 cars independently on each lane of a 2 or 4 lane track. The ablity to pull out and pass as in real life was also included.Car makes included; Ferrari, Cooper, Maserati, and Vanwall in a variety of racing colours.
A complete range of track and circuit essentials was offered By Wrenn, Basildon including, Extention Packs, Racing Cars, Track Supports, Lap counter, Buildings, accessories, service spares, layout construction items, to offer race circuit realismn.
My records indicate that 1960-1964 was the most successful years, beyond that date perphaps more emphasis was being placed on the Model Railway side of the business and other model diversity.ie boats, baby alarms, etc.
Whatever the reason, the Wrenn Formula "152" is seen as the for-runner to Scalextrics, and many believe it is still a more robust and superior system.
This is the very rare Wrenn W.2311 "City of Leeds" Duchess/Coronation Class Locomotive in unlined BR Black, running number 46244.
Only 69 of these were produced by Wrenn, Basildon from 1991/1992, hence its rarety. The tender has the early BR emblem, and this is really a striking model for the collector and/or those running Wrenn on "OO Gauge" Layouts.I am unsure whether the "City of Leeds" ran in real life under this livery or "King Geoge V1" which are the alternative plates which George Wrenn issued with the model. The running number is obviously for "King George V1".
From the few "all black" models that Wrenn, Basildon produced, this in my view is one of the best.
Please watch out for "copies" which are prevalent in the market place. If you have any doubt please obtain two independet views fron "seasoned" Wrenn collectors, we are always happy to assist.
This is the Wrenn W.2203 "City of Bristol" Coronation Class Streamliner in LMS Black, running number 6237. Introduced by Wrenn, Basildon during 1986/7 only 3 have been recorded as being produced. This is therefore much sought after by Wrenn Collectors.
Wrenn produced 6 in the range of Coronation Class Streamliners, which used Keyser body Kits (which Wrenn modified) and plastic tenders. The range included:
W2300 Ready to Run Body and Chassis Kit
W2301 LMS Blue "Queen Elizabeth" 6211
W2301A LMS Blue "Coronation" 6220
W2302 LMS Red "King Geoge VI" 6244
W2302A LMS Red "Duchess of Rutland" 6228
W.2303 LMS Black "City of Bristol" 6237
Production quantities of the others were also minimal ( up to 570 in total for the range) and are listed in Maurice Gunters book "The Story of Wrenn". This total excludes the "City of Bristol". I am aware of copies being made over the years, however the best guide to originality is provenance, box stamp (both end stamps and inner box base), tender was NON-Streamlined, and unique transfers.
This is the VERY RARE BLUE W2230 BO-BO Diesel Electric Locomotive running number D8017. This running number is normally seen on the BR Green version only. This is only the second example I have seen as a Wrenn Collector of many years, the other last year was received unboxed.It does not have the British Rail late totem (as the Green version), or the BR white striped motif (as the blue version). The facia buffer boards are black as the standard blue versions.
This is complete in a Period 3 box with packing rings, tissue and original single page instruction sheet. The box ends are stamped "W2230 BO-BO DIESEL ELECTRIC BLUE B.R " and the white inner box is stamped "Packer No 6" in black ink with the usual sellotape residue marks correct for this period.
I believe this variation of the W2230 is genuine Wrenn, Basildon, and would have occured long before the "copying era" between 1992 (Basildon closure) and 2002, when Wrenn was bought by collectors.
This is a good example of the Wrenn W2268 "Yeovil" Bullied Locomotive in BR Blue, running number 34004. Introduced by Wrenn, Basildon in 1983, just over 200 were manufactured between that year and 1990. This example has the early BR crest which places it circa 1983/84, and the retailers at the time had the option of having a 5 pole motor fitted, instead of the standard 3 pole armature. It is interesting to note that the brush alignment is not conducive to a 3 pole armature, and experience has shown that problems may arise in continuous performane with the 3 pole version.The 5 pole version provides better smoother control at lower speeds, and this may be further enhanced with the use of a Neo magnet as a direct replacement for the Basildon fitted Wrenn. You also have the added bonus of no degredation in the magnetic field of the motor which some Wrenn and Hornby Dublo magnets suffer from. This example has a 5 Pole armature fitted with Neo magnet.
Wrenn produced the "Yeovil" in both BR Blue and BR Green Liveries.
This is a superb example of the Wrenn W.2293 "Caledonian" Scot in LMS Black, running number 6141. Introduced by Wrenn, Basildon in late Period 4, very few were produced (less than 50), this I believe being one of the last as it has a 1990 date stamp. No production was recorded in 1991/92 before Basildon closure. The Period 4 box is correctly stamped on both end flaps, as the few I have seen over the years as a collector are labelled one end, the other being plain.This is one of the most sought after Scots that Wrenn produced.The bottom of the inner box was stamped 90314, indicating 1990 build, the " Packer No" had faded.
NOTE: this particular example was for sale on the website, but was purchased within 24 hours of listing.
This A4 Class Locomotive "Sparrow Hawk" in London North Eastern Region Wartime Black with running number 4463, was one of 3 black A4 Class Locomotives that Wrenn, Basildon produced, primarily in late Period 4. The others are "Gannet", and earlier in Period 3 and Period 4 "Perigrine".
Only 98 "Sparrow Hawks" were produced by Wrenn, Basildon in total, with only 17 produced between 1991/92 of which this is one in the picture. At the time they were not that popular hence limited production and of course these days very collectable.
The transfers used on all three A4,s are unique, hence any transfer damage problems are to be avoided. Please watch out for copies, the black Locomotives that Wrenn, Basildon produced are the easiest to fake.
This is one of my favourite A4 Locomotives that Wrenn, Basildon produced.
This is the VERY RARE W.2226M2 "City of London" 4-6-2 Locomotive in BR Maroon, running number 46245. This is a 5 Pole version, offering smoother control at low speeds, and its RARETY is signifigant by the box end stamp as shown. The M2 version was only produced by Wrenn, Basildon between 1988/89, totalled only 118 and the majority had the "M2" handwritten in at the factory and "5 Pole" was added using a John Bull stamp. When the stamp was available (circa December 1989) it was used as shown. I have only seen 2 examples of this over the last 20 years as a Wrenn Collector. Please always check the later Period 4 box type (box has green colour hue) and inner box stamp which needs to denote late 1989. eg 91247 denoting 47th week, 12 month, 1989 as production build.
This is a superb example of the VERY RARE Wrenn W2221 "Ludlow Castle" in BR Green Livery issued by mistake by Wrenn, Basildon circa 1968. Once the factory had realised the mistake they were recalled from retailers at that time. The "Ludlow Castle" came in an early Period 1 box, had Hornby Dublo transfers, all pertaining to a " Cardiff Castle" fit, including running number and box stamp.(one end). The "Ludlow Castle" was supplied with an early Period 1 blue Instruction Manual, and underneath of the box is coloured yellow.
Although no factory records exist of how many were produced (or returned) experience indicates that less than 25 genuine versions have been seen over the years.NOTE ; they were ALL issued by Basildon in a Period 1 box with one stapled end and with yellow coloured base.
This is a superb example of the VERY RARE Wrenn WE100 Cardiff Castle Set advertised by Wrenn, Basildon in the R2/5/68 Catalogue comprising the following;
Wrenn Cardiff Castle (running number 4075)
Hornby Dublo Western Region Coach (running number W125870) X 2
Hornby Dublo Western Region Guards Coach (running number W34290)
This was also advertised in Railway Modeller September 1968. Please NOTE ; This is the rarer version with H/D Western Region Coaches, not the more common Set with Pullmans.
Wrenn, Basildon used a standard Set box for this combination (WP100/WF200/WPG300) and marked the " WE100" in pen on both box ends. The picture shows this.It is not possible to say how many were produced by Wrenn, Basildon in this format, but I believe as a collector very few.
This is an interesting "conumdrum" as it is the only combination I have seen as a Wrenn Collector, and have no reason to doubt its authenticity.
The Wagon is a late "Barnsley Main Colleries" LImited Edition, with White Lettering, but minus the "black highlights" that you gererally see on this Limited Edition Wagon Wrenn W5500.
There is no Certificate with the Wagon.
The Period 4 box is labelled one end, with a typed label in Red Ink - W5500 BARNSLEY COLLIERY LIMITED EDITION as shown in the photograph. The box interior is cream, which matches the reverse colour of the yellow cardboard insert. The label is the correct size and type face as used on the Non Limited version W5109, but in Red ink not Black.
The Wrenn W.2201 S.E. & Chatham Railway R1 0-6-0 Tank Locomotive was introduced by Basildon in May 1988, with only 241 produced before Basildon closure in 1992. It is one of the most sought after R1 Tank Locomotives that Wrenn, Basildon produced, and please remember should always be in a Period 4 Box. (Guard motif on outer box with yellow background).
This is probably one of the rarest Streamlined West Country Locomotives that Wrenn, Basildon produced in Period 4. The W2276/5P "Exeter" Golden Arrow Locomotive running number 21C101in S.R Malachite Green. These were only produced between 1986 to 1989, with a limited production of 103.Much sought after by collectors, it has the added bonus of a 5 pole motor which gives smoother control at low speeds. In my view one of the "best" Locomotives that Wrenn ever produced.
This is the very RARE W2294 "Duchess of Abercorn" in LMS Grey, running number 6234. This was the third and last of the Grey Livery Locomotives that Wrenn produced before the Basildon closure in 1992. Introduced in 1990, only 151 were produced by Wrenn. I am told that the real "Duchess of Abercorn" ran in this LMS Experimental Grey in 1946. If you are lucky enough to be offered a W2294, please check the rear tender paint as some suffered from " bubbling" and hence flaking paint. This was also a problem on certain of the Brunswick Green Locomotives eg. Sidmouth and Seaton.
Please note due to its rareity, copies have been seen in the Wrenn market place. Always obtain a second opinion when investing in Wrenn, particularly with the RARER items.
The "W2294" will always be in a late Period 4 box and stamped both ends. I am not aware of any labelled boxes produced.
The Wrenn W2296 "Dartmoor" West Country Rebuilt Locomotive was one of the last Rebuilts to be introduced by Basildon in Period 4.Only 141 were produced before Wrenn, Basildon closed in 1992. Being a late-comer to the Wrenn range of Locomotives, it is sought after by collectors, and most remain in superb condition. The "Dartmoor" Livery is BR Green, running number 34021
This is one of the most collectable Wagons in the Wrenn, Basildon range from Period 2 (Triang/Wrenn) Era. Over 5000 were produced between 1969 and 1971, when this was withdrawn by Basildon. Why, who knows? but it was a very good seller.
Be carefull when purchasing this sought after wagon as the "Auto Distributors" paint on the boards tends to crack and peel. As with all period 2 Wagons it has plastic wheels. The Minix Caravan and Car (Ford Anglia without tow hook) came in a variety of colours and some collectors I know have achieved up to10 different combinations. The most sought after colour of the Ford Anglia is Black.
I believe this was only issued in a Period 2 (Triang/Wrenn) box either stamped or labelled both ends of the box. One variation is "Upside Down" stamps on both box ends and I have seen 4 of these in the past years.
The Wrenn W2305 "Wadebridge" is one of the most sought after SPAMCAMS that Basildon produced in late Period 4.(as it was the last to be introduced).This Bullied Streamlined West Country Class Locomotive was produced in Southern Region Green with running number 21C107. Only 63 were produced between 1991/1992, the earlier versions having a typed label on one end of the box, the other left plain.The later versions (circa May 1991) have the full Wrenn Wadebridge stamp (on both box ends).
Wrenn produced the well known W4325P "OXO" Vented Van in white with the OXO symbol painted in red on the white plastic body. These were produced during Periods 2 (Triang/Wrenn) and 3 (7.5p) by Wrenn, Basildon.
The most common is running number DE545533, and the rarer version is DE545523.
Even rarer is the plain white body with OXO symbol, but without numbers.
What about DE545528 as shown?
This is in a Period 2 (Triang/Wrenn) box with the darker yellow plastic insert correct for this period..
The Wrenn W.5501 British Sugar 4 Wheeled Tank Wagon was a Limited Edition wagon issued between 1989 and 1991 by Basildon.
Although the Limited Edition run was planned for 500, less than 300 were produced complete in reality. Each had its unique numbered certificate ie 146 of 500, came in a Period 4 Box with yellow cardboard insert. One box end was stamped in red ink;
W.5501 "BRITISH SUGAR" LIMITED EDITION
and the other left blank. Occasionally the box was stamped both ends (same stamp as above) and these are quite rare.
The most rare (and sought after) of the British Sugars is W5110 which are known as the Non Limited Editions.These used the same body/chassis combination but were issued without certificates in Period 4 boxes with yellow plasic or cardboard inserts.( late 1991/early 1992). The box was labelled one end with a typed label in black ink;
W5110 "British Sugar"
the label being stuck over the red limited edition stamp. I understand that no production records are available, it is believed however that approximately 20 of these (with correct labels) are in circulation/with collectors.
This Brighton Belle Set 3051 is signifigant as it had the rare No88/89 running numbers on the Power and Trailer Cars. This set was only produced with White Tables, and of course full rosettes.These are generally used with the following centre Cars:
W6001B Car No 86 White Tables
W6002D "Doris" White Tables
W6002H "Hazel" WhiteTables
The Brighton Belle 3052 set is the most common (W3006/7-Running numbers 90/91) and runs with No87, Audrey, Vera centre cars.
It would appear that the 3051 Set was only produced between 1981 to 1983 with a total of 246 manufactured by Wrenn, Basildon.
The "Cygnus" 1st Parlour Pullman Coach is one of the rarest of the standard Pullmans to find, (excluding Limited Editions) and was produced by Wrenn, Basildon between 1991 and 1992. It was only suppied with White Tables and full rosettes, and I believe was the last in the range before the 1992 closure.
This Brown version of the "Wrenn Railways" Vented Van is the hardest to find, compared with the W.5100 Grey Version.Running number W145207 for both Vans. Suppied in a Period 4 box, only 89 were produced of the Brown "Wrenn Railways" version from 1990, compared with the Grey version of 532 from 1989 to Wrenn, Basildon closure in 1992. I have noted 4 versions of the end box stamp:
This tank was one of 51 produced by Wrenn, commisioned by the Basildon Development Corporation in commemoration of the 1977 Queens Silver Jubilee. The order by the Basildon Development Corporation was for 50, however Wrenn always produced one of each model which they kept. The original purchase price was £25 each, and the B.D.C added a gold foil "sleeve"before they were distributed by their representatives at exhibitions/trade fairs to potential investors. Many of the Basildon Tanks went to the USA and Japan, hence the rare nature of seeing an original today.
The Baildon Tank was supplied in a Period 3 standard short Loco box, with the ends left blank (no stamp). Included were cotton reels(2), standard blue Instruction Manual, tissue, and H/D coupling conversion set. Note; in practice these could not be fitted as they were the Wrenn Wagon "push on" type. The gold coloured "foil sleeve" (as shown in the photograph) was added at the Basildon Development Corporation premisses to the 50. No label was ever produced or fitted in my opinion as previously thought.
Now a sensitive area!
I am aware of three types of reproduction Basildon Tanks which have "surfaced" over the years.
Type 1 - Easy to spot as the reproduction shield is angled to one side, and the Basildon letters are smaller than the originals.
Type 2 - Harder to spot, however the top of the coronet /crown is a solid line, the original is dotted. Also at the base of the crown their are two lines above the "1977", their should only be one. The "1977" is also blurred where the transfer has been re-photographed I believe. Again the size and spacing of the "BASILDON" letters differ from the originals.
Type 3 - A similar variation to type 2 but in this case no line or dots at the top of the coronet/crown. Their is however one line at the base of the coronet/crown which is correct. The "1977" is still blurred and the size and spacing of the "BASILDON" letters differ from the originals.
How many in circulation - I do not know - do other variations/copies exist?
The "Jaffa" Banana Van is RARE and was only packaged in a Period 4 box by Wrenn, Basildon.Running number is B881902. Its rareity came about due to a production problem with the tooling which was never replaced. Only 124 were produced between 1991 and 1992.
In addition a few "half finished" samples remain with collectors.
Please note that all Wrenn, Basildon Wagons are self coloured plastic, with few exceptions. The "Jaffa" is not one of these exceptions.
We are also on the
road and could
be at an exhibition /
fair near you!
The views expressed on this website
are purely my own, based on
many years experience as a dedicated
I would like to thank Maurice Gunter
and his team for continuing the
development and production of
an excellent range of products and Services,
following the acquisition of the Company
G.R. Wrenn Ltd from Dapol in 2001.