This model of the Hindle Smart Jen-Helecs lorry is built from Model Plan 183 using the parts contained in a number ten set. The model and Model Plan was designed by Tony James and was published by The Meccanoman's Club in October 2008. The Model Plan instructions to build this model are available from MW Models.
The Hindle Smart Battery Electric Articulated Lorry would probably be totally forgotten today if it was not for the fact it was a popular Dinky Toy model (shown at the foot of the page). This was produced between 1953-1959. The Dinky Toy was enameled in maroon British Railways livery.
The original vehicles were used by British railways in the nineteen fifties to transport goods to and from railway goods depots. The number of these vehicles used by British Railways must have been quite small compared to the Scammel mechanical horse of various types that swarmed around almost every goods depot throughout the UK at that time . Almost certainly this battery/electric would have been used only in city centres. It is thought that none of the Hindle Smart Jen-Helecs BR vehicles survived in service beyond the nineteen fifties. One of these vehicles is on display at the National Railway Museum York. A picture of a B.R. vehicle in use is shown below. * I am not sure of the source of this picture and have not deliberately intended to infringe any copyright
The original vehicle was not battery/electric but powered with an Austin petrol engine and was built by Jenson Motors, who later on became well know as builders of luxury sports cars. They called the small articulated vehicle the Jen-Tug and it first appeared in the post war years. In 1949 Jenson made an agreement with Hindle Smart of Manchester to produce and market a battery / electric version of the vehicle, this vehicle was know as the Jen-Helecs. An advertisement for the vehicle from the July 1949 "Commercial Motor" is shown above right. The boxes made of wood on each side of the chassis , contained the lead/zinc batteries. The vehicles I found out from my researches were generally all known as Jen-Tugs. Meccano usually named their Dinky Toys after the manufacturer so called their model a Hindle Smart rather than a Jen-Helic .
The Tony James 9th scale Hindle Smart model was a joy to build with very precise instructions, detailed photographs and many diagrams. I have built my model using the parts from my nineteen fifties No. 10 set. Some alternative parts were used as I did not want to bend my minty red flexible plates for the mudguards!
The model has a robust and well designed all pinion differential, shown on the right. Other features include: full automatic coupling and uncoupling, of the piggy back trailer and a brake on the trailer. I made a few changes as I went along but nothing major. I also used a few extra parts not included in the ten set . I was not very keen on the cord operated steering and substituted a more conventional linkage. The model is driven by a Märklin motor a later version of the Meccano Powerdrive motor specified in the instructions. I used the Märklin motor because it matches the red and green parts, unlike the Meccano motor that is yellow and black. Rear view showing the flatbed trailer brake and coupling shown below.
Page created March 02 2010 Revised March 03 2010
Picture on the right is taken from March 1953 Meccano magazine