I was about to become a teenager; somehow I knew that my grandmother was going to give me that Spot-On Routemaster bus that I craved. “Don’t you think that you’re getting a bit too old for dinky toys now?” my mother had asked, but I didn’t respond, I had desired that expensive bus for some time and it was the only thing I really wanted from Gran for my birthday.
On 22nd May 1962 there was the present from my grandmother; the right shaped box – inside, my dream, the Spot-On Routemaster. There was just one minor cloud on the horizon, my 16-year-old cousin was staying with her at the time and he teased me mercilessly about having what he thought was a rather juvenile toy for my 13th birthday “Has Mikey had a little busey for his birfday den?” he whined constantly in a childish tone. I tolerated this though as I had a present I really wanted and was silently delighted. I knew that I would not be able to tell my friends about my bus either, as they too would have taken great delight in making me a spectacle of ridicule.
The Spot-On Routemaster bus, at a scale of 1/42, was huge by dinky toy standards at about 9 inches long x 6 inches high, completely out of scale with all my other toys. I think I recall it cost 15s.0d in 1962, certainly a lot of money when about £15 was the average weekly wage. Sadly I no longer have it, in the 1970s I passed it on to another young lad who was interested in London buses and he had the same enjoyment from it that I did.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, it’s my birthday today but probably won’t be looking to receive a replacement Spot-On Routemaster; an excellent immaculate boxed example was sold recently at over £1500!