We decided today to finally have a go at clearing some of the stuff in our loft. Task one for me was to sort through 5 kilos of Lego bricks (yes, I did weigh them) which was interesting and quite nostalgic. At the very bottom of the heap as I rummaged through the bricks, I made an unbelievable find. No, not my collection of Hinton Hunt figures from 1972 but something nearly as good – a single Airfix Union infantryman.
|One of my favourite poses and in the right colour - blue!|
Now this might not seem very exciting to you, but I realised that this figure must have been hiding in the Lego for more than 50 years. I loved Lego as a kid (almost as much as toy soldiers) and had my first set in 1965. It was immediately put in service to provide ruined houses for my WW2 Airfix figures, the Alamo for the ACW figures to defend and a castle for the Sheriff of Nottingham. I remember being annoyed that the fuddy duddy’s at Lego initially refused to make green and brown bricks in case children used them to build war toys – my brother and I weren’t going to let that stop us!
|These Lego trees date from the mid-60s and for a long time were the only model trees I had to use in wargames. They have seen many battles and the occasional tussle with one of my parents dogs.|
This solitary Union man must have been hiding in the bottom of the box when my dad finally moved the Lego into his loft before it was eventually retrieved and passed on to my kids. When they stopped playing with Lego the box got promoted to a place in our own loft and although we’ve moved three times since then the Lego has always been loft fodder.
|And here he is directing traffic into this vintage Lego garage. It has an up and over door that opens automatically as the car approaches - who needs electronics?|
So, the significance of this one lost soldier is that he was almost certainly bought in the early 60s when my brother and I had several sets of Airfix ACW figures that we played with incessantly. This makes him a real veteran and in honour of his long lonely wait he is now going to live permanently on my painting desk.