Luton "Bowman"

Geoffrey Bowman Jenkins produced the celebrated range of Bowman steam toys in Dereham, Norfolk, from 1923 until their production ceased in 1936.

Sometime in 1945 the Bowman Models trademark was acquired by "Piece Parts and Assemblies Ltd" of Luton, Bedfordshire. This company, trading under the name of "Bowman Models Ltd." sold steam toys from late 1945 until 1949. During this period they marketed three steam engines and four steam launches.

The question is - can the Luton “Bowman” products be regarded as an extension of the range of Bowman items produced by Geoffrey Bowman Jenkins during the nineteen twenties and thirties? Personally, I think not. Geoffrey Bowman Jenkins had no involvement with the company or the engines and it is said that he was not best pleased when he found out that the Bowman name was being used.

That said, they are fine items and I feel they are best regarded in their own right as the products of "Piece Parts and Assemblies Ltd."


Luton PW201

This is an example of the small horizontal boiler engine the PW201. It is complete and in original condition and like all Luton “Bowmans” is a very well built little engine and runs very sweetly.

Some interesting variations in the PW201 can be found. There were two different styles of chimney, long and short, and colour variations in the decals. There also seems to have been two different ways of anchoring the boiler-retaining strap. Some engines have a simple bent tab, but on others it is secured by a nut and bolt. There are also variations in the burners. One design having a series of slits in the burner tube whilst the other has a single long slot.

The engine illustrated above features the long chimney, bent tabs on both ends of the boiler strap, a single slot burner and a red background to the badge.


Luton PW202

The PW202 is the overtype version of the PW201, with which it shares many common parts. It is the rarest of the Luton engines so I was very pleased to find this example, which is in excellent original condition and is with its original box and accessories.