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Rubber Bales


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I managed to find, and buy 4 of the older type Britains rubber bales this week.

I think its the first time I have seen any :-\

Are they considered rare at all? What years were they produced, and does anyone know what their original packaging was like?

Cheers, Mark.

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The 'rubber' bales were a darker colour and had sort of greyish flecks in the moulding of them more like a marbling effect and looked more realistic than the later ones as they had more of a texture to them. I'm not sure when they were first released, I think they came out with the Bamfords BL58 baler in the blue/green and white box with inner stand around 1969. The earliest catalogue I have to refer to is from 1970 which refers to these bales available in a pack of 6, catalogue number 1742. Not seen any in their original packaging but would guess they were in a similar box to the baler. Will have to look out for some in a box, you very often find loads of loose ones in the bottom of boxes of bits and bobs at toy fairs. Also of the period, the corn sacks were rubber as well, lighter grey than the plastic ones, you find these still with the 'ears' on them as being rubber they don't snap off like the plastic ones, they seem to survive pretty well. These came in a pack of 12, catalogue number 1741. The churns were in a pack of 9, funny odd number, catalogue number 1726.

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First issued in 1964 in a window box in quantities as given by pr.

Don't on any account put/leave these, or the original rubber sacks, in something plastic, ie baler or tipping transport box, as they will react to each other over a period of time. You will end up with a mess similar I suppose to the reaction you get with rear tyres to rims on Britains tractors.

Will post some pictures of boxes latter, memory willing ::)

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Thanks for the info :)

They do look more realistic, as you say Powerrabbit.

Thanks for the storage advice super6.

So, issued from 1964 - about 69 by the look of it.

The early plastic bales were the same colour as these (see photo) with later ones more "orange" coloured it seems.

I will try and get hold of some more of them :)

Heres a picture for you bluefan.

Thank you ploughmaster, I wonder if the rubber/plastic compatibility issue caused this change.


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Thank you ploughmaster, I wonder if the rubber/plastic compatibility issue caused this change.

It's possible that could have been part of the reason, although the reaction probably wouldn't become apparent without contact for a few years. 

It certainly didn't prompt them to change from using the same material for the tractor tyres, elevator belts and excavator tracks which also reacted similarly with the plastic (polystyrene?) wheels etc with which they were in contact.  Only the silver grey plastic wheels as fitted to the MF135 seem to be immune for some reason.  It is a reaction that occurs on all most of the tractor wheels up to the transfer of manufacture to the Far East.  I am not sure whether any subsequent tractors have shown signs of the same problem.

There was certainly an issue with the Bamfords baler where the PVC/rubber bales, because they were not very slippery, would lodge in the bale chamber, and refuse to discharge.  The plastic bales don't suffer this problem, and I believe that when researching his combines and balers book, David Pullen was given to understand that this was the principal reason for the change.

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  • 2 years later...

I've got about 25 of the old bales, dating from my own childhood, so mid sixties? They are certainly ,much better looking than the plastic variety, with a nice mottled look to them, but I've had to wash them a couple of times to get rid of 'stickiness' on the bale surface. I'm told it's to do with the plasicizer that was added to the material changing it's properties over time. I certainly wouldn't want to leave them in a vehicle any more, as I don't entirely trust that they'll not leave a plasticky residue. I wish I had a degree in plastics technology!

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I have a few of these oldies along with 50 or so plastic ones. None of which I have any use for! I must say they do look more realistic as they have texture.

A dusting with talc stops the stickiness, by the way

PS makes them smell nice too!

Edited by Leakeyvale
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