Remember the James Bond Aston Martin with the working ejector seat? How about green and red Meccano? Did you ever wait eagerly for your father to bring home some new rolling stock for the Flying Scotsman, or rushing downstairs on Christmas morning to find the new Beano Annual under the tree?
Meccano, Hornby, Corgi and Dinky toys were once all common household names. For a child growing up in the 50s, 60s and 70s life looked very different from today. Children would wait in eager anticipation for the publication of their favorite weekly comics and spend hours constructing and playing with toys such as Meccano and Hornby train sets. Advertising at the time would show pipe-smoking fathers playing with their sons on the rug in front of the fire, a depiction of warm and close-knit family life in that era. It is that vision, together with nostalgia for the excitement and anticipation that went with opening the box of a new model that still fuels the collectors toy market today. It may not come as a surprise that the main demographic of toy collectors today is still the same people who either owned those toys in their youth, or missed out on them then, but can afford the toys they dreamed of now.
Anderson and Garland regularly offer wide ranges of collectable toys, but this month’s auction offers something astonishing, a unique collection of unparalleled scope. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The family of the late Gordon Hall, of Hexham, are offering for sale the largest collection of model railways this auction house has ever seen. Mr Hall spent a lifetime building a collection of over ten thousand pieces, ranging across Hornby, Tri-ang, Fleishmann, Roco, Bachmann, Rivarossi and Lima OO and HO stock, most of which is in pristine boxed condition. Mr Hall’s collection also included other gauges up to a real, full-size steam diesel/electric shunting engine used by the Aln Valley Railway, and named after his wife Shirley, but unfortunately that isn’t for sale at the moment! What is for sale, however, is huge collection of beautiful, intricate working models, some of the finest examples of craftsmanship in miniature.
The collection is so vast that Anderson and Garland are having to divide the auction into two parts. Part One will be taking place on Wednesday 18th of August. Public viewing takes place on Tuesday 17th between 10-3pm. It’s a unique opportunity to view a collection that is unsurpassed for scope, quality and quantity.