When I left the warehouse on Friday evening I noticed a soft tyre, when I got up on Saturday morning it was flat. I’d planned a quick trip to Bedford for another load of large scale Franklin Mint and Sun Star from Verity on Saturday afternoon, but this van is wounded and is going nowhere.
I let Verity know and texted Richard Edge of Edge Tyres. I met Richard first in 2021 when I bought his dad’s collection of excellent boxed vintage Corgi Toys; the following year I bought Richard’s own collection of Minichamps fast Fords. Meanwhile I’d been using their mobile tyre service when I needed tyres for the van.
Richard was finishing a job nearby and less than an hour after sending the text he had fixed my tyre. This is typical of the service he provides, you occasionally encounter businesses that reallly deserve their success, this is one of them. You need tyres in South Oxfordshire, give him a call. His van is bigger than mine too, but that’s OK.
So I made it to Bedford just half an hour later than planned and scored a vanload of excellent large scale models, there is still more to come from this collection.
On Wednesday I headed off south down the A34 to pick up the M4, turned east towards London and then joined the M25 London Orbital anti-clockwise in the Gatwick direction. From the M25 I headed up the A217 towards London and a few miles later I was at Sean’s house near Epsom Downs racecourse, where the Derby is run.
From Sean I bought a good collection of fairly early release Vanguards and a nice selection of TV & movie themed cars. Included in these is the Sweeney Ford Consul, which was maintained back in the day by a team at Ford reporting to one of Little Wheels’ customers. He once told me that it needed a full engine rebuild after every session of filming, It had the old Essex V6 which they tuned to a level that was beyond the strength of the engine bottom end, and it always came back wrecked.
The Vanguards are in superb condition, Sean bought them all new from a private dealer who bought them direct from (as it was then) Lledo. Among them is what I am sure is a factory colour trial on the Triumph Herald. It’s a pale jade green with no stripe and a red interior.
It’s a long way round the M25, and my musings this week were about what I heard rather than saw and about how history never really goes away. My podcast has arrived at Richard II, who was at best patchy as King and in latter years was probably losing his marbles. He had exiled his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, who, in 1399, came back with an army and set about deposing him. Which was mostly bloodless and pretty quick as by now all the nobility were sick of Richard and went over to Henry.
When Richard saw the way the wind was blowing he bravely ran away and hid in Cumberland, now Cumbria. He was sheltered by a family called Machell. In 1945 when my dad first got his Cumbrian farm he rented it from the local big landowner, Ulf Machell (that name sounds half Norse and half Norman French to me) and funnily enough the pub in the nearby village of Bouth is called the White Hart – which was Richard’s badge. Of course Richard was finally handed over to Henry, by now Henry IV, who had him quietly done away with.
What else this week?
Well, I called in at Reading on the way back from Epsom to look at a collection and decided it was not for me. There were early release Corgi Classics in grey boxes, which have lost all their value now, Corgi small scale ‘Fighting Machines’ range planes which similarly are not sought after and some German made plastic planes, which are not really in our scope.
On Tuesday Chris called into the warehouse with a nice collection of Spark, IXO and Vitesse competition cars in immaculate condition, these will be heading to the website soon. It’s just the sort of product we are always looking for.
Next week I have a trip to Yorkshire and will have plenty of time to listen to all Henry IV’s travails and how his son, Henry V, repeated the glory days of Crécy at Agincourt ‘God for Harry’ and all that
What’s in the Van? – Home
15/16th March 2023 – London, Hemel Hempstead & Stafford
8th March 2023 – Warwick & Solihull
5th March 2023 – Huntingdon & Bedford
23rd February 2023 – Little Wheels Museum
16th February 2023 – Devon & Dorset
9th February 2023 – Nottinghamshire & Lincolnshire
2nd February 2023 – Gloucester & Hereford
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