There was no trip in the van last week as I was on holiday, a short break at Stratford on Avon, which my wife and I enjoyed very much. It is such a pretty town and we had the marvellous treat of going to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to see Cymbeline, which was magnificent.
My only pickup this week was in Rickmansworth, which meant another trip south down the M40 to the M25 London Orbital and just a couple of junctions anticlockwise on the M25, so a relatively easy run. Once again Google Maps chose to take me from Abingdon to the M40 the pretty way, through the lanes rather than round the Oxford Bypass.
What a treat. It was a gorgeous early Summer morning and the birds were singing their heads off as I got into the van. The English countryside is so lush just now and this route takes you through some very pretty villages. One of these is Stadhampton which is next to the site of the Battle of Chalgrove fought during the Civil War in June 1643, it was seen as a victory for the Royalists under Prince Rupert, the Parliamentarians losing one of their key leaders during the fighting.
The Royalists were based in Oxford for much of the early part of the Civil War and Charles 1st lodged in Abingdon. There are remains of a ruined manor near my house which is said to be where he parted from his Queen, Henrietta Maria, for the last time. There is a room over the gateway to the yard of the Kings Head and Bell pub in the town which it is also said he used for meetings with his generals. Curiously there is a blue plaque on a house in the same street as the Kings Head and Bell recording the fact that William of Orange stayed there on his way from Plymouth to London to stage the Glorious Revolution of 1688, deposing Charles’ son James II and finally bringing to an end the after effects of the Civil War.
I could go on about the Black Prince and Rickmansworth, but I think that is enough history for one week. I was in Rickmansworth to see John and buy his collection of part-work models. There is a full set of the Eaglemoss James Bond cars, all 135 of them, including the three gift items. I reckon we have had more than 50 sets of the Bond cars through the business and they remain very popular. There were Atlas Fire Engines, Supercars, reissue Dinky Toys and Century of Cars, more than 400 models in all and all firm favourites with Little Wheels customers.
Wayne from Golders Green brought these buses to the warehouse. He is downsizing and needs the space. It is a mixture of EFE and Corgi OOC buses mostly from the 1990s.
John in Stockport got in touch to ask if I wanted to buy a small collection of buses left to him by a relative. Normally I would have declined as the collection would have to be couriered and was small and mostly fairly commonly found items, except for one. It is a super-rare Creative Master Northcord made for an event. This model made the deal worth doing. However when I opened the boxes for the photo I found it had come loose from the plinth and is badly damaged in the box with broken mirrors and engine cover. I know there is a fixer-upper out there who will take it on but much of the value is lost, shame.
Edmund got in touch regarding the models in the picture above. He lives in the next street to me and got my contact details off the van. This is part of his late father’s collection. There were also quite a lot of Yesteryear and Lledo models which I advised him to take to the charity shop, as they really have no value any more.
There are a number of really nice Creative Master Northcord buses and a few old Dinky Toys, mostly boxed. The Dinkys have been repainted, very well and in original colours. One of them is stripped and dismantled ready for paint. This pickup was entirely on foot. I walked down my garden, along the lane between the streets, and through Edmund’s garden. No van miles at all, very green, as were the gardens.
There is one more collection coming in this week, I’m writing this as I wait for it to arrive. Edwin lives in Fife, Scotland. and is making his third trip to the Warehouse with a car-load of Corgi trucks, this time with a couple of Universal Hobbies and Lion Toys thrown in. Edwin likes to make a weekend of it and also saves me a massive drive and two days on the road! The Corgis are all fairly recent issues of 1:50 scale modern artics and, as usual with Edwin’s models, in stunning condition. I’ll post some photos on next week’s blog.
It’s been a bit of a dry week for classic spotting. All I got was an MGB (as usual) on my way back through Abingdon. I did spot a rather fierce looking Lamborghini on the M25 though.
It was all spoilers and air-dams and noise. I could only find a white one in my photos, the car I saw was very shiny black and as so often with Lamborghinis looked like an alien battle-cruiser.
Next week it’s a trip to Norfolk to see Dale in Diss. He has a large mixed collection of unboxed vintage and nineties/noughties boxed modern collectables to sell. I will be calling in to Stewartby and Buckingham on the way back for two smaller sets. It will be my third batch of 1:76 scale buses from Martin in Buckingham and Julie in Stewartby has an interesting collection of vintage Corgi, Dinky & Matchbox, the photos are not very clear but I think there is a boxed plastic Matchbox parking garage – very rare.
What’s in the Van? – Home
12th May – Kingston & Fleet
4th May – Witham
21st April – Staines
12th April – Dereham
6th April – Warminster
30th March – Doncaster, Gainsborough & Peterborough
18/22nd March – Bedford & Epsom
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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