A COLLECTION of 3,000 toy cars, trucks and trains which was built up over 50 years has been sold at auction for £227,000.
Retired car dealer Raymond Hainsworth, 78, did not expect to make a fortune on the sale as he has paid top prices for the highest quality toys that included Dinky, Hornby and Tri-ang that were not “play worn”.
Auctioneer Andrew Reed of Vectis Auctions in Thornaby, Teesside, said he thought more than half of the 2,000 lots that were sold over three days would now go abroad.
The star of the sale was a black and white Dinky lorry in the Corn Products livery which was produced for the firm as a promotional item and was not on general sale. A collector paid £6,960 including commission.
Mr Hainsworth and his wife Pat, who live in a converted barn, near Skipton, started collecting when their twin boys Ian and David were babies and their first Christmas was spent surrounded by a new train set. It grew as the couple travelled to auctions and fairs all over the country until the display cabinets took up two rooms of their home. The cherished items were not off-limits to their three children and grandchildren, as long as they took care of them and put them away in their boxes.
Mr Hainsworth said after the sale: “I’m a bit sad now, it didn’t affect me at first but I’m missing my collection now.”
Before the final sale figure was known, he said: “If we get our money back, we will be more than happy. You won’t make money out of the job, it’s an enjoyment thing.”
Asked what he will do now, he said ruefully: “We have a big garden so I suppose retired people look after their gardens. We will find something, I’m sure.”
Part of the reason for selling was to see his collection displayed in a handsome sale catalogue.
He said: “I can look at my collection, sat in a chair without going in the room and having all the trouble of dusting and keeping them clean. They are all in a book to look at.”
Mrs Hainsworth, who also loved collecting, felt she had got her house back now the toys were gone.
“The trains were all over and it was like a toy museum,” she said. “The O gauge trains were all on the pelmets in every room.
“It’s a lot tidier.”
The sum raised, which includes the auction house’s commission, was no surprise to Mr Reed.
He said: “We were expecting to do well over £200,000 and it did so we were really pleased and I think the vendors were too.
“Most of the toys were of the highest quality and a lot of them will sadly leave the UK and travel off to many parts of the world.”