BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Rescued vintage toys up for sale
Meccano sets
The Meccano factory closed in the 1970s
Toys destined for the scrap heap when the famous Hornby factory closed, have been sold at auction for about 30,000.

The items, sold in nearly 300 lots, included hundreds of Dinky toys, Meccano kits and Hornby trains, which were saved by an executive at the firm.

The other half of the collection will be sold later and was expected to raise at least a similar amount.

More than 100 collectors were at the Vectis auction house in Stockton, Teesside, for the sale on Thursday.

The sale featured extremely rare Dinky items, rescued when the Liverpool factory closed in the 1970s, by Hornby marketing director Doug McHard, who died recently.

He never intended to sell the collection, he felt it was wrong that this history of the company was being thrown away
David Nathan valuer

A wooden pre-production design for a London tram, which was never made by the firm, fetched 500.

Similar prices were paid for rare Range Rover model cars.

Even documents such as internal memos from the Hornby factory, some describing its financial problems, were snapped up by ultra-keen collectors.

Valuer David Nathan said Mr McHard had asked for permission to save the items, which were due to be thrown out from the factory.

Taken from skips

He cared for the rare items at his home and now his widow wanted them to go back into wider circulation, Mr Nathan said.

Mr Nathan said: "Some of the items were literally taken out of the skips.

"He never intended to sell the collection, he felt it was wrong that this history of the company was being thrown away.

"He was a big fan himself. His widow wanted it to go around again."

Another sale is being held in Rugby on 17 August, when Horny trains and Meccano, as well as highly-sought after sales material, will go under the hammer.

Frank Hornby started making Meccano kits from his home in Liverpool in 1901.

Fighter plane in online auction
17 Feb 04  |  Americas
Surprise star of toy auction
27 Jan 04  |  Tees
All revved up for 1m toy sale
01 Jul 03  |  Tees

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific