Photo gallery: Air of nostalgia at toy and train fair at Holiday Inn near Norwich International Airport

Toy and train fair trading on nostalgia in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Toy and train fair trading on nostalgia in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

There was nostalgia in the air as hundreds of people converged on a toy and train fair to rediscover the innocent pleasures of their childhoods.

About 60 stallholders from across the eastern region gathered at the Norwich Airport Holiday Inn today as the J & D Toy and Train Fair moved to its new venue.

Dinky, Corgi and Hornby were some of the familiar names on the table tops, as well as more modern items including hand-made models of the Teletubbies and characters from controversial American animation South Park.

For Barry Sandwell, 57, the event was a chance to find some of the 100 items on his wish list for the train set he was never allowed as a boy.

The Attleborough resident, who spent about £70 on items including a model of a modern Network Rail van, said: 'I was quite impressed today with the selection because you have got a bit of everything. Apart from railway stuff, you have got cars, collectables, antiques and Lego.'

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For co-organiser Dennis Payne, the largely older and male crowd, which he hoped might reach 500 people, was attracted by a memories of the past.

He said: 'What you have got here is a lot of people looking for what they have had as a child. It's driven by nostalgia. They see the old Dinky and Hornby toys they had as a child and their mums threw away and they want to regain them.

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'It's a declining market for the customer base because a lot of the people are dying off. We don't have that younger element coming into the collector field.'

However, he predicted there would be a burgeoning interest in 1960s and 1970s toys as that decade's children aged, but a fall in demand for older items.

Louie Marshall, from Eaton, is the third generation of his family involved in the trade.

The 12 year old's grandfather sells trains, and today he helped on his father's die cast stall, but he said he prefers his iPad and XBox to the older toys, although he liked a model of a Nazi plane because of his interest in the second world war.

He said: 'They are interesting for people who were young when they were made, but probably not for young people.'

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