Suffolk man’s ‘dream’ collection of Hornby and Corgi toys to go under the hammer

For thousands of young Britons they were, and remain, the epitome of family life, loved by generations of families for more than 80 years.

Now, Hornby and Corgi are set to reignite a flame in youngsters who spent hours playing with their train sets and model cars, during an auction of pristine toys tomorrow .

Hundreds of items will go under the hammer at Eriswell Barns, near Lakenheath, in front of what is expected to be a large crowd of model railway and toy enthusiasts.

Items from complete Hornby 00 gauge intercity sets to individual coaches and wagons will be available, as well as a variety of Corgi vehicles.

Enthusiasts could pick up a gold-plated truck, yellow Bugati, a Mackintosh's AEC truck set or Fox's Glacier Mints Thames Trader Box Van, or one of hundreds of other vehicles.

They hold a place in many a collector's heart but auctioneer David Palmer said a haul of more than 200 vehicles was a rare find.

'They do turn up but usually in ones or twos and do sell very well because there are lots of middle aged and older men who collect them,' he said.

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'They usually turn up through sale rooms which say they're going to have a sale and have two or three sales per year. These have come in within about a month, so it's quite unusual.

'I think there will be a lot of people who come along and look who have small collections which they gently add to. It's a very precise and anoraky type of market because you could have six vehicles all the same but you will have a different paintwork on one which is worth more and it takes a certain eye to spot it.

'You can't put a price on these things. At the end of the day it's all second-hand and some people wouldn't have it in their house because of that, but to others it's what makes them worth something.

'With these items we're selling a dream. There are things I remember from my youth which are coming into auction and it does engage memories.'

For more than 50 years Hornby has maintained a reputation for being Britain's leading model railway manufacturer, while Corgi cars and trucks helped many a young boy while away an afternoon.

The majority of items were received following the death of an estate owner. Others were received from individuals and kept to one side for an appropriate auction.

Spokesman for Eriswell Hall Barns, Michael Almond, said: 'They're all boxed and look beautiful. I've been working here for five years and I've never seen anything like this come in before.'

The items will be available for viewing at the barns, on Lakenheath Road, today, and the auction will begin tomorrow at 12.30pm.

For more information, and a complete list of items, visit the website at