Richard Acton's Weymouth Toy, Train & Collectables Toy Fair

10 October 2014
imports_CCGB_7.-clive-s-collectables_96135.jpg Richard Acton's Weymouth Toy, Train & Collectables Toy Fair
David Boxall heads to the new toy and train fair, organised by Richard Acton. ...

The Weymouth Toy Fair is a new event organised by Richard Acton. The show took place at the Wey Valley School, just off the new relief road into the seaside resort of Weymouth. Two halls were used, these were light and spacious – ideal for the event. The school provided free parking and a good refreshments area, ably co-ordinated by the refreshments team.

I met Richard Acton at the school before the show started, and he showed me the layout of the tables around the venue. He was clearly excited about this new venture, having spent the previous day setting up in the main hall, the second hall, the connecting corridor and entrance. The traders who arrived to support the show were clearly pleased to attend an event on their doorstep. There was quite a variety of stalls, selling all sorts of collectables.

On the first stall in the main hall I spotted an old favourite from the Airfix range. Richard and Lesley Rigler had brought along an excellent collection of early Airfix kits. I recognised the Chipmunk in 1/72 scale and remember building it – a few years ago now. It was one of many bagged kits with the illustrated header sheet and the all-important instructions, priced at £10 each. They had lots of other kits and models on offer, which included an interesting box of diecast toys. 

Also in the main hall I saw Oliver Chisholm of the Pastimes shop. He had come down from Sherborne for the day, and had clearly emptied his store of all the trucks, diggers and cranes he could find, in order to provide a commercial vehicle spectacular. There were several manufacturers represented on the table top, including: Corgi, Dinky, Matchbox, Spot-On, together with a few models that I did not recognise at all. There were even a few plastic diggers and bulldozers by Jimson – made in Hong Kong.

Fortunately, alongside Oliver was Alan Lines - on hand to help with all those unexplained and awkward manufacturers. Between the two of them they worked their way through some of the collection.  Alan also had a display of older models for sale, which included trains and diecast. Nestled among them was a boxed Tri-ang boat with key and a price tag of £35. The box seemed to be in very good condition and had colourful illustrations advertising the Burnham 11-inch Motor Cruiser – Clockwork Powered Toy.

Ian Shave of Three Counties Models is no stranger to the toy fairs, having attended and organised a good many himself. He had brought along a large selection of trains and equipment – mostly boxed. He had a tabletop test line available for any potential purchases. Among the many items for sale, I noticed the NRM 92220 'Evening Star' Loco and tender priced up at £125.

Peter Denton had a very colourful display of diecast vehicles. He had a mixture of boxed and unboxed items, these were mostly in excellent to near mint condition. It was good to see another old favourite, the Corgi Gift Set No. 27, with the Bedford TK Cab and Low Loader, transporting the Priestman Cub. This carried a price tag of £110. Also, parked nearby was the Dinky Toys Pullmore Car Transporter, priced at £115. The Kennebrake Atlas Bus should also get a mention. This model by Dinky was the blue and grey version, in a red and yellow box. It was released as model No. 295, in 1963, and was priced at £49.

While we are on the subject of colourful displays, there were more boats with Terry Jenkins. It appeared that he had opted for a travel and seaside theme, with tinplate and clockwork boxed boats and trains. I also noticed a Playcraft Railways Goods Train Set, No. P1305 – 'Clapham'. The illustrations on many of these early boxes from the 1950s and 1960s are certainly good enough to put on the wall – as indeed I have occasionally. Terry often gets a mention as his table always takes a good photograph. On that note, and at a time when new collectors should be particularly encouraged, perhaps we should start a table display award at all the toy fairs? Just a thought.

An enormous array of diecast models was on display from Steve King. He had travelled along the South coast to support the event and had managed to squeeze several tables full of models into his car. There was a wide variety of vehicles and manufacturers, in the full range of conditions – a restorer’s heaven. Steve had also brought along a table or two of boxed items. These were mostly more recent, though I did spot a Corgi Jaguar XK120, from the 1950s series, and a boxed circus trailer from the 1960s. There were a number of boxed diggers and heavy equipment vehicles by Joal too.

John Harvey had brought along an interesting mixture of trains and diecast. He had trains and related equipment in O and OO Gauge. My attention was drawn to an O Gauge 'Gargoyle Mobiloil' truck, with a price tag of £28. (I seem to be going through a petrol related phase). There was also an excellent display of diecast for sale, which were mainly Dinky but included three beautiful Franklin Mint models – all priced at £20.

David Rees had driven from Poole to support the show and had brought a large selection of more recently manufactured models including Oxford diecast. I particularly liked the cars from the 1950's and 60's, especially the Jaguars priced at £18 and £20, and the various Lotus cars, also priced around £20.

It’s quite a dangerous time for the wallet, wandering around the stalls, chatting to stallholders looking for items and tables to photograph. I very nearly bought a Lima HO scale Mail Unloader Set for £35 from one of the many train stalls. A large selection of trains and railway equipment, was on display with Bob Luesby, who was holding an interesting sale of boxed locos. Clive's Collectables was also in attendance and had a carefully laid out display of trains, and a huge box of mixed diecast – very tempting.

Towards the end of the event I spoke to Richard Acton about the show. He was pleased with the turnout and expressed his many thanks to all the traders for their time and support. He hoped that the visitors had enjoyed their day, and thanked the team of helpers who had worked hard to make the toy fair an enjoyable event. “We are all set for a repeat performance in October – hope to see you there,” he told us.

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