Steven Clements holds first toy fair at the Swordfish Centre in Somerset

03 April 2012
imports_CCGB_david-mayner-boxed-vehicl_01166.jpg Steven Clements holds first toy fair at the Swordfish Centre in Somerset
David Boxall reports on the very first Steven Clements Fairs toy fair held at the Swordfish Centre in Yeovilton, Somerset. ...

The Swordfish Centre is part of the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton, Somerset. This was the first toy fair to be organised by Steven Clements Fairs at this venue. There is ample parking for customers and a reasonable unloading area for traders. The lighting in the hall was very good indeed and there were refreshments and access to the restaurant catering for the main museum.

After a brief stroll around to establish my bearings, I was very taken with the display boxes on sale. Dave Poole had brought along a large variety to choose from, some of which had track already positioned in them and were ready for use. Dave is a collector himself and so has a fairly clear idea of what is required by fellow collectors. He had travelled down from Bristol for the fair and had brought Ray along to help. We talked about the various uses for the display units, which are made to order. Dave explained that just this week they had delivered a ‘special’ display unit to Poole for a large RNLI Boat. The Lifeboat is eventually to be part of a major display in Poole. It measured 160cm by 66cm and 90cm high – rather an impressive display unit. With values increasing all the time it is important to protect the items that we collect to the best of our ability.

There were a number of traders who were selling a variety of toys and prices were very keen too. I saw a mixture of old and new unboxed trains priced at £10 to £18, with carriages from £1 to £3. There were trains for younger collectors too including several unboxed Thomas the Tank Engine sets.

A table or two away I noticed a fabulous group of tinplate railway stations all priced between £50 and £60.

In the centre of the hall, Colin Jackson had a large collection of diecast for sale, mostly from the 1950s through to the 1970s. There was a good mix of manufacturers, both boxed and unboxed. There was also a tray of restored vehicles available, which had been very well completed. At the far end of his row of tables he had even brought along a more up to date selection of boxed diecast – something for everyone.

PICTURED TOP RIGHT A selection of boxed diecast models on David Mayner's stand.
PICTURED BELOW David Poole produces display boxes that are made to order.

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In keeping with the theme of the main museum at the Fleet Air Arm, Terry Mathews had an impressive array of new diecast planes for sale. The one that caught my eye was the Sepecat Jaguar T.MK2 by ‘The Aviation Archive’, priced at £28. A large selection of aircraft by ‘Oxford Aviation’ was also available.

Finally I went to look at David Mayner’s tables. David attends many of the toy fairs in the area from his home base in Bournemouth. His selection of stock is quite wide within the general diecast range and includes a variety of makes and manufacturers from the mint boxed through to the reasonably priced clean and unboxed. I asked David to point out any particularly interesting items on the table. He chose a boxed Morestone Bedford Dormobile priced at £295 and a boxed Tekno PTT Coach also at £295 - both were superb examples.

Before I left, I managed to gather up my purchases and went to thank Steven Clements for his help with the review.

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For lots more toy fair reports take a look at the latest issue of Collectors Gazette.