Toyfair - North East Diecast Collectors Club

12 January 2009
imports_CCGB_someofraymackayscoll_75584.gif Some of Ray Mackay's collection of ice cream vans, many of them converted or re-painted
Mike Forbes and Len Jeffries report on the Chester-le-Street toyfair organised by the North East Diecast Collectors Club. ...
Toyfair - North East Diecast Collectors Club Images

The overriding impression of the Chester-le-Street toyfair was that everybody was so friendly. A lot of Diecast Collector readers and subscribers came to say hello, and the atmosphere was very relaxed, with lots of conversation, as well as the business of buying and selling models.

There was plenty of diecast, model railways, TV and film-related items and kits – even a stall selling paints and tools. This might reflect the interests of the club members, who staged a display of hand-built and converted models. Toyfair organiser Ray Mackay had his Dinky Foden conversions, ice cream vans and breakdown trucks on show, while his colleague Stan Walton had rebuilt a Corgi trailer with the curtain-side open revealing a double-deck load. Not to be outdone, Ray’s wife Sylvia had a number of paintings of ‘wagons’ on show. She will take commissions to paint a vehicle from a photograph.

Examples of Sylvia Mackay's paintings of 'wagons' were on
show.Ray’s son, ‘Ray Junior’, had a very interesting display of models in a range called ‘Knight’s Head’. Made in Hereford by a company which produced parts for Avro Lancasters during the war, these early post-war metal models were very well-made. The company was later taken over by Chad Valley and unfortunately seems to have disappeared without trace. We’d like to hear from anybody with any further information on the range...

Other displays included Gordon Bulmer’s interesting Sunderland Tramways layout and members of the North Eastern Meccano Society with working funfair rides, locomotives and industrial machinery. It would be difficult to do justice to all the exhibitors, but John Hardman’s radio-controlled Dalek, which chased and spoke to younger visitors, and Brian Chaffer’s model of ‘Locomotion’ stood out. There were even a number of full-size vehicles outside, ranging from mopeds to lorries and a steam engine.

For some people, who shall remain nameless, the availability of some excellent food throughout the day was an extra attraction for what turned out to be a ‘grand day out’! With 70-80 tables, and well-known dealers and visitors from as far away as Sotland, this is a toyfair well worth a visit. The next event is on Saturday, 14 March 2009, 10am-3pm, at North Lodge School, North Road, Chester-le-Street, Co Durham DH3 4BB. For more details, telephone 01207 570460 or you can visit the club website


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