21 October 2020
A huge collection of boxed Hornby trains and associated collectables go under the hammer at Ewbank’s Auctions
Built up over many years by a dedicated collector, the huge collection only came to light when his sister went to clear out his house after his death.
The late collector had worked on the railways himself, and much of the collection is in very good condition. His love of trains went back to his childhood when his mother, who was French, worked for the French national railway company SNCF.
“We were taken all over Europe,” said his sister, who has consigned the collection, set to go to auction in Surrey on 28 October.
“He loved trains all his life, but really started collecting when we had a recession and he had to give up work as a commercial artist. Then he went to work for South West Trains. He loved it and the money was very good, so he started buying seriously then.”
His love of Continental railways can be seen by several model examples in the collection, but he was an unusual collector.
“He didn’t want a model railway, he just wanted the trains and the coaches. He always bought the best. I think it just reminded him of his childhood,” said his sister.
She had no idea just how important the collection was to him. “I knew he’d got some trains, but it wasn’t something we talked about because it wasn’t really of much interest to me. It was only when we started to go through the house that I realised just how many he had. They were in every drawer and cupboard.”
Thought to have been built up over a period of more than 20 years, individual lots are expected to fetch from tens to hundreds of pounds, with highlights including a Hornby Railways 00 gauge R332 High Speed Train Pack. It includes a Tyco Steel Hauler Giant set with 5-Way operating crane, Hornby 00 Gauge R543 Advanced Passenger Train set, Hornby 00 Gauge R1019 Flying Scotsman electric train set, and Hornby R791 LMS Express Passenger set.
“This is the sort of offering to get serious collectors very excited indeed,” said Ewbank’s specialist Andy Delve. “The sheer volume – over 40 packed boxes containing hundreds of trains and other pieces – has made the cataloguing process a huge undertaking.”
Collectors clubs are expected to take a great deal of interest, not least because of the largely untouched condition of the collection.
“This is a golden opportunity to fill gaps in their own collections, especially with items that may no longer be in production,” said Delve.
The full catalogue is available on the auctioneers’ website at www.ewbankauctions.co.uk
Those interested can register to bid live online via the website.
All images courtesy of Ewbank’s Auctions.