Huge collection of Dinky toys could make £250,000

A rare collection of Dinky toys could sell for more than £250,000 at auction.

A rare collection of Dinky toys could sell for more than £250,000 at auction. - Credit: PA

A couple who have built up a rare collection of 2,000 Dinky toys and other cars and trains over 50 years could see it fetch £250,000 at auction next week.

Retired car dealer Raymond Hainsworth, 78, and his wife Pat, started collecting when their twins Ian and David were babies and their first Christmas was spent surrounded by a new train set.

Their father was so dedicated to his collection he was even trying to add to it two weeks before the auctioneers were coming to take it away to be catalogued.

The toys were carefully kept in their boxes and when Mr and Mrs Hainsworth became grandparents, the children were taught to look after the items after playing with them.

The collection spread from Hornby, to English and French Dinky, Matchbox and Corgi, Triang Minic and Spot-On among other makes.

It grew so big their home near Skipton in Yorkshire looked like a toy museum, Mrs Hainsworth said.

Among the pick of the collection are a black and white Dinky lorry in the Corn Products livery which was produced for the company as a promotional item and was not on general sale. It could fetch more than £5,000.

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Another rarity is a French Dinky Baroclem Citreon van, also never on general sale, which could top £4,000.

Mr Hainsworth decided to sell up as he wanted to put his entire collection in a single catalogue.

He was at Vectis auction house on Teesside to see it laid out ahead of a three-day sale starting on Tuesday.

“Part of me is sad of course, but we have had a lot of pleasure from it so I am not upset it is going,” he said.

The couple have travelled thousands of miles across the country to build up their collection, visiting auctions and fairs.

Just a fortnight before the auctioneers were coming to collect his toys, he was trying to add to it.

“We wanted a certain Spot On tanker to go in the catalogue and we heard about one for sale in Grimsby,” he said. “Unfortunately when we got there it was not up to our standards so we had to leave it after a 150-mile round trip.”

The collection was never an investment, but built up for fun, he said. And the children and grandchildren were allowed to play with them if they were careful.

Mrs Hainsworth said many of the toys were kept in apple boxes and she was surprised to see how large the collection was.

Andrew Reed, Vectis auctioneer, said: “It has been built up over the last 50 years and he has such passion for collecting the best of what he could find.

“It’s so varied as well, from cars to trains to aeroplanes.”