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Dusty Discoveries

Have you ever found an old toy, maybe just long forgotten in a rotting shed or even somewhere unexpected like buried in the garden?

The reason I pose this question is that my eccentric car dealer friend who is currently renovating an old house for his mother made such a discovery upon removing the old airing cupboard (google that younger readers) and hot water cylinder.

Long lost and covered in years of dust were three late 1970s Matchbox Superfast vehicles with an older Corgi Juniors Mercury Cougar fire chief car.

Sorry about the photo quality but I took it on my elderly phone in the dark. It made me wonder who had owned and lost them all those years ago and how many miles they had done around that house before their long hibernation.

It also reminded me that when another friend who is a car mechanic/whisperer and engineer extraordinaire moved house a few years ago, he was removing some wooden framing in the cellar that had previously been home to a large model railway layout and found a Matchbox No.17 Bedford removals van that had seemingly fallen down the back and been forgotten or lost beyond reach. It had also got rather squashed and now has a rather lopsided look about it but is now on display and raising a smile when people see it and wonder what it’s been up to for the last sixty odd years to end up looking that way.

Many years ago, I found a large Tonka tracked digger deep in the bushes across the road from my house. I should say here that I was a child at the time and you will not find me in the bushes now! It had clearly been well enjoyed and had plenty of dents and scratches and the rubber tracks were long gone and judging by the rust forming on the yellow body it had been outside for a while. As I was the only Tonka-age person living in my road at that time I felt quite OK about taking it home with me and using it. I’m happy to say that instead of rusting away thirty years ago in those bushes it lived on and in fact I only sold it earlier this year. I blame Bernard Cribbins, I’ve always been a Womble!

“SMELTED” Matchbox No.17 Austin Taxi

When my Uncle David was clearing out my grandparents’ garage, he found a long-forgotten toy from his childhood, it was a Matchbox No.17 Austin Taxi but not quite as it left the factory. As you can see from the photo, he had a ‘smelting phase’ but somehow the cab did not go down without a fight and it has been frozen in time in this slightly macabre scene, but it makes a good paper weight. I rather like it but please don’t try it at home! It is now in good company with my little collection of other more complete FX3 models.

There is a certain romance about finding a long-forgotten item, wondering about its life story and what had happened to it before you came along and, they’re free – and you just can’t beat a freebie!

Have you ever found any old toy or diecast in a long-forgotten place? If you have, tell us about it – we’d love to hear from you! Leave your reply in the comments box below.

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