August 2023

British manufacture was once the best in the world, now these days are gone. Household names such as Hornby and Corgi toys are now made in China, this is sad when you think of how those manufacturing skills were learnt by 5 year apprenticeships. Now everything is made with the press of a button on complicated electronic robots – those machines did not have an apprenticeship! I may be a dinosaur but I appreciate great workmanship carried out with pride and skill by artisan craftsmen and women. 

During the war when men were off fighting, our wonderful women folk filled all the jobs the men had done – quite often to a better standard! I lived as a child next to a munitions factory and a lot of the skilled work was done by the women, including working large metal machines, lathes and drills. Quite a few of the women came from Woolwich Arsenal in London, I had never heard a cockney accent before and couldn’t understand a word they said other than the swear words which counted for a large percent of their conversations! They wore oil covered blue overalls and had more oil on their hands and faces than you would have thought possible. These women and girls did a great service to the country and should never be forgotten. The land and forestry lasses took over the agriculture, buses and trams were driven by women, the list is endless and was never fully appreciated and recognised. 

Going back to my original moan about our manufacturing heritage, we once provided the world with clothing – tailoring in Leeds was a massive industry. My own mum who was the eldest of thirteen children worked at Burtons with six of her siblings. I may be wrong but I think you will struggle to find much English made clothing in our big chain stores today. I suppose it is all down to cost in a global market. I still think that old fashioned quality is important. I recently saw at auction what purported to be a Mouseman ashtray. 

As it happens, I collect Mouseman furniture and items and on close inspection you could see it was a fake, probably made in China. This has an effect on genuine items because it makes people suspicious of genuine articles and therefore the market drops. 

Getting back to our shop, we have recently been buying and selling quite a lot of vintage toys and models including cars, planes, buses and some nice 60’s clockwork toys. It seems quite a few people are now buying items from their childhood which bring back happy memories of days before computers took over our children. Sporting memorabilia is also very popular. I have in stock a cricket bat from 1885 with a small plaque denoting it was won for the best batting average that season, old football programmes before the 60’s can be quite valuable, sporting medals in gold or silver have good values too. 

If you have any of these items gathering dust please give me a call, I will call on you with pleasure without any obligation (although a cup of tea is welcome!) I am always looking for stock and pay fair and honest prices.

Thank you, 


Please see advert below for contact details and opening times. 

You May Also Like

New West Yorkshire Partnership Approved To Boost Regional Tourism
The World Of Rolex


Must Read

No results found.