A YOUNG at heart grandfather has decided to sell his £1,300 train set to make way for even more hobbies.
Alan Oliver’s garage, at his Meriden home, is jam-packed with golf clubs, 1940s costumes and war memorabilia, a classic car and his 8ft by 4ft model village train set.
The busy pensioner, who refuses to wile away his retirement in front of the TV, had always dreamt of owning his own train set since he was child but growing up during rationing meant such luxuries were not available.
“When I was a child, there was hardly any food, let alone toys,” said the 77-year-old.
“Being born in the Black Country, we didn’t know anything about play. It was all work, work, work. So now I’m an old man, and got a bob or two, I have so many hobbies.
“I never had anything like this, it was a childhood dream.”
Mr Oliver began buying parts for the model village train set of Ashford, in Kent, and it is now valued at over £1,300.
Dated to August 1967, it features period cars, vans and scooters, lit train carriages on the Hornby train set, working street lights, and intricate scenes such as a wedding and fire crews tackling a blaze.
“The detail is extraordinary,” he said. “I’ve done it all. I have a wedding going on, I made the wedding dress myself, and round the corner there is a funeral waiting.
“The grandchildren used to be mad for it. They couldn’t wait to get up here, they used to love it. But they’ve outgrown it now.
“Hopefully it’ll find a happy home with anyone who’s young at heart.”
The RAF veteran said he had reached the decision to sell the set with a heavy heart but could no longer fit it in his home. Instead his weekly 1940s renactments, where he plays Field Marshal Montgomery, thrice weekly golf sessions and vintage Austin wil replace it for now, though he is always on the lookout for another pastime.
The set is on sale for £900. Anyone interested can call Mr Oliver on 01564 702001.