A KENDAL man has amassed a collection of more than 1,000 classic toy vehicles, all bought from the same store in town.

The plan is to eventually sell off the impressive horde, which Garry Pyke said could be worth as much as £10,000, to raise money for charity.

The vehicles are all from ‘This ‘N’ That’, a second-hand store on Highgate in Kendal, and are of a variety of different makes, including Dinky, Corgi Toys and Matchbox.

Mr Pyke said: “I like all of the models that I have got. Each one is special to me.”

The collection is not his first, however, as he previously had one containing more than 2,500 vehicles, which he sold off.

He added that it was also significant for reasons other than its sheer size. Mr Pyke has difficulties with both his physical and mental health, and has suffered a breakdown in the past.

However, he finds the toys to be a calming influence: “They help me to relax. I can look at one and go into a quieter mood, because I suffer from depression [and] I have got Parkinson’s.”

That is also the reason for the brightly painted walls of the room in which the majority of the collection sits.

Mr Pyke said: “The room is painted pink because that’s my favourite colour and it calms me.”

The collection naturally takes up a lot of space, but he has an ingenious way of adding to it without his wife, Madge, whom he met in Lincolnshire around 40 years ago, noticing.

“I take them to my son’s flat,” he said. “And when she goes to church, that’s when I go to my son’s flat, get hold of them, bring them home and mix them in!”

“She is a wonderful lady - very understanding,” he added. “She’s been very patient. My son doesn’t want it [the collection] now, so I have had to make my mind up.

“I’ll keep collecting now until I find it difficult.”

Mr Pyke said his fascination with the vehicles stemmed from journeys he used to take with his uncle, who was a long-distance lorry driver. They would go on holiday together and Mr Pyke, who later became a lorry driver himself, would sleep in the back of the lorry.

Mark Jackson, owner of ‘This ‘N’ That’, spoke about Mr Pyke’s regular visits to the store to buy new vehicles. “Garry comes in pretty much every day looking for them so we know what he likes,” he said. “Even if he doesn’t want anything he’ll just come in for five or 10 minutes for a chat.”

Mr Jackson, who has been to visit Mr Pyke’s collection a number of times, added: “Since he started coming in regularly we started talking and he turned into a friend as much as a customer.”