YESTERYEAR!

by Sue Beesley
(Marianglas)

If you ever feel like a trip down memory lane then you will be flabbergasted by the exhaustive array of collectibles ranging from baby's bottles to a 1958 lorry housed in a large converted barn on Elizabeth and Patrick Lawtyons land near Llangefni, on Anglesey.


Even if museums are not necessarily your forte, you cannot fail to find something to captivate and intrigue you. A solitary visit really only skims the surface and it is the sort of place you can imagine returning to again and again and always finding something you've never noticed before!

The collection is not restricted to a particular period of interest but reflects local life and traces many developments in social and domestic life over the years.

Having taken early retirement Mr Lawty, since arriving on Anglesey, has spent many years collecting items he picks up from auctions, car boot sales and through word of mouth to display in his collection of memorabilia spanning the decades.

Gone are the days when it was easy to pick up the odd item or two from the local car boot, some of my collection has been donated by locals who would rather see it on display than cluttering up their home.

Many articles have needed restoration but Mr Lawty, who was a teacher of age-old craft in his working career, relishes the challenge. I try not to affect the item's value or integrity by putting too much work into it.

Finding good paint matches is a challenge and sometimes it takes a fair amount of research to source missing parts, but for many of the repairs I improvise, using bits and pieces which come to hand, - perhaps from modern day items.

Other items need rather more TLC, a 1958 lorry has been made roadworthy and Mr Lawty has a rubber bumpered MG midget on the backburner awaiting his attention.

Alongside the lorry stands a Sinclair C5 battery electric vehicle launched in l985, only manufactured for a short time because it was a commercial disaster!

My interest in collectibles was largely forged during my time in Staffordshire when I became acquainted with Les Oakes, a dealer, who showed me the ropes on the auction circuit.

The knowledge I gleaned at that time has never left me and reinforced my passion for memorabilia.

Central to the exhibits is a huge display of mugs. This began when Mr Lawty won a limited edition Rich Tea mug as a prize for participating in a quiz.

His collection received a welcome boost during his daughter's employment with Cadburys and it now numbers over one thousand, seven hundred!

For me, it was the nursery items, toys and kitchen items which took my eye and I recollected, all too easily, items I was familiar with from my childhood.

A Star sailing boat rekindled reminders of simple pleasures which would have filled in many a happy hour!

A fully functioning 1930s Rippingille oil fired oven and 1950s Prestcold fridge in working order stand proud in a kitchen area strewn with tins and cooking utensils. I couldn't help wonder if our current kitchen appliances would stand the same test of time!

I suspect I know the answer!

In another room letters from soldiers in the trenches are particularly poignant. along with some pictures of a Welsh Regiment in the 1st Word War.

A local lady, sorting through her late mothers effects, came across a folder of negatives. These were reprinted and the aforementioned photographs are the result.

There is no charge to visit this collection but the Lawty's nominate a local charity each year for any donations. Currently this is the local Crossroads organisation. You can arrange to visit (either individually or as a group) by contacting Mr Lawty on 01248 450449.

There's always time for a little nostalgia and this collection ladles it on in bucketfuls. One example on display is an adding machine rescued from a local firm left over from when decimalisation first came in.

Would you have remembered that we went decimal in 1971, and how many sixpences were there in a pound? My main recollection of decimalisation was my outrage at no longer being able to buy four Black Jack sweets for a penny! But I'm really starting to show my age now!!

Comments for YESTERYEAR!

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Dec 02, 2007
Sinclair C5 and Anglesey Collectibles
by: John Williams

This is amazing! Thanks Sue, for sharing this. Yet another hidden gem to be found on the isle of Anglesey.

Who would have thought that you could find a Sinclair C5 battery powered car stored away in a barn in central Anglesey.

We look forward to reading more about your exciting discoveries over the coming months.

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