A pensioner has spent 64 years travelling the globe to amass the world’s largest collection of model buses and now has almost 15,000 of the toys at his home.
Geoff Price, 70, has forked out hundreds of thousands of pounds filling his house, garage and shed with the huge hoard of models since 1958.
He began collecting as an eight-year-old boy and now has a total of 14,941 buses, trams and trolleybuses at his property in Walsall, West Mids.
The dad-of-two has scoured the world visiting countries in Asia, Europe and Africa with his wife Linda, 65, to find some of the rarest and oldest buses.
The couple have now spent the last five weeks painstakingly trying to organise the collection, which takes up three rooms and the loft of their house.
It features Dinky and Corgi toys, with models dating from 1903 to modern day, and is believed to be worth more than £700,000 in total.
The retired transport show organiser is also in the Guinness Book of World Records for his collection, which has cost him more than £140,000 to purchase over the years.
He said: “My parents bought me my first one and I just continued having buses ever since.
“People do think it is unusual until they see the collection. When they see it they can’t believe it. It is like the history of toys from all over the world.
“Some are made of wood because that is all they had. There are different buses wherever you go in the world, and that’s what makes it so interesting.
“You are probably talking a few hundred thousand pounds worth of models.
“We’ve got 14,941 models and we’ve spent the last five weeks sorting out the loft which is the largest section to complete the task we started in the beginning of the year.
“My wife has been doing most of it. The loft was the last thing we had to sort out.
“It’s been a major task because it was all full of models. It’s been a very big job and a lot of the models had been there since 2000 and it’s amazing to see.
“We did it to try and get them sorted out because the collection has grown and grown and the sections get crowded and we try to keep similar models together.
“So this year, because my wife has retired, she decided we’ll sort it out and that’s what we’ve been doing.
“It was good because we’re finding things we’ve bought years ago which has been pushed to the back and some rare models as well.”
Geoff’s most cherished possession is a 1903 Rico tin-plated tram made in Spain and a Midland Red tin-plated bus made in Birmingham.
The couple have travelled to the likes of Japan, Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia and Turkey to track down models.
He first took an interest in buses when, as a young boy, he and his friends tracked bus numbers and his parents gave him his first model at the age of eight.
He added: “As a young lad I lived in a village, so you had to come up with your own enjoyment.
“You either spotted trains or you tracked bus numbers. You had to make your own fun. For me it became collecting model buses.
“We just go to different countries and see what we can find.
“We’ve had many travels and trips abroad, and met collectors abroad. A lot of them have got their own stories.
“Its lovely, because we get a holiday while getting a chance to meet with fellow collectors from across the globe.
“Guinness World Records don’t list many collections at all, so its a special achievement – a lifetime achievement.
Despite being obsessed with buses since he was a child, Geoff says he isn’t a big fan of the real thing and rarely catches public transport.
He said: “I’d never get on one out of choice, which I know is ironic. But you can’t really rely on them so I tend to drive everywhere.”
Wife Linda, a retired council worker, said: “If I am not on board now after nearly 45 years of marriage I never will be.
“I have got used to it. He certainly can’t afford to divorce me now.
“We have had lots of wonderful holidays abroad and met lots of wonderful collectors.”
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