Rare antique toy found at Devon pub

PUBLISHED: 18:25 31 January 2018

Phil and Jan Hills with the 1920s German-made toy truck found while refurbishing The Boathouse at Instow. Picture: Tony Gussin

Phil and Jan Hills with the 1920s German-made toy truck found while refurbishing The Boathouse at Instow. Picture: Tony Gussin

Archant

There was a surprise recently for builders renovating The Boathouse at Instow when a rare toy truck was discovered in the debris

An antique clockwork toy car has been discovered by builders renovating The Boathouse at Instow.

The pub’s new owners Jan and Phil Hills were fascinated with the discovery of the 1920s car and now hope to learn more about the history of their new property.

The Hills also own The Seagate at Appledore and happened to have experts from the BBC show Antiques Road Trip staying with them.

They asked their opinion and were told it was a 1920s Moko German-made tin litho.

A close up of the toy truck found at The Boathouse at Instow and thought to date from the 1920s. Picture: Tony Gussin A close up of the toy truck found at The Boathouse at Instow and thought to date from the 1920s. Picture: Tony Gussin

Jan said: “They said it was very rare and would have belonged to a wealthy family and would have been worth about $900 in perfect condition.

“It would be interesting to hear from anyone who knows about the history of the building and who lived there.”

The little truck was found by Barnstaple builders Riley & Guy, who are completely renovating The Boathouse for the Hills.

It is expected to reopen sometime in May as a pub-restaurant and intends to follow The Seagate’s dog-friendly motto of ‘muddy boots, dirty paws welcome’.

The layout inside will be changed, it will be fully accessible and they also plan to install an outside terrace on the top for people to sit and watch the world go by.

The toy vehicle was found in an alcove at the back that was used as a wine store.

Phil added: “What we will probably do is make a nice glass case and put it back in The Boathouse alongside a bit of the history with it.

“It was only by chance that people from the Antiques Road Trip were staying with us.”

Jan said: “It would be quite nice to put a bit of story with it when we put it in the box.

“We don’t know how old The Boathouse is. It must have been a house at some stage – I remember it as a shop about 40 years ago.”

If you know who the child was who might have played with the toy truck, or anything about The Boathouse and the family who lived there in the 1920s, you can email Jan and Phil via info@theseagate.co.uk or call the Gazette on 01271 345056 and we’ll put you in touch.

READ MORE: What was in the ancient time capsule found in a Devon farm cottage?

Other News Stories

45 minutes ago

The death of a man found whose body was found in Barnstaple yesterday (Wednesday) is not being treated as suspicious.

Read more
56 minutes ago

A Barnstaple fair trade shop will be closing its doors for good next week.

Read more

A group of chemotherapy nurses from the Seamoor unit in Barnstaple have raised nearly £3,000.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:36

One of North Devon’s truly unique customs returns this bank holiday weekend as Combe Martin sets off on the Hunting of the Earl of Rone for the 40th time.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:49

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after a collision at Fremington this evening (Wednesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 16:51

Barnstaple’s historic Queen Anne’s Walk building has been reopened as a cafe and restaurant.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:26

Police have cordoned off an area behind North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple after a man was found dead.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:43

Plans for a new £1.8million visitor centre at Northam Burrows have been hailed as ‘excellent’.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:32

Barnstaple’s town centre is holding its own in the face of some difficult times for High Streets across the country, according to business leaders.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:19

NOTICE UNDER ARTICLE 13 OF APPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING PERMISSION

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications