A BUSINESSMAN is offering a free valuation day in celebration of the five years his shop has been open in Leek.
Richard Heath, aged 41, opened Classic Collectables in Haywood Street, Leek, in 2008, after initially buying and selling vintage toys and memorabilia over the internet as well as at fairs.
Richard, who was born and bred in Leek, had also had a stall in the Trestle Market for a time before venturing into having a shop of his own.
The father-of two had worked in design engineering prior to setting up his own business. After leaving Westwood High School he had attended Liverpool University to study design engineering, which then led him into a graduate training scheme in Alfreton.
However, after the birth of his twin boys in 2007, Richard and his wife Sarah decided to move back their home town of Leek.
Richard said: "I had always been a bit of a collector, especially as my parents are antiques enthusiasts and I went to a lot of antique fairs as a child.
"I had always quite fancied having my own shop and when this one became available I decided to take the plunge."
Richard said of the five year milestone of his shop: "The five years seems to have flown by.
"I'm glad to say the shop is doing well even in the current economic climate.
"Yes there was a recession on when I opened the shop but with this sort of business there is a certain niche.
"There isn't many vintage toy shops around as a lot of people have turned to the internet. However, there are still people who like to see and handle what they are buying first.
"I have a good number of customers who visit regularly even from as far as Holland."
In celebration of his five years with a shop in Leek, Richard is offering free valuations at his shop tomorrow (Thursday, November 7) between 10am and 4pm.
Former Westwood High School student Richard said: "I'll be offering free verbal valuations for collectable vintage toys from the 1970's and earlier.
"These can include anything from Dinky Toys, Corgi Toys, Matchbox, Britain's models, Scalextric, Toy Soldiers, Action Man, Model Railways, TV and Film related toys, and Tinplate toys."
Richard added: "There will be no obligation for people to sell their items. I just want to offer my services and if it is a success, I may start to run regular valuation days."
To find out more about Richard's business in vintage toys, memorabilia and antiques, go online to www.classic-collectables.co.uk or pop in to the shop, which is located in Haywood Street, Leek.