A BUSINESSMAN has offered 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 in 2008, after initially buying and selling vintage toys and memorabilia over the internet, as well as at fairs.
Mr Heath, 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 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, Mr Heath and his wife Sarah decided to move back to their home town of Leek.
He 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, Mr Heath offered free valuations at his shop on Thursday.
The former Westwood High School student said: “I offered free verbal valuations for collectable vintage toys from the 1970s and earlier.
“These could 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."
To find out more about the business in vintage toys, memorabilia and antiques, go online to www.classiccollectables.co.uk or pop in to the shop.