September 21, 2020


There was a time ...

... before the omni-presence of the internet, the invention of television,

or even the flooding of airwaves with radio, that news was not instant.

(shock, horror, disbelief)  Hence, the level of excitement caused by the

weekly coach. Imagine having a major event happening every week in

your hamlet.  The coachman's trumpet would bellow the clarion call as it

approached.  Work would stop, and children and dogs would chase and

scream, as if it was the ice cream man. "COACH IS HERE!"

Carrying PASSENGERS from exotic locations (or neighboring villages)

along with MAIL and NEWSPAPERS, the anticipated, latest old-news,

had arrived!  Dominating conversations at the Village Fountain, was

"Guess what the Weekly had THIS week."  Carrying on this great

tradition, we now offer our version of - (cue the fanfare)


The Epping Coach is scheduled to arrive every Monday.

Of course there are lots of hazards on the Dickens era roadways,

so it's not always exactly on schedule, but when the cry goes

out "COACH IS HERE" . . . the party begins. Who knows who or

what it will bring  .  .  .  and it's contact free with social distancing.


 "Epping Coach is Here!"









If anyone is cleaning out your attics or estates and

come across ANY old village publications or collections -

Please - don’t throw them away.

Consider donating them to a good home here at TVC.







Ahh, the miniature lit buildings.  The heart of all villages,

and my favorite part of my collection. Most of my collection

is from Department 56, but a few other brands may sneak in.


This week’s featured building is #4020173 of

Department 56's Christmas in the City Series.

It was introduced in 2011 at $130 and retired

in 2012. The current “Village D-Tails” lists its

value at $155. Here is  . . .  fanfare here . . .


“St. Paul's Chapel”


I love this building!  Such rich detailing

and colorization. Plus, so many windows

to light up. I usually have it in a

prominent place of a display.



St. Paul's Chapel is an Episcopal chapel on

Broadway, between Fulton and Vesey Streets

in lower Manhattan, New York City. It was

built in 1786, and is the oldest surviving

church in Manhattan.



When St. Paul's remained standing after the

September 11, 2001 attacks and collapse of

the World Trade Center behind it, the chapel

was nicknamed "The Little Chapel That Stood".



The Church survived without even  a broken window.

Church history declares it was spared by a miracle

sycamore tree on the northwest corner of the property

that was hit by debris. The tree's root has been preserved

in a bronze memorial by sculptor Steve Tobin.







Before the internet, a major source of "information, inspiration

and connection" was the arrival of the many publications for

village collectors. Here, we'll take a look at the mailbox stuffers of

the Golden Age of Villaging. And you won't even need an S.A.S.E.

(Younger collectors may need to ask their Grandparents what that is)


For many years THE leading publication

was the beautifully produced magazine called

"The Village Chronicle"


This bi-monthly was published by Cranston,

Rhode Island's Peter and Jeanne George.

I consider myself fortunate to have been

collecting during this era. It was truly FUN

and each issue was greatly anticipated. My.

collection starts with Volume 1, Number 1,

(Sept/Oct 1991) and goes through the final

edition, Volume 14, Number 6, (Nov/Dec 2004).


Their famous tagline, proudly on every cover, was

"The Original Magazine for Department 56 Collectors"

and it was ALWAYS on the top of my reading pile.

Back then, (OK, Boomer) village collecting was

almost exclusively about Department 56, and

"the Village Chronicle" was the center of it all.


Peter and Jeanne could always be found

wherever things were happening for villagers.

Their "talks, discussions & seminars" were

always the primary event highlighted at

any gathering, and were always packed to

capacity. I was fortunate to videotape one

of Peter's seminars at New Hampshire's

Christmas Dove for my "Video 56" series.

A fun time was had by all!


I always enjoyed the anticipation of what might be

discovered when monthly publications arrived. With

everything instantly available on the internet now, the

anticipation is one aspect of collecting that I miss from


Here at TVC, our weekly scheduled updates are

just one way we hope we can bring back a

little more of that. What do YOU think?






As a collector, you've probably heard many times, sometimes in panic,

"Don't rip the box!" or "Save the box!"

Boxes are very important to the item's value, but you hardly

ever see the all-important packaging get the respect it deserves.


This week's box is for Department 56's

North Pole Series #56200. It is

"Neenee's Dolls & Toys"


I used a pencil eraser to remove

the glitter on the roof and the building

fits my Dickens style village nicely.

It was introduced in 1991 at only $36

and retired in 1995. The "Village D-Tails"

has it currently listed at $83. (nice) Every

village needs a toy store to keep the kids

from using the internet. This box is one of

the better examples in my collection for

maintaining original condition. 


The old school D56 black and white boxes are special

to me as well as many others. They probably wouldn't

help sell product in the current retail environment,

but for a lot of long time collectors, the sight of

one in a yard sale, instantly signals -

"LOOK, I might just have to have that!"










I really like photography. It's even more special to

me when villaging is included. Here, we'll feature

the ones that grabbed my attention and made me

say "Wow That's Cool."  


This week's "Photo of the Week" is a 

shot of my work station as I start

another fun session of "The Weekly"

with new gear.  Yippeeeee!

Things are so much easier now.


"Ready for Work"


Now, if only I could wake up in the

morning, I could relax more with

my morning fifty cups of coffee.

WAKE UP!  OK, just five more minutes.








This is the celebration of our community.

A chance to experience the enthusiasm that embraces our

pastime and, more importantly, that it extends around the world.

We are Not Alone!

Lit village collectors are awesome, and everywhere!

Here on the "Village Video" page is where we prove it. As the

saying goes, "Photos are worth a thousand words" but remember:

"Videos are Thousands of Photos"


We're sure you'll notice that the weekly videos displayed here

vary from just a couple of buildings to hundreds. All brands

or homemade buildings are celebrated, and you'll witness

varying levels of video expertise. As you watch, we ask you to

look past these factors. What comes through all of these selected

videos, is the passion, care and effort that went into each display.

Plus, when they're finished, these collectors are excited and proud

enough to make video and want to share it.




and we want to help


Share your village with us . . .                          

                      . . .  and we'll share it with the world!   


All the nominees for our popular "Hall of Fame" come from this

page. If you love your village, then you are part of our community.

Just think, have you ever heard someone say to another collector,

"Want to see my Village?" and get "no" for an answer?

Of course not, wall want to see it. Let us

share your passion, your efforts, and your village.

Email us the link to your video or any questions HERE


"It Takes a Village to Make a Village"TM

Every week five videos are chosen as videos of the week.

Plus the "Editor's Choice" highlights an additional one, that

in our opinion, deserves a little extra recognition.

Time to kick back, get out the Jiffy-Pop, and  . . . 

"Watch Some Villaging"









It's easy to think locally when it comes to villaging, but it

truly is a world-wide passion, with a huge variety of styles.

We enjoy them all. As we're searching for more, other

villagers find out about us here at "The Village Collector."

This is where we get to realize the scope of our community,

and maybe learn something, even if its only by accident.


This week, we bring you the country that is #5

on the list of visitors to TVC. Seventy five

villagers have visited here, with the last

visit happening on August 28th. Bienvenidos.

Welcome! We hope you visit again soon . . . 

       . . .  and please tell your friends.  So -

(your participation time - add fanfare now) here is . . .






Spain is the second most visited country in

the world with typically well over 80 million

tourists a year (except during virus time).

Spain's geographic location, extremely

popular coastlines, diverse landscapes,

historical legacy, vibrant culture, plus its

awesome infrastructure ensures the

country's international tourist industry

stays among the largest in the world.


Let's take a look - shall we?





Who says we can't learn sumthin' here?







Here's a catch-all of random thoughts, smiles and

who knows what. As Arsenio Hall used to say,

"Things that make you go Hmmmm"


This week we'll continue with Part 2 of a

Salute to Slovenia and the Tour de France.


Gather 'round kids -

I'm gonna tell you a story about two

Slovenians, Primoz Roglic & Tadej Pogacar.

The story so far:


Primoz took the lead last week (signified by

wearing the yellow jersey) and hasn't given up

the lead yet. He's had the yellow jersey six days,

PLUS, last Friday, Tadej took over second place.

Slovenia is going insane! The captive audience

has set national TV records for viewership. The

fans have never even had a podium to cheer

for in this tour, and now they are on the verge

of having it come true. Imagine never having

​a Super Bowl, World Series or Indy 500 win to

celebrate, and then it all happens! The country

is going absolutely "bazonkers" in one of the

great national sports stories. So, let's pick up

the saga from Thursday. Still overall 1 & 2!


This is how they crossed the finish line.

Thursday. Still One and Two - THAT CLOSE!


Friday, the battle continued.

Here the Peloton passes the "Jumping Devil" again.



Saturday was an individual time trial for

the last day of racing. Sunday is a parade

to Paris. Primoz is still in the lead as the

celebration continues in Slovenia.



Meanwhile, "The Kid" - Tadej - the second place,

the "other" Slovenian, fights on - in one of the most

incredible rides in any stage, of any year, in the

history of the Tour! (I'm not kidding) Everyone

was going wild. No "social distancing" at this point.



At this same point, Primoz was losing ground.

Almost a minute lead was slipping away!

After over 2100 miles, in the LAST 5K - OH, NO!!!



Yes, sports fans, it really was the "Thrill of Victory"



and the "Agony of Defeat"



In the last stage, in a ride of a lifetime,

in his first ever Tour de France -


"The Kid" came from almost a minute behind,

to win by almost a minute ahead, and became

the youngest winner ever in the Tour de France.

Still one/two for the Slovenians, the country

was "happy" and a yellow flag representing

the yellow jersey, was flown over the palace.


So fairy tales CAN come true, our two Slovenian villagers

must be celebrating, heroes are born, a feel-good story in

a time of troubles, and I got my first two-part Post Script.

"All's right with the world"



OK fellow villagers, keep smiling,

stay safe, wear your mask,

visit us often . . . and please,

don't forget to tell your friends.




Village Safety





And Whatever You Do -

Don't Let The Dog Near The Fireworks!



C'ya next week