May 6, 2021


Once upon a Time . . .

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

television, or even the flooding of airwaves with radio, news

was NOT instant.   (Shock, Horror, Disbelief)

Hence, the level of excitement caused by the arrival of the "Coach".

Imagine a major event happening in your quiet, little hamlet. The

coachman's trumpet would bellow the clarion call as it approached.

Work would stop. 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 Coach" had this week."  As a salute to this great

tradition, we present our version (cue the fanfare) and shout -

"Coach is Here"

Who knows who or what it will bring, and . . .

it's contact free with social distancing.

"The Epping Coach is Here!"  Time for some Fun!

There are three separate sections to this page.

Scroll down to see them all!


First, is "Villaging"

second is "Pot Pouri"

and finally "Post Script"


If anyone is cleaning out 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 The Village Collector





This is the section that will feature an example of

having fun "Villaging"  -

a village story, highlighting something in my collection,

someone else's collection, a tribute to a collector's country/flag,

the golden age or future of collecting, or anything else that is

villaging fun to me. (and hopefully, you as well)


This time, we'll take a look at a building (or two) from our

collection. From the Department 56, Dickens Village Series,

here's the #58443, set of two . . . 

"Old Queensbridge Station"

and the "Platform"


This set was introduced in 1999 at $100, and retired in 2002.

The current Village D-Tails has it listed at a neat $162.

I love a village with a train. Just seems to make it more

complete to me, even if the train is porcelain or doesn't run.

It shows that the village is not isolated from the world, villagers

can expand their horizons. And, of course, that means adding a

station. Almost all village brands have train stations, most have

more than one. I have a few from Department 56, and this set

is my favorite. The detail, on both pieces, is awesome.


Before I added this set, my favorite was the Dept. 56

Alpine Village Series #56154 "Bahnhof" from 1990.

(Because of the size, I still use the "Bahnhof" the most.)


Unless you have a large area, it's a tight squeeze to fit it

in the display, but it does add a lot of visual fun when it fits.


And, as I said, the Queensbridge is special to me. Even the box is

pretty cool. Typically, I prefer the older style black and white,

but this colored box has some pretty neat graphics.


Plus, I like the fact that there are non-people accessories for it.



The old train stations were spread out a bit, so to make

your display look realistic, they do need room. Of

course, in our fantasyville, who cares. I'm sure that

our kindly, old station master doesn't mind neighbors.



And, just how does this tie into a Dickens' Story? Well,

it's about the time when Dickens was a hero.


Rail travel was extremely dangerous back then. Major

incidents happened a lot (but not in our lucky village).

Anyway . . . get comfortable, pour your favorite beverage,

pay attention, and as they say on the TV show, "Monk" -

"Here's what happened . . ."


The South Eastern Railway, Folkstone to London boat train,

derailed at Staplehurst, Kent on June 9, 1865 at 3:13 pm.

It happened while crossing a viaduct, where a length of

track had been removed during "engineering works" killing

ten passengers and injuring forty. It was horrible!



Charles Dickens was on the train with his mistress, Ellen

Ternan, and her mother, Frances Ternan, in the first-class

carriage, which did not completely fall into the river bed

and survived the derailment. He climbed out of the

compartment through the window, rescued the Ternans,

and, with his flask of brandy and his hat full of water,

tended to the victims, some of whom died while

he was with them.


Before he left with the other survivors in an emergency

train to London, he retrieved the manuscript of the

episode of "Our Mutual Friend" that he was working on,

and later added a Post Script to it, about the accident.

Although several passengers recognized Dickens, he did

not make himself known to the Railway, probably because

he didn't want publicity about his mistress. But the press

was all over the story, and then the South Eastern Railway

presented him with an award for all he did to help.


Later he went back to the accident site, still shaken up.


The experience affected Dickens greatly. He lost

his voice for two weeks, and afterwards, was very

nervous when traveling by train, using alternate

means whenever available. He died five years to

the day after the accident. His son said that he

had never fully recovered from the ordeal.


Today, rail travel is far safer and much more

comfortable - even when just commuting.


But in our village, things always run smoothly, safely,

and on time.  (LOL)  And, you know, that when the

train arrives, the coach is always there to meet it.


"Coach is Here"








This includes a few random items I'm thinking about,

usually pertaining to villaging (but not always).

Always eclectic, and hopefully entertaining.



In the upper central region of the Maine Seacoast is a

beautiful fishing town called Stonington. It is known for

its gorgeous scenery, and as the lobster capitol of the world.

As we all know, villaging can come in all shapes, sizes

and ideas. To me, Stonington's example was captivating.

See if you agree -



The Musical Train

This village train makes its own music!

Click on either the above train photo or

the photo below of making the layout.



Back in the day, Department 56 had a lot of side items,

not part of a village, but just to have fun villaging. One

line was their rubber stamps.  I'm not sure how many

of them there were, but here's a look at two of them.



A few questions came here about my inventory book

that was mentioned a while ago. So, here's another look.



I do like the coaches. There are many looks covering

a wide range of ideas, from whimsey to high art.

Here's two examples:




GO AWAY !!!  This is MY village!


Sometimes ya just need a friend.








Ahh, the P.S. at the end of a letter.

An after thought, a few random items to leave

a smile on your face, or an idea to ruminate on,

or whatever I can find that seems fun. Here ya go -




(Welcome to New Hampshire, USA)


(Just for you David)























(Now, I can relate to this one)









Lit Village Collectors are awesome and everywhere!

The "Village Video" page is where we prove it.

What comes through all of these selected videos, is the

passion, care and effort that went into each display. This

is the "Essence of Villaging" and you can experience it

in this month's selections by simply clicking below.


The TVC "Village Videos" are a very popular source for ideas,

but there's so much more here. Explore the whole website

and you'll be rewarded with a lot of "Villaging".

Actually, well over a hundred hours worth.





"There's Lots to See on TVC!"


OK, It's a Wrap!      C'ya Next Time.






just another example of: