Roadside technician Carl Robinson spends his days in a recovery van – and it was his work that inspired his favourite hobby.
The 34-year-old started collecting model tow trucks when he began working in the recovery industry in 2002.
“I’m a bit stingy so I don’t pay a lot. I know a bargain if I see one and I would walk away if I couldn’t justify it.”Carol Robinson
And his collection has steadily grown to its current size of 2,000 model vehicles, many of them recovery trucks and emergency vehicles.
Carl, who is based in Chorley awaiting recovery call-outs for John Macadam And Son, said: “I get them from anywhere I can – model shops, antique shops, places like Botany Bay and Bygone Times, car boots and eBay.”
Despite his large collection, Carl insists he is careful when deciding how much money to spend on the vehicles.
“I’m a bit stingy so I don’t pay a lot. I know a bargain if I see one and I would walk away if I couldn’t justify it,” he said.
“The most I have paid is about £50. The cheapest I got was £2.95 for four of them, so I can’t grumble with that.”
But if he sees something he likes, he is willing to spend the money.
Carl said: “For the cheap ones I will buy any but if I see something that I have not seen before or that’s quite rare, I will probably stump up a bit more cash for it.”
Carl sometimes works on the vehicles in his recovery van while waiting for calls and has painted some in Macadam colours.
The oldest of Carl’s vehicles is almost 50 years old.
He keeps the model vehicles all over his house in Bolton – in the loft, in the garage and even on top of kitchen cupboards.
But he keeps them away from his two sons, three-year-old George and two-year-old Vincent.
“They can look at them by all means, but they’re not to play with,” he said.
And his collection – which Carl says has “got out of control”– may not grow much further. He said: “I think I’m going to calm if down for a while. I’m going to try to knock all the new stuff on the head but if I see the older stuff, I will probably keep on buying them.”