Model vehicle collection up for auction drives home memories of former headteacher

Posted on 04/08/2020 in Press Coverage

Model vehicles collected over a lifetime by a former Midlands headteacher and treasurer of the Model Bus Federation are coming up for auction in August.

Such was the late Arnold Chave’s passion for model making, his dining room was divided into two to accommodate and display hundreds of vehicles.

Now part of the Coventry man’s large collection, which also includes books and photographs, some historical, of trains and buses, is coming up for sale at Hansons Auctioneers on August 18.

Mr Chave, a former headteacher at Tiverton Special School in Coventry, and devoted father of one, died unexpectedly after a short illness in February 2020 at the age of 69.

His widow Susie Chave, 72, a retired businesswoman living in Bedworth, said: “Arnold was a headteacher who was well loved by both pupils, parents and staff. He retired at the age of 59. In his spare time, he loved model making and spent hours creating vehicles from kits. He was treasurer of the Model Bus Federation and many of his models, which were kept on display, have been bought by fellow members of the MBF.

“It was a lifelong passion. As well as buses he was very interested in trains, including steam trains. We enjoyed going on steam train trips together and visiting engine sheds.”

Mrs Chave is now keen to see the remainder of his collection from his ‘man cave’, go to a good home. She said: “He had drawers and drawers of vehicles that he’d collected over the years. He built layouts as well, such as Helston Garage in Cornwall, which is where I originate from. He photographed the garage and recreated it.

“He had so many interests. I don’t know how he managed to find the time to do everything. He had lots of friends and his daughter was a big part of his life. He will be sorely missed but his hobby can continue to bring pleasure to fellow model-making enthusiasts.”

Steve Fulford, toy valuer at Hansons, said: “It’s wonderful to know Arnold’s passion brought him so much joy. Hobbies like this usually emerge in childhood but often last a lifetime. Despite his love of buses, I gather from Susie that he never actually drove one other than the school minibus. I understand some of his vehicle kits have already been snapped up by other enthusiasts, meanwhile Hansons will be auctioning several boxes of his vehicles, books and photos.”

Arnold Chave’s model vehicles are due to be sold on August 18 as part of Hansons’ Antiques and Collectors Auction. The sale catalogue is due to go live on August 8 at To find out more, email: [email protected].

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