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 WEEKLY" . . . 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!"



August 4, 2020




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 features a building I almost didn't

purchase. I usually like more windows to see

more lights, but it just intrigued me. When I

found out that it was needed to make BEER, I

had to have it. The kindly, old gentleman that

runs it (Mr. Bishops) would be happy. (Yes, I

know, in MY village everyone is kindly and old -

my village, my fantasy. Reader Mileage May

Vary)  :) However, it's now time to introduce:


“Bishops Oast House”


Introduced in 1990 for the typical price of $45,

this neat addition to my favorite category, the

Dickens Village Series, was only available until

1992.  #55670 is listed in the latest edition of

Village D-Tails at $86. I like to see it grouped

with #58335 "The Maltings" (1995-1998) and

#58112 "Great Denton Mill"  (1993-1997). Of

course they should be by a river. This allows us

"kindly, old bar flies" to pop into the local water

hole, #58114 "Kingsford's Brew House" which

was only available in 1993 and 1994.

". . . and a fun time was had by all."


An "Oast" or "Oast House" was designed for

drying hops for brewing. These first appeared

in the 17th century. They are usually a one or

two story, rectangular building with tall "kilns"

where the hops were spread out to be dried by

hot air rising from a wood or charcoal fire below.

The drying floors were designed to allow the

heat to pass through, and escape through a

cowl in the roof, which turned with the wind.



Technology today means that these distinctive

buildings are no longer needed, and most of

the survivors have been turned into private

homes such as this Cherry Tree Farm

located in Frittenden, England.



I wonder if a kindly, old gentleman lives here.










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)


This week’s village publication features the only

Village Collector's magazine still being published.

It is the last hero of anticipation -


"Village D-Lights"


It picks up where "The Village Chronicle" was

discontinued. Starting bimonthly, "Village D-Lights"

changed to a quarterly publication in 2014.  It is

published by Polly Clark, Tandem Publishing Group,

who also publish the best remaining source of

Dept. 56 village information, "Village D-Tails".

My collection starts with Volume #1, Issue #6,

Dec/Jan 2006, and goes through the current

issue, Volume #16, Issue #1, Spring 2020. Here

at TVC, we're grateful to still have at least one

magazine still around.


always enjoy the anticipation of what might

be discovered when each issue arrives. With

everything instantly available on the internet,

that's one aspect of collecting that I miss from


Our weekly scheduled updates, here at TVC, are

just one way we hope we can bring back a

little more of that.







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.


A few small dings and dents, but otherwise

not too bad, is how I think of this box, but

it is a bit more tattered than that. This is the


"The Melancholy Tavern"


Department 56 lists this tavern with Dickens'

"A Christmas Carol" but I'm not sure if it is

actually a tavern in the story, or just a handy

place to categorize it. However, its quirky looks

and charming character assure it finds a place

of interest in my village. It is part of the D56

Dickens Village Series as #58347 and was a

hit when introduced in 1996 at $45. When it

was retired in 1999, it became popular in the

secondary market almost immediately. It is

now listed in the current "Village D-Tails" at

$62. The interest must have continued, as D56

released a totally new version of it (#58703)

in 2003 at $65. It was retired in 2005.



The old school 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 oninstantly 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 part of

David Spears' "Just so You Know" column,

which you can see HERE. His additions to

this website are always popular and very

often leave you "Inspired, Informed and



"Just So You Know ...."


Thanks, David.   Another awesome episode.










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, we all 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 salute the villager who visited us

on June 14th from

"Turks and Caicos"

We hope you check back in often . . . 

. . .  and don't forget to tell your friends.








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"


Enjoy, keep smiling, stay safe, wear

your mask, and please - visit us often,

and don't forget to tell your friends.


I absolutely LOVE this painting.  It is by the

artist Charles Cooper Henderson and it's titled

"The London to Louth mail coach on an open road."

Anyone with a spare gazillion dollars care to get

it for me?  :)   If you

click on the above painting,

you will ACTUALLY get to see a REAL "Coach is Here"

scene. (Just like in the ncc facebook vignette contest)




Click on the painting above to see the story of











And Whatever You Do -

Don't Let The Dog Near The Fireworks!




C'ya next week