Henk van Vip Fantastic Hobby devotion for all engineers to follow

Henk van Vip (Arnhem, 1947) intended by mail itself signed up for this section. He hit himself there are not normally on the chest, but he did find that his technical hobby: collecting, repair and re-engineering of Märklin Cranes from 1950.

We met him in his home in London. His sympathetic wife had chocolate truffles and syrup waffles on table and expanded that is hobby.

VIP is retired, he is former owner of van Mechelen Lifting Gear.

After a first cup of coffee it went to the workshop where work in a small lifting from the beginning of the last century and a goods shed ‘ were ‘ that could use a lick of paint.

He told that he regularly visit auctions where often the same people exchange projects. Collectors of toy cranes of Märklin to 1950 are a small group, often all at the same top piece ACEs.

Once he had let go 14 000 euros for a lifting tap, but it came also for that lifting tap far below the price traded. He told about that one time he for three hundred euro and lifting tap had bought in perfect condition.

Back in the living room there came two miniature lifting tap on the table, which we for fun with a syrup waffle from the cookie jar. VIP pointed to the materials used and said they were firmly and wear-resistant, very different from the current toys.

How he had come to the hobby, he did not remember exactly, but the fact was that cranes had fascinated him all his life. “For as long as I know him” said Ms Villarreal.

He got up and left a copy of a toy catalog from the thirties in which all his favourite toy. Two copies are according to him never really put into production, so that he now builds itself.

Henk van Vip Fantastic Hobby
Owned company from 1995 to 2003. In 2003 sold to RopeBlock (Oldenzaal). Stayed up to retirement.

He explained why he is correct cranes to 1950 for his collection. “That’s before the time of plastic and electronics. And then ask you are now probably wondering: why Märklin? Because they regard as true art pieces at Märklin toy: nice designed, created and inspired by reality, but still with interpretation freedoms. They produced durable toys that many youth period survived and could be passed from father to son.

His wife said that in the rest of the family absolutly no interest existed for the hobby of her husband. VIP: “the worst is if such a set fall apart after a death. That you see occasionally at auction happen, that the relatives have no idea.”

We looked at his wife, who assured that would not happen in this case. They thought to a museum. In public transport Museum in Doetinchem were at the time of writing 47 of his lifting taps on display. He was there twice already.

The rest of the lifting tap stood neatly in a row in two cabinets in the living room. “There are” , he said. “I look at it.”

It’s always good to have in addition to the everyday professional work also to have one or more hobbies

At the farewell of his company, he had a book with color photos made that he had done all his relationships and employees gift: a different take on cranes, Märklin-toy cranes until 1950. It was also in English and German.

In the preface he wrote: “it’s always good to have in addition to the everyday professional work also one or more hobbies. The resistance the sentences, it relaxes and it gives much pleasure. Work and hobby must be different. In my case, however, it is close to each other: cranes.”

We got the book on parting gift. In the car photographer Elmer and I scrolled silently for half an hour before departure.