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Turning bizarre items into profit

Penny Farting bicycles, stuffed animals and even shrunken heads are just some of the bizarre investments that can turn a profit for collectors, according to a former Draughton man’s new book.

Toby Walne, who grew up in the village, has written ‘101 Extraordinary Investments’, an exploration of the curious world of collectables.

A range of subjects are covered, from toys such as Action Man and Barbie, to cameras, football memorabilia, whiskey, mobile phones and hair cuttings taken from celebrities.

Mr Walne once worked as a reporter for the Harborough Mail and later for our sister paper, the Northants Evening Telegraph, before moving to London, where he works as a freelance reporter and writes a regular column on ‘alternative investments’ for the Mail on Sunday.

The 42 year old’s varied career has also seen him visit war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq and climb up Mount Kenya.

He said: “The book was inspired by the great adventurers of the Victorian era. Explorers like Dr Livingstone and Stanley – I love all that stuff.

“Finance is totally dull so I wanted to make this book accessible and make people realise it can be fun making money. It doesn’t just have to be about selling stocks and shares.

“There’s practical information in there too about where to get hold of the items and potential cash returns.

“One hundred years ago a Penny Farthing was the sort of transport used by those with derring-do. Today they can sell for thousands. This book isn’t just for boys, but of course we love all that sort of stuff – we’re all hoarders.”

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