Wiganer's model car collection raises thousands for hospice

A generous Wigan model car collector put a leading local charity on the right financial road by donating his miniature vehicles for auction.

Friday, 2nd March 2018, 2:31 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd March 2018, 3:35 pm
Just some of Malcolm Oxley's model car collection

Malcolm Oxley, from Whelley, handed over more than 600 cars to Wigan and Leigh Hospice (WLH) to thank it for caring for both him and his brother.

Other news: Wigan family's anguish at bench damageWhen put under the hammer at specialist auction houses the incredible haul of toys raised more than £6,000 for the Hindley-based hospice.

Astonishingly, despite a lifelong passion for cars of all shapes and sizes, Malcolm never actually learned to drive.

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Malcolm with his brother Denis' Singer Gazelle

Malcolm, who died aged 61 in December 2016, battled prostate cancer and spent several weeks in the in-patient unit at WLH’s Kildare Street headquarters.

It was the second time the charity had cared for a member of his family during the final stages of their life.

His niece Rachel White, 36, said: “Previously his brother Denis had cancer and passed away in the hospice so I think that influenced his decision.

“He was always a kind, generous man with a dry sense of humour. I think he realised that material things are not important in this life and that love is.

Malcolm with his brother Denis' Singer Gazelle

“He grew up loving cars and when I’d go around at the weekend he was always washing and polishing the car that he and my Uncle Denis owned at the time.

“They were always interested in cars and the conversation between us would always end up being car-related! Because of my uncle’s influence I’m now an avid car lover myself.

“The box room was completely full of these cars. When I used to go in I thought it was every collector’s dream.”

The hospice admitted to being astonished when it saw just how many model vehicles Malcolm had amassed over the years.

The charity warmly thanked him for the generous donation and said the money would make a huge difference to its work.

Maxine Armstrong, fundraising and lottery manager for the hospice, said: “We were thrilled that Malcolm chose to donate his beloved collection to the hospice and astounded by just how many cars and boxes of cars he had.

“The funds raised through Malcom’s generous donation will go towards caring for other local people who have a life-limiting illness and need our hospice care.”

The collection raised a total of £6,119 for the hospice after being placed by experts in the British Toy Auction.

Malcolm’s enthusiasm for all things on four wheels began when brother Denis bought a Morris Minor, with the HGV driver going on to own vehicles including a Jaguar E-Type and a Singer Gazelle.

However, Malcolm never actually took the step of passing his test and getting behind the wheel himself, which his family said may have been due to being involved in a motorcycle accident when young.

He took on a variety of jobs during his life including working at the cotton mill in Poolstock, Harvey’s bakery in New Springs and Wigan Corporation Bus Department.

Later on he had to become a full-time carer for his father Albert who suffered a stroke and then also looked after Denis when he had cancer.

He never married but lived in a very tight-knit family who visited each other several times a week.

His interests included cycling holidays to Ireland with Denis and his sister Judith, trainspotting with his other sibling Edward and reading, particularly crime and psychology-based books.

He also had a passion for old black-and-white movies.

Rachel said: “Seance on a wet afternoon was one that myself, my mum Judith and Malcolm watched in the last couple of months of his life.

“It was funny because Malcolm had such enthusiasm about it and myself and mum were so excited to share it with him.

“It’s a memory we will never forget.

“It’s those times that, when all is said and done, are the best!

“Malcolm always had a smile on his face.

“He had a dry Wigan wit and had some excellent one-liners. He was one of those really rare people who I’m very blessed to have known.”