It started with the little piggies, and now collector Dorothy Byres has moved on to favouring the big bad wolf.
The 74-year-old has almost 100 ornaments and trinkets dotted around her Longridge home devoted to a 60-year obsession with all things ‘pig’.
She had more than 400 at one time, but decided to sell many of them over the past few years to make way for her new interest, wolves.
“I think it all started when I was about 14 or 15, and we used to go to a caravan in Scorton,” Dorothy says. “There was a boy called Bobby who worked on a pig farm, and I used to hang about with him.
“I started with a few little ornaments, and it just escalated from there. Every time someone went on holiday or bought me a present, it had something to do with pigs.
“I’ve sold a few over the years though - you can’t keep things forever. I was sad to see some of them go, but the house was getting a bit cluttered.”
Every time someone went on holiday or bought me a present, it had something to do with pigs.Dorothy Byres
Dorothy, from Wheatley Drive, has kept hold of some of the more special items though, such as two ornaments from 1962 when she and her late husband Harry were married. One says ‘Our New Home’ and the other, a piggy bank, says ‘For Rainy Day’.
Another favourite is an 18 inch long ornament, which was given to her as a birthday present by her late friend Joyce Wilson, who she met when they worked together at Woolworths in their teens.
“I’ve got quite a few special ones,” Dorothy adds. “My daughter, Susan, lived in Spain for a time so I have some from there, and my mum knitted me a few piggies as well.
“I’ve got about 80 or 90 left now, and they’re in every room of the house.
“I’ve sold a few to antiques stores, and donated some to St Wilfrid’s Church coffee mornings where they have a bric-a-brac stall.
“One set I sold had 24 pigs dressed in different sporting outfits, like a cricketer and a footballer.
“I remember they used to come once a month when I was collecting them. I think there was supposed to be 25, but I don’t know what happened to the missing one. Maybe it broke.”
Dorothy, who is also mum to Henry and Peter and has four grandchildren, has now taken a liking to wolves.
“You just get fads I suppose,” she said. “I saw an article about sponsoring a wolf. There’s a man who has wolves in the woods near Shropshire, he’s had them from when they were young.
“I’ve got some really nice pictures and really lovely purses with wolves on, as well as a few ornaments and other bits and pieces, things from the sanctuary.
“I’m trying not to buy too many things now though.”
Dorothy, who worked for the home help service for 27 years, now spends some of her time reading to children at St Wilfrid’s RC Primary School in Longridge, and is also interested in steam trains.
“I go to the school once a week,” she says. “I always wear a different wolf T-shirt and the kiddies are most intrigued.”
Are you a collector or do you know someone who is? Contact Kay Taylor on 01772 838104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.