I had once before met Stephen when I was looking after my Dads shop when he came in to buy some Firestorm Armada ships. We talked a little about whether he was playing or not and at that time our gaming interests were slightly different. And he let on that he was a collector more than a Gamer.
It turned out Stephen was ill. He had been diagnosed with Cancer and was slowly loosing the fight. So he decided to give the bulk of his collection away to someone that would appreciate it. A week later I invited Stephen over to see my gaming shed and he turned up bearing gifts. His car was full. We unloaded the car onto the garden table and then when he left I moved it all onto my gaming table which ended up 3 feet deep in boxes of all shape and sizes.
Below are some pictures I have taken of the stuff I received. The Majority of it is now in my collection and some of the armies I had no interest have been given to friends as per Stephens wishes. Stephen collected everything from Ancients to Sc-fi all scales up to 15mm. His wife informed me that when they moved he threw all the larger scale figures in the bin in an effort to downsize his collection. He was an very active buyer, especially on ebay, and was also well known to several figure companies. But Stephen could not do with selling things on ebay.
Over the course of the year I kept in contact with Stephen but unfortunately his health deteriorated, and Stephen sadly passed away in April 2015. For such a short friendship Stephen made a big impact on my life both in the gaming sense and in that I was proud and honoured to call him a friend. I attended his funeral which was like the man, very modest and there his wife, Val, asked if I would come round and clear the rest of his items for her.
A few weeks later I arrived at Stephens home and started the mammoth task of clearing the rest of his collection. Stephen was a hoarder and a prolific collector. Not only did I fill half of my Living room, but the shed also, the table was 4 feet deep in boxes and you could only stand in a 2 foot square in the shed. as every conceivable space was used up.
Over time I have managed to sell on behalf of Val a large chunk of that additional collection and even some of the items I was given was sold to raise money. The majority of it was sold at Britcon where a good chunk of money was raised. I have also sold items on Ebay and via Facebook where I had made a page dedicated to his collection. Below are some of the armies now in my collection, but you can see more on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steveswargames/
Thank you for reading.
In memory of Stephen Atkinson, Thank you for being a friend, I will cherish your gift for ever. You have made a lot of people very happy.