Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Catching a Magpie

I have been aware of Magpie since the late 1990s through their page on the Model Horse Gallery site; though I found the models appealing, I filed them under Never Going to Happen right along with the Julips due to the difficulty in obtaining UK-made models in the US.

My interest in the line revived when I moved to Scotland, but I was never lucky enough to find them for sale; I was always just a little too late. It wasn't until 2013 that I managed to catch my first Magpie.

In July of 2013 Utterly Horses published a listing in their classified ads seeking a new home for Magpie Models. While I thought I had no chance of being the next owner of Magpie, I figured there couldn't be any harm in inquiring. My first Magpie, a 2006 Vanilla, was nestled in the sample box Utterly Horses sent out in response to my inquiry.

After over a year of discussion with Utterly Horses and planning with my husband, we submitted an offer in early October of 2014. Sunday, November 2, 2014 we received an email from Utterly Horses - our offer had been accepted!

The Pouch of Cash
Now came the tricky part, how to get a storage unit-worth of molds, supplies, and model horses from southern England all the way to Scotland? Naturally I was raring to go, but coming into the holiday season is not the best time for such a venture.


On January 16, 2015 we rented a moving van and headed south. It was cold...really cold. We were worried about driving a strange van through the forecast snow storm, but it was too late to back out now. The drive was surprisingly uneventful and a lot more fun than one would expect. It started out snowy, but with every mile we traveled the grass began to show a little more.


After a solid 9 hours on the road, we stopped for the night just an hour away from Utterly Horses. Saturday morning we were up at dawn and traveling again. After a few wrong turns we pulled into the storage facilities at 8:30 am, scaring a nice couple in a BMW by following them in through the security gate (we thought they were Becky, oops!).

It only took an hour to load everything up - I kept the boxes of paperwork in the cab for some light reading on the road home - and then we followed Becky to Utterly Horses for a cup of tea and a little shopping. I couldn't miss the chance to see the shop after coming all that way, could I?


The beautifully clear morning sky began to cloud over as we drove away from Utterly Horses.


We spent much of the journey home driving from snow storm to snow storm, but in spite of the weather the trip remained fairly uneventful. Just as we were crossing the boarder into Scotland, I kid you not, a pair of Magpies flew over the road in front of us.


At 8:30 pm we pulled into our own driveway and staggered off to bed in order to be up bright and early to unload.


We kept the purchase of the company quiet in order to take our time with getting the workshop set up and the paperwork in order without getting collectors' hopes up for a quick release of a new line. Magpie models is now settled into a snug little workshop and will be open for business soon. Hopefully this will prove to be a bright new chapter in Magpie's history.

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