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An Update on Taff

An Update on Taff

Do you want to win the battle or the war?

An Update on Taff.

In January this year I put out a short notice that the latest announcements were being delayed due to a family health problem that I was dealing with. Behind the scenes, as a family, we were managing this in Private until we had a clearer picture of what the outcome would be.

We appreciate all the messages of support and understanding during these difficult times. I took comfort from the messages personally when I was told ‘Family is more important’. 

I have reflected over the past few days over what was the ‘right thing to do’, and in the past, my Dad, Lyndon, known to many of you as ‘Taff’ would take to writing and posting blogs to document his stories. Over the past 30 years of Oxford Diecast, and many more working in the Toy & Hobby industry, many have followed the journey of my father right up to where we are today. You have all met Taff at many events and shows, and he always has enjoyed the community he created when his vision came to life. It only felt right to update everyone who has supported us for so many years.

In November, while attending the Warley Model Railway Show, my Dad insisted on helping me load up our stand on to the van as the show came to an end. As his daughter, I wanted him to get home, but as usual, he didn’t listen to me. Just as we were reaching the end of a frantic pack up, he collapsed. It was a frightening moment, and my initial thoughts were that he overdid it. We got him home safe to our Hometown in Swansea, and investigated further. To our surprise, Taff required an operation on his heart, a pretty standard but albeit large operation which took place in early December. Being the work orientated man he was, he worked right up until the moment they took him for surgery, we almost had to prize his laptop away from him.

Unfortunately, there were complications during the surgery, which meant that he did not regain consciousness until January. Once he was ready, as a family we took him to Neurological Rehabilitation, where he had to learn to walk and talk again, he remained here until early March. We have recently brought him back home to continue his journey. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of the complications caused vision issues and Taff is now blind.

For those of you that have had the pleasure of meeting Taff, will know that behind the strong & motivated business man, is a humorous character with a lot of wit and intelligence. During these very challenging few months, he has not lost his wicked sense of humour and shown us how courageous he can be. He has taken everything in his stride and is determined to not let this beat him.

You are probably wondering what the title of this Blog is referencing. As I sit writing this, I look back over the bumpy journey that we have endured over the past few months, and a particular moment of Taffs recovery remains at the forefront of my mind. While we  were waiting for Taff to regain consciousness, Kate, his wife, myself, my sisters Heather & Shaina and his and brothers Ceri & Wyn were with him daily. We wanted him to know that he is going to face some challenges over the next few weeks, but being the most important man in our lives, we were going to be here for every step of the way. A phrase that my father put to me many years ago while I was facing one of life’s challenges came to me. Do you want to win the battle or the war? In that moment, we saw the determination cumulate inside of him. He lifted his arms into a fighting pose, with a glisten in his eyes and a growl in his voice and said the first words we had heard since the operation….. ‘War’.

The hospital became like a second home to me, as I grappled my personal life, business and children all while attending to the needs of my Father. I am proud to say that he was lucky to have a dream team of family members around him, each tackling each element with our own strengths. We were so lucky to have my elder sister who is a nurse, who was advocating for my Dad through a crumbling NHS system. The people we met in the hospital from nurses, doctors and patients were wonderful. My Dad has always been someone who has given back, in any way he can from anonymous donations to causes, charity work, sponsoring youth football teams, even in recent years going back to his childhood school to teach young pupils about design and development. In January we shared a story with Dad about a patient, who was facing some life changing challenges just a few wards over from him. We knew instantly when we told him, he would want to donate, and that is just what he did. Even through his own plight, he still thought of others.

We looked back with Dad a few weeks ago about his memory of some of his times in the hospital, and he told us there were some words that were etched in his mind throughout some of his darker days. His Grandfather, named Algernon George Packer had the honor of receiving an MBE for his exceptional service throughout the wartime period. Those words engrained in his mind came from this moment:

During the period of acute enemy air activity at Swansea, Telephone House had to be vacated, and Mr Packer, in spite of injury to his wife and damage to his house, obtained temporary office accommodation and arranged for the removal of records and machines, so that work proceeded almost without interruption. His example of cheerful and untiring efforts was an inspiration to his subordinates. 

I guess I always wondered where my Dad was blessed with some of his characteristics, but this sets the scene perfectly, with the kind of man who helped to raise him.

Taff is a grandfather to 4 wonderful children, Zyan, Tobi, Tiwa and Georgios, and also I must not forget Benji the old English bulldog. I had the hard task of explaining to my eldest the position with his Gramps eyesight and to my surprise he created a beautiful version of this situation we find ourselves in  from a child’s perspective. My marvel fanatic son told me that it is pretty cool that Gramps is now blind, because he is now like ‘Daredevil’,  A quick google search told me Daredevil lost his eyesight and now has superhuman senses to navigate the world in a different way.

So for now, our very own Daredevil is showing us exactly how to handle the world when it deals you a poor set of cards, with the drive and determination that has been engrained in him since a young boy. We are seeing improvements week on week and we will adapt to a new lifestyle with him.

We don’t know now why we have been given this challenge, but for every battle we face we will keep pushing through together, to win this war.

 

We will read comments posted on the Blog but cannot respond. We appreciate all your support.

 

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Comments

John Davies - July 3, 2024

Just this morning I went into town and bought your new Sentinel steam lorry – eagerly awaited, and a beautiful model.

I knew nothing of this sad story, but I admire your father’s spirit and courage. As Mr Churchill once said, “Never, never give up.” Life’s race is won, not by the fastest, or the first across the line – it is won by all those who keep going until they finish. And I love the story about his caring for the other patient – that’s the kind of person we should all aim to be. I hope that he continues to the making of a good recovery, and will oversee the company for a long, long time.
Alan Hughes - May 1, 2024

Sorry to hear about Taff, my connection was only through mail order and the Podcasts, my wife and I intended going to the Warley Model Railway show last year with one certainty to meet Taff and you Eloise. Unfortunately my wife had a fall and ended up in hospital so it was a none event for us.
From what you have said and I have heard Taff will not just sit back and do nothing, my Aunt who woke up one morning blind swore by Audiobooks and insisted that she took a walk everyday to enjoy the sounds all about her.
I wish Taff a speedy recovery and who knows maybe he will accompany you Eloise at another show just for the company and chat from his many friends, and I will finally get to meet you both.
Best wishes to all your family.
Alan

Dave Dixon - April 7, 2024

Hi Eloise,
Taff always has time for others, is generous in his nature and also his actions (even presenting Club Members with a specially wrapped model of the Austin Ruby for our 25th Anniversary). He has visited our Club more than once giving great presentations and quizzes (I was lucky enough to win 1st prize in a quiz and treasure the model to this day). Taff is a Highly Valued Honorary Member of the Club, the collectable toy/model world has benefitted enormously from his involvement in it.

Wishing Taff a speedy recovery.

All our Love to Taff, Kate, Eloise and all the family.

Dave (Chairman) and all the Members of The Plymouth Diecast Cub.

Chris C. D.L.S. - April 6, 2024

Keep fighting and never give up,The BOSS up above is always looking down on us .

Christopher Pentney - April 3, 2024

Dear Eloise, I was greatly shocked to read of your father’s health misfortunes and wish him all the best for his recovery. It must be very stressful for all of you to deal with his new situation but I am sure he has the strength and determination to come through and overcome this setback.
With every best wish for the future.

Chris Pentney

Member of South Hants Model Auto Club

Matthew Whiting - April 3, 2024

Thank you for the update. As a member of the Airfix team I worked with Taff during his time at Hornby and used to look forward to his very chatty tours of our development office and loved how much interest he took in all the projects we were working on. Hopefully he will continue to make progress, the main thing is he is still with you. Please pass on our best wishes from all in the Airfix team.

Philip Cottle - April 2, 2024

Hi Eloise,

Thank you for Sharing this news of Your Dad, Taff.

It is must have been hard and a brave thing for You to do. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

I wish Your Dad a speedy recovery and hopefully this blindness will be temporary and his sight will come back.

He is surrounded by the love and support of his family and friends and have the best wishes from all the Oxford Diecast community.

I’ve never met him but he sounds like a fighter and he will fight this situation face on and not let it defeat him.

Look forward to read more of his blogs in the future.

Keep up the good work You and your family do.

Thank you

Kind Regards
Phil Cottle

Jason B - April 2, 2024

Sorry to read that about taff god bless him

James S Mathieson - April 2, 2024

Sorry to hear about that, Family comes 1st. hope Farther get back to full health as soonest. from the Commonwealth of Australia rail and road fan

David O'Connor - April 1, 2024

Eloise I did not know your Dad, but I have a lot of his Oxford Diescast products.I only heard from Mike today of your family tragedy…affecting your Dad Taff
I know his former competitor Frank Joyce of EFE & I did art work on his Irish Bus releases
My prayers are with the Family
He is in the best of hands.

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