Once upon a time, in a faraway country called The Past, there was a shop named MODATOYS. I don't think that was its sole name during its entire lifespan, as a nagging voice tells me it was also christened TOYTOWN at one stage and maybe even something else at another. However, as I remember it as Modatoys, that's how I'll refer to it now. (It also sold books, games, and other things.)
The shop opened in the early '70s (if not earlier) and was around until the late '80s (if not later), and I still have several items I bought from the place over the years. A pair of mini-binoculars (with compass and mirror), The WIND In The WILLOWS (a hardback and a paperback), TOAD Of TOAD HALL, MOON-FLEET, THREE LITTLE GREY MEN (and its sequel, Three Little Grey Men GO DOWN The BRIGHT STREAM).
I also have a TWIKI figure from BUCK ROGERS, a couple of red paintbrushes, two chess sets & boards (different sizes), and perhaps one or two other things. Oh, and the paperback book you can see at the top of this post - ALICE'S ADVENTURES In WONDERLAND. I bought it on a magnificently hot summer's afternoon in 1973 or '74 (so I'd still have been a schoolboy), and one glance takes me back to that time quicker than Dr. WHO's TARDIS.
When I leaf through its pages, the shop still exists, my demolished schools yet stand in their prime, and the 'new town' in which I live is exactly as it was back then - smaller, brighter, cleaner, newer. Everything is as it was, even if only for a few fleeting moments, but oh, what welcome moments they are. I wish I could show you the interior colour photographs in the book, but I can't open it wide enough to scan without damaging, and that would never do.
Readers, do you have a book or item that serves the purpose of a time machine and takes you right back to an earlier era from which you're loath to depart? Why not tell your fellow Mellows about it in the comments section? Go on - it's good to share. So here's to The Past - sometimes it's the only thing to look forward to!