IT was more than 70 years ago when young Dewi Rowlands began packing his favourite toys away. Perhaps, with war clouds gathering over Europe, he feared Hitler and his men might get their hands on them. Into his toy box went a train set, tin soldiers, a clockwork flying machine called an autogyro and a cork gun, along with wooden figures There they remained hidden - a time capsule containing everything a small boy needed in the days before TVs and computer games - until after Mr Rowlands died at the age of 77. Even his wife Brenda knew nothing about them. Once, when she asked what was inside the box - by this time installed in her husband's garden shed - he declined to say and she never asked again. But more than a year after Mr Rowlands died in late 2006, her curiosity got the better of her and she opened the box. She said: 'Inside was a train set, helicopter, soldiers and wooden farm and zoo animals, all from the 1920s and 30s. 'It was amazing. I also found a tin containing marbles, broken toys, nuts and bolts - just the things which might have been found in the pockets of a boy during the 1930s. 'For some reason Dewi did not want me to open the chest,' recalled Mrs Rowlands, 70. 'Years ago I remember him saying "just leave it" and I never questioned him. I never thought about it until I was clearing out the shed.' The chest was lined with newspaper from 1937, when Mr Rowlands, aged eight, started hiding away his collection. The couple, of Aberystwyth, Mid Wales, had no children so she has loaned the toys to the town's museum where they are on display for the Xbox generation to see. 'It is an absolute treasure, showing the childhood of a boy growing up in the 1930s,' said museum curator Michael Freeman. 'Some of the toys were a bit damp and mouldy but most of the contents were in good condition and you just cannot put a value on them now. 'We are extremely grateful to Mrs Rowlands for lending us the toys for this special exhibition. - Daily Mail