Mum with world’s largest Harry Potter collection spends £100 a month expanding it

Certain books have had an incredible influence on the world, and the series of books about Harry Potter is one of them.

The magical world weaved by J.K. Rowling still has an impact today – with fans flocking to Watford to see the film sets for real.

Meanwhile, thousands of children are currently engrossed in the ongoing at Hogwarts, as their parents read to them at bedtime.

But if there was a ranking of top fans – mum Tracey Nicol-Lewis, 47, would probably come out on top.

The super-fan not only owns the world’s largest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia – but even had a Wizarding World-themed wedding.

She owns a staggering 6,300 wizarding items – including wands, special edition books, LEGO sets and artwork.

Tracey first watched ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ in 2002, after the birth of her son and fell in love with the magical world.

It wasn’t long before she acquired her first Harry Potter collectable – a chocolate frog from her local corner shop.

Since then her collection has grown and now takes over a full three rooms of her house.

Tracey loves the franchise so much she even had a Harry Potter-themed wedding last year when she married her husband Martin, 45.

She wore a wedding dress in the Gryffindor red and gold, adorned with the Deathly Hallows symbols.

Meanwhile, her bouquet included torn-up pages of a damaged edition of the Goblet of Fire, and her shoes painted with Dobby the elf.

Her devoted friends even attended dressed in the robes of their Hogwarts House.

The mum credits J.K Rowling’s writing with helping her cope with the death of her first husband Simon Nicol-Lewis, who passed away in 2005.

He had pre-ordered ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ for her – and it arrived weeks after he died.

Tracey, from Mid Glamorgan, Wales, said: “I think ‘oh that’s it I won’t get any more’, and I go to the shop and something always falls in my basket!

“I love looking and rearranging my collection – it’s my happy place. Harry Potter is a magical world that you can use to escape into, and that is what I did.

“Because I had my son in 2002, and them having the baby in the film and all the magic, it was like having it alongside me.

“Harry Potter got me through a really tough time because when I started collecting the last present I had off my first husband was a book of Harry Potter before he passed away.

“That’s why I think the collection got so mad.”

Little by little, the odd eBay bid and trades with friends grew her collection, and Tracey hit her first 100 items in about 2006.

Her hoard now includes special editions of the books and their spin-offs, and at least 127 action figures

Her largest item is her cardboard book display for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ which stands at five feet tall.

She’s never had her collection valued but she estimates she spends on average £100 every month on new items.

The mum-of-one said: “Everything I like in my collection is just amazing, I love it.

“They have memories attached to them as well because I can remember the bits from the films or the books.”

Tracey also enjoys Harry Potter cosplay and attends events to meet other fanatics while dressed in her clobber.

She says that her favourite items change over time, but her currents are her collection of 47 wands.

But when she met her now-husband Martin, he wasn’t immediately a fan of her hobby.

She said: “He knew about my collection so it was accept it or run!

“First of all I said I like Harry Potter and I collect Harry Potter, and he was kind of shocked when he came around and saw the collection.

“But in my last house he decorated it red and yellow because of Gryffindor and he put up shelves for me and made it more Harry Potter.

“Martin is amazing, he puts up with my collection and even buys me things for it.”

The family moved to a larger property in 2019 to accommodate the collection, and now have three rooms dedicated to it.

Tracey said: “We need a lot of work doing on the house so I can’t have any more at the moment – but I’m working on it!

“I’ve had people say they want me to open the house and start a B and B!”

Tracey and Martin married after four years together in 2020 and enjoyed a lavish Potter-themed ceremony in Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida, USA.

The wedding cake was topped with a golden snitch and magic wand, as well as the words ‘Martin found a keeper’, referring to the Quidditch position.

Her Gryffindor-inspired wedding dress and shoes were made for her by her friends in the Harry Potter community.

She said: “I wanted a dress I could have for my wedding but could wear to other occasions.

“Martin let me pick what I wanted so the tunes going in and when you came out were Harry Potter.

“My friends in Florida were there in robes.”

While security guard Martin doesn’t share her passion for the Wizarding World, it was his idea to count her collection for Guinness World Records.

Together they took a picture of every single item in her collection, and also had to video the counting process – which took at least five hours.

She had a whopping 5,284 items when it was measured by Guinness World Records in April.

But since then, the ‘Potterhead’ says she’s acquired at least 1,000 more.

“I still can’t believe that I have much in my collection,” said the housewife.

“When it’s all around your room and you see it every day, it’s only when someone comes in and sees it and they’re like ‘oh that’s a lot!’

“I’m looking for the bits I want to complete from missing sets, but then other things seem to pop out and I buy them instead.”

In April this year, she received the happy news that she had not one, but two records – as she had both the world’s largest Harry Potter and Wizarding World collections.

The Wizarding World encompasses the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ spin-off movie series along with the Potter universe.

She broke the previous record, also held by a Welsh superfan, by 2,187 items.

“I didn’t think I had enough,” she admitted.

“I was over the moon, I couldn’t believe I had two Guinness World Records.”

Her dream is to one day meet author JK Rowling in person and thank her for how her series changed her life.

Tracey said: “Be your own person, don’t follow everyone else, follow your dreams.”