Railway rarities fetch £42,000 at Norfolk auction house
- Credit: Harriet Orrell
An extensive and unique collection of rare railway memorabilia was auctioned off for thousands of pounds in Norfolk this afternoon.
More than 400 of items belonging to a British Railways signalman, Peter Punchard, went under the hammer at TW Gaze auction house in Diss and sold for a total of £42,000.
The Railwayana collection included signs, signals and station furniture with the big seller of the day was a two-section Halesworth to Southwold enamel sign fetching £3,100
Auctioneer and valuer, Dan Woods, who himself is a volunteer steam engine driver at Bressingham, said: 'It was very good and very well attended with one hundred per cent of the lots were sold.
'It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work on this and most things sold for more than I valued them at.
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'Whenever you mention Railwayana it garners interest across the country and we had someone come from Somerset, a couple from Bedfordshire and people from places like Surrey, Kent and Nottinghamshire as well.'
The railways hold a certain romance for many and Mr Punchard, a stalwart in the Halesworth community, had filled an entire garden shed with the mementos.
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Elizabeth Talbot, director of TW Gaze's auction rooms, said: 'What makes this collection so unique is that it is the result of the life's work of somebody who was greatly involved in the history of the region's railways.
'Mr Punchard followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, who helped to build the Southwold Railway, and began his collection from items he acquired from him.'
Alongside the signs, the Peter Punchard Collection of Railwayana includes a variety of hard-to-come-by artefacts such as parts of the signal boxes he operated, headlamps, and various pieces of paperwork.
Mrs Talbot added: 'We have a real passion for our railways in this part of the country - we have lots of small branch lines, museums like Bressingham and enthusiastic groups like the Southwold Railway Trust.
'It is very much a passion of the area and an integral part of our history and this collection comes from somebody who was clearly very passionate about it.'