In auction terms, it was close to a dead-heat. In sporting terms, it was two similarly talented rivals running neck-and-neck as they approached the finishing line. In economic terms, it was a success.
Two West Country Pacifics were in the spotlight in the Railwayana.net internet auction from May 15-20, and eventually the nameplate, coat-of-arms and West Country Class scroll from No. 34107 Blandford Forum sold for £35,000, a smidgeon ahead of a similar set from No. 34040 Crewkerne which went for £33,000.
The former was built at Brighton by BR in April 1950, and withdrawn from Exmouth Junction (72A) in September 1964, while No. 34040 emerged from the same works as 21C140 in September 1946 and bowed out of service in July 1967 when allocated to Bournemouth (70F).
The ensuing four realisations were also reminders of the south and west, headed at £6200 by a Southern Region totem sign from Barnstaple Town station, which closed in 1970 and is now a school.
At £5100 and £5050 came two Southern Railway target signs, from Bournemouth Central and Callington respectively, and for £5000 a collector was the successful bidder for a steam era ‘Bournemouth Belle’ headboard.
A 1958 English Electric worksplate from Class 23 ‘Baby Deltic’ D5908 sold for £3200, the smokebox numberplate from LMS Jubilee No. 45635 Tobago for £3000, and a set comprising nameplate, cabside and front numberplates, and EAR bunker letters, from East African Railways Class 59 Beyer-Garratt 4-8-2+2-8-4 No. 5908 Mount Loolmalasin, for £2800.
Mention should be made of a SR platform ticket machine that fetched £2650, and a Bude station enamel sign that made £2500. Prices exclude buyer’s premium of 15% (+ VAT).
Of the six-day sale, Railwayana.net’s Chris France said: “Wonderful. Lots of interest and strong bidding.”
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