By Geoff Courtney
A HALL packed with railwayana collectors, enthusiasts and the media saw LNER Pacific No. 60103 Flying Scotsman add another world record to its CV on November 17 when one of its nameplates sold at auction to an overseas collector for £64,500.
Much had been made of the impending sale in the weeks leading up to the auction, with the cognoscenti voicing opinions that were poles apart, some prophesising complete failure but others sensing that the locomotive nameplate world record of £60,000 would be under threat.
In the event the latter proved to be correct, but not before an intense bidding war ensued that at times seemed to falter but was kept going by auctioneer Simon Turner.
As the plate came up at the GW Railwayana auction in Pershore High school and its image projected on a screen, the normally loquacious audience fell silent and every eye turned to Simon. It was his moment, and outwardly he looked calm.
Describing it as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of railway history”, he started at £28,000, but this soon increased as bidders in the room, on the telephone and via the internet vied with each other, some increasing their bid immediately while others pondered a while.
The landmark £60,000 was equalled and then consigned to history, and for a moment soon after it looked as if £62,000 was to be the winning bid.
However, it wasn’t, and to the applause of many in the audience, the hammer came down at £64,500, sold to an anonymous online bidder.
Read more in Issue 249 of HR – on sale now!