Double delight for Isle of Man at Stoneleigh

When nameplate combines with badge – regimental, coat-of-arms, or whatever – the hammer invariably falls in the upper echelons of an auction’s realisation list, and Great Central’s sale at Stoneleigh on December 2 was no exception, when Isle of Man from LMS Patriot No. 45511 sold for £26,000, almost double that of the runner-up.

That second place was claimed by British Monarch from GWR Star No. 4021 (£13,800), ahead of the final five-figure sale, Callington with West Country Class scroll from No. 34047 (£12,000). The Pacific’s smokebox numberplate was sold immediately after to the same bidder for £3000.

Howard of Effingham (LMS Jubilee No. 45670, not SR Lord Nelson No. 30854), achieved £9000, and an identically-priced pair of GWR Halls that followed at £6000 apiece comprised Rood Ashton Hall (No. 4965) and Kingsthorpe Hall (No. 6950), while the cabside numberplate from the latter went for £1850.

Lower down the pecking order were Morfa Grange (GWR No. 6866 – £5600) and Haydon Hall (GWR No. 5932 – £4500), but all three Halls and the Grange were overshadowed by Dauntless, carried by 1968-built Class 50 D448/50048 (£7400). An industrial nameplate, Austin II, from a standard gauge 0-6-0ST built by Hunslet Engine Co in 1936 for the car maker’s Longbridge works, also made a good fist of it by going for £2900.

Totem signs continued their march seen in recent sales, led at £5600 by an auction debutante, the delightfully-named Baptist End Halt, a GWR station on the Dudley to Old Hill branch. Others in this category included BR(S) duo Withyham (£3900) and Rowfant (£3400), and North Eastern Region Knaresborough (£3200). Top SR target sign was Brasted (£4200)

A poignant sale was a painting by Barry Freeman of LMS Princess Royal No. 46207 Princess Arthur of Connaught on Bushey troughs that realised £5200. Barry had died just eight days before the auction, and an obituary is published in the news section of this issue.

Leading cabside numberplate was 7010 from GWR Avondale Castle (£5200), while electric traction made its mark in this sector when E3034 from a Class 83 built by English Electric in 1961 went under the hammer for £3150. Top worksplate was an LNER Doncaster 1948 example from Peppercorn A2 Pacific No. 60533 Happy Knight (£2900), followed at £1700 by another LNER plate, from 1946 Darlington-built B1 No. 61014 Oribi.

Other realisations included £2600 for an SR Isle of Wight ex-Waterloo arrivals indicator, £2200 for an LBSCR Tyer’s semaphore block instrument from Cray Lane crossing signalbox on the Arun Valley Line, £1800 for a nameboard from SDJR signalbox Broadstone, £1650 for a SR Bideford station lamp tablet, and £1550 a Highland Railway The Mound-Dornoch one engine in steam train staff.

Shedplates were topped by 60B (Aviemore) that sold for £1650, and clocks by an 8in dial drum clock from 1932-built Brighton Belle Pullman car Vera (£1500). Prices exclude buyer’s premium of 15% (+ VAT).

As the bidders, vendors, and everyone else made their way home, auctioneer and Great Central director Mike Soden said: “Overall it was pretty good. Shedplates were strong, and totems exceptionally so.”

Read more News and Features in Issue 237 of HR – on sale now!

Enjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.