Plaudits for three of Big Four at Poynton

Three of the post-Grouping Big Four took the plaudits at Great Northern’s sale at Poynton on October 6, when nameplates from the LNER, LMS and GWR led the way. At their head was Sansovino from LNER A3 No. 60053, the Pacific creeping into five figures with a price of £10,500, ahead of Defence from LMS Jubilee No. 45722 (£6500), and Cory Hall from GWR No. 5968 (£4200).

Two other LMS plates – Armada and City of St Albans (Jubilee and Princess Coronation Nos. 45679 and 46253) – failed to sell, but the LMS/BR(M) gained revenge when achieving the top non-nameplate realisations, these being £4100 for a Peak Forest for Peak Dale totem station sign and £4000 for a ‘Royal Scot’ headboard, a price matched by an 1892 Cheshire Lines Committee engraved backboard from Partington Junction signalbox showing all the points and signals worked by the ’box.

Further BR(M) totem successes were Belper (£3600) and the delightfully-named Whatstandwell (£3300), top LMS hawkeye was Heaton Mersey (£1600) closely followed at £1550 by Peak Forest, and leading SR target Elephant & Castle (£1350).

An ornate Euston station LNWR entrance lantern that one theory suggests had a royal connection went for £1250, a Blackpool North No 3 signalbox nameboard for £1200, and the chimney from GWR designed/BR built No. 7027 Thornbury Castle for £1100. Prices exclude buyer’s premium of 10%.

Bargain of the day was surely an original unmarked Ian Allan December 1942 Southern Railway locomotives first edition ABC booklet that carried the information “Compiled and produced by I. Allan 225-7 Laleham Road, Staines, from whom further copies may be obtained.” As Great Northern’s Dave Robinson wrote in his catalogue entry, this was the book that “started train spotting as we all know it.” And the price for this little piece of railway history? Just £45.

Of the auction, Dave said: “It was very successful, our best results to date. There was a lot of interest in the A3 plate and I was very pleased with its price, and the totems did well. There appears to be quite a young market for these and for enamels.”

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