Sea journey nets railwayana collection of a ‘real character’

By Geoff Courtney

VICTOR Goudie was one of the railwayana movement’s real characters, a collector who embraced what has been described as an “alternative lifestyle”. He was unmarried, didn’t work, lived with his mother until her death in 1990, owned a 1920s Rolls-Royce, and once walked from Inverness to Wick along the 78 mile railway line, sleeping en route in lampmen’s huts.

After he passed away in February at the age of 71, the hundreds of items Victor had amassed over many years, ranging from a nameplate to paperwork, were placed in the hands of Great Central Railwayana to be put under the hammer.

Over the sea to – Lerwick: Great Central Railwayana’s Phil Rogers (left) and Martin Quartermain on April 23 at Lerwick on the Shetland Islands after their marathon road and sea journey to collect railwayana from the home of Victor Goudie. Each of them is holding a station totem sign that will be among the hundreds of items to be put under the hammer in August and September.

Straightforward enough, one may think, but it presented something of a logistical challenge to the auction house’s Phil Rogers and Martin Quartermain, who had to pick up the collection. For Victor’s home was in Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands and Britain’s most northerly town.

That challenge was met by the pair of travellers, but only after a land and sea journey that took longer than a flight to Australia. First came a near-500 mile drive to Aberdeen, then a 269 mile sea journey of 14½ hours by NorthLink Ferries to Lerwick, and finally a further drive to Victor’s home.

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