Wiltshire Publications

Ghosts of Britain’s lost railway stations found in Wiltshire garage

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 at 9:43 am.

THE GHOSTS of the golden age of British railways go under the hammer at Chippenham Auctions Rooms next month, with the sale of one of the most remarkable collections of railway heritage.

Hundreds of rare railway signs, including many from stations that disappeared in the 1960s and 1970s, are to be auctioned following the death of their owner, an elderly former railway worker, from Wiltshire. He is believed to have amassed the collection over six decades, storing most of the signs in the garage of his semi-detached house.

Included is a sign from Dilton Marsh Halt, the station commemorated in John Betjeman’s famous poem, and threatened with closure in 1969.

The sale includes over 250 signs and many other items from railways, London Underground and London Transport dating from the early years of the 20th century up to the 1970s.

A large proportion of the items come from railway stations that were closed during the ‘Beeching cuts’ of the 1960s, when a report by Dr Richard Beeching prompted a major reduction in Britain’s rail network.

In addition, the sale includes items of railway staff uniforms, badges, clocks, lamps, platform furniture, advertisements and other equipment. The team at Chippenham Auction Rooms is still in the process of cataloguing the items.

Principal auctioneer Richard Edmonds said, “This collection is mind-blowing. It’s the biggest of its kind I’ve ever seen. To put it into perspective, the most classic railway totem signs I’ve sold before at a single auction was two. Now I’ve got over 50 of them!

“We’ve already had lots of interest – and it’s still almost a month to the auction. We’re expecting some individual signs to go for well into four figures.”

The railway heritage items will be auctioned at 10am on Friday 10th November at Chippenham Auction Rooms. Items will be available for viewing on Thursday 9th November.

For more details please contact call 01249 444544 or visit www.chippenham auctionrooms.co.uk.

Below: Richard Edmonds with a Dilton Marsh Halt totem sign.