Fourteen signs from “lost” English railway stations that closed in the 1960s and 70s are up for sale.They form part of a collection of railway memorabilia that could fetch up to £60,000, auctioneers said.Items dating from the early 20th century up to the 1970s, are among the selection of items discovered in a garage in Wiltshire.The “lost” stations include Chilvers Coton, Nuneaton, St Ann’s Park, Bristol, and North Tawton, Devon.
Richard Edmonds, owner of The Chippenham Auction Rooms, said many of the items came from stations that were closed during the so-called “Beeching cuts” of the 1960s.”Because of that, it is a sale that has generated huge interest,” he said.
What were the Beeching cuts?In 1963, Britain’s railways were running at a loss of £140m a year. Dr Richard Beeching was brought in by the British Railways Board to “make the railways pay”
His 27 March 1963 report resulted in the closure of 2,128 stations, more than 8,000 miles (12,875 km) of track and the loss of 67,700 jobs
Also included in the lots are historical items from London Underground and London Transport.Mr Edmonds said the late collector’s wife had “no idea” her husband owned so many signs.
“They are hugely in demand,” he said. “There is a lot of nostalgia about railway memorabilia and some people even have memories of these signs in place on railway stations.”The items will be sold later at the Chippenham auction house.Mr Edmonds added it would be almost impossible to put together a similar collection today.”We believe this collection was put together in the 1960s, as the signs were just being taken down,” he said.