Downton, Stratford on Avon, The Cheshire Regiment and Great Western all for Sale!

Published 09 January 2012

Rail auction offers chance to buy significant items of railway history

Collecting railwayana is a large business attracting not just railway enthusiasts, but a far wider audience. Regular auctions are held and Great Central Auctions are one of the companies that run these railway auctions on a regular basis.

Downton and Grantham for sale

For example, non-railway enthusiasts may wish to buy the station sign from Downton, a long closed station between Bournemouth and Salisbury or a seat sign from Grantham dating back to pre-1948. They obviously have nothing to do with Downton Abbey but fans of the show may be attracted by it! Station signs like this can normally be bought for around £1000, but given the name, who knows?

Other station signs such as Stratford on Avon, Hatfield, Inverkeithing, Wolverhampton Low Level, Woking and Beverley are also on offer.

Deep Pockets

Great Western and The Cheshire Regiment are not the victims of Government cutbacks but highly desirable steam locomotive nameplates from The Great Western and London Midland & Scottish Railways respectively.

It goes without saying that parts of the, Army and wealthy Great Western Railway fans will be showing a serious interest in these items. Expect bidding to start at around £10,000 each for these. Other locomotive nameplates are on offer which will be of interest to the non-railway fraternity such as Princess Victoria, Clovelly and Civil Service Rifleman.

Decorative and historic

Other decorative items are vintage lamps, advertising posters depicting well known places like Braemar and Corfe Castles, Oxford, Shrewsbury and Rothesay. These were displayed at stations and in carriages to try to encourage people to make a visit by train.

Decorative and useful

There are some useful items for sale. Railway clocks are always on offer and in full working order, keep excellent time! A variety of vintage railway lamps are always on offer and make a great talking point when used as lamps. Less useful things on offer are a couple of Victorian letterboxes, but be warned, they are heavy!

Decorative signs for the Cranks and Coves – for the real enthusiast

Perhaps for the complete train enthusiasts, the nameplate from ‘Crank’ signalbox which was on the St. Helens to Ormskirk line. A wooden sign ‘Cove’ is also up for grabs. It was a Caledonian Steam Packet Co. destination board.

Auctions such as these also give the chance to buy signs such as Station Master, Ladies Room, Waiting Room and no entry. These can often by bought for under £100 – if you are lucky.

While the actual auction is the main event, there are usually many trade stands at the event offering paperwork and small relics for sale. If you are lucky, you will spot some well-known people bidding. Pete Waterman is a regular for example.

Where, What Time and bidding arrangements

The auction takes place at Stoneleigh Park, about four miles from Coventry and Leamington Spa railway stations. Both have taxi ranks and bargain train tickets to them can be purchased from our sister website:

The sale commences at 10am on Saturday the 19th of January with viewing starting at 8am. You will need to obtain a bidding number if you intend to bid so make sure you are registered. Phone 01327 262193 for details.

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