Train treasures that have languished in a garden for decades have been saved for posterity thanks to the expert eye of a railwayana valuer.

The items, potentially worth £2,000, were discovered in a garden in Cannock. They had hit the buffers and were destined for the scrapyard until Mark Holder, Etwall Hansons Auctioneers’ railwayana expert, was asked to take a look.

He said: “I was called for some advice by the lady owner. She explained that her late husband had a number of items he’d collected from his years as a railwayman. She needed to have a clear out and was considering sending the items to a scrapyard.

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“I conducted a home visit and was stunned - and delighted - by what I found. Fascinating pieces emerged - and all the items were worthy of auction. The collection had been kept in the garden for more than 40 years but everything had survived and was in pretty good shape.

“Highlights included a rare Ince railway station sign in its original, unrestored ex-service condition. It’s now set for auction on October 29 with a guide price of £200 to £400. I also discovered a pre-war Railway Rules and Regulations Books with an 1889 Infantry Drill Book. That has an estimate of £60 to £80.

“The major collection includes books, wagon plates, semaphore signal finials and more. Most of the finds will be included in Hansons’ Toy and Nostalgia Auction at Bishton Hall in Staffordshire on Friday, October 29.

“Another interesting item is an original ‘Kenilworth’ signal box name board with wooden backing and cast-iron lettering. It will be offered in Hansons’ December 4 Toy and Nostalgia Auction. Overall, I would expect the collection to make between £1,500 and £2,000. There is huge demand for original and rare railwayana like this.

Mark Holder with the garden railwayana collection. Rare Ince railway station sign, £200-£400. Railway Rules and Regulations Books with 1889 Infantry Drill Book, £60-£80. ‘Kenilworth’ signal box name board, for sale December 4, estimate to be confirmed.
Railway Rules and Regulations Books with 1889 Infantry Drill Book.

“Hansons’ monthly Nostalgia and Toy sales at Bishton Hall are currently smashing expectations. For example, our September auction achieved an overall sales figure of £100,000. Toys, railwayana and model trains are growing in popularity.”

If you have items of railwayana, transport books, model trains or general toys to sell, please email Mark Holder to arrange a free valuation or home visit: [email protected] You can also email Mark to book a free toy/railwayana valuation at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffs, on November 4 and December 2, 10am to 1pm. View the October 29 Toy and Nostalgia Auction Catalogue at www.hansonslive.co.uk.

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