A sign from Devizes railway station, which closed during the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, has left the county after it fetched nearly £1,000 at an auction on Saturday.
The “totem” sign, which would have alerted passengers to the fact they had reached their destination, was bought by a collector from the north of England after fierce bidding took it up to £800. With buyer’s premium and VAT, the final price was nearly £1,000.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “Sadly, the sign didn’t stay in Wiltshire but the market in railway memorabilia is very high all over the country.”
Devizes station closed in 1966 as part of the cuts recommended by Dr Richard Beeching, who was brought in to return the ailing British Railways to profitability. The loss of its railway was a mixed blessing for Devizes as it escaped the wholesale redevelopment that blighted other Wiltshire towns that retained their stations.
A collection of royal memorabilia, formerly the property of the Keeper of the Royal Apartments, fetched more than £7,000.
A signed photograph of the Queen and Prince Philip made nearly £1,000 while a sycamore wooden inkstand used in the King’s study in HM Yacht Victoria and Albert went for £1,200. A green and gilt tureen bearing the cipher of King Edward VII, despite being damaged, fetched £1,500.
The viewing session on Friday evening had to be cut short when the stormy weather led to a power cut.
Mr Aldridge said: “Given the high winds, it wasn’t surprising that we had a power outage but I’m just glad it didn’t happen during the sale.”