Collection shows past times
PHOTOGRAPHS reflecting life in Biggleswade and the surrounding villages over a century ago had collectors paying high prices at an auction last week. The photographs of Victorian life in the town and the countryside were among over 600 items belonging to
PHOTOGRAPHS reflecting life in Biggleswade and the surrounding villages over a century ago had collectors paying high prices at an auction last week.
The photographs of Victorian life in the town and the countryside were among over 600 items belonging to the late Ivor Carr, a market gardener from Biggleswade, who died almost two years ago, which had been put up for auction by his widow Mary.
At the close of the auction in St Neots on Thursday the memorabilia had grossed far more than expected with £10,000 being paid for over 500 of the items.
Mr Carr lived with his wife in Hitchin Street, Biggleswade, and for decades the couple collected Victorian memorabilia from railways, agricultural implements, one arm bandits and vending machines, old tradesmen's bicycles, shop signs and kitchen utensils.
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Mrs Carr, now 76, and living with her niece in Arrington, Cambs, decided to put the vast number of historic items up for auction although she retains many as personal treasures.
"I knew Ivor for over 30 years and he was a wonderful local man. Everybody knew and loved him," said auctioneer Tom Wisson.
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"He was a small man who would come up behind me and pull the flap of my jacket. He always wore a flat cap.
"It was almost like a history lesson looking at all the items he had collected and people really enjoyed the auction.
"Mary came along and viewed the items before the auction and there was a tear in her eye. Pictures of Biggleswade, Potton, Gamlingay and the surrounding villages taken at the turn of the 1900s were very popular and groups of pictures went for as much as £200. People came from all over. We even had one dealer from southern Ireland but it was mostly local people who wanted their own bit of local history to take home.
"One of the items that was very popular and attracted a lot of interest was a Bedfordshire clanger baking tin which was sold with other kitchen items for £35."
Collectors also paid good prices for stone jars and bottles that once belonged to local breweries.