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Collecting rail antiques was a good investment

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: July 09, 2014

  • Some of Mr F.H. Jennings's railway signs

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THE steam pictures in The Bugle of Mr L. Brownhill brought back memories for me.

I started collecting early railway antiques in the 1960's when items were cheaper, but if kept till today they are worth a fortune.

I had the name plate of the loco Stowe Grange for about five years till I swapped it. The chap I bought it off had it off British Rail and he paid £15 plus 10 shillings delivered to his door. I paid £75 for it then.

I also had Foxcote Manor and sold it for £95 to a chap in Bath, so I could buy a Bulldog name plate, Pelican Faendre Hall.

I couldn't afford to keep this at the time, so I sold it to a chap now passed away, who lived in Devon.

I still have the Handsworth-Smethwick totems after all these years, as I lived in Handsworth for years and used the station to go to Hockley and Snow Hill.

Also I sold the G.W.R. Copper capped chimney, now that came off Walton Hall, not the Grange.

A very odd item to get these days, I got that off a chap in Derby. I also sold all the totems as well including West Brom, Dundee, Hockley and the GWR bench.

You see in the late 1970s we came across hard times and I had to sell them to keep the roof over our heads. This is when we lived in Sutton Coldfield in a villa-type house.

If I could afford to have kept these items I would be wealthy now, as some of these loco name plates fetch anything up to £30,000 or more according to the name.

Station names are fetching hundreds of pounds these days. I collected and sold these items at the wrong time of life.

I had other names as well. But in those days you could swap and exchange with no bother, even if you made only £5 to £10 profit.

Wages at the time were not much but it was a lovely hobby.

Incidentally, I do believe Foxcote Manor is on the Llangollen steam railway these days.

F.H. Jennings,

50 Mildenhall Road,

Great Barr, Birmingham.

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