Vast collection of carnival memorabilia to be sold at auction

Auctioneers were ‘shocked by the scale’ of the fairgrounds’ memorabilia collection under the hammer (Cheffins/PA)

The family of a prolific collector of vintage fairground memorabilia will sell their trucks full of items, including galloping horses, wooden boats and pedal cars, at auction.

The late Roger Austin, of Raunds in Northamptonshire, began buying pieces in the 1980s and had amassed more than 750 at the top of his collection.

Mr. Austin, who ran a car salvage business, started out collecting Scammell trucks and later progressed to collecting mech kits to go with them.

His son, Robert Austin, 42, said: “Dad came from a council house, brought up by his grandparents, and there were no trips to the English coast for the family, so when the fair came to town it was the more like. he ever went on vacation.

“For many children in those days, when the fair came around, they were the most exciting days of the year, and it was the nostalgia for these happier times of their childhood that really prompted him to start collecting items from the golden days of the fair. fair.”

He said the fairgrounds have been “a huge part of our lives and now we feel it’s right to pass custody of these pieces on to others who can enjoy them as much as I and my family.”

The auctioneers were

Auctioneers were “amazed by the scale” of the collection of fairground memorabilia to be sold at auction. (Cheffins/PA)

Austin said some of the larger rides have already been sold and the family will keep two fiberglass horses his father made.

Over 100 lots of vintage fairground memorabilia will be auctioned at Cheffins in Cambridgeshire on July 22 and 23, and are expected to fetch £20,000 in total.

The auctioneers will sell more than 300 pieces in total and have divided them into three separate sales, the first of which took place last year.

Jeremy Curzon, consultant to Chefin’s, said: “Roger Austin was buying truckloads of fairground memorabilia at one time.

“I would load truck bodies with the parts, which I would buy from other enthusiasts, fairgrounds that were renovating rides, or fairgrounds that were closing.

“I would scour the country for the best vintage fairground items and often I wouldn’t even unpack the trucks.

“Rather, the truck bodies were left in the barn, filled with wooden pawls or round boards, dating from the 1930s to the 1970s and 1980s.

“When we came across the collection, we were struck by its scale.

“This has to be the biggest sale of its kind in recent memory.

“In fact, the collection is so big that we are offering it in three different sales, 100 lots at a time, so as not to flood the market.

“These types of items are often not available for sale, and I expect some of the rarer pieces to fetch four figures.

“In fact, there may be more discoveries in the barns.”

– The auction will take place at Cheffins Machinery Sale Ground in Sutton, near Ely, Cambridgeshire.

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