Treasure trove of Cumbria and Lake District postcards realises £5,500 at Lichfield auction
A STUNNING collection of postcards depicting life in Cumbria a century ago proved one to write home about after selling at auction in Lichfield for thousands of pounds.
The archive showcased the Lake District’s rich heritage from the Edwardian era to the mid-20th century.
Three albums covering Transport, Cumbria At Work and Cumbria At Play proved particularly popular, fetching £1,400, £1,250 and £1,600 respectively in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Stamps & Postal History Sale, held live online from The Lichfield Auction Centre at Wood End Lane, Fradley Park.
“From day-to-day working practices from bygone Cumbria to pre-WW1 biplanes, trams, buses and now defunct railway stations to evocative images of the Lake District, this stunning collection was beautifully collated with huge attention to detail,” said ephemera specialist Robert French.
“As well as Lakeland pleasure boats and ferries, water speed record attempts also featured with Sir Malcolm Campbell in the Blue Bird K4 on Coniston Water, August 19 1939 and the ill-fated Miss England II disaster on Lake Windermere, on Friday June 13 1939, in which pilot Sir Henry Seagrave was killed.”
There were also two images of the Vickers’ Naval Airship Number One in Cavendish Dock at the Port of Barrow in September 1911.
“The airship was nicknamed ‘Mayfly’, in that ‘it may fly one day’ yet it never did,” said Mr French.
Working images included steel works, blacksmiths, woodcutters, farming, quarrying, mining, weaving and fishing.
Other postcards featured harbours, ship launches, sanatoriums, schools, colleges, courts, police and the army.
Early tourism was also explored with rare and unusual postcards showing rock climbing, skating on frozen lakes, swimming and beach games in full Edwardian attire.
Mr French added: “Ambleside, Windemere, Grasmere, Scafell, Coniston, Derwentwater, Skiddaw, Ullswater, Helvellyn, Penrith, Keswick, Derwentwater and many more were all present, making the collection as comprehensive as it was desirable.”
There were also scenes of the Appleby New Fair, the ‘Uppies and Downies’ football match traditionally played in Workington at Easter, several fetes, pageants and shows including the Coronation Festival.
The entire collection of postcards realised in excess of £5,500.
The online sale on Thursday, May 13, also featured fine and rare Great Britain stamps, with results including an excellent example of ‘plate 11’ Penny Black selling for £780, an 1867 £1 brown lilac fetching £750 and a Penny Red with four good margins making £680.
Richard Winterton Auctioneers has introduced new fortnightly Two Day Antiques & Home Sales every other Monday and Tuesday, starting at 9.30am each day.
Viewing by appointment only takes place the preceding Friday – call 01543 251081 to book.
In-person valuations for jewellery, watches, silver, antiques and collectables at The Lichfield Auction Centre are available strictly by appointment only between 9.30am-4pm on Thursdays.