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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Field of bygones

ONE of the biggest sales for many years of horse-drawn vehicles, vintage tools and Victoriana has attracted interest from as far afield as Gloucester and the famous Living Museum of the Past at Beamish.

The sale by North West Auctions, of Kendal and Lancaster, is from 11am on Saturday October 27 and will see the dispersal of the Coppermines Collection which has been put together over the past 40 years by Philip Johnston.

It includes so much material that a one-acre field and a marquee with 30 tables will be needed at the back of the John Ruskin Museum.

Many of the items were originally collected by Les Oakes of Cheadle, in Staffordshire and the late Peter Appleyard of Torver – who was a quarry worker and started accumulating items of interest from around 1950.

The huge collection has been stored in six buildings in four locations in Coniston.

Coniston businessman, Mr Johnston, had originally hoped to put his vintage collections on public display but it never proved to be possible.

He said: “I am never going to do a museum with this stuff now.”

His business interests include Coniston self-catering cottages which form part of an important complex of copper mine buildings left by an industry stretching back to Elizabethan times.

He said: “I am keeping all my mining material and the sale gives me a chance to possibly put the mine collection on show in the Coppermines Valley.”

Like all true collectors, Mr Johnston has still been bringing in new items – on his mines theme.

The recent closure of the Keswick Mining Museum has allowed him to bring historic items from the Coniston mines back to the village

For the rest of the items, it is now time to let go.

He said: “Due to the huge amount of items, clearing the buildings for this sale has turned up some things I haven’t actually seen for more than 25 years.

“I have enjoyed traveling far and wide to acquire the collection and more importantly wouldn’t have missed the chance of meeting all the characters along the way.”

Among the items being sold are Victorian horse-drawn vehicles, agricultural and architectural antiques, antique furniture, tools and bygones.

There are also stained glass windows and even a traditional timber sailing dinghy.

All the items will be on public show on Friday, October 26, from 10am to 8pm and on the morning of the sale from 8.30am.

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