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Wednesday, Dec 02, 2020

Britain's biggest hoarder dies suddenly leaving behind £4,000,000 treasure trove

A treasure trove of more than 60,000 items amassed by Britain’s biggest ever hoarder could fetch as much as £4 million at auction.

The enormous collection was stacked floor to ceiling in every room of a terraced house in Nottingham, and got so vast the late owner had to move into a B&B for the last year of his life.

He rented a one bedroom flat, two garages, part of a neighbour’s garden and 24 council wheelie bins just to stash all the stuff.

The eclectic hoard includes thousands of items of Beatles memorabilia, signed photos and historical letters about President John F Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Gandhi and Elvis Presley.

There are more than 6,000 vintage comics, over 4,000 rare books, 3,000 vintage chemistry sets, brand new cameras and lenses, and 12 Rickenbacker guitars from the 1960s and 70s.

There is also an ‘excellent’ collection of Russian and American space exploration memorabilia that includes slides and photos as well as cinema reels, radio equipment, ghetto blasters from the 1980s, Airfix models and lots of jewellery.

The hoarder, who died suddenly earlier this year at the age of 44, was a bachelor who lived alone in the three bedroom house in Nottingham.

It is thought he started collecting about 18 years ago with the intention of selling it all one day to fund his retirement.

Neighbours said a Royal Mail van filled to the brim with parcels would visit the address once a week without fail.

The hoarder worked as a computer programmer and it remains a mystery how he found the money to buy it all.

Stunned auctioneers were called to clear the three bedroom house by the hoarder’s brother who had no idea of the scale of his sibling’s collection.

It took a team of eight men in three vans over six weeks to empty the house of all the items.

They could only access the house by removing boxes and bags in front of them, clearing a path as they went.

All 18 members of staff at an auction house tasked with selling it all have spent the last four weeks unwrapping the packages.

They have set aside three rooms to store it all in and will sell the staggering collection in 3,000 lots over a four-day sale.

A lot of the items haven’t been opened and are in a brand new or pristine condition.

The overall estimate has been put anywhere between £500,000 and £4,000,000.

Terry Woodcock, of Unique Auctions, of Lincoln, has been tasked with selling the collection.

He said he has never seen anything like it in 50 years of working in the business and described the late owner as Britain’s biggest hoarder.

He said: ‘This collection is beyond belief. I met the man’s brother at the house and he was just as shocked as I was. He had no idea his brother lived like he did. ‘His house and garage were literally crammed full of items.’

It is thought the owner bought most of it on eBay but did also attend conferences and conventions to collect thousands of other items. Mr Woodcock added: ‘He didn’t buy rubbish, a lot of it was top quality stuff.

‘After he passed away his brother’s first inclination was to send it all to the landfill. Luckily he didn’t.

‘We couldn’t get in through the front door so we had to go around the back. We were totally amazed at what we saw.

‘Everywhere in the property was full to the ceiling, it was very difficult to move around.

‘It was impossible to get up the stairs and you couldn’t see the top of the staircase.

‘We found out that when he filled up the house the owner rented two garages and when they were full he rented part of the garden next door.’

The sale takes place between October 22-25.


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