ROYAL town crier Tony Appleton, who just weeks ago was standing on the steps of the Lindo Wing in London announcing the birth of Princess Charlotte, has been back on duty in Fernhurst.
This time he was at John Nicholson’s auctioneers, announcing the sale of lot 673, a parcel label bound for the Titanic which never made it aboard.
The royal town crier, president of the Guild of International Millennium Town Criers, added a sense of drama to the occasion when the Marconi label went under the hammer.
More than 100 years after the sinking of the Titanic, heirs of the original label holder put it up for sale with great interest from collectors of both Titanic and Marconi artefacts.
They included a group from Chelmsford hoping to create a ‘Marconi Science WorX’, a multi-functional space for Marconi Heritage exhibitions and other purposes in the original Marconi building.
The parcel had been sent from the Marconi factory in Hall Street, Chelmsford, via the Titanic’s sister ship RMS Olympic. But postmarked April 11, 1912, it missed the ship as the ill-fated Titanic had already sailed.
It is possible the parcel was returned to Chelmsford and by the time that happened, Titanic had sunk and the label had become a part of history so it was torn off the parcel and kept.
Bids were not only in the room, but on phones and on the internet, pushing the hammer price up to more than £3,000.
The group from Chelmsford who bid unsuccessfully were not too disappointed.
Pam Swaby said: “We would have loved to have bought it, but we are raising funds in the hope of buying the lease on the ground floor of the Hall Street building where Marconi were then.”
Later the group announced there were hopes the purchaser may allow either a facsimile to be made or even agree to loan the original for the exhibition.
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