After this latest event on November 16-17, however, we are all much the wiser as to high-priced demand for such things.
There were some 40 people in the room bidding for this 100-lot collection of tickets from the 1860s to the 1920s, some offered individually, others in groups of various sizes. And there were many more bids on commission or via the internet.
Most of the bidders were private and some, I trust, endeavoured to reach South Cerney by way of nearby Kemble station. The dealing side was represented by Platform Tickets, a firm whose proprietor was able to assure the auctioneers that, with premiums taken into account, they had set a price record for a single ticket.
Collectors, its seems, may collect tickets from particular stations, especially those that were only in existence for a short period, or perhaps go for tickets issued by certain railway companies. Others may be interested in the railway lines of a particular region.
Any concerns that this would be a difficult sale were mostly removed by the numbers who turned up to bid, and completely vanished when the very first ticket to be offered, a first class single valid on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway for a journey from Wooda Bay to Barnstaple Town, sold for £2500 rather than the suggested £200-250.
The ticket is dated August 24, 1904, but obviously they still had plenty of tickets to use up as the station had been re-named Woody Bay three years earlier. The original price of 3/4d has also been reduced and altered by hand to 2/8d - and for younger readers that is roughly the equivalent of 13p in today's money.
Another first class single, this time for an 1871 journey from Ottery Road to Honiton on the L&SWR line, sold at £3000. Bidding peaked at £3200 for a first class single for travel between Banagher and Maryborough on the Irish Clara & Banagher Railway. Issued on the 11th April, 0(?), it originally cost 9/4d, as the autograph amendment indicates.
The buyer's premium was 17.5%.