Balloch Pier BR totem sign – £3900 at Lindsay Burns.

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They appeared as part of the BR branding on nationalisation in 1948. Regional colours were adopted – light blue for Scotland. Prices range from a few hundred pounds to five figures for the rarest examples.

A standard 3ft (91.5cm) wide Balloch Pier sign sold in uncleaned, unrestored condition for £3900 (estimate £100-200) at Lindsay Burns (20% buyer’s premium) of Perth on March 25.

It was offered among a large array of Scottish regional BR signs in the sale. However, closed small stations command a premium – and the fact Balloch Pier was a holiday destination probably helped. Balloch Pier station line opened in 1850 to meet steamers on Loch Lomond.

After the last public cruise to use the pier, in 1981, the station closed five years later.

Another Balloch Pier totem sign sold at Special Auction Services of Newbury in June 2021 for £4400.

Kilwinning bidder

McTear’s (24% buyer’s premium) Toys, Pop Culture & Railwayana auction in Glasgow on April 28 also included a collection of Scottish totems.

The sign for Clydebank Central, the former North British Railway station between Partick and Bowlin opened in 1897 and now known just as Clydebank, sold at £440 while Kilwinning, north Ayrshire, opened in 1840, made £700.