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Massive Great Yarmouth speedway memorabilia collection up for auction

17th Nov 2014
Great Yarmouth speedway memorabilia 1

A massive collection of Great Yarmouth speedway memorabilia from the 1940s and 1950s goes under the hammer in Norfolk this week – charting the history of the team’s post-war heyday, which came to an end with the last meeting at their Caister Road stadium in August 1961.

Over 600 matchday programmes from home and away matches from 1948 to 1960 are up for auction at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Aylsham, alongside six World Championship final programmes from the Empire Stadium Wembley (1945-1955), more than 200 speedway magazines and journals from the period, and assorted other memorabilia.

The comprehensive collection was the property of the late Ernest Wedon, who was manager of the stadium throughout the Bloaters’ glory period, and who died in 1980.  It is being sold by his four children, two of whom still live in Yarmouth.

The collection, which is being auctioned in four separate lots, is part of Keys’ two day Books and Ephemera Sale taking place on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st November; the speedway memorabilia will be auctioned on the second day of the sale.  Pre-sale estimates value the whole collection at around £400.

Speedway had taken place in Yarmouth in the 1930s on a grass track, but it wasn’t until after the war that the Great Yarmouth Bloaters really burst onto the scene, cementing a place near the top of the third division (and in fact winning promotion to division two in 1950).

The team resigned from the Provincial League at the end of the 1960 season, with racing coming to an end the following year.  The stadium is now used for greyhound racing and stock car racing.

Keys Head of Books and Ephemera Sarah Prior said, “This has to be the most comprehensive collection of memorabilia about the Great Yarmouth Bloaters, who in the post-war years were one of the jewels in Norfolk’s speedway crown.

“Anyone who is interested in local speedway history will find a real treasure trove of items here, and we are expecting strong interest in the collection.  The bulk of the collection is in really excellent condition.”

The collection (lots 1178-1181) will be auctioned on the second day of the two-day sale, on Friday 21st November.  Full details are available at www.keysauctions.co.uk.