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Fakenham engine collection draws buyers

PUBLISHED: 11:54 19 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:46 07 July 2010

A collection of 90 stationary engines built up by a collector over 30 years at his Norfolk bungalow has gone under the hammer.

Frank Dack had amassed the machines dating back to the early 1900s at his cul de sac home and countless sheds in Fakenham.

A collection of 90 stationary engines built up over 30 years at a Fakenham bungalow has gone under the hammer.

Frank Dack had amassed the machines dating back to the early 1900s at his cul-de-sac home and countless sheds in Fakenham.

And it was not until his death, aged 79, in March that his family discovered the vast extent of his collection, described as an "extraordinary find" by a valuer.

On Saturday, the collection, all restored, was split up as most were sold to private buyers and collectors by auctioneers Cheffins at Ely.

The firm said it was the largest collection it had sold.

The top price made was £2,600 for a Pinkney and Co gas engine, estimated at £2,000 to £2,500.

Auctioneer Simon Gooderham said: "It is quite a rare engine. It would probably have run just some light machinery, household equipment or light barn machinery."

It was designed in the late 1800s by Charles Pinkney for engine makers Tangye Brothers in Birmingham.

Most of the engines went for between £400 to £600, Mr Gooderham said. The total sale price had been estimated at £36,000 to £50,000.

"There was an awful lot of people here for the sale as a whole but certainly a good crowd for the Dack engines," said Mr Gooderham.

"There was a lot of interest in them and there was plenty of business. Nearly everything sold at around our estimated guide prices.

"We have had collections from deceased estates but not of this number."

They were from a wide variety of engine manufacturers including Ruston and Hornsby, Fairbanks Morse, T Eaton, Wolseley, Lister, Bamford, Petter, Barnard, Crossley, Douglas, Amanco, Enfield, J Fowler, Villiers and more.

All had been restored by Mr Dack and were in good condition.

The father of six was a starting member of the Starting Handle Club based at Bawburgh near Norwich.

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