Britain’s biggest hoarder amassed 60,000 items worth £4m crammed into terraced house
A £4m treasure trove of over 60,000 items amassed by Britain’s biggest ever hoarder has been discovered crammed into a terraced house.
Most of the enormous collection, that was stacked floor to ceiling in every room, consisted of unopened parcels that had been delivered to the property since 2002.
The hoard was so vast that the late owner was forced to move into a bed and breakfast for the last year of his life because he ran out of room for even himself.
He rented a one bedroom flat, two garages, part of a neighbour’s garden and 24 council wheelie bins to stash all the stuff.
Stunned auctioneers were called to clear the three bedroom house by the hoarder’s brother who had no idea of the sheer scale of his sibling’s collection.
It took a team of eight men in three vans 180 hours over six weeks to empty the house of all the items.
They could only access the house by removing boxes and bags in front of them, clearing a path as they went.
All 18 members of staff at an auction house tasked with selling it all have spent the last four weeks unwrapping the packages.
They have set aside three rooms to store it all in and will sell the staggering collection in 3,000 lots over a four day sale.
The overall estimate for the hoard has been put anywhere between £500,000 and £4m.
The eclectic hoard includes thousands of items of Beatles memorabilia, signed photos and letters relating to JFK, Winston Churchill, Gandhi and Elvis Presley, over 6,000 vintage comics, over 4,000 rare books, 3,000 vintage chemistry sets, brand new cameras and lenses and 12 Rickenbacker guitars from the 1960s and ’70s.
There is also an ‘excellent’ collection of Russian and American space exploration memorabilia that includes slides and photos as well as cinema reels, radio equipment, ghetto blasters from the 1980s, Airfix models and lots of jewellery.
A lot of the items are in a brand new or pristine condition from where they haven’t been opened or touched.
The hoarder, who died suddenly earlier this year at the age of 44, was a bachelor who lived alone in the three-bedroom house in Nottingham.
It is thought he started it about 18 years ago with the intention of selling it all one day to fund his retirement.
Neighbours said that a Royal Mail van filled to the brim with parcels visited the address once a week without fail.
The hoarder worked as a computer programmer and it remains a mystery as to where he found the money to buy it all.
Terry Woodcock, of Unique Auctions, of Lincoln, has been tasked with selling the collection.
He said he has never seen anything like it in 50 years of working in the business and described the late owner as Britain’s biggest hoarder.
He said: “This collection is beyond belief.
“I met the man’s brother at the house and he was just as shocked as I was. He had no idea his brother lived like he did.
“His house and garage were literally crammed full of items so much so that he had spent the last year of his life living in a B&B.
“He rented a one bedroom flat just up the road and that was the same as well as two rented garages.
“I have no idea how he paid for it all and neither does his brother.
“He was a compulsive buyer of parcels that he was never going to open.
“His intention was to buy and buy and buy and only unpack it all when he wanted to retire. His brother knew that much but he had no clue as to the scale of it.
“His neighbour said he used to have a special Royal Mail delivery every Friday of a van loaded with parcels.”
It is thought that the owner bought most of the items by eBay but did also attend conferences and conventions to collect thousands of other items.
Mr Woodcock said: “He didn’t buy rubbish, a lot of it was top quality stuff.
“After he passed away his brother’s first inclination was to send it all to the landfill. Luckily he didn’t.
“We couldn’t get in through the front door so we had to go around the back.
“We were totally amazed at what we saw. Everywhere in the property was full to the ceiling, it was very difficult to move around.
“It was impossible to get up the stairs and you couldn’t see the top of the staircase.
“We found out that when he filled up the house the owner rented two garages and when they were full he rented part of the garden next door.
“We used eight men in three vans every day to empty the house.
“We started unpacking the parcels four weeks ago and we are still doing it. We employ 18 people and everyone is working on this collection.
“One dealer who has been to see us reckons it could be worth £4m.”
The Beatles memorabilia includes a rare Hard Day’s Night LP signed by the Fab Four that could be worth £4,000.
The 6,000 vintage comics include a rare Justice League America Number One which is valued at £1,200.
The Rickenbacker guitars could sell for £10,000 each. The sale takes place between October 22-25.
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