A RUSTY pre-war clockwork train set found in a garage as part of a Kendal house clearance has sold for £6,500 at 1818 Auctioneers at Crooklands.

The early 20th Century Marklin Gauge 1, Midland Railway locomotive with a tender, two carriages and a wagon would have once been a treasured item says David Hunter from 1818 Auctioneers.

“It would have been a top train set when new, the most expensive you could buy in the 1900s” he explained. “But somehow it ended up in the garage in disrepair."

Mr Hunter, one of 1818 Auctioneers’s collectables experts, said: “We were called in to clear the house of a wealthy local businessman.

"When we got everything back to our saleroom at J36 Auction Centre the team carefully checked all the boxes. It’s pain-stacking and dusty work and looks can be deceiving, particularly in the case of this train.

"It was rusty, two of the wheels from the locomotive weren’t attached and it must have been a favourite toy at some time given all its wear and tear.

“There was a lot of interest in it – we had phone, commission and online bids and it eventually went to a collector in Holland. We are chuffed to bits with the result.

“It was probably the most valuable item from the house and it could have been so easily overlooked,” added Mr Hunter.

Another train from the same house clearance also sold well in the same sale. It was a gauge 1 live steam Midland Railway 0-4-0 Locomotive and Tender which made £1,000 in a two-day sale for collectors.

The auction house says it is seeing a trend for single owner collections selling well at auction.