Colourful costume collection and vintage outfits in the limelight at Aylsham charity auction

Sandra Branch-Burbridge, who once owned a fancy dress and vintage clothes shop, is auctioning off th

Sandra Branch-Burbridge, who once owned a fancy dress and vintage clothes shop, is auctioning off the outfits for the charity The Scleroderma Society.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

From cavemen to Cleopatra and Prince Charming to Popeye, fancy dress fans are in for a treat when a huge range of theatrical costumes go under the hammer for charity.

The huge collection of pieces is being put up for sale by Cawston fashion aficionado Sandra Branch-Burbridge, who used to run a theatrical dress and dancewear business.

The mum of two is auctioning her wonderfully varied wardrobe to raise awareness of Scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease that effects the skin and internal organs, which she suffers from.

Money raised through the sale will be split between the Scleroderma Society and the Royal Free Hospital in London, where the 47-year-old is receiving treatment.

Ms Branch-Burbridge, who studied fashion and history of costume, started her business in 1991 from a small spare bedroom, but her collection soon grew and she took on a shop in Cromer.

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Sadly with the rise in small business rates she could not keep it on and after a spell in Aylsham, she took the 'hard decision' to shut up shop and put her collection into storage.

She then focused solely on her other great passion of teaching ballet, but as her health continued to deteriorate she also had to close her school.

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'I am pleased to be able to help my sons with the enormous task of sorting through the costume collection and preparing it for sale, whilst I'm still just about able to do so,' she said.

As well as fabulous fancy dress, clothes lovers will also be able to snap up a range of retro items as Ms Branch-Burbridge has teamed up with Carol Wisby - owner of Aylsham's No.5 Dress Agency, Vintage and Vogue - to hold the auction.

Ms Branch-Burbridge said: 'Buyers can expect a wide variety, with fancy dress for their next party or indeed local carnivals, which was always a busy time of year for me, through to national costumes, historical/period costumes and vintage/retro clothing.

'There will something for everyone with guide prices ranging from 50p upwards of £50.'

The auction is being held at Aylsham town hall on August 10. Bidding will start at 10am, with viewing from 8am.

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