Hundreds attend 1940s house sale at Banham

A charity that provides support to former British military personnel has received a financial boost following an auction of hundreds of 1940s items at a south Norfolk home.

Hundreds of bidders descended on Rushmere Cottage in Banham at the weekend after more than 400 lots went under the hammer.

The sale came after the owners of the second world war-themed house, Ad Hickley and Pam McMillan, decided to downsize to Cornwall and sell the majority of their possessions.

The couple, who have been opening up their smallholding to the public for a living history weekend for the last six years, also raised about �500 from the auction for Veterans Aid, which helps homeless ex-servicemen and women and those at risk of becoming homeless.

Mr Hickley said the sale on Saturday was a 'big success' and just a handful of the 400 lots failed to get a buyer. The couple are set to move in the next few months after finding a buyer for their 19th century cottage and eight acres of land.

He added: 'The house and shed look very empty now. We have banned ourselves from car boot sales for the next 12 months!'

Highlights of the auction, which was organised by Diss auctioneers TW Gaze, included a working 1939 Fordson Standard tractor and an almost complete Land Army uniform.

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Hundreds of visitors have attended the annual 1940s smallholding weekend at Banham, with vintage tractors, working horses and Land Girls to experience rural life during the second world war. The property also provided the backdrop to Anglia Television's 'A Wartime Summer' and 'A Wartime Winter', presented by Paul Heiney.