A HOARD of historic Bamforth postcards has come home.
Holmfirth businessman Richard Gudgeon was intrigued when he read in the Examiner about the sale of a cache of Second World War Bamforth postcards that had been found in an attic in the North Wales seaside town of Llandudno.
He was so intrigued he ended up buying them!
Mr Gudgeon, 63, said he was thrilled to have been able to snap up the cards against strong competition from a number of dealers and other collectors at the auction in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.
He paid £1,050 for the collection, which was several times the expected price.
"I was reading the Examiner over a cup of tea one evening and was intrigued to learn about the sale," he said.
"I was struck by the content of the postcards and their obvious quality and I thought: `I'd love to have them'."
The 500 comic cards were probably the unsold stock from a seaside novelty shop.
They dated from the 1940s, when Britain's holidaymakers were trying to forget about petrol shortages, food rationing and the threat of invasion by Hitler, who featured in some of the cards as a cartoon parody.
Mr Gudgeon said: "I've always appreciated local history - and the cards have a real significance because they cover such topics as Digging for Victory, food rationing, loved ones fighting abroad and the Home Guard, all with a saucy, comic twist.
"Once the war ended, they would have been scrapped because they were out of date.
"That's probably why they were put in the attic, because the shopkeeper would have been unable to sell them.
"I went to school in the Holme Valley and have a business in Holmfirth, so bringing the collection back was very important to me. It's a real pleasure to have them and to be able to look at them."
Mr Gudgeon hopes local people will be able to see them, too.
He is the managing director of ironfounders J and J W Longbottom and intends to put a framed display in the public area of his works.
He will also be liaising with the local museum service in case he has examples not already represented in public collections.
"If I have duplicates among the collection which the museum doesn't have, I'd be happy to make them available on permanent loan," said Mr Gudgeon.
Auctioneer David Jones said there had been an enormous amount of interest in the postcards before the sale.
He said: "The bidding was fast and furious. We had two big commission bids left by people who couldn't attend the sale in person, two other potential buyers bidding on the telephone and at least two bidders in the room.
"I'm delighted the postcards are going back to Holmfirth," added Mr Jones.
Bamforths was founded in Holmfirth in 1870 by James Bamforth.
At its peak the company produced 16m cards a year.