Photo gallery: Rare militaria collection goes under the hammer in Beccles

Durrants auction rooms are set to hold the sale of the Peter Sayer Collection of Militaria and Mili

Durrants auction rooms are set to hold the sale of the Peter Sayer Collection of Militaria and Military vehicles.Mark Whistler from Durrants with the collection. - Credit: Nick Butcher

An 89-year-old man is putting his extraordinary collection of restored military vehicles up for auction in Beccles this month.

The collection, which includes many rare and valuable pieces, has been described as “the sale of a lifetime” by Durrants auctioneer Rebecca Mayhew, who will be helping with the auction.

The items belong to Peter Sayer of Stockton who was a royal engineer and was stationed in Egypt during the Second World War where he worked on military railway engines, as well as motorised vehicles.

His passion grew for restoring the military vehicles that he had been trained on and his collection started to take shape in the early 1970s.

Mr Sayer’s collection is being put up for auction as a consequence of his ill health and Durrants auctioneers estimated that one of the main pieces - a Ford “Woody” V8 3.6lt station wagon - will fetch between £20,000 to 25,000.

Within the collection there is an airborne folding bicycle by B.S.A in its original condition as well as mine detecting sets, complete in their crates, and cable laying reel with rods.

And among Mr Sayer’s cherished items are radios, vehicle and air ministry, and a wealth of uniforms and military equipment.

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The radio collection spans from the very early Second World War to post war examples, including number 11 sets, number 19 sets and number 38 A.F.V. sets. There are also extensive tools and workshop goods.

Ms Mayhew said: “During my career so far as an auctioneer, I have had the pleasure of offering many rare and valuable items for sale, and have achieved world record prices on more than one occasion.

“However this month we will be holding the sale of a lifetime – not just because we will be offering valuable and historically interesting lots for sale, but also because we have the honour of holding a sale for a gentleman who turned his knowledge and passion into an extraordinary collection of militaria and rare military vehicles.”

Mr Sayer moved to Stockton in 1940, and as someone who had served in the war, he wanted the vehicles to be restored to an original condition and in as good running order as possible.

The stars of the sale are the 1943 Bedford M. W. 15cwt truck, complete with radio set No 19, the 1942 Austin “Tilly” Light Utility 10hp model G/YG and the 1941 Ford “Woody” V8 3.6lt station wagon, which was made in Canada.

All of the vehicles are in running order and have been restored to a high standard and come with their original V5 documents.

The ‘Woody’ and the ‘Tilly’ vehicles were driven to and from exhibitions abroad where they were on display for 60th anniversary events in Antwerp.

The Peter Sayer Collection of militaria and military vehicles will be held at Durrants Auction Rooms in Peddars Lane on Saturday, March 21.

Catalogues are available. For more information call 01502 713490 or email