House Clearance Guildford, Surrey Unearths Rare UK Olympic Programme.
Sporting house clearance in Surrey. Local firm Jeffrey Avery & Associates recently discovered an extremely rare original 1908 Olympic programme from The Great Stadium, Shepherds Bush, London, believed to be the only one in existence. It was discovered along with other Olympic memorabilia during a recent house clearance, in West Clandon near Guildford in Surrey. We were clearing the garage of general rubbish and came across a tea chest and when i checked inside, i discovered the collection amongst old newspapers, it was almost thrown away but i noticed the material and put it away for safe keeping. I checked the collection later back at my premises and found a large amount of Olympic memorabilia and photographs stretching from 1908 through to the sixties. It was very exciting for me and i thought what a coincidence for it to turn up at this time with the Olympics just a few months away. The previous owner who has sadly passed away was a professional body builder and close friend to Johnny Weissmuller, who represented the USA and became 5 times Olympic swimming gold medalist in the 1920’s, who was also famous for his role as “Tarzan”. Jeff Avery said that “Its not uncommon for us to find unusal items in a house clearance, Guildford Surrey in particular seems to throw up a lot of historical artifacts”
I realised how important the Olympic programme was and contacted Richard Poad, chairman of Maidenhead Heritage Centre, and offered to loan the programme for their exhibition “Our Sporting Life” which starts in the first week of April for about 8 weeks. The exhibition has an entire section dedicated to Lord Desborough a local Maidenhead man who was an Olympic fencer, as well as rower, mountain climber and lots else besides, who single handed organised the 1908 Olympic Games at The Great Stadium, Shepherds Bush, London, after the cancellation of its original hosting in Rome due to damage caused by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Eventually the programme will be added to the “UK House Clearance Museum”, our private collection of artifacts and interesting items we keep for historical purposes and research, this collection will soon be available online when we have completed building its new website, so watch this space, we have many interesting items ready to exhibit. The programme was so rare that the BBC news desk contacted me and has written a story which can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16395130
If you are interested in visiting the exhibition “Our Sporting Life” in Maidenhead follow this link for full details http://www.maidenheadheritage.org.uk/news.php
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article.
Good luck in 2012
Jeffrey Avery M.D.