Harold Wilson’s most treasured possessions go under the hammer

Harold Wilson’s most treasured possessions including his pipes, a bottle of HP sauce and a painting by Prince Charles go under the hammer

  • Hansons Auctioneers, based in Etwall, Derbyshire, will sell the collection
  • A watercolour by Prince Charles accompanied with a handwritten note included
  • There are photographs of the politician with TV stars including Bruce Forsyth 
  • e-mail

1

View
comments

A unique personal collection of rare memorabilia containing hundreds of items belonging to former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson will be sold at auction.

Hansons Auctioneers, based in Etwall, Derbyshire, will sell the huge collection which contains treasured items including a watercolour by Prince Charles.

It also includes photographs of the politician with TV stars Bruce Forsyth, Penelope Keith, and Morecambe and Wise.


The huge collection contains treasured items such as photographs, letters, Christmas cards from world leaders and royalty and even includes a watercolour by Prince Charles

There is even a book about HP sauce together with a miniature bottle with his name emblazoned upon it.

Treasured photos of the couple with the Queen and Prince Philip, many Christmas cards and a 100th birthday card to Lady Wilson from the Queen with a personal message is also included.

And a watercolour painting by Prince Charles which was given to Lady Wilson and accompanied by a handwritten letter will also be sold.


Items belonging to his wife, Lady Wilson, will also be sold by Hansons Auctioneers, based in Etwall, Derbyshire. Pictured, Harold Wilson pictured with Penelope Keith

  • Now Boris starts to buckle: Johnson admits that he COULD… ‘I make no guarantees, but I’m trying’: Chicago prosecutor…

Share this article


The huge collection is from Harold Wilson and his wife Lady Wilson’s former London home and also includes everything from his pipes and his passport to his leather armchair and ashtray


Written on Highgrove House headed notepaper, and dated 1998, Prince Charles’ note reads: ‘Dear Lady Wilson, you asked me for a watercolour. Here is one of a chateau in Burgundy – a sketch – which I did in 1990 in December

Written on Highgrove House headed notepaper, and dated 1998, it reads: ‘Dear Lady Wilson, you asked me for a watercolour. Here is one of a chateau in Burgundy – a sketch – which I did in 1990 in December.

‘I do hope it isn’t too dreary and amateur for you – but it comes with heartfelt good wishes and kindest regards from the apologetic artist. Charles.’

Items belonging to his wife, Lady Wilson, will also be sold by Hansons Auctioneers, based in Etwall, Derbyshire.


He kept everything, including his Boy Scout badges, which he treasured until the end of his days, along with a number of other items, including personal letters and a school story that he wrote in 1934 called ‘Perfectly Monstrous’


He founded the Open University, and oversaw much pioneering legislation, including bills on equal opportunities, international aid, the abolition of hanging and of theatre censorship, and laws on abortion and homosexuality reform

The huge collection is from their former London home and also includes everything from his pipes and his passport to his leather armchair and ashtray.

He kept everything, including his Boy Scout badges, which he treasured until the end of his days, along with a number of other items, including personal letters and a school story that he wrote in 1934 called ‘Perfectly Monstrous’.

There is even a book about HP sauce together with a miniature bottle with his name emblazoned upon it.

Harold Wilson was Prime Minister from 1964-70 and then again from 1974-76.

He founded the Open University, and oversaw much pioneering legislation, including bills on equal opportunities, international aid, the abolition of hanging and of theatre censorship, and laws on abortion and homosexuality reform.


TV auctioneer Charles Hanson, who owns Hansons Auctioneers, said: ‘We are truly honoured to be handling this incredible collection which has both political and royal pedigree

During his second period of office he held a referendum on staying in Europe, achieving a resounding ‘yes’ by a margin of two to one.

Lady Wilson, who died last year at the age of 102, was renowned in her own right as a highly accomplished poet, and her books of poetry sold in the many thousands during the 1960s and 1970s. She also worked as the supporter of many worthy causes and charities.

TV auctioneer Charles Hanson, who owns Hansons Auctioneers, said: ‘We are truly honoured to be handling this incredible collection which has both political and royal pedigree.

‘There are photographs illustrating Wilson’s life as a politician, which saw him meeting world leaders such as former US Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, and several other world leaders including former Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev, who gave him a painting that also features in the sale.

‘Hansons has the privilege of handling these precious mementos following instruction from the executors of the late Lady Wilson’s estate. The items paint a picture of an extraordinary life.

‘Harold Wilson will never be forgotten. He was a man of the people who retained his Yorkshire accent, was Pipe Smoker of the Year in 1965, famously drowned his food in HP sauce, and supported Huddersfield Town Football Club.

We are very proud to honour his memory.’

The Harold and Mary Wilson Collection will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers, Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford ST17 0XN, on May 10. 

Who was Harold Wilson? 


Harold Wilson was the British Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 until 1976

Born: 11 March 1916, Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Died: 23 May 1995, London

Dates as Prime Minister: 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976

Party: Labour

Major Acts: Murder Act 1965: suspended the death penalty in England, Wales and Scotland.

Sexual Offences Act 1967: decriminalisation of certain homosexual offences.

Interesting fact: In 1969 he was struck in the eye by a stink bomb thrown by a schoolboy. Wilson’s response was ‘with an arm like that he ought to be in the English cricket XI’

Harold Wilson was the youngest member of cabinet in the 20th century when Clement Atlee made him President of the Board of Trade at the age of 31 in 1947.

As a Prime Minister he implemented reform and created the Open University.

He resigned as Labour leader on Marc 16, 1976, five days after his 60th birthday. 

Source: GOV.UK Previous Prime Ministers 

Source: Read Full Article