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Cache of lost Gerry Anderson props worth £150,000 resurfaces for auction

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

Thunderbirds fans rejoice as a large cache of valuable paraphernalia from Bray Studios, feared to be lost to the scrap heap, has resurfaced for auction after more than 30 years.

The collection of items from classic Gerry Anderson shows include iconic puppets, aircraft models, scenery sets, original scripts, 1960s film posters, hand-drawn concept art and storyboards for a series of Thunderbirds that was never filmed.

For the entire collection, the estimated value at the moment is £150,000, with more than 100 items up for grabs – a figure likely to increase as the auction date rolls nearer.

The top lots include a Battlehawk ship model valued from £4,000 to £6,000 and a £5,000-£8,000 puppet head of Captain Ochre used in the 1967 series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

The archive also includes Gerry Anderson’s personal script for an episode of the Terrahawks series, complete with his initials.

The items will go under the hammer in a dedicated auction this November at Ewbank’s Auctions in Surrey.

Anderson’s production company wrapped up its final series of Terrahawks in the mid 1980s. After the warehouse of materials was cleared out, no one knew what became of them.

It transpired that the archive was gifted to Julian Bell, a Windsor resident and a driver and handyman at Bray Studios. It stayed in Julian’s possession until his death last year.

Ewbank’s specialist Alastair McCrea called this collection a ‘miraculous survival’, given Anderson’s tendency never to keep anything from his shows.

A great deal of the props, models and sets from Thunderbirds, Stingray and Fireball XL5 never survived.

“It’s been the talk of legend among fans across the decades. This auction finally solves the mystery,” said Alastair.

Ewbank’s expects to attract bidders from all across the globe – fan clubs as far away as Japan have been running for more than 40 years.

“This is the biggest news to break for some time and the buzz around the auction is already growing,” said Alastair.

David Sisson is an ‘expert fan’ of more than 35 years, appearing on TV as an authority on all things Thunderbirds.

“You really can’t overstate how special this is going to be,” he said. “There will never be another chance to see everything together in one place.

“Once it’s sold it will be spread around the world and never be together again.”

The Bray Studios Production Sale will take place on November 30 at 11am. Live online bidding is available via the Ewbank’s website.

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