COUNTY NEWS: Hiroshima road sign found at valuation day

First published in News

THE twisted and melted remains of a road sign from the Japanese city of Hiroshima, picked up by a sailor in the aftermath of the dropping of the atom bomb, has been uncovered at an auctioneers' day.

The road sign was seen during a valuation tour in Fairford by antiques experts Moore Allen & Innocent.

The event, which ran for an hour longer than scheduled, raised £380 for Fairford and Lechlade Carers Support Group.

The Hiroshima sign was brought in by a local man who, as an 18-year-old, was serving on HMS Bermuda.

Seven months after the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima on August 6 1945, one of two nuclear strikes credited with bringing the Second World War in the Pacific to an end the crew of the Bermuda visited the city.

"The sign was twisted and melted and an incredible thing to see," said auctioneer Philip Allwood. "It was not the sailor's only memento.

"The gentleman also had a photo album with pictures of scenes from around the city.

"This is of significant historic interest. Whilst it is difficult to put an estimate on such an item, and recognising that the gentleman does not wish to part with it anyway, we valued it at between £1,000 and £1,500, although a keen collector or museum might be prepared to pay significantly more."

Next to the reminder of death and destruction were some objects of great beauty, including an 18th Century Goliath pocket watch and a rare Moorcroft sugar sifter.

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