The Pete Waterman Train Auction will see £1m worth of the finest scratch-built model trains from the pop mogul’s collection go to auction at Mallett of Mayfair in London on April 16. Specialist auctioneers Dreweatt’s will conduct the sale of what is said to be the ‘Fabergé Eggs’ of the model locomotives world, including, “the finest model ever built,” the Beyer Goods, valued between £100,000-120,000. The Pop extraordinaire reflected on his beloved hobby of train collection, “When you live in a council house and these things go past your door, it’s your first encounter with beauty. There were people sitting with white tablecloths and table lamps having dinner. It was magical. Think of the contrast: we didn’t even have glass in the windows at home.”
In addition to creating some of the biggest careers in the music world, Pete has also carved out a distinguished role for himself in the world of train modelling and railway preservation over the past 50 years. As the world’s leading collector, he has committed limitless sums to his interest, championing the best modelling talents in the same way that Renaissance patrons funded the most talented artists of their time. The Pete Waterman Train auction will see these outstanding pieces sold in order to raise enough money to secure the future of his cherished Waterman Railway Heritage Trust, which holds his collection of full-size steam engines, housed at sites around the country. “These full-size engines won’t be back in steam for ten years. I’m 68 now and this is probably the last chance I will have to restore the engines held by the trust, so I’m making sure there is enough money in ten years’ time to continue the job,” he explains.
Pete has revealed some of the other famous names who share his passion for collecting including Jools Holland, Chris Evans, Roger Daltrey, Rod Stewart. “It’s great when you meet up though. Model trains are an interesting calling card and give you a break from the music to have something else to talk about.”The remaining 90% of Waterman’s collection is of almost incalculable value. It will never be sold, making this a unique opportunity to acquire objects of this calibre. Waterman sees them primarily as works of art. Dreweatts will conduct the sale on the premises at Mallett of Dover Street, Mayfair, bringing the ultimate prizes in the world of modelling to the magnificent setting of the former London palace of the Bishop of Ely.