Over £1,400 will be donated to the Arthur Rank Hospice following the sale of a selection of user manuals, instructions and parts listings from the collection of Keith Cornwell, a local vintage tractor enthusiast.

The timed online auction, which was hosted by Cheffins, saw 12 lots go under the hammer from the 25th November and ending on 2nd December. Cheffins also donated its usual buyers’ premium of 10 per cent additional charge on each item directly to the charity.

Highlights of the sale included a collection of Massey Ferguson agricultural pocket catalogues from the 1970s which sold for £198 and a quantity of Ferguson System original implement instruction books which sold for £176.

Keith Cornwell has spent most of his career working for a farm machinery dealer in Cambridgeshire and has been collecting these original operator’s manuals, instructions and parts listings for the past 50 years. He comments: “I started to collect these items from around the age of 12 and have always been a tractor and farm machinery enthusiast. I slowly built up the collection throughout my lifetime and I have been amazed at the value which they have achieved. Since being diagnosed with leukaemia in February 2019, I have been so impressed by the care and support which has been given to me by the Arthur Rank Hospice that I was keen to be able to support the charity in any way I could. Their cause is one which I am hugely passionate about and I am proud to be able to donate these proceeds directly to the Hospice and would also like to thank Cheffins for all the support they have given me in this venture.”

Bill King, Chairman at Cheffins comments: “These operator’s manuals and suchlike have a strong collector’s following and are always highly sought-after in our regular vintage sales. It has been a pleasure to handle this sale on behalf of Mr Cornwell and to be able to help the Arthur Rank Hospice which is an important local charity. The charity is close to our hearts at Cheffins and we hope to continue to support the essential work it does throughout the region.”

Donna Talbot, Director of Fundraising and Communications from the Arthur Rank Hospice comments: “The pandemic has had a huge financial impact on our Charity so we are delighted to benefit from the proceeds of this unique auction. This wonderful sum will help us to fund essential life-enhancing care for our patients and much needed support for their families. Our colleagues have worked tirelessly to keep our services running and this donation recognises their efforts whilst also celebrating the kindness and good spirit of people across our County. We would like to extend our appreciation to all those involved with this innovative fundraiser”.

An additional 20 to 30 items from Keith Cornwell’s collection will be offered at the next Cheffins Vintage Sale which will take place on 24th April.