THE final collectors’ sale of the year at Greenslade Taylor Hunt includes a plethora of postcards providing an interesting window on the past.

Most striking amongst these are three printed cards showing the shipwreck of the SS Hilda in 1905 – and the six survivors of the disaster.

The ship was in sight of the harbour at St Malo when it ran onto rocks in a snowy squall on November 19, 1905. Over 125 people were drowned.

Unbelievably survivor able seaman James Grinter, who was approaching 50 at the time of disaster, had been shipwrecked twice before. He clung to the rigging and was plucked from the sea. He died in 1945 at the age of 89.

He has signed the three pictures documenting the disaster. The other five survivors were Breton onion sellers.

Another telling glimpse into the past is provided by an interesting medals section. The most heartbreaking among these is a group of medals awarded to a young RAF Sergeant. He was killed returning from a bombing raid over Germany aged just 22.

The medal group is still in its wrapper and there is also the telegram sent to his wife informing her of his death. Two RAF sweetheart brooches are also part of this touching set.

An unusual Military Cross group, which were awarded to a husband and wife, is also included in this interesting section which also has an Egypt medal with a rare clasp and a medal presented to a Gulf War veteran.

A range of aviation prints including one of a Spitfire signed by Battle of Britain pilots including Douglas Bader are also offered for sale.

The sale on Friday, December 8, will feature no fewer than 36 Penny Blacks from a number of sources along with 100 diecast model lots and the final instalment of a collection of Formula 1 scale models.

This sale will be preceded on Thursday, December 7, by the monthly antiques auction. Among the Christmas essentials featured in the sale is a George III mahogany Stilton coaster. This splendid item of boat form and with marquetry decoration is guided at £200-£300.

Both sales are on view this Saturday, (December 2) at The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton, from 9am-12.30pm. There are further chances to view the sale on Tuesday, December 5, and Wednesday, December 6, from 9am-5pm.

For more information please call the saleroom on 01823 332525.