1948 Olympic Games torch for sale at Shropshire auction

An official bearer’s torch from the 1948 London Olympics will be auctioned off in Shropshire the day after its modern equivalent returns to the county after being away just a matter of days.

An official bearer’s torch from the 1948 London Olympics will be auctioned off in Shropshire the day after its modern equivalent returns to the county after being away just a matter of days.

The cast alloy torch, inscribed ‘Olympia London With Thanks To The Bearer’ is expected to fetch up to £3,000 at the Ludlow Racecourse auction on Thursday – a week after the new torch blazed through Ludlow on its way to London.

The auction will follow the return of the new torch to the county on Wednesday, when it will visit Much Wenlock, the birthplace of the modern Olympics.

Keith Hartwell, from acutioneers Mullock’s, said Olympic-themed pieces often come round when the Games are held.

But he said this torch was unusual because they have a full record of who it belonged to.

He said: “The bowl of this torch is decorated with skeleton see-through Olympic rings, 16 overall, and comes with a copy of the photograph of the bearer Ronald Henry Bryan wearing his best plimsolls and black socks. It also comes with a letter from the Olympic committee requesting his participation in the torch carrying relay.

“He competed at national and county level being a contemporary of Chris Chatham and Roger Bannister as well as representing Hampshire AAA.

His local club was Eastleigh Athletic Club which became Southampton Athletic Club.

Mr Hartwell added: “The rim of one of the 1948 torches was sold at auction for about £1,200 and that was without the past history or handle.”

Other Olympic items up for sale include a 1908 London Olympic Games silver medal for the Tug of War.

The final during those games was contested between the Liverpool Police force and the City of London Police who had beaten the USA and Sweden to reach the final. The City of London Police came out on top that year and the runners-up medal could fetch up to £2,000.