Hereford & Worcester

World War Two fanatic puts Worcestershire hoard up for auction

John Hancocks collection Image copyright Halls
Image caption John Hancocks has collected thousands of pieces of militaria and aircraft memorabilia

A militaria and aviation fanatic who has amassed barns full of rare war memorabilia has put his entire hoard up for auction.

John Hancocks, 85, said his fascination began as a child in Birmingham when the city was targeted by German bombers during World War Two.

His passion grew during his National Service as an RAF crash salvager based at Cosford in Shropshire.

The collection at his Worcestershire farm goes on sale with Halls on 24 May.

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The auctioneer has estimated the value of the collection at about £100,000.

"I have gone as far as I can go with the collection and it's time for it to be shared with other people," said Mr Hancocks.

"The collection has given me enormous enjoyment. I've met many interesting people as a result of assembling it."

Image copyright Halls
Image caption Mr Hancocks said the cockpit of a Canberra TT18 bomber was his "pride and joy"
Image copyright Halls
Image caption Wife Pat said she is looking forward to spending more time with John when he gives up his beloved collection

Mr Hancocks, who also served at RAF bases in Padgate, near Manchester, Colerne in Wiltshire, and Little Rissington in the Cotswolds, is selling up so he and he and his wife Pat, 83, can downsize.

The collection, which contains thousands of items, includes two Pegasus 103 engines from a Harrier GR3 jump jet - one complete and the other in 2,200 listed pieces.

He said his "pride and joy" was a cockpit of a Canberra TT18 bomber, while other treasured items included a Griffon 57 engine from a Shackleton surveillance aircraft.

Image copyright Halls
Image caption Mr Hancocks says his first generation Phoenix spy plane and drone flown by the Royal Artillery in the Iraq War are one of the only ones in private hands
Image copyright Halls
Image caption Mr Hancocks stores mannequins wearing World War Two soldiers uniforms

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