An 1948 London Olympics torch found by chance in a charity shop has raised £300 at auction.
The historic piece of memorabilia, which fell under the hammer at Newcastle’s Anderson and Garland was only discovered when a Chester-le-Street antique shop owner found the piece while searching through his purchases.
Colin Bruce unknowingly picked up the item as part of a £20 mixed items box in a local charity shop and it was only later on closer examination that he came across the remarkable find.
Mr Bruce said: “I didn’t spot it at first as the box contained a number of different bits and pieces and when I did see it, initially I couldn’t be sure if it was real or a copy of the Olympic torch from the 1948 Games.
“Once it had been verified as being an original torch, I couldn’t quite believe that it had just been sitting there in amongst a host of other items as the torches are one of the most iconic and remembered objects from all the Olympic events.”
A total of 1,720 torches were made for the 1948 Olympics in London, also known as the Austerity Games as they were the first to be held after World War II.
The torches were designed by Ralph Lavers and made from aluminium alloy with the 14cm diameter bowl pierced with Olympic rings and bearing the inscription ' XIVth Olympiad 1948, Olympia to London, with Thanks to the Bearer'.