Historic TUC President’s bell up for auction in Selsdon

The first auction of 2019 by television antiques expert Catherine Southon is full of historic interest, with items for sale linked to the Titanic and to the Churchill’s wartime coalition government.

The TUC President’s bell presented to George Hicks in 1927-28

Going under the hammer with an estimated sale price of up to £800 is a presentational bell which was once the property of George Hicks, the trades unionist who went on to become an MP in south-east London.

Hicks, who was born in 1879, was one of the founders of the Socialist Party of Great Britain who, as a member of the TUC’s general council, helped organised the General Strike of 1926. Hicks, a bricklayer by trade, was President of the Trades Union Congress in 1927 to 1928.

Hicks was elected to parliament for Woolwich East in 1931, and would hold the seat for 19 years – his constituency successor was Ernest Bevin.

He was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Works in November 1940, when the minister, John Reith, the first director general of the BBC, sat in the House of Lords.

The bell was presented to Hicks when he was TUC president and is one of the items up for sale at Catherine Southon Auctioneers’ event being held at Farleigh Court Golf Club, Selsdon, on February 27.

Also in the auction catalogue is another presentational item, a silver casket, which was given to Gustav Wolff, one of the founders of Belfast shipmakers Harland and Wolff, where RMS Titanic was built.

The casket, which was presented in 1911, a year before RMS Titanic set sail. Its estimated sale price at the auction is £3,000.

For details of all the items up for auction next month, visit the Catherine Southon Auctioneers website here.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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1 Response to Historic TUC President’s bell up for auction in Selsdon

  1. sebastiantillinger7694 says:

    I suggest Croydon Council diverts some of the money it puts aside for senior officer jollies and buys this bell for the bald ego (Paul Scott).
    He could ring it in the planning meetings when it’s time to vote his way. This is probably quicker than having a pre-committee meeting to whip labour members.

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