Auctioneers relish treasure hoard lot

John Senior (right) and Gary Don look at the Yorkshire Relish labels, which are part of collection of documents, at Gary Don's auction house, Leeds....4th May 2011 Picture By Simon Hulme

John Senior (right) and Gary Don look at the Yorkshire Relish labels, which are part of collection of documents, at Gary Don's auction house, Leeds....4th May 2011 Picture By Simon Hulme

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AN antique chamber pot, a handwritten recipe for Yorkshire Relish and an old hand-pumped fire extinguisher were some forgotten treasures a Heckmondwike demolition worker found in old buildings.

John Senior, who has now retired from his job knocking down buildings, saved many items from the wrecking ball during his career.

Now some of the items are to go up for auction at Gary Don Auctioneers and Valuers in Leeds this week.

John discovered the handwritten recipe for Goodall, Backhouse and Co’s Yorkshire Relish hidden in the roofspace of an old factory in Apperley Bridge, Bradford, which was once occupied by Hammonds Sauce Company.

It was in a metal box containing more than 100 documents from Goodall, Backhouse and Co.

Among them were hand-written recipes for the company’s top sellers including Yorkshire Relish, which sold millions of bottles around the world.

John said: “The box was well hidden and might have been lost forever had I not noticed the oak beams and decided to take them out.”

He said they were the best find he had in 20 years.

History lover John said some of his younger colleagues in the demolition business were not interested in historical items left in the empty buildings — and in some cases smashed them up, which he said he could not understand.

The papers, which also include the will of factory boss William Powell, who left a £150,000 will when he died in 1900, are set to go up for auction at Gary Don on Tuesday.

John said he hoped they would end up in the Leeds archives so members of the public could go along to see them.

Gary said the documents would have been top secret.

He said: “It would be a shame if they didn’t end up as part of the Leeds archives. They are part of our history and the company supplied an awful lot of work to local people. I am sure there will be a tremendous amount of interest in them.”