|Spotting a lease for sale on
eBay that appeared to relate to Great Harwood a member of The Great Harwood
Appreciation Society sent a message to the group one Sunday in November
to alert them to this. A flurry of messages ensued, and it was agreed that
because of the signatures it contained it would be good if it could be bought
and later passed to the Lancashire Record Office for safekeeping and preservation.
Bidding began the next day
so a "tester" offer of £2 was entered on behalf of the
Society on Tuesday which wasn't enough. Raising the offer to £3
meant they were winning with a bid of £2.70. On Wednesday the bids
climbed above £5. With over three days of the auction left there
was time to consider options and after another exchange of messages it
was decided to put in a final offer of £50 just to be sure, never
expecting that the price would reach anything like that amount. For the
next two days it seemed as though they would be successful as no more
bids came in.
The auction was to close at two seconds after 3:19 Sunday morning so, forsaking a Saturday night on the town, two Society members stayed home and set their alarms for early - a good idea because a late night bidder chased the price up outbidding the Society by one penny.
Having thought £45 was more than enough and maybe £50 was "over the top" to be beaten for one penny was galling. There wasn't time to contact the group so over the phone the two decided, hoped, that the other bidder was in bed (probably thinking the same) and increased the offer just before 3:17am
At that point the lease was only interesting because of the three signatures it contained. Only after the lease was received and carefully unfolded was it realised exactly what had been bought.