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Letter signed by the first man to walk on the moon to go under the hammer at Lichfield auction

A letter signed by the first man to walk on the moon is to be auctioned in Lichfield.

Neil Armstrong wrote the heartfelt thank you note on NASA headed paper one month before the lunar landing, in response to a book sent to the three Apollo 11 astronauts.

The letter, along with newspaper cuttings and other ephemera, was found in Tamworth. The collection is going up for sale at Richard Winterton Auctioneers at Fradley Park on Monday (June 11).

The letter sent by Neil Armstrong

The letter sent by Neil Armstrong

The letter from Neil Armstrong, which was sent to the seller’s father in Eltonia Croft, Sheldon, reads: “Colonel Aldrin, Colonel Collins and I want to thank you very much for sending us the book ‘The First Men In The Moon’ by HG Wells.

“It is delightful and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Your thoughtfulness in sharing it with us is sincerely appreciated.”

The letter is on NASA Manned Spacecraft Centre paper and is dated June 3, 1969.

The lot also includes a signed letter from James T Pettus, Office of Public Affairs at the United States Information Service, the American Embassy, London, to where the book was originally sent.

“This is a fantastic document of important historical literature,” said Rob French, customer relations manager at Richard Winterton Auctioneers. “The family were absolutely gobsmacked to receive a letter back.

“It’s the personal story and circumstances behind the letter as well as the signature itself which makes this lot really special.”

Other lots in Richard Winterton’s Collectors Sale include an 1871 first edition of ‘The Coast Of Norway’ by Elijah Walton, a collection of pictures of the Norwegian Coast valued at £250 to £300.

There is also a collection of trophies and memorabilia relating to the endurance swimming career of Bill Pickering who, during 1955, became the 11th person to swim the English Channel in a then-record time.

Included in the lot are a quantity of photographs and ephemera relating to Mr Pickering’s friendship with Sir Ken Dodd from the early 1960s onwards – in fact, the ‘Squire of Knotty Ash’ was taught to swim by Bill.

Viewing is available on Saturday from 9.30am to noon and on the morning of the sale from 8.30am. Bids can be made online.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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