Gigantic record collection sells for £70,000

Includes every chart single ever made

Updated: 
Keith Sivyer's record collection.

An extraordinary record collection that includes every UK chart single ever made has sold for £70,000 at auction.

When DJ Keith Sivyer died at the age of 75 earlier this year, his family called in Surrey auctioneers Ewbanks, they found his three-bed end of terrace house crammed to the gills.

"Rooms were lined with shelves and boxes of records were ranged floor to ceiling," says Ewbank's entertainment memorabilia specialist Alastair McCrea.

Neatly arranged on shelves throughout the house were more than 40,000 records dating from the 1950s to the present. They included around 27,000 45rpm records, more than 8,000 12-inch singles and LPs, and more than 10,000 CD albums and singles from the 1980s to the modern day. Some of the CDs were still in their cellophane wrappers.

Mr Sivyer started doing discos when he was 18 or 19, says his brother Gerald, but kept his collection within limits until his mother, with whom he was living at the time, died.

"It became an obsession with him. He used to spend a fortune and towards the end, I don't think he even listened to them," says Gerald.

"Most of the singles were bought in the week they were released from a record shop in Teddington called Earfriend. When the record shop closed, he started buying them from Woolworths and Tesco and when Woolies closed, he started buying them off the internet."

But the collection was organised meticulously, with each record kept in a plain white wrapper and the covers stored alphabetically elsewhere.

"There was one time when a neighbour asked him if he could tape a record for him from his collection. It was 'Black Hills of Dakota' by Doris Day (1953)," says Gerald.

"He went straight to the right box, pulled out the record, recorded it on his DJ equipment, which he kept in one room set up and all ready to go, and handed it over, just like that."

The records were bought yesterday by the owner of a UK-based global digital music provider for £70,000 - six times the pre-sale estimate. Just days before, Gerald Sivyer had turned down a private offer of £15,000.

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