. October 2, 2007

A collection of items belonging to Britain’s favourite bobby, Jack Warner, best known from the hugely popular BBC TV series, Dixon of Dock Green (1955 to 1976), will go on sale at Bonhams in Knowle on 16 October 2007.

Objects in the sale include many police related items, such as handcuffs and truncheons, as well as photos and personal items collected by Jack Warner during his life. Other highlights include Warner’s OBE and a set of records made at Windsor Castle of the entertainment for Princess Elizabeth’s 16th birthday party, featuring Vera Lynn.

Robert Bleasdale, Bonhams UK Group Managing Director, says: “This collection of memorabilia will bring a smile to millions of people across Britain for whom the Dixon of Dock Green TV series was required viewing. The Collection recalls a much loved character who was an icon for many of post war ordinariness”.

Dixon of Dock Green’s homeliness and realism led to later police series, such as Z Cars and The Bill. Set in a suburban police station in the East End of London, uniformed police dealt with ordinary tasks and low-level crime.

The main character, Police Constable George Dixon, played by Jack Warner, was an old-style British “bobby”. The character had first appeared in a 1950 British film by Ealing, The Blue Lamp, in which he was shot and killed by a criminal played by Dirk Bogarde. However, it was decided to bring him back to life for a television series, written by Ted Willis.

Each episode started with Dixon speaking directly to the camera, saluting and offering the greeting “Evening all!”. In similar fashion, episodes finished with a few words from Dixon, often in the form of philosophy on the evils of crime.

If Dixon was known to the public, the actor Jack Warner was even better known. Born in London in 1896, Warner had been a comedian in radio and in his early film career. Starting in the early 1940s he had broadened his range to include dramatic roles becoming a warmly human character actor in the process. But as well as playing in films with dramatic themes, such as The Blue Lamp, Warner continued to play in comedies such as the enormously successful Huggett family films made between 1948 and 1953.

Among the many fascinating items in the sale is lot 220 an autographed letter sent from Edward Heath to Jack Warner in 1974, recording his thanks for Warner’s visit to Broadstairs, estimated at £50-100.

Other personal property belonging to Jack Warner includes; a bentwood walking stick given to him by Maurice Chevalier (£800-1,200); Warner’s personal silver cigarette box engraved HJW London 1933 (£150-250); his gold Waterman’s fountain pen, which he used to sign autographs, propelling pencil and letter knife (£200-400); his OBE, presented in 1965 and military medals awarded in the First World War (£300-400).

Fans of the Dixon of Dock Green hit series will also be able to snap up various truncheons and hand cuffs that were presented to Warner by a number of Constabularies with estimates ranging from £30-400.


Also included in the sale is a presentation set of eight records recording the entertainment held at Windsor Castle in April 1942 for Princess Elizabeth’s 16th birthday. The entertainment consisted of performances from Nan Kenway and Douglas Young, Jack Warner, Max Geldray, Robb Wilton, Vera Lynn and Tommy Handley. The records were signed by George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret and are estimated to fetch £500-1,000.

Category: Auction News

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