Vinyl expert says record collection found in flooded basement was once worth £1m

The remnants of George Davenport’s incredible collection was cleared away from a building in Newton Heath last week

A vinyl expert says the remnants of a record collection found in a flooded basement was once the biggest in the country, worth around £1 million.

George Davenport had hundreds of thousands of records stored in his ‘library’ shop inNewton Heath but much of the collection suffered severe water damage.

Lifelong music collector George – who ran Pandemonium Records in Manchester city centreduring the 1970s and 80s – won a court case against his former landlord after flooding ruined the records.

And what was left of the once immaculate collection was cleared away by haulage firm Marvellous Marcus Ltd last week.

When the contractors found the collection of around 50,000 records, they posted details online prompting vinyl enthusiasts to flock to the basement trying salvage the most valuable titles.

Record collector George Davenport pictured in 2014

George’s friend Colin White – who runs Vinyl Revival in the Northern Quarter – says he is sad to see the treasure trove of music go to rack and ruin.

He said: “George’s collection was unrivalled. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s such a shame to see it like this now.

“At one time he must have been a millionaire on paper. It’s such a shame he didn’t end up getting enough for it.

“I have known him since he was a kid as he was a good friend of my father.

“I spent a year in there just going through all the singles. I bought about 2,000 singles from him. He must have had 70,000 different titles and a lot of rare stuff and obscure punk and post punk records.

“A lot of the good stuff had been pilfered. Dealers from London had been in and cherry picked the best stuff. Whatever was left last week was the dregs.

“If anything, he was too trustworthy. He would let people in by appointment and if there was something you wanted he would say ‘I’ll tape it for you’.”

Eddie Garvey
Some of the records found in the building

Colin spent almost a year sifting through George’s vinyl back in 2010 and was invited to buy some of the records.

Amongst the vast array of LPs, 7” singles and EPs, he found a rare original copy of the David Bowie LP The Man Who Sold The World featuring the inimitable singer in a dress. A mint condition copy can fetch between £500 and £800.

He also discovered 90 copies of the single Just Wanna Dance by Salford band Fast Cars – copies of which sell for around £150 – however most had been damaged.

George was told to remove the collection from the basement back in 2012 but struggled to find another place big enough to store them.

After winning a legal battle with his former landlord for damages, he moved to a new base and restarted his collection on CD.

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