£156,000 has a nice ring to it...

HIDDEN TREASURE: The postcard was behind the fireplace

STORY-TELLER: JRR Tolkien

First published in News by

JRR Tolkien has proved to still have the magic touch after items removed from his former Poole home went on sale for more than £156,000.

Memorabilia salvaged from the Lord of the Rings author's bungalow in Lakeside Road includes a fireplace, now on sale for £127,000, a statue and carved stone decorations from the garden, with prices ranging from £4,000 to £6,500.

The owner of Prodem Demolition, Stephen Malton, is responsible for taking down the property, which was Tolkien's home from 1968 to 1972. He compared his amazing finds to "winning the lottery."

After 15 years in the business, following his father's 40 years before that, he said: "I've never known of a find like it. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

The items, which include a 40-year-old postcard addressed to Tolkien found behind the fireplace, went on sale on Belgium-based fan and collector site tolkienlibrary.com.

Stephen, who only charges from £4,000 to £9,000 for a demolition, said he would be using the money to pay off bills and keep his small business going.

Ive never known of a find like it. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Demolition man Stephen Malton

"I'd like a nice holiday - I work almost 52 weeks a year so that would be good. Maybe a trip to Middle Earth!"

Stephen has been contacted by press in Belgium and even had calls of congratulations from friends in America after the tale travelled the globe following coverage in the Daily Echo.

The bungalow is making way for two four-bed family homes.

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