A dedicated record collector bought every single that made the UK charts for more than six decades, leaving him with a collection of more than 45,000.
Keith Sivyer began his stunning archive from the inception of the UK single charts in 1952 – and continued it, cramming his tiny terraced house in Twickenham, south west London full until his death in 2015.
Every week without fail, he had visited his local record shop with a copy of Music Week under his arm and bought the latest songs that had entered the top 40 before going home and adding them to his trove.
His younger brother Gerald was left with the daunting task of unloading his late sibling’s treasured possessions. He found around 27,000 seven-inch vinyl singles and 8,000 12-inch singles neatly filed in alphabetical order on purpose built floor-to-ceiling shelves that covered the four walls of Mr Sivyer’s lounge. More than 10,000 CD singles from the 1980s to the present day also filled up a spare bedroom of his modest home.
There were dozens of CDs still in their cellophane wrappers from where he had not had the time to open and listen to them.
Mr Sivyer had safely stored the covers for most of the singles and replaced them with white sleeves on which he wrote the date the song was released and the chart position it achieved.
There are iconic number ones including Abba’s Waterloo, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Bony M’s Rivers of Babylon and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
And there are also the record-breaking singles that remained at number one the longest: I Believe by Frankie Lane in 1953, Bryan Adams’ I Do It For You in 1991 and Love Is All Around by Wet, Wet, Wet in 1994.
Alastair McCrea, of Ewbanks Auctioneers of Woking, Surrey, was invited to Mr Sivyer’s three-bedroom house to value the collection. He said “It is really was impressive to look at. These days most people have their entire record collections stored on a small digital device in the living room that can been accessed remotely. Apparently, Mr Sivyer was not that up on technology and terms like ‘downloads’ and ‘back-up’ would have been completely foreign to him.”