Lord and Lady Healey's private library goes on sale in Alfriston

Lord Healey with some of his private library
Lord Healey with some of his private library

Book collectors have a chance to secure a unique piece of history as the private library of Lord and Lady Healey goes on sale in Alfriston next month.

More than 1,000 books from Denis and Edna Healey's personal collection will be sold at Deans Place Hotel in Seaford Road on October 2.

Funds raised by the sale will go to the Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley Historical Society - a group which was supported by the former chancellor and his wife for many years. Organisers say most volumes will cost £3, although a few more valuable books will individually priced.

"We are thrilled to be sharing these books with the public," said the society's chairman Kevin Gordon.

"The Healeys were terrific supporters and Edna served as president of our society for many years. So we were grateful when the family offered us volumes from their library."

The society says many of the books in the collection were signed by Denis Healey, the Labour MP who served as Secretary of State for Defence from l964 to l970, as Chancellor of the Exchequer from l974 to l979 and deputy leader of the Labour party from l980 to l983.

Edna was a noted Historian, whose interests ranged from Charles Dickens to the history of Buckingham Palace and Coutts Bank.

The donation was arranged by Much Ado Books, the Alfriston bookshop which purchased most of the library following Lord Healey's death.

Mr Gordon said: "Denis and Edna collected more than 15,000 books and we are incredibly lucky that we could pick some of the most interesting for this sale."

Proceeds from the sale will support the historical society, which says it hopes to donate some of the money to a local archaeologiats to help fund work being carried out in the Alfriston area of the South Downs.

The book sale will run from 2pm to 5pm on October 2. All sales must be made with cash due to technical restraints.

Anyone seeking more information is asked to contact the historical society's secretary Hazel Dalgleish on 07764 254464.

Don't miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you'll be amongst the first to know what's going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on 'sign in' (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don't miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.