THE World of James Herriot can now boast it has the largest collection of memorabilia relating to the fictional vet.

Nearly 14 years after opening a museum in author and vet Alf Wight’s old surgery in Kirkgate, Thirsk, its management has bought a huge array of James Herriot-related items after a meeting with a Welsh private collector.

The collection, which includes a copy of a 1931 Meccano magazine which inspired Mr Wight to become a vet, is being displayed on the ground floor of the museum, alongside veterinary artefacts, the studio sets of TV series All Creatures Great and Small and recreations of the author’s domestic surroundings.

Ian Ashton, the museum’s managing director, said he was optimistic visitors would enjoy the displays, which feature letters written by the author and the match programme for a 1969 Birmingham City game in which a goalkeeper called Jim Herriot played.

Mr Ashton said visitors to the museum had been fascinated to learn Mr Wight chose the name of his pen nameafter watching the goalkeeper.