Tuesday is your opportunity to own a little piece of Darlington newspaper history: the large letter R out of “Northern” which was once on the side of the D&S offices in Priestgate, Darlington.

The R is part of a sale of 15 lots donated by Rotary Club members at Thomas Watson Auctioneers, with all proceeds going to St Teresa’s Hospice.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Our former offices in Priestgate: one of the Rs from "Northern Despatch" on the left is up for auction on Tuesday

The Priestgate palace (above) was the home of D&S Times' sister paper The Northern Echo since was founded in 1870 until shortly before last Christmas, and it was joined there by the Darlington & Stockton Times and the evening Northern Despatch. Indeed, in 1933, the palace was extended up Priestgate to fit in the hundreds of printers, advertising salespeople, accountants and journalists, and that is when we think the titles of the papers were placed prominently on the external brickwork.

However, the Despatch closed in 1986, and the letters spelling its name were removed. They languished for some time in the maintenance store before being earmarked for disposal.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The R from "Northern Despatch" which is for sale at auction on Tuesday

The R, though, was the only letter salvaged in return for a donation to the maintenance men’s tea fund. It stands 48cms (18ins) high and is 34cms (13½ins) wide, and it is now being offered for sale.

“I’ve put £50 to £100 on it but I have no idea how you put an estimate on it,” says auctioneer Peter Robinson. “It will have a novelty value as a piece of cast metal with a cream enamel centre, but it will depend on whether there are people with an interest in Darlington or newspaper history who want to bid for it.”

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Last year’s Rotary sale included a brick which had been salvaged in 2013 when the “twin towers” of Feethams, that were built in 1913 as the entrance to the town’s football club, were demolished. It raised £85, which is pretty respectable for a brick.

So what price an R?

Tuesday's auction starts at 10am, with viewing of the R, and other lots, over the weekend. More details at thomaswatson.com