IT'S the auction sale that York panto fans really didn't want to miss. Oh no they didn't!

Three iconic costumes from the York Theatre Royal's much-loved panto were auctioned off today, at a special sale in the Theatre Royal studio.

Up for grabs in a 'secret auction' to the highest bidder were a toadstool costume once worn by panto sidekick Martin Barrass - and two costumes once worn by the great Dame himself, Berwick Kaler.

One was a 'Wagon Wheel' costume - the other resembled nothing more than a giant Mr Blobby-style fatsuit. Only Berwick could have got away with it...

York Press: The 'fatsuit-style' costume once born by Berwick Kaler in the Theatre Royal pantoThe 'fatsuit-style' costume once born by Berwick Kaler in the Theatre Royal panto (Image: Stephen Lewis)

Other Berwick-related memorabilia on sale today included a rocking chair he has sat on countless times during the panto - and a giant song-sheet he once used to encourage members of the audience to sing along in a raucous rendition of 'Me babbies, me bairns'.

York Press: Berwick Kaler's rocking chairBerwick Kaler's rocking chair (Image: Stephen Lewis)

York Press: The 'Babby Bairns' songsheet which is also up for saleThe 'Babby Bairns' songsheet which is also up for sale (Image: Stephen Lewis)

The items were among a treasure-trove of costumes, props and theatre furniture on sale in the studio from 10am to 6pm today. 

Theatre-goers who enjoyed the recent community production of Sovereign – along with members of the 120-strong community cast or behind-the scenes supporters who were involved – also had the chance to buy some of the props and costumes from the production.

The play told the story of a visit to York by King Henry VII in 1541. Performed in the grounds of King’s Manor, where Henry actually stayed during his visit, the play made great use of large puppets – including of a horse.

York Press: The puppet horse from Sovereign, which is among items on sale at York Theatre Royal todayThe puppet horse from Sovereign, which is among items on sale at York Theatre Royal today (Image: York Theatre Royal)

These were among the items on sale today – along with some of the magnificent Tudor costumes worn by cast members.

Theatre Royal staff said the sale was a ‘one-off opportunity’ to acquire some unique theatrical memorabilia.

Most of the costumes were on sale on a first-come first-served basis - and with a huge rush of interest this morning, the theatre's head of production Denzel Hebditch advised anyone interested to come earlier rather than later to avoid being disappointed.

York Press: Theatre Royal costumes on sale todayTheatre Royal costumes on sale today (Image: Stephen Lewis)

With interest in Berwick Kaler and Martin Barrass' old panto costumes expected to be high, however, they were sold instead through a secret auction. 

Bidders were invited to put their best offer in a secret box - with the costumes at the end of the day to the highest bidder.

So who were the lucky punters who walked away with these unique costumes - and just how much tdid they pay for them?

Ah, well, that would be telling, said Denzel.

"We won't be revealing the names of the successful bidders or how much they paid unless they want us to," he said.

Oh no they won't...