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.

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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.