A MUSIC lover whose huge album collection was turned to ash in a house fire has spoken of his amazement and gratitude after an on-line appeal for replacements went viral.
John and Carole Hacking lost all their possessions when fire destroyed their home in Tunstall, near Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, in October last year.
While many items could be replaced, Mr Hacking thought his huge music collection of more than 15,000 CDs and and 1,500 vinyl records was lost forever.
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However, without his knowledge Mr Hacking's three daughters - Katy, Jenny and Sally - launched an on-line appeal to replace the collection.
The appeal went viral and thousands of albums were soon pouring in from people who knew Mr Hacking, who was a PE teacher at Risedale School in Catterick Garrison for 35 years, as well as complete strangers touched by the story.
The replacement collection was kept a secret until Christmas Day when it was hidden behind wrapping paper and presented to Mr Hacking by his daughters.
The 59-year-old said: "I knew something was going on but I didn't know what.
"They said 'go open your present dad' - I was absolutely amazed.
"I could not believe how generous people had been and I want to say thank you to everyone."
Mr Hacking added: "A lot came from people who knew me - friends, family and people I taught or who I had worked with.
"A lot also came from people I had never met who sent CDs and records through the post."
Among the donations was a treasured copy of The Beatles' White album on vinyl and a copy of Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits - the first record ever bought by the former teacher in 1969.
Although there were many albums he wanted, the donations also included music that was not to Mr Hacking's taste, as well as some duplicates.
These were auctioned off in memory of Mr Hacking's mother Milly, who died of dementia several years ago, with the proceeds going to the Alzheimer's Society.
The auction took place at Tennants Auctioneers, in Leyburn, who waived their commission from the sale, as a prelude to regular musical sales which start at the auction house in October.
Mr Hacking works part-time collecting mail in the Leyburn area and the £250 raised from the sale was matched by Royal Mail, meaning £500 was handed over to the charity.
The Hackings are hoping to move back into their home, which is being restored following the fire, in October.