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This week, we salute a great star of British industry,
a tough character but with a stainless reputation,
our hero is steel and this is the scene of his latest hit.
We've come to a part of the country that's been a powerhouse of steel production.
The white-hot furnaces of South Yorkshire
fashioned the materials that built industrial Britain.
One of the industry's busiest centres was Rotherham.
Whatever was required, from kitchen ranges to the cladding for ships,
to the wheels and axles for the railways of India, Brazil, China and Japan...
they made it here.
When World War I broke out, there was a massive demand for munitions.
To meet the need, the vast Templeborough Works was created.
By 1918, 11 furnaces were working flat out, three more were added
and the chimneys were known as the "14 sisters".
They were a landmark for 40 years.
Housewives didn't hang out their washing when the wind was in the wrong direction.
Acid rain could make a right mess of your smalls.
In its heyday, Templeborough gave work to over 10,000 people.
In 1977, it smashed the world record for liquid steel production.
But its days of glory were numbered and, despite modernisation in the '80s, the plant succumbed
to the deadly combination of overproduction and falling demand.
It closed in 1993...
but - hey presto - our story doesn't have an unhappy ending.
By the magic of modern technology, Templeborough has been transformed into Magna,
a hands-on science adventure centre.
These days, a whole new generation come to see the story of steel and science.
Magna is big in every way.
In the heart of the former works, we've set up the tools of our trade.
Let's get rolling with another Roadshow.
I'll let you into a little secret.
The Antiques Roadshow gives you a completely false impression
of the day.
You see all these things with us quoting hundreds, if not thousands,
but the bulk of what we do...
come out of a plastic bag at £1
and this came out of your plastic bag and I thought,
"It's another pound,"
and then when I picked it up, I thought, "No,
"this is actually something really very interesting,"
and I wondered whether you actually liked it.
Oh, what does that mean?
-I've never liked it.
-You've never liked it.
-What don't you like about it?
-It's a bit...Gothic.
Because, in our terms,
these scrolls on here
come from Gothic ornaments on Gothic churches.
-Do you have it out at home?
-Yes, I keep it in the bathroom...
-as a soap dish.
-As a soap dish?
You're doing the right thing. It's a soap dish.
-Where did you get it from?
-I was working for Severn-Trent at the time
and I just passed this garage sale
and I thought I'd have a look round
and I thought this was very unusual
-and paid a pound, I think, for it.
-You paid a pound for it?
The real clue is on the bottom there.
-We've got "Doulton"...
the factory founded by Henry Doulton in Lambeth...
-We haven't on the mark here got the word "England"...
..so that suggests that it's pre-1891.
I'm not 100% sure that that's accurate.
It's got a feeling to me of more sort of 1895,
but it could be 1890, it's possible,
in which case it's quite an early example of its kind.
This is a piece of Carrara ware.
It's not common at all.
I think it's by a man called Mark Marshall
and I've seen almost exactly that leaf terminal
on a big Mark Marshall Doulton vase.
The lady said it was presented to her father who worked at Doulton.
Now that makes absolute sense,
because Doulton was known for making one-offs,
special requests for presents to people...
You could actually go to the factory and ask for a piece to be made
with your own initials and date on it, or somebody else's, as a present,
so this fits into that pattern absolutely perfectly.
It's in almost perfect condition. We've got one little finger off here,
but otherwise it's in a good state.
I think... The market's a little bit soft at the moment,
but I think a collector would happily give you £400 to £600 for that.
-Do we like it a little more now?
-I think so. I could grow to like it.
-Thank you for bringing it in.
Tell me about this photo.
That was the first show that I did
with Doncaster Thespians in 1949 -
I was just... I'd just left school.
Show me where you are.
-You just got into shot.
-And you're all singing.
Yes, it was the grand finale.
It's a great, great photo. Now, why doesn't it look like this today?
Er, the last show at the Grand was in 1962, which was Showboat,
and then it became a bingo hall.
Hopefully, we'll get it restored and reopened as a working theatre.
-And here you've got some of the archive material.
-Yes, we have.
The lady who used to work there, a lady called Ann,
she worked there for many years,
and when Ann died she had all these photographs
and she asked her daughter if they could go back into the Grand.
-These are individually signed photos...
..of people who appeared on stage.
Now, I don't know all of these characters.
-Who is this fine fellow?
-Right, this gentleman is Sandy Powell.
He's from this area. Well-known saying was, "Can you hear me, Mother?"
-Can you hear me, Mother?
-Show me one or two of the others.
-Henry Hall and his band.
Ah, now I have heard of him.
Nellie Wallace... When I was three years old, I was taken to the Grand
to see my first pantomime and it was Nellie Wallace in Mother Goose.
-So these are big names up here?
-Ah, hang on...is this the cheeky chappy?
-This is George Formby, yes.
-Oh, he's rather fine, isn't he?
This is quite early on in his career.
-Yes, he's quite a young man there.
-Not on that one, no.
Now I can't believe you let this sort of thing go on up here.
This was one of the early nudes.
They were sprayed in gold and they had to keep perfectly still. They didn't have to move a muscle.
So it was like the Windmill Theatre in London - if it moves, it's rude.
That's exactly right, yes, yes.
-Well, they're a fine-looking pair, aren't they?
Book-ending each other. Wonderful.
Hopefully they're all going to be displayed IN the Grand Theatre.
-So you don't want to know what they're worth?
-I would like to know.
OK, how many are there in all?
There's 150 signed photographs.
Right, now the most valuable ones are going to be the big names,
the names that even people like I know today.
-So I suppose George Formby is one who sticks out
and signatures for people of that ilk move towards...
-up to a maximum of about £100 for the really distinguished ones.
-You've got 150... Let's average them very, very conservatively.
I think the whole collection is likely to be somewhere in the region of £4,500 to £5,500.
-That's worth bearing in mind.
-It is, for insurance purposes.
I'm going to take this away, because I see it gives me
almost indefinite attendance at the Doncaster theatre
and I'm going to wish you good luck
-and I shall bring my ticket along when you're up and running.
-You'll be very welcome.
Right...well, it claims to be antique already.
A special offer today. I'll clean anybody's dirty plate for them.
I'm ready to clean it for you. Special offer today, one day only...
You've brought in the smallest penknife I think we have ever seen.
-How long have you had this?
-Well, I've had it 30 years.
My husband's mother gave it to me and it was just in a...
-pinned in a little box.
-It's amazing that it's survived.
It could have dropped between the floorboards or been swept away.
It's beautifully, beautifully made. We have a mother-of-pearl handle,
a tiny little silver ferrule and the tiniest of steel blades
which will just fold away...
Just click it away like so. Absolutely amazing.
It must've been an apprentice piece. I can't think of any other reason
-why a knife of this size would have been constructed.
Just a beautiful thing. Value-wise...
-perhaps it's £20, perhaps £50.
-I don't think that matters too much.
-It would be almost impossible to produce today, and thank you for bringing it in.
Well, we know they're fire screens, so they were to protect a woman's face from the heat of the fire.
Imagine you're in a country house or farmhouse with a big open fireplace.
You need to keep warm, so you sit as close as you can to the fire,
but socially...you've got to keep a very pale face -
pale skin, not like the big sun tans of today -
so you're wearing very heavy white powder,
and lead-based powder too,
so the thing you didn't want to do was to get too red in the face,
or even worse, for the make-up to melt, so you'd have a fire screen...
You might be crouched down... Imagine I'm sitting down.
A lady is not six-foot tall. She's five-foot-something tall...
so you could adjust that to keep your face away from the fire,
then also, if you're just moving around the fire, you'd use this to protect yourself from the fire
or perhaps on that side, like that,
and also, the obvious advantage, you've got that as a fan.
Very pretty decoration. Look at that.
-I mean, isn't it just glorious?
-We do have a pair of these,
-but the handle's broken on the other one.
-Oh, OK. It's so pretty.
Probably pear wood. This is my favourite of the two.
The actual pole screen, as it's called, is a little bit plain.
1820. This is really Regency 1810.
Not worth a lot of money and the pole screen is probably worth...
for one, £250.
-They've been used.
but it brings it down from probably £500 or £600,
-so let's say £250 to £300.
-Each, or for the pair?
-For the pair.
To adapt an old saying,
"You can take the boy out of the train, but you can't take the train out of the boy."
Rod Ash, you are that boy
and you are a fully paid up, bona fide anorak.
-Dare I say that?
-I'll let you.
-When did trains come into your life?
-Um, very early on.
About the age of six, I had my first model railway
and I suppose you could blame my parents a little bit
in that, for a brief while, they both worked on the railways.
-Which company did they work for?
-The Great Western Railway.
-Oh, sounds good to me.
I can see this has to do with railways, except for THIS.
Was this to keep off great train robbers?
No, it's a signalling staff.
It's quite a rare item.
Once the line was closed to passenger traffic in the late 1960s,
the line was used for a daily freight train that ran from Grimsby to Louth and back.
To ensure that only one train was on that section of line at a time,
the signalman would give the train driver this staff.
It would be carried to Louth and back again
and when it was given to the signalman back at Grimsby, he would know the line was clear.
-Oh, a relay baton.
-It is, of sorts,
but the reason I went out of my way to buy this particular item
was that the line between Grimsby and Louth went past my school
and from the library window... We were supposed to be reading,
but we could watch the train go by if we were there at the right time in the afternoon.
-What are these items over here?
-They look like, um...
-as if they're money, almost.
-Right, well, they are money.
They are the pay cheques.
They were handed in in exchange each week by the employee
-for his pay packet.
They are very collectable still
and for railway items they're still relatively cheap.
Talking about expense, I imagine that what you're standing in front of must be the...
the flagship of your collection.
Yeah, I don't think I could afford them today,
but name plates off hydraulic engines...
when they were first available, they were being sold through Collectors Corner at Euston,
the main outlet in the early 1970s, for £50 each,
which was a fortune to me then. 15 years on, I had the opportunity
to buy these at auction for a few hundred pounds.
-And now we're talking many thousands of pounds.
The market has taken off.
Well, it's a completely comprehensive collection
from models to cards to keys and very esoteric items.
What are the collectibles for the future?
If you're looking for easy-to-collect history,
then perhaps the luggage labels. They're still in plentiful supply,
even though they go back 50 or even back to 100 years in age.
Are you the sort of man who must have the full set of everything?
If possible...once we get into postcards and stamps and similar models, yes,
-I do try and complete my sets, yes.
We may be looking at a doll from the 1960s,
but my goodness, wasn't she fashionable?
I mean, this is a tremendous collection -
not one outfit, not two outfits,
but hundreds of outfits almost, really,
-and it all starts here, doesn't it?
-That's my first Sindy doll, yes.
-And can we be a little bit naughty and lift up her leg?
And what we can see is that... if we go up to the knee,
-she's not bendy there at all, is she?
-She's an early one.
The flexible ones came in later.
You've obviously been a fan of Sindy. How did it start?
In the early '60s, my father took me down every Saturday morning,
with my pocket money, and bought one of the outfits.
Which was the first outfit? There must be a beginning somewhere.
-I think the first one probably was this one.
-The "Leather Looker" outfit.
Two shillings and eleven pence. That was a reasonable amount of pocket money.
-Yes, it was.
-Have you got a personal favourite here?
I think this is one of my favourites.
This was bought as a Christmas present from my late brother.
I didn't think he'd actually bought me anything for Christmas
till he asked me to look in the cupboard, and out came this outfit, and it's got good memories.
There's a little damage to the tennis racket, but you know, it's 1960s...
-Christmas morning, opening that was absolutely...
These are in immaculate condition.
-You've actually kept not only the outfit but the little hanger...
..the card...and what's nice from an historical perspective
is we know how much each one cost.
Here we've got "Out and About" - five shillings and eleven pence.
That one was a bit more expensive.
-Do you remember her launch, September 1963?
Yes, I think I must have been about eight or nine years old.
-Yes, they started with...you know, a run of commercials.
-She had her own little record.
-Oh, I used to sing to the adverts.
-Sindy was probably every girl's dream doll.
-She was what they said - "the doll you love to dress".
And she had outfits designed by the Carnaby Street team
Tuffin and Foale, who designed this lovely "Weekenders" outfit here.
The shame, from my perspective, is that...where's the box?
You were so careful with your packaging, but where's the boxes?
She was well played with and I used to take them on holiday with me...
She's in pretty good condition.
If you look carefully at her eyes, at her mouth -
the lip colour's very strong, her eyelashes are beautifully painted on
and her hair's pretty good. You haven't cut it.
You haven't done anything that you shouldn't have done to her.
Have you any idea...? Have you any idea at all how much inflation has brought these prices up to
-and the insatiable appetite of collectors?
-I've not really
-thought about the value of them, because they are sentimental.
But my husband said I'd be disappointed today
-when I came along.
-Tell me...did he suggest that you didn't even come?
He thought I'd be disappointed with all the antiques
-and it put me a bit...I thought maybe he's right.
But they're just sentimental value,
-so I really wouldn't like to...
some of these... This particular outfit is worth £55, £60 on its own,
-so that was originally five shillings.
When you look at the price of an individual Sindy doll,
if she was still in her box,
-she could be worth as much as £225, £250, something like that.
Unboxed, in this condition,
-probably around about £50, something like that.
If we do a quick tot up, I guess...
the collection is approaching probably about £1,000
-Yes, as much as £1,000.
So tell your husband that!
-Well, it's quite obvious that this is a carriage clock.
But I have to say it's a very superior carriage clock box.
Normally, they're in wood with a bit of leatherette,
and this one has polished wood, brass bindings...
the repeating button is nicely recessed and you've even got the handle recessed into the case
-with the initials of, I presume, the original owner...
..actually on an ivory plaque, so it bodes well for what's inside.
As I thought, it is a superior clock.
It's what is called a gorge case...clock
and that's named after the mouldings on the case. This elaborate moulding is known as a gorge case.
It's got a superb platform which has all been machined and finished
rather like the dashboard of a 1920s Bugatti.
Tucked away, apart from the gongs - there are two sets of gongs -
tucked away behind it, right in the corner,
-is the signature, DC, and that's the signature of Drocourt.
-Which is one of the better makers.
It's also got an inscription on the front - "From the Queen, Xmas 1897",
which seems very far-fetched.
-I don't suppose you've found anything out about that.
-I've got a letter here.
Yes, from Windsor Castle archive.
What have they found out? Ah, here's the relevant bit -
"I've found an entry in Queen Victoria's privy purse accounts under Presents
"in November 1897 for the purchase of a clock. Unfortunately, we do not have a description of this item,
-"I can't be sure it's your clock, but it's likely to be." That's...
-Near enough, isn't it?
-If they found ten clocks you'd have to say it might.
-So, that's looking good.
"The clock recorded in our account books cost £9..."
-My, that's some money.
-Back in 1897.
-"..And was given to 'the Telegraph Clerk'."
The person working in the telegraph office at Windsor Castle.
-But they don't know his name.
-Don't know his name.
Nine notes was a lot of money then, but even today I think it's changed.
You have to say that that clock,
just with the history you've got...
-..it's got to be £4,000 or £5,000.
That's a great story.
Looking at this painting,
one might be forgiven for thinking that it was certainly
under the influence of Paul Nash, probably one of England's foremost landscape painters and illustrators.
But, in fact, it's by an Irish artist, Patrick Swift.
Now, what's the connection with you and these works?
My grandfather bought a lot of Patrick Swift's work
when Patrick was working in Hertfordshire in the 1950s,
so, I think you could say, he was one of his patrons
and the work has been passed down through the family.
this picture was with my parents
and they gave it to me for my 32nd birthday, I think.
Um, and these pictures are from my aunt's estate.
The painting, I love it. What do you particularly like about it?
-We lived in London, um, in the 1960s.
And these were the sorts of views that I was seeing.
It reminds me of...of, sort of,
almost actually, some sort of Picasso.
-It's actually of Eccleston Square isn't it?
-I think so, yes.
It's obvious that he did a lot of work in planning
exactly what he was going to get on the canvas...
-..because I've got two preliminaries as well.
Well, we have here, of course, a preliminary watercolour
for this particular work. And here with them,
we've got four wonderful botanical studies of fungi.
I always think I'm a little bit apprehensive about botanical artists.
Sometimes they can be a little bit too controlled and don't have much artifice about them.
But these, I think, are splendidly different in their way
and, I think, are just very attractive.
-There are 33 of them.
-Different in the way they're expressed.
The interesting thing about Swift was that being Irish...
He worked mostly in England and went to the Algarve.
..it was his origins which anchored him to the interest in the Irish.
The Irish market has been particularly strong. Things of only ten years ago
which were fetching 1,000 or 1,500 are fetching 15 to £20,000.
And it's been an extraordinarily hot market,
so we've got to consider all these values.
Now, I think on the painting,
I like it a lot. I think it's wonderful.
But it is London rather than Ireland,
so I think, conservatively, I'd put 10 to £15,000 on that.
And then, all the drawings, the 37,
between 500 and £1,500 each.
So we've got a total of over £50,000
for this group of materials.
That's a...good investment I think my grandfather made.
Well, you've brought along the proverbial treasure chest here.
I don't think you dug this up in the garden, did you?
But, um... Oh, and you've got a few curious things inside.
a pincushion. Do you know anything about...where this came from?
-I found it rather grubby under an auntie's bed.
-Under an auntie's bed?
-..a few other items.
..the good news is that specially unusual ones like an ostrich
-have become hugely collectable.
Something like this, made round about the turn of the century,
they've got up hugely in the last years, that's probably worth £400,
£500 on its own, so that's not a bad start, is it?
And what else have you got in here?
-Oh, a hip flask.
-I think you need that.
-Under the auntie's bed again?
-Um, yes, actually.
It's a fairly standard sort of hip flask, made in Sheffield
-again at the turn of the century.
-Oh, it's made here?
Not of huge value, but something like that perhaps £100.
-Now this is getting much more interesting
because a little vinaigrette like this,
um, is very collected because of the scene on the top.
-And is this again...?
-Under auntie's bed again, I'm afraid.
-Well, what a great place to start looking, or finding things.
It's got this pierced grill,
which all vinaigrettes have,
and the nice thing about this is it's got its scented sponge.
In the 19th century ladies used to walk around carrying these
as the smells on the streets were bad,
so they'd waft these under their noses to...well, to revive them.
-Do you know who made it?
-I do actually know.
It's Nathaniel Mills, quite a famous maker from Birmingham.
That's absolutely right.
Nathaniel Mills is generally regarded as the best maker of vinaigrettes.
They call these "castle top" vinaigrettes.
And they're not always castles. Sometimes they are... very often cathedrals.
And this is St Paul's. And St Paul's is one of the most sought after scenes.
The most common is Windsor Castle.
Slightly worn on here,
even so that's worth about £1,500.
-Well...the good news...
-Now, I am worried.
The good news is, we haven't even got to the star lot yet,
which is this wonderful Arts and Crafts casket -
something handmade. That's the ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement -
everything should be handmade.
You've got these very...
distinctive, sort of like, Celtic strap work
round here and here. But the most important thing about this
is when we turn it over and look at the base.
The date letter for 1926. But most importantly of all
is this maker's mark here and the signature for Sybil Dunlop.
Sybil Dunlop is one of the MOST collected names
amongst collectors of 20th-century silver.
She was a woman, very much in a man's world.
Sybil Dunlop was also most famous for her jewellery.
And...it's actually pretty rare
to find a...piece of silver
-um, with her marks on and with her name stamped on the bottom.
-What do you know about the history of this piece?
-It was same auntie.
This wasn't under the bed.
Um, it was her retirement present and she worked in Bloomsbury Square.
This is quite a valuable piece of silver, I mean, it's...
-I'm still reeling over this.
-You're still reeling over that?
Well, I don't know if we're going to need a sniff of that in a moment,
because I think we're looking at at least £3,000
And now, before your very eyes,
Henry Sandon will do something he's never done before...the washing up.
And for a very good reason.
Henry, people are nervous about their plates and whether they should wash them.
-Yes, they can ruin a plate if they're not very careful.
But I've got a very old dirty plate,
been 50 years just collecting dirt and we're going to wash it.
Do you see how dirty the thing is?
But in ordinary warm water
with just a little bit of washing-up liquid.
Nothing violent, just gentle washing-up liquid.
We're going to wash this little piece
and I hope it'll come up absolutely beautiful.
-It's beginning to emerge, see?
-I knew it was in there.
-In there somewhere.
And the back as well. We're going to wash...
Even on the back is dirty. But off comes the dirt.
And then, um, without sort of drying it there,
what you have to do is to rinse it in an equal temperature of clean water. So, it's going over there.
Equal temperature of clean water and then just put aside to dry.
Don't rub it while it's wet. Don't, sort of, dry it.
-"The hands that do dishes" look lovely.
-I know they're lovely,
-So give us some no-nos.
Well, there's original dirt you see, on there. That's been on there quite a long time
Now, just washed in soapy water, these gold bands
will still be as beautiful as any. That's just soapy water, like this.
Um, but don't use the nasty things like bleach.
Now, bleach... One application of bleach
has taken those gold bands away, almost disappeared.
-And dishwasher powder is very bad.
That's dishwasher powder - equally bad, dangerous,
very abrasive and used in hot temperatures in a dishwasher.
Nobody should do that. And equally dangerous is metal polish
which people put on gold to try and make it look nice,
but it takes it all away.
And that is what NOT to do, as well as what to do.
I've made out a little list which people can see -
what to do and what not to do. There's a pile of plates here...
for you to do later.
A likely story.
And also I've been asked to say... how do you hang plates on the wall?
I've seen experts get really narked about this.
-They come up with all kinds of tricks.
What not to do is use these little things you stick on the back
which...which hurt porous pottery and porcelain,
that gets into it, takes the glaze away.
What you should do is to use a spring-loaded plastic-coated wire.
Plastic coating doesn't hurt at all. And provided the spring loading
is the right size for the piece -
not too heavy, not too big, not too small, just the right size -
stretch it out onto the... onto the bottom there.
And there we've got the thing quite safe, ready to hang up on the wall,
but no danger or damage to the piece at all.
Thanks. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some dishes to do here.
Yes. Like to try that one?
I'd love to know where you got him.
Well, actually, it was left to me in a will, by a great aunt, when I was nine years old.
Unfortunately I forgot about him after, sort of like, I was ten.
Children used to come round to the house and turn him on. It used to frighten them.
Eventually he got put in the box, went upstairs and that's where he's lived until about last week.
My word! So, you've never had him out since?
Not until last week when I got him out, and then I thought, "I wonder what he is,
"where he came from, and how old he is."
I know what you mean about him being a bit scary.
I was just surprised because when we were talking about it,
John said that he was quite frightening.
It's surprising that he is so scary if he's a toy.
-They weren't really made for children.
-They were made for grown-ups.
This would be an entertainment for a soiree with a musical interlude.
And then, they'd say, "Now this my latest..."
-Is it the first time you've seen him before?
-I saw him a week ago
and thought he was absolutely REVOLTING - one of the most hideous things I've ever seen.
Well, for me it's a great excitement to see one of these.
Um, I don't think I've seen one at all on the Roadshow.
Maybe if you could wind him up...
and not... Obviously, you know not to over-wind.
-I think that's quite, quite tight, so...
-OK, so we... You pull the stop starter.
-There you go.
A dice and a ball.
Something went click.
There's a little ball there, and fluff, and what have you.
-It's amazing that he's working.
-That he's still working.
Um, I have to say I'm a bit surprised that there's no music.
-Would they normally be musical?
Now, this was made, um, in the 1870s,
possibly for the exhibition in Paris in 1878,
by Jean Phalibois
who was one of our top, or their, being the French,
Now he made many, many what we call bocage, which are under glass domes
-with lovely flower arches and that sort of thing.
-And a lot of them were monkeys.
And the more elaborate the workings,
um, the more expensive they are.
And he would have employed a Swiss manufacturer of musical boxes to make the musical movement.
-And what I'd like to do is lift it up
and see if there's something that will tell us whether it had a musical box.
Now, let's see. And this is where I drop everything
-for the first time ever. There we are.
-Can you see?
Now, that's where the musical movement would have been.
-Now, WHY was that taken OUT? If only you could ask your great aunt.
-Because it makes such a lot of difference.
Having said that, you could have one put in and it wouldn't cost you an arm and a leg.
-And it would make SUCH a difference because, then, he'd be playing to music.
He was a serious automaton in his time.
Now, one at auction has just...
with the music...sold for £10,000.
But, because you don't have the music,
um, I would have said we're talking about £2,000 to £3,000 without the music.
It's a lovely piece, serious piece. It's got a glass dome
which will protect it and obviously has protected it all this time.
-So, thank you very much for bringing it.
-Him, or it.
Right, well, what we've got is a very young-looking Ringo and John Lennon.
You know, I had a jacket like that.
Now, did you take these snapshots?
-I didn't, a friend of mine.
-A friend of yours took them.
-Where were these taken?
We all went on holiday to Great Yarmouth - four friends.
-And what year?
-There's George. That's got to be you.
-That's me, yes, definitely.
-With the bouffant?
-Absolutely. Those were the days.
And what's the story? What was the circumstance?
Well, we knew a girl who was working in Great Yarmouth,
and she said "I know where the Beatles are staying."
But the previous evening we'd been to see the Beatles in concert
and we'd been screaming like mad.
-We were so excited when we knew where they were staying,
-we sat in the lounge and they came and sat with us.
-The following day?
-The following day.
-Was that the car they used? That was the car they went, went away in, yes.
-Right. Excellent stuff.
-But we asked if we could take their, have their photographs.
-So, your friend took these snapshots.
-Well, that's absolutely brilliant.
-There's all three of you.
-You in the middle.
-My friend's taking the photo.
-With a very young Paul McCartney.
-I think they're... Oh, look at that.
-Look at that. Very casual.
I was on that photograph
but I cut it off because it didn't look very good.
-Oh, right. In addition to the photographs you've got a little album here...
..With something even more special in it, in a way.
-It says "My Trip" on here. Is it a little diary, is it?
And you kept notes about what you did, where you went etc.
-Where and what we did.
-And somewhere... Here we go.
-"To Chris, with love from John Lennon"
-"Chris, love, Paul McCartney".
-And George Harrison. And is that Ringo Starr?
So, you've got all four, excellent. Well, that's very nice indeed.
I don't know whether you are aware but there are a lot of,
shall we say, copies of autographs, Beatles autographs, on the market.
They were often done by the roadies, people around the Beatles, simply to keep the fans away.
There was so much demand for autographs
they often got the roadies to sign them.
So, it's very, very important, so far as the value's concerned, to know the history.
Without a history, they often fail to make even a few hundred pounds in auction.
With a genuine history, like yours,
I'd be quite confident in getting the better part of £5,000 in auction.
Good gracious. Wow!
-Hope that pleases you.
-That's absolutely wonderful.
What a great-looking table, but obviously there's a lot more to it than meets the eye.
-There certainly is.
-How many leaves do we have altogether? We've got...
-I believe there are five leaves altogether that add into the section we have here.
-Quite chunky, isn't it?
So, mahogany leaves but oak veneer.
This is fantastic. Is this a family piece?
It is, it's only been in the family since 1970,
but we've had so many family meals around it and what have you.
I've five brothers and sisters, lots of friends, so it's been fabulous.
-How many do you seat at it?
-The maximum we've had,
is about, um, 20, although we've never had all the leaves in.
I've never seen it with all the leaves in.
-Shall we try it?
-I'd love it.
-Is it easy?
-Just pull. Pull. Relatively, yes.
-Cos you're doing all the work. Just wait one sec...
-Keep on pulling.
Just wait one minute. Look at that. I can't resist this.
It's a bit dusty. I've not been doing my job, have I?
You mustn't polish here. This is as it was made, 1860 or '70.
Have you noticed these screws? All the slots are lined up.
OK, I had never noticed that before.
So, whoever made this has really thought about it. This is a piece of Victorian engineering.
-This is, you know, a great steel bridge, but it's made of mahogany. It's fantastic.
-How smoothly it pulls apart.
-Well, let's try. I think we might need some help with the leaves.
-I'm making you do all the work here. How far back do I have to go?
All the way. I think mine's locked now.
Is it safe here? Are we...?
I think we'd better get some help. I'm going to ask somebody to put the leaves in.
-This is just... I think I'll just stay down here out of the way, what a WONDERFUL thing.
-It is fabulous.
So, you've had it since 1970.
Yes, my father worked at the Shirley Institute in Manchester
and they had it as a board-room table there.
And they were told by a local antiques dealer that it was too big to be worth anything.
He made an offer and the table has been in my family ever since.
It was in Mum and Dad's house, obviously, when I was a child.
They've downsized houses and we have a larger house. The table fits...just.
I have to be honest. I've seen this table before.
I believe it was at Leeds University with my father in 1989.
So, 15 years ago.
This is one of the most magnificent Victorian dining tables I've ever seen.
It's certainly one of the largest.
It's one of the largest pieces of furniture we've had on the Roadshow. Do you know how long it is exactly?
-As we see it here, with all its leaves in, almost 18 feet.
Why do you bring a HUGE table like this back to the Roadshow 15 years later?
I just thought it was interesting for people to see what had happened to a table that was on so long ago.
It is still used very, very regularly for dinner parties
and you can see children's fingerprints all over it.
-Looking at this, I mean, the children's fingermarks are perfect because it's patination.
Um, but the best bit is here, isn't it? I mean, this is just fantastic.
-The whole concept of the legs. Firstly, it's massive but it doesn't look heavy.
-A very clever design. It's got this silhouette...octagonal leg.
What's really interesting... The more I look - and I'm focusing on these little patera here,
-these flower heads...
-..with the black ebony dots
and the petals dividing them, and there's this neoclassicism of this anthemion on this leg -
-I just wonder if this is possibly something to do with Saltaire...
-..designed by Charles Bevan in 1865 to 1870.
-It's got that big, chunky, oak, massive Arts-and-Crafts feel about it.
-It's big enough to be in a house of that size.
-That would be interesting and I...
And was he creating furniture in the North?
-We believe it's from the North.
-Yes. I'm sure it's a northern piece.
-It's good Victorian. There's money...
-..you know? Where there's muck there's brass.
-This is for somebody with a lot of money.
-And Bevan designed for Titus Salt -
-this big house and all the furniture.
-It's similar enough to be worth investigating.
I think it is now a public museum. It would good to just go there and see what they could do.
Do you remember, thinking of expense, I mean, what did we say? What did I say?
I believe that the... the valuation was in the area of
um, £3,000...per section
-so that would make it £20,000...
-£20,000. Right. Right.
-Well, sadly, Victorian furniture hasn't gone up very much.
But I think it's worth the effort of bringing it in,
because I think a table like this, of this size, if you insure this today,
-insure it for £50,000.
Goodness, right, I'd better get the house insurance changed.
Thank you very much.
That massive table reminds me how difficult it is to convey
the SCALE of the building that we've pitched our tent in today.
They say one end of the building's in Rotherham, the other is in Sheffield.
Our hosts here at Magna promise visitors a day without limits.
I wish we could say the same, but time is up. So, until the next time, from Rotherham, goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd