East Kirkby Antiques Roadshow


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East Kirkby

Michael Aspel and the team visit East Kirkby airfield in Lincolnshire, where many treasures are examined and a few wartime memories are shared in the shadow of a Lancaster bomber.


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This week the Roadshow has come to Lincolnshire,

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to the village of East Kirkby.

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This part of Britain has a vast amount of sky,

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which is why in the 1940s, it was chosen as the setting off point

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for a group of young men

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whose mission was to inflict as much damage as possible

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on their country's enemy and to protect a way of life.

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Many of them went off into that sky. Not all of them returned.

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This is what they flew - the Lancaster Bomber.

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Over 40 of these planes were stationed here. They all had names.

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This survivor was christened "Just Jane".

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She's one of only three operational Lancasters left in the world.

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There were seven crew members. The most dangerous job was generally

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agreed to be the rear gunner who sat alone and exposed to the enemy

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in outside temperatures of minus 40 degrees.

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Most of them didn't survive more than four missions.

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The airfield and its buildings,

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30 miles outside Lincoln, have been meticulously restored

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to commemorate the days of Bomber Command.

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This is the original World War II

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control tower - some say it's haunted.

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And a chill is felt sometimes in this room,

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although when it was in use, it must have got pretty hot in here.

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This was the operational heart of the airfield

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where ground controllers talked pilots through their take-off

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and then waited anxiously for their hopeful return.

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In 1981, two brothers, Fred and Harold Panton, bought part of the defunct East Kirkby airfield

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and gave it a new name.

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Creating the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre has been a labour of love for Fred and Harold.

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Their brother Chris was one of those brave young men.

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He died on a bombing raid over Nuremberg in 1944 aged just 19.

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In the twenty-one months East Kirkby airfield operated, 844 men were lost

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and of Bomber Command's total force of 132,000,

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more than 55,000 died in the defence of their country.

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The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre aims to make sure

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those extraordinary times are not forgotten.

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Thank you, all out, please.

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Perhaps there'll be a few more reminders among the items we'll see

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in today's Antiques Roadshow.

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-Success to Lord Rodney.

-Yeah.

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-Do you know who he is?

-Haven't got a clue.

-Do you know how old it is?

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No, that's why I brought it here.

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OK. Well, it's rather appropriate we're on an airfield. After all,

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the aircraft is the modern weapon of war,

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but in the 18th century, the lethal modern weapon of war was actually the ship.

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-The ship, yes.

-And this man

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was one of the most important admirals in the British Navy in the 18th century.

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If Lord Nelson hadn't been as famous as he became, especially after Trafalgar,

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you could argue that this man might have been our Lord Nelson.

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Just looking at the portrait, it's fantastically well done.

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He was born in 1719

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-and he died in 1792, which is a very good and long career.

-Yes.

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If we turn him round, we can see he's a jolly tar, because there he is -

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his sailor's pigtail.

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If you were a successful man of war - sailor - in the British Navy

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in the 18th century, it meant that you could potentially

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become incredibly rich, because you captured all the ships as prizes,

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-you took a share of all the money, you passed the money out amongst all the crew.

-Legal pirates.

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It was, it was legalised piracy.

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Now this guy, Lord Rodney was mustard-hot on getting prizes,

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and there were a lot of disputes between himself and parliament

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as to how much he and his men were entitled to.

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Anyhow, in the Seven Years War, in the 1750s-60s,

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this man actually thwarted a French invasion of England.

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-So an incredible hero.

-Right.

-Now, the question is...

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is this mug as old as the man depicted?

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He died in 1792 and this was probably made some time during the 1780s.

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-Ah, right.

-And at this time, he'd become an MP,

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he'd lost a fortune, he'd made another fortune and some people were

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against him, some for him, when it came to the elections.

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This is an electioneering mug

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and it says "Success to Lord Rodney".

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Obviously it's pro-Rodney. It's damaged, got a hairline fracture,

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but it's beautifully crisp.

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-I like it. Do you like it?

-I like it very much.

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-Do you think it's worth anything?

-Couple of hundred quid.

-A couple of hundred, yeah, I should think so.

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To an English maritime collector, that's certainly £300 to £500.

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Right, very nice.

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The best one I've ever seen.

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In 1787, Captain Cook stopped at a small group of islands. Those islands

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we now know as Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia.

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There, he encountered a group of people known as the Haida.

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And for me, to have something like this arrive at the Roadshow

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is an ambition fulfilled because I hope that objects

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like this are going to turn up.

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These are Haida carvings.

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-In fact, one reason I'm so passionate about them is because I do have a piece at home.

-Oh, right.

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I need to know where they come from, how you have them.

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-Well, the story goes that my great grandfather was the Mayor of Rochdale.

-Right.

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And I understand that at that time,

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Indian Chiefs were toted around towns in the UK and...

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-What sort of date are we talking? Do you know?

-I think about the late 1800s.

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-Right, OK.

-But I'm not absolutely certain about the date.

-Fine, OK.

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Um, and these were the personal gifts that the Chieftain gave

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to my great grandfather and they were passed down through the family.

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And then when this lady -

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my aunt - died, they came to my mother

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and my mother wouldn't have them

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on display because she was a strict Methodist.

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-What did she regard them as being? Pagan?

-I think idolatrous, that sort of thing.

-That's interesting.

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She hid them in a drawer, then gave them to me, her wayward daughter.

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Wayward daughter.

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-I see there's a photograph as well...

-Yes.

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..with both items on the mantelpiece.

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-Yes.

-And that obviously dates from the 1930s, that photograph.

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-Yes.

-Seeing them in context here, beautiful, because it pushes the date

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and it makes me absolutely confidant of their place in history

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around about 1860-70

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and is very characteristic of this period of carving.

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They were a very interesting culture in that they had excess time

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and they had excess time because they lived in a very bountiful place.

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They were never short of salmon and game and natural materials

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to live with, so they had time to develop their art.

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After the earliest communications with Europeans, the Haida

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started carving in this material, called argillite - a kind of shale.

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-And what would they carve it with?

-Well, they carved with metal tools

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essentially, or stone tools initially, but then metal tools

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and then polished with shark skin and oiled, and the symbolism

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-is extremely surreal and very, very complicated.

-Right.

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They made full-sized totem poles and these are kind of argillite models

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-of their full-sized totem poles.

-Right.

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They were an interesting race as well because they actually

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had what they called a "potlatch" culture.

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And they were conspicuous consumers, they had spare time, they did art,

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but they had so much spare time that they could keep making these things,

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-so every year they would burn or give away all their possessions.

-Gosh.

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I know it sounds absolutely staggering, but it was a system that worked very well.

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-Especially coming from such a basic sort of culture.

-They weren't basic.

-No.

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The things that were given away would obviously be given to people who had already lost their things...

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It was a kind of perpetuating system,

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-and it meant that they produced quite a lot of material as well.

-Right.

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And this comes from that kind of culture and they're just

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absolutely magnificent. I would love to have them myself.

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I'm glad you like them and appreciate them.

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-I always have done.

-It's an interesting one

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because valuing these things is very difficult.

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They don't come up for sale that often. In fact,

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you can go on the internet and buy them, but the ones you buy

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are modern versions done by modern living Haida artists, but because these are old,

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they're a different matter.

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I have no hesitation in putting

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£1,500 to £2,000 on these two carvings.

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-Gosh.

-I think they're superb.

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Oh, heavens, thank you.

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So what can you tell me about the history of this?

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Well, I want to know the history, I want to know about it,

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because I've no idea what it is.

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No, but where did you get it from?

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Well, my parents had it before I was born. They married in

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the '20s and I understand that it came from a Russian person

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who fled the Revolution,

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and she, um, bought it and gave it

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-to my father because he'd been kind to her.

-Really?

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-But I don't know what it is.

-You can forget Russia.

-Yes.

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You want to go west, south west.

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You want to go to

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South America because this nut fell from a tree in Brazil and instead of

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splitting open, it's been put on a lathe and spun on a lathe...

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-so that the outer surface has been cut away.

-Yes.

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This little nipple turning has been made in the top.

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And then it's been cut through and the nuts that are inside...

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are brazil nuts.

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-Ah, right.

-That's where the brazil nut comes from, within an outer nut which happens to be this nut...

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which is pretty nutty, isn't it, really?

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It's very, very strange.

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Strange is not the word.

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I think it's the most bizarre and wonderful object, I have to say.

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-I'm amazed.

-So Russia and fleeing from the Revolution...

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forget it.

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But what would some nutcase pay for this, do you think?

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-Not much.

-Well, actually, some nutcase would like it, because

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it is a nutcase and it's been turned in this way.

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-It was probably done maybe 100 years ago as a novelty.

-Right.

-You shake it like that.

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And you can hear the nuts running around inside.

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-I think somebody would pay for that - a treen collector - perhaps £100 to £150.

-I'm amazed.

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So here we have "The Shakespeare Masonic Lodge, Stratford".

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Now, therein lies the root of it all.

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Yes, well this furniture originated in the Shakespeare Lodge,

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Stratford on Avon which started in 1793.

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Now that Lodge ceased functioning in around about 1932.

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When they were setting up a Lodge here locally and one of the persons

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who was helping to set it up,

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was a prison governor and he came from Birmingham and he knew of this

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furniture that was in storage and he bought it, the whole lot, for £15.

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-For £15?

-So I suppose he paid about £1.50 for this chair, £1 for this.

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Those were the days, weren't they?

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So tell me a bit about Freemasonry. When was the first Lodge founded?

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Well, history says that it was Solomon, King of Israel

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-had the first lodge, but I don't think that's quite true.

-Right.

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Freemasons used to be the Masons Guild. Masons in the 1600s and 1700s

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were running short of members, so to keep the guild going, they invited

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famous local dignitaries to become honorary members and gradually,

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the Masons Guild itself folded, and it changed into the Freemasons.

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I would be really intrigued to know the ceremonial role of these

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wonderful chairs for instance. Where do they fit into the whole scheme?

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Well, this one

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-with the plumes on is the Master's Chair.

-Right.

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And these two are his deputies.

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Associated with each chair is a candlestick.

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-So there are three of those.

-Three candlesticks, one for each chair,

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and also the two deputies

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have one of those each and it's a sign of authority.

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And these fantastic globes?

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Well, the globes, one of the world and one of the moon,

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the celestial and terrestrial globes,

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they're to signify that Masonry is universal.

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Because you've got this wonderful gold filigree chains

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and above them on each side, these beautiful little roundels in enamel and what looks like

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fantastic quality silver and gold wire, which has been creating these

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little medallions with a portrait inside,

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-almost as if that's the original Grand Master.

-I've no idea who he was.

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It's something that's been lost in the mists of time.

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And these are supposed to be pomegranates.

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Right, where do they actually sit in, in the Lodge? How is it arranged?

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Is this here... Is that...

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-that's exactly how the chair sits on top of there?

-Yes, these two globes are those,

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a desk there and the Master's Chair is behind this pedestal.

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-That is a glazed window which is in the wall behind there.

-Directly above it?

-Yes.

-Oh, right.

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And here we have all the Masonic symbols.

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Yes, all the Masonic symbols.

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So the square and compasses and the all-seeing eye.

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So where does this wonderful sort of Pythagoras's theorem?

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It's called the Master's Tracing Board and as far as I'm aware,

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it's the only one in existence in England.

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I suppose the symbolism - it's supposed to teach industry.

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Right, so here we have the Lodge founded in 1793.

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What's interesting about the chairs is stylistically,

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they're a little bit earlier, because they've got this wonderful sweep of the arm with these...

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oval back coming into these arms that go straight into the top of the legs

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and this is a constructional technique which was used by a firm

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called Mayhew & Ince who were great contemporaries of Thomas Chippendale.

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What's very interesting for me is that if we look at the construction, the underside,

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we've got this cut-out here, called crab-cuts,

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which is the way of gluing the joints on the backs of chairs,

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and although not a signature thing, those are some of the hallmarks used almost exclusively by Chippendale

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and by Mayhew & Ince only.

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And so it appears that these chairs, and indeed the Grand Master's chair,

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which these wonderful, sunburst and the Prince of Wales feathers, are all

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later additions which have been put on,

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actually had a former life, possibly not a Masonic life, because they

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haven't got the Masonic symbols on the chairs or frames unlike some Masonic furniture,

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but they actually were part of domestic furniture that was commissioned for a very grand house

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and was then was given to the Lodge when it was founded in the 1790s.

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This is an extraordinary group.

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They are worth dramatically more than the £15 that was originally paid for them.

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There are three of those wonderful candle stands, they're all from about 1790 when the Lodge was founded.

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Three of those are worth probably £10,000 to £15,000.

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Then we have our two...

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pair of columns here for authority, the pair of those

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which make wonderful objects, are probably worth £5,000 to £8,000.

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Then we have the chairs.

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The chairs - these wonderful 1770s Mayhew & Ince chairs -

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this is probably worth £3,000 to £5,000.

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That one is a bit closer to Gillows in the straightness of the leg,

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is worth probably about the same, sort of £3,000 to £5,000

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and this beautiful chair here is probably worth £6,000 to £9,000...

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£7,000 to £10,000. And finally, the celestial

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and terrestrial globes, and they're probably worth £12,000 to £18,000

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so there are some pretty fantastic things here.

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Pulling all those figures together, it gets to a grand total of £40,000 to £60,000, maybe even a bit more.

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It's a very, very rare group.

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Perhaps a trip to the Bahamas this year's in order for a holiday.

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It's a bit cheeky for you to bring me this rather grubby menu from "La Dolce Vita, Newcastle upon Tyne,

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"the North's most luxurious Night Club!"

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But that's until I turned it over and...

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fantastic signatures - Gerry of Gerry and the Pacemakers...

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-The Beatles, all of them.

-Oh, yes.

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-And they said who they were. And Roy Orbison.

-Correct.

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A very famous concert because Roy Orbison actually was the lead with follow-up by The Beatles.

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But during that tour, they swapped.

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And it says "To Margaret".

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-That's me.

-That's you?

-That's me.

-But you're so young. You couldn't have been in a nightclub in 1963.

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I wasn't. I was about 12 years old at the time, and my brother,

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who was an entertainer, got them for me, because

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he was appearing at Dolce Vita on that particular evening

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and he woke me up at about 3 o'clock

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in the morning when he come home, after finishing work,

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and he said, "Got something for ye, I've got you these...

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"One day, these boys will be famous!"

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And I've had them ever since.

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They're not a bad gift at 12 years old.

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-It wasn't.

-Have you ever had it valued?

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-No.

-Well, obviously, The Beatles signatures are the most valuable.

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But to get everybody who appeared is very unusual.

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For The Beatles to actually say who they were, George Harrison,

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again most unusual, and good strong signatures, so you've got it all.

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Um, to a collector,

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we're probably talking about £4,000, £5,000, £6,000 at auction.

0:19:360:19:40

Oh, my goodness, oh.

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So from all those years ago, as a free gift to you.

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Oh, I'm amazed.

0:19:490:19:51

-A fantastic piece of memorabilia.

-Thank you, Eddie.

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You seem to have brought me a rather burned and useless Portuguese bank note. What's the story of that?

0:19:570:20:03

It was retrieved from a crashed Lancaster Bomber

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that had just returned from a raid over Germany,

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-which, unfortunately, upon returning to the UK, crashed.

-Where?

-In Lincolnshire.

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Some of this money was recovered from the aircraft because they used to carry this

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in case they escaped from a burning aircraft and made their way to Portugal,

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they'd always got some currency they could use to help them return.

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Why did it come from the plane?

0:20:260:20:28

Well, my father was a Senior Medical Officer for Bomber Command 617 Squadron,

0:20:280:20:33

-which as you'll know is the Dam Busters Squadron.

-Right.

0:20:330:20:36

He was based at Scampton and Swinderby and happened to be called to that site on that occasion.

0:20:360:20:40

I suppose that was one of the more ghastly parts of his job.

0:20:400:20:43

Yes, one of the more upsetting parts of the job which affected him very much.

0:20:430:20:47

One forgets that not everybody was shot down over Germany.

0:20:470:20:50

-Aeroplanes crashed here on their way back.

-Indeed, coming back.

-Much more distressing.

-Indeed so.

0:20:500:20:54

-Is that him?

-That is indeed him, before the war in Pittsmore in Sheffield,

0:20:540:20:59

-proud father.

-And proud of that little child.

0:20:590:21:03

I know. Isn't it sad? That turned out to be me.

0:21:030:21:06

You look just the same.

0:21:060:21:08

-Not a lot of difference, is there?

-Now what's this autograph book?

0:21:080:21:11

Is that part of the story?

0:21:110:21:13

That's really the main part of the story in that I used to be

0:21:130:21:16

invited to go to the Officers' Mess at Scampton on Sundays to have

0:21:160:21:20

lunch with my father who always said, "Bring the autograph book,

0:21:200:21:23

"because a lot of the pilots and crew will be there having lunch.

0:21:230:21:27

"Take your book round and ask if they'll be kind enough to sign it."

0:21:270:21:31

That must have been an extraordinary experience meeting those people.

0:21:310:21:34

It was. I had to be on my best behaviour because I was the only child in the Officers' Mess.

0:21:340:21:39

-And of course these were young men in their early 20s.

-That's right.

0:21:390:21:43

-So here we've got a page which lists several names.

-Yes, indeed.

0:21:430:21:46

Now these are the autographs you've got.

0:21:460:21:49

-Yes.

-Royal Australian Air Force, what have you.

-That's right.

0:21:490:21:52

But then it says "Killed", "Missing", "Presumed Killed", "Prisoner of War".

0:21:520:21:57

It's the saddest part of all because my father kept it up to date and...

0:21:570:22:01

these people unfortunately didn't come back from a lot of these raids.

0:22:010:22:04

So did you get any Dam Busters?

0:22:040:22:06

Well, Melvin Young was one of the really important pilots in the 617 Squadron.

0:22:060:22:11

We even went on holiday with him.

0:22:110:22:13

-Unfortunately he didn't survive long after that.

-He was a family friend?

0:22:130:22:18

-Yes, he was indeed.

-Did he actually die on the dams raid?

0:22:180:22:22

On the Mohne and Eder dams, that's where he lost his life.

0:22:220:22:24

-An extraordinary story.

-Very sad, but extraordinary indeed.

0:22:240:22:27

-So your father went on with a service career?

-That's right.

0:22:270:22:30

He left the Air Force at the end of the war in 1946

0:22:300:22:33

-and set up as a GP again after the war in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

-So he remained in medicine.

0:22:330:22:37

-Indeed, until he died.

-So his experiences in the war hadn't put him off.

0:22:370:22:41

No, but he loved the war, it was the sort of best thing that ever happened to him, rather sadly.

0:22:410:22:46

I think it was for lots of people. It was an excitement that was never going to be matched.

0:22:460:22:50

I've met so many people who've said, terrifying and frightening though they were,

0:22:500:22:55

those days were just so exciting.

0:22:550:22:57

He was a star in his own right, as a Senior Medical Officer,

0:22:570:23:00

-but then he finished up as an ordinary GP in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

-And life was never the same again.

0:23:000:23:05

That's right, the contrast was unbelievable.

0:23:050:23:07

Now this is wonderful personal memorabilia and wonderful documents and memories...

0:23:070:23:12

-It has value, I mean, we've got to talk about value.

-Yes.

0:23:120:23:16

-In a sense, the value of this, which is probably a few hundred pounds...

-Right.

-..is unimportant...

-Indeed.

0:23:160:23:21

-..compared to what it's worth to you.

-Yes.

-But I've loved sharing this with you.

-Thank you.

0:23:210:23:27

A word I've heard several times from visitors here to East Kirkby Airfield is "humbling"

0:23:270:23:32

and the people we have to thank for all of this here is brothers Harold and Fred Panton.

0:23:320:23:37

So you are farmers who... who bought an airfield?

0:23:370:23:41

Yeah, we bought part of this airfield in 1981.

0:23:410:23:45

It was the death of your brother that really prompted you to do this.

0:23:450:23:48

Absolutely, yes.

0:23:480:23:50

We done it as a memorial to bomber pilots, ground crew and whoever served in Bomber Command.

0:23:500:23:57

Did you know your brother very well?

0:23:570:24:00

-Were you close?

-Oh, God, we were yeah, very close, yeah.

0:24:000:24:03

-I used to go and meet him off the bus when he used to come home on leave.

-Ah.

-Yes.

0:24:030:24:09

I gather your father wasn't too keen on the idea of this.

0:24:090:24:13

No, no, he wasn't. He never really got over it, Father didn't.

0:24:130:24:17

He didn't want to know, we didn't even know really where he was buried until he asked me to go to

0:24:170:24:23

Germany for some photographs of where he was buried and that was in 1971.

0:24:230:24:27

-Right.

-And we didn't know... We had to get the information we required

0:24:270:24:31

for me to go and find his resting place.

0:24:310:24:35

-Well, you must be totally satisfied with everything you've managed to achieve.

-Ah yeah, we are, yes.

0:24:350:24:40

We are, it's gone well. We're having a job to keep pace with it really because it's growing too fast.

0:24:400:24:45

You just don't know how big to go, but we think we're going

0:24:450:24:49

then it's, "You're not big enough" so we're having to keep expanding.

0:24:490:24:52

-Well, you keep doing it and they'll keep coming.

-Yeah, that's it.

0:24:520:24:55

Thank you very much on behalf of all of us for doing this.

0:24:550:24:59

All the memories here are not sombre ones.

0:24:590:25:01

People in those days really knew how to have a good time

0:25:010:25:05

and some of the stewards here have their own way of reminding us. Take it away.

0:25:050:25:10

BIG BAND MUSIC PLAYS

0:25:100:25:13

Well, I always think of these as being real sort of treasure chests.

0:25:550:25:59

It's a work box and I used to love playing with my grandmother's work box when I was younger,

0:25:590:26:04

finding all the little bits of elastic and strange hooks and things.

0:26:040:26:07

What's the story behind this one?

0:26:070:26:08

This one was my mother-in-law's, she died, and I inherited it.

0:26:080:26:13

-Everything inside is as it came.

-So totally untouched...

-Untouched.

0:26:130:26:17

-..since the day you received it.

-That's right.

0:26:170:26:19

Despite the fact it's got all these little bits of shell which aren't from these shores as it were,

0:26:190:26:25

it's definitely made in England.

0:26:250:26:27

It's made of papier-mache. Sadly it's not by Jennings and Bettridge,

0:26:270:26:30

who were a Birmingham-based firm who used to make a lot of papier-mache trays and boxes,

0:26:300:26:34

but it's certainly an excellent example.

0:26:340:26:37

The good thing about it is that the gilding hasn't worn too badly,

0:26:370:26:41

because very often they do become quite sort of tired looking,

0:26:410:26:45

and, er, also there are sections of mother-of-pearl inset into the top.

0:26:450:26:49

-Uh-huh.

-And then the people who made these then painted over the top,

0:26:490:26:53

so that you get this sort of rather nice iridescent glow coming through

0:26:530:26:57

to give a more three-dimensional look to this spray of flowers.

0:26:570:27:00

Let's have a look inside.

0:27:000:27:03

Oh, even better.

0:27:030:27:05

All the spools are here, now, so this...

0:27:050:27:08

-They've always been with this?

-Yes.

0:27:080:27:10

-You've not bought anything to go in here?

-No.

0:27:100:27:12

These would probably have

0:27:120:27:13

-been made in China, they're made to be slotted in here.

-Oh.

0:27:130:27:18

Now this is interesting.

0:27:180:27:19

That's some wax and the idea with that is that you'd have a thick cotton

0:27:190:27:24

and then to make it extra strong and sort of waterproof, if you like...

0:27:240:27:28

-Yes.

-..you would then wind the cotton around there.

0:27:280:27:31

-Uh-huh.

-The box dates from around 1850 or thereabouts.

0:27:310:27:35

Does it?

0:27:350:27:36

Oh, even better inside. This is much better than my grandmother's box,

0:27:360:27:40

which had all sorts of oddments in.

0:27:400:27:42

Lovely sections of silk ribbons,

0:27:420:27:45

-it's just a really nicely put together box.

-Oh.

0:27:450:27:50

-You obviously don't use it now.

-No, it's just beautiful to look at.

0:27:510:27:55

-It's sort of like a little museum really.

-That's right.

0:27:550:27:59

It looks as though at the end of the 19th century, or earlier this century,

0:27:590:28:03

nobody's used it, nobody's put anything else into it,

0:28:030:28:05

so just confirmation there on the lock plate "VR"

0:28:050:28:09

so we know it's Victorian.

0:28:090:28:11

What sort of value do you place on it?

0:28:110:28:15

I don't know, I hadn't thought of the value, um, £100?

0:28:150:28:20

It's worth more than that.

0:28:200:28:22

In such a complete condition, it must be worth in the region of £500.

0:28:220:28:26

-It's a really well put together work box.

-Really?

0:28:260:28:29

Five hundred? That is lovely.

0:28:290:28:32

This print down here, woodblock print

0:28:330:28:36

looks just like a Sir William Nicholson.

0:28:360:28:39

I'm absolutely fascinated by the inscription because it says

0:28:390:28:42

"Skating with acknowledgement to Sir William Nicholson. Peter Blake 1980."

0:28:420:28:48

As we know, Peter Blake, the great pop artist,

0:28:480:28:51

one of his big things was he designed the cover for Sergeant Pepper's

0:28:510:28:55

and here it's inscribed on the bottom here "For Celia from Peter Blake."

0:28:550:29:00

And who's Celia?

0:29:000:29:01

-That's me.

-That's you.

-That's me.

0:29:010:29:04

And so why do you have this?

0:29:040:29:06

I worked for a design group

0:29:060:29:09

for many years, and every Christmas the partners of the design group

0:29:090:29:14

got together all their friends and their friends were all contemporary

0:29:140:29:19

artists of the time and each year we were given a little present...

0:29:190:29:25

-as a Christmas present.

-So Peter did this one in 1980?

-He did.

0:29:250:29:29

And what is really nice about it...

0:29:290:29:31

when you buy a print, a woodblock, limited edition,

0:29:310:29:35

you want a nice small edition and here you have the number "8/60".

0:29:350:29:39

There are sixty like that.

0:29:390:29:40

I just think it's fantastic and it's such a personal thing for you to have that.

0:29:400:29:44

-I know.

-And then we come up here, something very different by

0:29:440:29:49

Jose Christopherson...

0:29:490:29:51

who is a female artist.

0:29:510:29:54

When did you acquire that?

0:29:540:29:56

This has always been in my family

0:29:560:30:00

and Jose Christopherson

0:30:000:30:03

I believe was an art student with one of my great aunts who

0:30:030:30:09

studied at The Slade School of Art.

0:30:090:30:13

-And when do you think this was painted?

-I think it's about 1920-25.

0:30:130:30:19

Well, she was born in 1914,

0:30:190:30:22

so I think this is late '30s.

0:30:220:30:25

-Late '30s.

-And obviously going down to St Ives,

0:30:250:30:28

and as you know Ben Nicholson was in St Ives,

0:30:280:30:30

and Christopher Wood was in St Ives and she's very influenced by Christopher Wood.

0:30:300:30:37

I love this because it makes me laugh,

0:30:380:30:41

it's just so humorous.

0:30:410:30:42

It doesn't look like she's tried to do it, you know, really really perfectly,

0:30:420:30:46

just it looks like she wanted to have fun with it.

0:30:460:30:50

But when you look at this,

0:30:500:30:51

this is painted in watercolour...gouache

0:30:510:30:53

and it's very spontaneous, you know.

0:30:530:30:56

It's not contrived and it's just freehand and actually the strength

0:30:560:30:59

of line here is very, very good and I think it's fantastic because I've

0:30:590:31:03

never come across this artist, but that doesn't matter, you know.

0:31:030:31:08

Because the style, because we can date it, I think that would

0:31:080:31:11

-probably make £800 to £1,200 maybe £1,000 to £1,500 at auction.

-Really?

0:31:110:31:15

The Peter Blake at the bottom here... this wonderful present you got...

0:31:150:31:19

I think that, one out of sixty, that's certainly worth £600 to £900,

0:31:190:31:25

it could make £1,000. I just think it's lovely.

0:31:250:31:28

Aren't we lucky?

0:31:280:31:29

Very, very lucky.

0:31:290:31:32

Well, I can see from a case like this that the contents are...

0:31:340:31:39

is going to be French and there they are.

0:31:390:31:41

That's what we call a demi-parure of jewellery, definitely French

0:31:410:31:45

and a demi-parure means a suite of jewellery in three parts.

0:31:450:31:49

So tell me about its history in your family.

0:31:490:31:53

It was a last minute purchase by my father, for a birthday present for

0:31:530:31:58

my mother, in 1944-45... at the end of the war.

0:31:580:32:02

I think he dived into a second-hand shop or a jewellery shop about five to six and just managed...

0:32:020:32:08

I think he paid about £3 for it.

0:32:080:32:10

-Three pounds! Well, it's certainly worth every bit of that.

-Yes.

0:32:100:32:13

-But it is a slightly sort of severe piece of jewellery...

-Oh, yes.

-..to buy one's wife.

0:32:130:32:17

It's a cross, it's also decorated with forget-me-nots

0:32:170:32:21

which are very relevant I think

0:32:210:32:23

to its history, which I think you know a little bit about.

0:32:230:32:25

It's a commemorative piece made in 1871-72 to commemorate the

0:32:250:32:32

Franco-Prussian War and in this case the French were soundly trounced by

0:32:320:32:37

the Prussians and as a result Alsace-Lorraine, two provinces on

0:32:370:32:42

the western border were annexed by Prussia, later Germany, and the

0:32:420:32:46

French didn't get them back till 1919 at the Treaty of Versailles.

0:32:460:32:50

-So it's almost a sort of a mourning jewel.

-Mm.

0:32:500:32:54

There is a slightly gloomy character to it, it's made

0:32:540:32:56

of oxidised silver and gilt metal

0:32:560:32:58

and I think the message is pretty strong in the middle here

0:32:580:33:01

because this is what the French call myosotis.

0:33:010:33:03

It's forget-me-nots

0:33:030:33:05

that are gathered together with the French colours,

0:33:050:33:07

the colours of the flag, and it means "forget me not",

0:33:070:33:10

I suppose really for those people that died in that hideous confrontation, doesn't it?

0:33:100:33:14

And the "AL" in the middle of the cross presumably for Alsace-Lorraine.

0:33:140:33:18

The extraordinary thing is to try to imagine what kind of a woman would have worn those at the time.

0:33:180:33:23

I've a funny feeling that she was rather a sort of severe French lady,

0:33:230:33:27

probably dressed as a sort of rather terrifying widow character really, in sort of...

0:33:270:33:30

-Sombre colours.

-I think so, sombre black I imagine and we think of her

0:33:300:33:35

turning up at a reception wearing this commemoration of a defeat.

0:33:350:33:39

So it's an extraordinarily unusual suite of jewellery

0:33:390:33:43

because jewellery's usually rather sort of joyful and in a way this

0:33:430:33:47

has a rather, rather morbid tone to it, but in a way

0:33:470:33:51

because it is highly evocative of, of history, it's beautifully made,

0:33:510:33:56

it's probably made in Paris, it's a collectable object,

0:33:560:33:59

it's the sort of thing a museum I think would jolly well like to have.

0:33:590:34:02

I think a French museum would be more pleased than anybody else to have it.

0:34:020:34:06

And, and with that comes the usual old chestnut of value.

0:34:060:34:10

Well, I think it's got to be worth about £800 of anybody's money today.

0:34:100:34:15

It's a great thing, a great one to see. It's a historic jewel and...

0:34:150:34:18

an enormous rarity, I've never seen anything like it.

0:34:180:34:21

Thank you very much for bringing it.

0:34:210:34:24

I say, your hair's looking pretty fab.

0:34:240:34:26

Thank you very much. It hasn't always been like this though.

0:34:260:34:29

-I used to have it right down my back.

-Did you?

-Mm.

-When would that have been?

-1964.

0:34:290:34:34

1964, and what else happened to you in 1964?

0:34:340:34:37

-I went tenting.

-Did you?

-Mm.

0:34:370:34:40

And was that when you acquired this magnificent piece of kit?

0:34:400:34:43

This magnificent... it was, my husband bought

0:34:430:34:45

it me from a camping exhibition.

0:34:450:34:47

Well, it does say on the outside "the caravan hair dryer".

0:34:470:34:51

And I open it up, we can see what chic chicks were doing with their

0:34:510:34:57

-hair when they went caravanning in 1964.

-That was me.

0:34:570:35:01

Which was you? The chic chick.

0:35:010:35:04

-Chic...definitely.

-That was right.

0:35:040:35:05

Now, if we just take this thing out of the box and it's brilliant that

0:35:050:35:09

it's survived intact in its box, we can see a hard baked Bakelite case.

0:35:090:35:17

It says "mistral" on it which is kind of

0:35:170:35:20

a nice way of saying that this is a windy object, which is a hint as to

0:35:200:35:25

what it might eventually do, and lo and behold we have the hairdryer hose

0:35:250:35:32

to beat all hairdryer hoses, right?

0:35:320:35:35

But this is no ordinary gadget, because to generate the heat

0:35:350:35:40

in your caravan or tent,

0:35:400:35:42

you would set up a Primus stove under the bottom to heat the plate.

0:35:420:35:47

-You then take this wire off to your twelve volt battery.

-That's right.

0:35:470:35:52

Plug it into the battery, that gets the fan going, the fan goes

0:35:520:35:56

over the hot plate, the hot air comes out of the tube, right?

0:35:560:36:01

And if you wanted the special fitting,

0:36:010:36:04

-you get the paisley plastic bag...

-Beautiful bag.

0:36:040:36:08

It's a lovely bag.

0:36:080:36:10

..into which you insert your hosepipe and as a cool chick...

0:36:100:36:14

-I bet you're going to put that on me.

-I am going to put it on you.

0:36:140:36:18

-Lovely.

-As a cool chick...

-Glamour.

0:36:180:36:21

-Glamour.

-..a cool chick in 1964,

0:36:210:36:25

this is how you do your hair.

0:36:250:36:28

That's it.

0:36:280:36:30

I was beautiful.

0:36:300:36:32

-This is how you do your hair before you go down to the pub when you got out of the tent.

-That's it.

0:36:320:36:38

And that's what I think is so amazing.

0:36:380:36:40

Amazing, and I looked so beautiful after it was all finished.

0:36:400:36:43

-You look so beautiful...

-There you go.

0:36:430:36:45

-You look so beautiful now.

-With this on? Yes?

0:36:450:36:47

I think it's the most wonderful piece of equipment, I have to say.

0:36:470:36:52

-Right.

-And what's it worth?

0:36:520:36:53

No idea, no idea.

0:36:530:36:55

-Well, you haven't got the faintest idea?

-No.

0:36:550:36:57

But there must be somebody somewhere that's collecting camping related equipment.

0:36:570:37:01

Yes, I think there must be.

0:37:010:37:03

-And for a really unusual thing like this...

-Yes.

-..in its box,

0:37:030:37:07

I reckon somebody would pay what?

0:37:070:37:08

Fifty quid for a good blow dry.

0:37:080:37:10

Probably, probably. Would you pay fifty quid for a good blow dry?

0:37:100:37:14

Now there's a question.

0:37:140:37:16

Yes!

0:37:190:37:20

Well, first of all tell me where you got all of these things.

0:37:210:37:25

The one you're holding at the moment I bought that last year

0:37:250:37:28

in a local antique shop.

0:37:280:37:31

-And you paid?

-And I paid £60

0:37:310:37:33

for that one, hopefully that is Japanese or Chinese Imari.

0:37:330:37:37

And this one?

0:37:370:37:38

That one came from an antique shop in Yorkshire. That was bought by my

0:37:380:37:45

-mother-in-law actually for £14.

-£14.

0:37:450:37:48

Yeah, I looked in one of the marks books as being William de Morgan.

0:37:480:37:52

Yeah, OK. Well, that's what it is, it's William de Morgan

0:37:520:37:55

and I would say it's actually quite a good price.

0:37:550:37:58

£14 for a piece of William de Morgan is pretty good.

0:37:580:38:01

-I mean I think he's one of the greatest ceramic designers of the 19th century.

-Yes.

0:38:010:38:06

And he uses this wonderful Persian colour scheme.

0:38:060:38:09

He is a wonderful artist and he trained in Italy, he was obviously

0:38:090:38:15

very, very keen on the arts of the Iznik potters, so a lot of

0:38:150:38:19

the colour schemes, these turquoises,

0:38:190:38:21

these lovely Persian blues are typical of the influence that...

0:38:210:38:25

So £14 is I would say, very, very good. What about the big one?

0:38:250:38:29

The big one, er, I've had that round about 8 or 9 years.

0:38:290:38:34

I bought it sort of on speculation probably. There was no ticket on it.

0:38:350:38:41

-Yeah.

-So I decided after a while just to sort of speculate and hoping

0:38:410:38:46

that, er, it probably was an early 18th-century vase or...

0:38:460:38:51

-Early 18th-century?

-Early 18th probably.

0:38:510:38:53

-OK, that's what you're hoping for?

-Right.

-How deep in your pocket did

0:38:530:38:56

you go for this, this would-be early 18th-century vase?

0:38:560:39:00

-I had to pay £1,000 for it.

-A thousand pounds?

-Yes.

0:39:000:39:03

A hard bargain. Actually it's quite a lot of money, isn't it?

0:39:030:39:06

Yes, which is what my wife thought when I went home with it.

0:39:060:39:10

I'm always interested to know

0:39:120:39:14

what is it that drives people's taste...

0:39:140:39:17

-A Japanese piece, a late 19th-century piece.

-OK.

0:39:170:39:21

English, and then a piece of Chinese... Why?

0:39:210:39:23

Um, probably the, yeah, the Oriental design, Iznik design.

0:39:230:39:28

I like Chinese, Japanese.

0:39:280:39:30

-You basically have a sort of eye for Oriental works of art then?

-Yeah. Yeah, I think that's the...

0:39:300:39:35

how you'd probably link them all together.

0:39:350:39:37

Well, they link perfectly together

0:39:370:39:39

for somebody of the aesthetic persuasion of the late 19th century.

0:39:390:39:45

This is the sort of thing that the great China maniacs, people

0:39:450:39:48

like Charlotte Schreiber, James McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde,

0:39:480:39:52

all of these people who were interested in Oriental works of art,

0:39:520:39:55

they went for precisely what you've gone for.

0:39:550:39:58

I think you could be a reincarnated aesthete.

0:39:580:40:00

Let's just look at it, before seeing whether we can put you out of your misery

0:40:020:40:06

-or into even more misery.

-Yeah, quite.

0:40:060:40:08

First of all, it IS Chinese. The thing I particularly like about it

0:40:080:40:11

is this wonderful vibrant clash of colours on the collar of the whole piece,

0:40:110:40:16

this wonderful juxtaposition of under-glaze blue

0:40:160:40:19

and then over-glaze yellow, green and red.

0:40:190:40:22

It's actually quite a sophisticated production technique

0:40:220:40:25

because all of the blue that you see on there

0:40:250:40:27

-has been painted onto the jar before the jar was given a glaze.

-Right.

0:40:270:40:30

The whole thing was then fired, and then came out of the kiln

0:40:300:40:34

and then had to go to the enamellers for lower-temperature firing.

0:40:340:40:37

If you look at these designs around the front, for example,

0:40:370:40:41

the painter had to imagine what this thing would look like

0:40:410:40:44

when all the colours were filled in,

0:40:440:40:46

so he did a bit of a rock down here, a bit of a leaf up here,

0:40:460:40:50

a few more leaves up here, and he had to remember that his colleague...

0:40:500:40:54

after the under-glaze blue firing...

0:40:540:40:56

was going to have to fill in all the bits in between.

0:40:560:40:59

So this would have come out of the kiln, looking rather naked really

0:40:590:41:03

and sort of rather strange, with bits of design all over the place.

0:41:030:41:07

Anyhow, the enamels are what we call the green family, the famille verte

0:41:070:41:13

group of enamels, it is Chinese, it comes from the fabled city of Jingde Zhen,

0:41:130:41:18

which is where almost all the porcelain we see in the great houses

0:41:180:41:21

and palaces of Europe came from.

0:41:210:41:24

It was made during the, the, the...

0:41:240:41:26

the reign of the Emperor K'ang-Hsi,

0:41:260:41:28

so I think if you say, late 1600s, early 1700s, that would be about right, so yeah,

0:41:280:41:36

it's a nice purchase.

0:41:360:41:38

£1,000, well we'll have to...

0:41:380:41:40

-I'm just going to think about £1,000.

-OK.

0:41:400:41:42

Um, your Imari vase,

0:41:420:41:44

yeah, I mean, there's nothing particularly special, again

0:41:440:41:47

the same techniques that I've just described here, under-glazed blue

0:41:470:41:50

and over-glazed enamels.

0:41:500:41:51

That was made in the late 19th century, so I hope I'm not going to

0:41:510:41:55

-disappoint you when I say...

-Right.

0:41:550:41:57

that its value is probably somewhere around what you paid for it.

0:41:570:42:00

-OK.

-OK. The little...

0:42:000:42:03

I have a very soft spot...

0:42:030:42:05

so don't get too carried away by my enthusiasm,

0:42:050:42:08

because I have a real soft spot for William de Morgan. I think he's

0:42:080:42:13

a wonderful, wonderful designer and, and I think his pots are undervalued.

0:42:130:42:18

-Fourteen pounds was it?

-Yeah.

0:42:180:42:21

Fourteen pounds, well I think that today it's probably somewhere in the

0:42:210:42:24

-region of let's say £5,000 to £8,000.

-What?!

0:42:240:42:29

Five to eight?

0:42:290:42:30

Quite a nice little purchase actually.

0:42:320:42:36

My mother-in-law's just stood behind here.

0:42:360:42:38

-You're surprised?

-I am, very.

0:42:420:42:45

She gave it to me for my fortieth birthday.

0:42:450:42:48

Well, that was a lovely fortieth birthday present.

0:42:480:42:50

And the one you treated yourself to, to the horror of your wife, for £1,000...

0:42:500:42:55

Well, I mean, OK, we're not...

0:42:550:42:57

-In terms of design it's maybe not in the William de Morgan league.

-Right.

0:42:570:43:01

But I think £1,000 is, that's not bad.

0:43:010:43:03

I think a thousand pounds is quite a reasonable buy.

0:43:030:43:06

It's probably worth somewhere in the region of, um...

0:43:060:43:09

well, with all of those cracks... £15,000 to £25,000.

0:43:090:43:12

GASPS OF ASTONISHMENT

0:43:120:43:15

Seriously?

0:43:150:43:17

Crikey!

0:43:200:43:22

You are, you are...

0:43:220:43:25

-I think he wants a taxi to take this home.

-Fifteen to twenty-five thousand?

0:43:270:43:31

I think it's a stunning piece.

0:43:310:43:34

I have no problem with that at all. AEROPLANE OVERHEAD

0:43:340:43:36

They're coming to take it away now.

0:43:360:43:39

I haven't been able to hear so well today, ever since I had that ride in the Lancaster.

0:43:430:43:48

Should have saved it perhaps for this glorious Spitfire.

0:43:480:43:50

Anyway, today's been a great experience for all of us

0:43:500:43:53

and a timely reminder of all the brave and remarkable things that happened here

0:43:530:43:56

so long ago, although to some of us, it doesn't seem that long ago.

0:43:560:44:01

From East Kirkby airfield in Lincolnshire, goodbye.

0:44:010:44:04

Michael Aspel and the team visit East Kirkby airfield in Lincolnshire, where all sorts of treasures are examined and a few wartime memories are shared in the shadow of a Lancaster bomber.