Alnwick Castle Antiques Roadshow


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Alnwick Castle

Michael Aspel and the team survey more antiques and heirlooms. This week the team head north to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, where they encounter a £20k plate.


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It's the duty of every generation

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to moan about the attitudes of the next lot,

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but there's nothing really new in the world.

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Take the lust to spend, and keep on spending.

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That isn't a modern condition - an acute shopaholic

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was diagnosed right here a couple of centuries ago.

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This is Alnwick Castle, 35 miles north of Newcastle.

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It's known as "The Windsor Of The North".

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It's been here since the 14th century.

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In the mid-1800s, Algernon, 4th Duke of Northumberland,

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went on a major spending spree, and transformed a grim fortress

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into an extremely desirable residence.

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Out went the Gothic, though it had been enshrined by Canaletto,

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and in came architect Luigi Canina and a team of Italian craftsmen,

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to create the Renaissance-style staterooms.

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All very fine, but Algernon's credit card went into overdrive

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when he took himself off to Rome.

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He lashed out on 74 stunning paintings by top artists.

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And here, in his Admiral's uniform,

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the prolific 4th Duke stares over the dining room

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at the latest round of restoration.

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I suspect he'd like

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the new wallpaper, once red silk, now a lustrous green,

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and the fact that centuries of grime and soot

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have been removed from the ceiling and the friezes.

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Impressed? You will be!

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We are now entering the drawing room.

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The ebony cabinets flanking the fireplace

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were made for King Louis XIV's palace at Versailles.

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The fireplace itself is Carrara marble...

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What else?

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The people in Versailles recently asked for their cabinets back,

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but luckily the current Duke of Northumberland

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was able to produce a receipt from a London dealer dated 1822,

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so they're not going anywhere.

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Being an Englishman he was obsessed by the weather,

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and as 4th Duke of Northumberland

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he could afford to indulge that obsession.

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The library at Alnwick became a coastal weather station,

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complete with barometer...

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What's it saying for today?

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Ah... It's moved from "fair" to "change".

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In the dozen or so years since the Roadshow last came to Alnwick,

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Jane, the 12th Duchess, has embarked on

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one of the most ambitious new gardens in England this century.

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And fitting in very nicely,

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a pair of 16th century Venetian wrought iron gates,

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acquired by Algernon on yet another of his shopping trips.

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Well, it's all quite mind-blowing,

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but just in case the fountain jets get blown off course,

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we've herded our experts into the castle's outer bailey.

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They say variety is the spice of life,

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but spice is the variety of life.

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Here's a little spice pot, with four layers.

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It starts at the top with ginger, then nutmegs, allspice and cinnamon.

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What do you use it for?

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Exactly that... LAUGHTER

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For all those herbs and spices. I use them for cooking.

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Very good! Is this something that was handed down through the family, or...?

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No, my family was very friendly with a retired farmer and his wife, and when I became engaged

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in 1972, Hilda wanted to give me, as an engagement present, something that she had used

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during HER married life at the farm, and this was the gift.

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-Fantastic.

-And as I married an army man, this has travelled the world with me, and I use it all the time.

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In fact, this morning I just reached into the cupboard and fetched it down

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and wrapped it and brought it. So it's not even clean!

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Well, I'm very pleased you haven't cleaned it.

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You feel that generations of cooks

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have handled this, and there's nothing like when you're away,

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making a fruit cake, to make you feel it's home.

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-Exactly, yes!

-You do the same?

-Exactly, exactly.

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It's a lovely bit of treen, that is, a small object

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made out of wood, and it's made of box, and it's actually quite a...

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It would have been quite a sizeable lump of box

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-to create something like this...

-Right.

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Box being an expensive and very closely-grained wood,

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slow-growing, used for all sorts

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of kitchen equipment as well as, obviously, other things.

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And I've seen these over the years and it's been one piece of treen

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that I've always coveted myself,

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and one that has always been outside my price range.

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Today, this little spice tower... We'd be talking about, perhaps,

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£300 to £500.

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-Good gracious!

-Which isn't bad, considering that it is just a piece

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of kitchen equipment, and as far as date is concerned, it's dating from

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the middle part of the 19th century, so it's old, but it's still spicy!

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It was my father's water bottle during the World War II.

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-Yes.

-He had it all through prisoner-of-war camp.

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-Oh, he was a prisoner of war?

-He was.

-OK.

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And within it, it actually reveals a small crystal set radio

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which he had, and he kept everybody informed when he could.

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Where was he captured?

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He was captured at, er,

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Dunkirk, beginning of the war, and machine-gunned when he was trying

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to run across a road. He was then taken to a military hospital

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and they looked after him.

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Then he had to go on the great march, as they called it,

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where they ended up in Poland, near Krakow at Stalag 11,

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I think, then he survived the five years in the prisoner-of-war camp

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and conveyed the messages to the rest of the camp

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about what was actually going on back home.

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By listening to this crystal set?

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-Yes.

-Listening to the BBC?

-Yes.

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And hearing how the war was going.

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So did he make this?

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They...made it out of things in the prisoner-of-war camp, yes.

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I've got to say, this looks like

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it's just been cobbled together out of old screws and bits of wood

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and bits of metal that he must have come across while he was a prisoner.

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-Yes.

-That's astonishing, isn't it?

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I mean, what I find amazing is the ingenuity of people.

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-Now you've brought some pictures along.

-Yes.

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Um, this is presumably him, is it?

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It is him, when he first joined up.

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And what's the group photograph?

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Oh, it's a group photograph of the Stalag camp that he was in.

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And which one is he there?

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He's got the curly hair on him, there.

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The one at the end, at the far end?

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Well, I think what I find astonishing is that, of course,

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being in possession of a radio while a prisoner of war was an incredibly

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serious... probably one of THE most serious offences

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you could actually have, so he would have been shot,

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and to have concealed it in such an astonishing way

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is really quite ingenious. Well, you know,

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these things have a value because there are people

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that collect clandestine equipment such as this, and although it's,

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if you like, cobbled together out of bits and pieces...screws

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and bits of wood and metal, you know, it's an amazing thing.

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And I suppose if this came on the market today, you'd probably find

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someone would pay a couple of hundred pounds for it.

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Amazing for something that's, sort of,

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-made of bits and pieces!

-Yeah, really.

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-Belongs in a museum, doesn't it?

-I would say so, yes.

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Now as you probably know, inside the castle there are

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these two magnificent cabinets which belonged to King Louis XIV

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at Versailles. He was known as the Sun King,

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and here you've brought in this lovely mug with the sun on it.

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Do you think this has anything to do with King Louis XIV?

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I don't think so. I think it's more to do with the Sun newspaper.

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-The Sun newspaper?

-Yes.

-Oh, what's the story?

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Before I was born my mum saw an article,

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and every baby that was born on 15th September 1964,

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the day The Sun newspaper came out, was given one of those,

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so I don't really know if there's many about, or...

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-So your mum got this the day you were born?

-Yes.

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"Happy Birthday to you from The Sun, Britain's new

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national newspaper which - like you -

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-first saw light of day on Tuesday, 15th September, 1964".

-That's right.

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And that's genuine EPNS!

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Oh, that'll please her!

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Well, it's a lovely case, and it's a case which

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has promise of something inside,

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and actually what I like about these disc musical boxes is that

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they sort of tell you everything.

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-It's wonderful, isn't it?

-There, that's what it is, a symphonion.

-Yes.

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Now, tell me the story about this disc box.

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Well, this comes down from my great-grandmother's adoptive parents.

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-I can see a photograph flapping on the side, there.

-Oh, yes!

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Is that relevant? Please show it to me.

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These are... These are the people who, um...

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-This chap, John Campbell, was a painter and decorator.

-Yes.

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Bought it for his wife on honeymoon when they were in Paris in 1875.

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-Did he, by Jove?

-Yes.

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Well, he was a very clever man, and I'll tell you why.

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-Go on.

-Because this machine, invented

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by Paul Lochmann, wasn't actually produced until after 1886.

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-That's clever!

-So he was a man ahead of his time, obviously!

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Yes, so that's one family story

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-shot down.

-Family lore. Folklore!

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-I love family stories.

-Yes!

-Yeah.

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-Sorry about that. However, moving swiftly on...

-Yes.

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-..let's enjoy the object as it is.

-Yes.

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This is a sort of middle-of-the road size.

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So here's the disc, and underneath it we can see

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the two combs,

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-and the disc itself has got little holes punched in it.

-Yes.

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And on the other side, those holes result in little raised notches,

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and as the disc turns round, so those notches

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-pluck...

-Plucks the comb.

-Yes.

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..pluck the...the comb one at a time,

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you know, for the... which creates the tune.

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These are called the star wheels,

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and it's absolutely standard, centre drive, fourteen-and-three-quarter,

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or let's round it up to fifteen-inch, disc musical box.

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The real success of this, ah,

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concept was, of course,

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you could have an enormous number of tunes, and this looks like...

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Is it a list of...tunes available?

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It's a list of tunes available at the time.

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-Oh-oh, it's very...

-It is very fragile, yes.

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Isn't it just?

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But I know that by the latter part

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of the 1890s, there were about 2,000 tunes available, so it was

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an enormous step-up over cylinder musical boxes,

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and the sad thing, I suppose, is, Paul Lochmann invented this

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just too late, because in 1877 the phonograph

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-was invented.

-Right.

-And who wanted

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-plunkety-plunk music if you could actually then hear the human voice on a record?

-Yes.

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I've been living with this for over 50 years and this is

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the only disc I've ever actually heard,

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-although we have another...

-25.

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-25.

-25?

-Yes, yes.

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-Well, I hope you'll go home and put it through its paces.

-Absolutely.

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I'm sure it's sick of hearing the same tune!

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-Probably.

-For 50 years.

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Um, value-wise, it is popular, they're always popular,

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it's in great condition, and we'd be talking about

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£1,500-£1,800, that sort of figure.

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-Fine, yes.

-And I suppose the ultimate...

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it's all very well looking at the pretty pretty, but the ultimate

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is...how does it sound? Can I give it a go?

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Of course, yes.

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TUNE PLAYS

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Do you know, every time we come to Alnwick Castle,

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we always find the most glorious things, but the archivist,

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obviously, Chris, you've brought in the most fabulous things

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-for me to have a look at.

-That's right.

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Initially I get these because we've got this wonderful manuscript here,

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lovely, lovely green vellum here, and here's the title.

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"Antiquities, historical,

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curious, miscellaneous, manuscripts, Japan porcelain and glass".

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Yes.

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-So tell me about this book.

-This is from the Duke of Northumberland's

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manuscript collection. It's in fact in the hand of the First Duchess,

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Elizabeth, and it's a record, her own record of,

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of the curious items that she collected.

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Um, the First Duchess was responsible for the family's move

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-back to Alnwick in the 18th century.

-She was very keen on it.

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She was keen on her historical roots and obviously on her history

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and this is why she collected some quite interesting items.

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The thing that actually stands out here, which I find extraordinary,

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-is Queen Elizabeth's gloves.

-Yes.

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This is recorded here as being purchased at the Mussel Sale.

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Oh, Mussel Sale, he was the, um, the eccentric magistrate.

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-That's right, from Hackney.

-From Hackney, yes.

-Ebenezer Mussel.

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Ebenezer, yes, of course.

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He collected curious historical items

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including a whole Roman wharf from Richborough

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-which he re-erected in his back garden.

-Well, as you would.

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Much better than going down to the tile shop or whatever it is.

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But look, this is... can I touch these?

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-Yes, yes.

-You've made me wear gloves, but I mean...thank you.

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These wonderful, wonderful kid gloves belonged to Queen Elizabeth

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and they're absolutely beautiful. Didn't she have long fingers?

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-Well, yes, it appears so.

-I mean, if she actually filled them all up.

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Yes. They're tapering.

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But the thing about kid gloves which I find...

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not disturbing... but rather, rather, rather nice,

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is the fact that you wear kid gloves

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and they imprint the fingers that they were, they were actually on.

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-Yes.

-So we have a sort of an outer shell here of

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Queen Elizabeth and at the top here we have this lovely gilt thread,

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but they're absolutely wonderful, absolutely superb.

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Let's pop this one over here.

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The other thing is this, this cap here.

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Now tell me the story about this cap.

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Well, this again is purchased from the Mussel sale in 1765,

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and it's recorded as Oliver Cromwell's nightcap.

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And we've got a little rabbit here and birds here,

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pomegranate there, another bird,

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it's absolutely exquisite, isn't it?

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-It seems a bit fine for a puritan if you ask me.

-You're telling me.

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I don't think that's got anything to do with Oliver Cromwell, do you?

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It predates Cromwell, I mean, it's late Elizabethan.

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Obviously, it's Elizabethan, but that's extraordinary.

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-Yes.

-But I'm going to play devil's advocate here.

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Here are you as a scholar

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and here's me, the common or garden dealer.

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I would be very cynical, that a sale in the middle of the 18th century

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would have a decent provenance on any of these things.

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There's no doubt of their period,

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-but they could be anybody's, couldn't they?

-Well...

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-Go on, stick up for yourself!

-We're certain of the provenance

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from 1770, when this manuscript dates from.

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-That's what she was told.

-That's what she was told, and we know that

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she paid two pounds and 12 shillings for the lot at that time.

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-Well, it seems a bargain even then.

-Yes.

0:16:320:16:34

Um, yes, a little collection like this,

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if it was no provenance, nothing, we'd be talking about £20,000...

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£30,000 something like that.

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But if you can prove it...

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Yes.

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Well, probably 100 times that, I don't know,

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but an awful lot of money.

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-Certainly.

-I'm so delighted that you haven't disappointed me.

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Thank you, thank you.

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Well, in its lifetime it's never travelled more than about a mile

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from where it was manufactured.

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It was made for a house and it's been in several houses within that area.

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-So which house?

-Belsey in Northumberland.

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Made for Belsey Castle and then to Belsey Hall,

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and then I bought it at auction when Sir Stephen Middleton died.

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So the old Belsey House, that was the old castle.

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Medieval or whatever, yes.

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Yes, and this was made at the cabinet maker's shop behind the castle

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for the new manor house in early 1700s, apparently.

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-Have you any documentation for that?

-I have some documentation

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of where it's been, various pictures of its lifetime

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-in various houses and positions.

-But we know nothing about the maker?

-No.

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And it would be unique to find out exactly who the maker was,

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but it's extraordinary to know where it was made.

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-Do you have an association with the estate?

-I worked there.

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My mother's family have been there for many generations.

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I'd love to find something that would match up with something else

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that I've seen in the area, to say,

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"that's that particular cabinet maker

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"who did this particular type

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-"of banding or this type of drawer and inlay and everything".

-Yes.

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Let's just have a look inside. It's just such a nice, warm piece

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-of furniture. Look at that interior. Of course, walnut as you know.

-Yes.

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With lovely banding, I'm just going to point these out here, this lovely

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-feather banding, that's very nice.

-Is that walnut as well?

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Yes, it is. Sometimes these are in different wood, but this is walnut.

0:18:170:18:21

And it's beautifully done, like a sort of herring bone.

0:18:210:18:23

Nice with drawers. So often, you see these drawers have been taken out.

0:18:230:18:27

What's been put in?

0:18:270:18:30

Drinks cabinet, even a TV, things like that, I'm afraid.

0:18:300:18:34

But this is as, as it was born, which is very, very nice.

0:18:340:18:37

Having said that, it's had a little bit of damage.

0:18:370:18:40

Who did this, what's happened?

0:18:400:18:42

I don't know. That's its, part of its history, I don't know.

0:18:420:18:45

Amazingly, somebody's...

0:18:450:18:47

I don't know what they've done. Then they've over-painted it with black

0:18:470:18:50

-to make it look like the black walnut.

-Really?

0:18:500:18:53

-It's quite bizarre.

-Yes.

0:18:530:18:54

That could, and should, be restored at some stage. It's not going to be

0:18:540:18:58

easy to get someone skilled enough to do it without re-polishing

0:18:580:19:01

the whole thing. My gut reaction is that we've got

0:19:010:19:04

original handles, which is pretty rare these days.

0:19:040:19:06

-Yes.

-Let's have a look.

0:19:060:19:09

Yes, we have, look at that. So you've got absolutely lovely

0:19:090:19:12

-pine interior, oak sides, which is what you'd expect.

-Yes, yes.

0:19:120:19:16

Because you don't see the inside of

0:19:160:19:18

a drawer, that's pine, but there's no change of the handles.

0:19:180:19:22

No extra holes, are there?

0:19:220:19:24

None at all, and the original steel lock. Again,

0:19:240:19:26

country piece, estate carpenter.

0:19:260:19:29

Probably didn't want to spend money on a brass lock.

0:19:290:19:32

It probably cost about three pounds ten shillings,

0:19:320:19:34

and it would have been three pounds 15 shillings, or whatever.

0:19:340:19:37

If they'd put brass locks on.

0:19:370:19:39

It's such a nice piece of furniture, but I love the idea of

0:19:390:19:42

the history, so it's been basically in two families, more or less.

0:19:420:19:46

Yes. One family for...till 1994. Then we bought it in 1994 at auction,

0:19:460:19:51

-when Sir Stephen Middleton died.

-So why did you buy it?

0:19:510:19:55

I didn't think it was good for it to go away from Belsey

0:19:550:19:58

after all them years, and I saved me money up and bought it,

0:19:580:20:01

-which was quite a lot at the time.

-That's fantastic, so you

0:20:010:20:04

-bought it in 1994.

-Yes.

0:20:040:20:06

So I'm going to have to come up with a value now.

0:20:060:20:09

-I can tell you what it was then.

-I don't think I want to know!

0:20:090:20:12

I mean, prices have been a bit difficult.

0:20:120:20:14

The problem with this is, it's not incredibly useful,

0:20:140:20:17

but I think what is important,

0:20:170:20:18

and I'm not worried about the condition,

0:20:180:20:21

I think the fact that it's the provenance...

0:20:210:20:23

you've got a piece from a big house

0:20:230:20:25

not far from here, and you know it's come from that house and

0:20:250:20:28

it's never been anywhere else, that is worth quite a lot of money.

0:20:280:20:32

So I think to replace this in an antique shop, insurance, whatever

0:20:320:20:35

-you want to call it, £10,000.

-Right. I see.

0:20:350:20:38

Is that more than it cost?

0:20:380:20:41

Yes. Three times.

0:20:410:20:42

Oh, great! We're safe. We can go home now. Thank you.

0:20:420:20:45

-Thanks very much.

-Thank you.

0:20:450:20:47

-Do you love it?

-I absolutely love it, we really do.

0:20:490:20:53

I think it's a...it's a fascinating dish. I've been doing the Roadshow

0:20:530:20:57

now about ten years, and this is certainly the most

0:20:570:20:59

interesting piece of Delft pottery I've seen since I've been coming.

0:20:590:21:03

-Right.

-And you've had it for how long?

0:21:030:21:06

Um, well, I'm the seventh generation. I will be the seventh generation

0:21:060:21:09

to have it because it belongs to my mother at the moment,

0:21:090:21:13

but it's been in our family for six generations, beyond.

0:21:130:21:16

So that gets you back to what,

0:21:160:21:18

the mid-19th century or thereabouts, and it's going to be yours?

0:21:180:21:21

-Going to be mine.

-You lucky girl! It's fabulous. You know what it is?

0:21:210:21:24

-I don't know what it is, no.

-It's English Delftware, which is...

0:21:240:21:29

technically means it's a tin-glazed pottery. They put tin oxide into the

0:21:290:21:33

glaze to make it white, because it's a sort of buff colour underneath.

0:21:330:21:37

-Yes.

-And it gives it this creamy look.

0:21:370:21:39

And it was in the 17th century to imitate Chinese porcelain.

0:21:390:21:43

Whereabouts would it have been made in England?

0:21:430:21:46

Well, English Delft,

0:21:460:21:48

Delftware in England was produced in London, Liverpool, Bristol and

0:21:480:21:52

a number of other places as well. These blue dash chargers, most of

0:21:520:21:56

them are from either London or from Bristol. Probably a Bristol dish.

0:21:560:22:00

-So you can trace it back for 150 years or so?

-Absolutely, yes.

0:22:000:22:03

This is another 150 on from that, it's contemporary with Charles II.

0:22:030:22:07

-Gosh.

-William III.

0:22:070:22:09

Perhaps the end of Pepys' life.

0:22:110:22:13

I mean, it's a fabulously ancient dish.

0:22:130:22:16

Um...but you dropped it.

0:22:160:22:17

No, my great-great-aunt dropped it.

0:22:170:22:21

-So when would that have been, then?

-Mm, well...

0:22:210:22:24

Great-great-aunt, 1900?

0:22:240:22:26

Yes, about that, I would think, yes.

0:22:260:22:28

-What a rotter.

-Unfortunately, yes.

0:22:280:22:30

Um, it's known as a blue dash charger because of these

0:22:300:22:32

dashes on them, and there are various different patterns you see.

0:22:320:22:36

Tulip designs are very popular at this period, the late 17th century.

0:22:360:22:41

Charles II hiding in a tree, royal chargers, these all appear.

0:22:410:22:44

The cockerels are a really, really unusual pattern

0:22:440:22:50

to see on one of these. There are very few around.

0:22:500:22:52

I don't know, I always think of it as a sort of French symbol,

0:22:520:22:55

-I suppose.

-Well, we thought perhaps it might have been French,

0:22:550:22:59

partly because of the cockerel and perhaps Northern Brittany...

0:22:590:23:04

Um, might be to do with a pub.

0:23:040:23:05

Might be to do with a pub, you never know.

0:23:050:23:07

-But it is a very uncommon pattern.

-Even better.

-What do you do with it?

0:23:070:23:11

Well, it sits at home, and historically through the family

0:23:110:23:16

every time a son has been born, for some reason or other, nobody knows,

0:23:160:23:20

there's always been a cheese put on it, in the Christening. I don't know

0:23:200:23:23

why, but that's what it's been used for.

0:23:230:23:26

-Have you got a son?

-No.

0:23:260:23:28

-Going to have a son?

-No!

0:23:280:23:30

-Maybe my sister or my brother, you never know.

-But it will be yours?

0:23:300:23:35

-It will be mine.

-That's great.

0:23:350:23:36

And it'll stay in the family, you know, from me it will go

0:23:360:23:40

-to another member of the family.

-Great, it's a really nice dish.

0:23:400:23:43

-It is a great pity it's been so badly damaged.

-Yes, squashed.

0:23:430:23:46

-In the past, you can see it's been riveted.

-Yes.

0:23:460:23:49

These are the holes, and the rivets have been taken out.

0:23:490:23:52

But it's a lovely thing, it's a terrific thing to see.

0:23:520:23:55

At auction at the moment, probably between £20,000 and £30,000.

0:23:550:23:59

CROWD GASP

0:23:590:24:00

Good God!

0:24:030:24:04

-You've got to look that way.

-I know, I'm too shocked to look that way!

0:24:070:24:10

Over 30 years, more than three million items have been brought

0:24:240:24:28

in to the show and not surprisingly, just every now and then a friendship

0:24:280:24:32

blossoms between the owner and the expert. David Battie's been

0:24:320:24:35

with the show for ever, and I have

0:24:350:24:37

noticed a twinkle across the table every now and then.

0:24:370:24:40

It is extraordinary how in a brief period,

0:24:400:24:43

when you've got somebody's object,

0:24:430:24:46

you can build up a relationship. For obvious reasons, we can't

0:24:460:24:52

have the owners' names and addresses and telephone numbers. That would be

0:24:520:24:56

quite wrong, but occasionally something happens

0:24:560:25:00

and we get to know the person, and that happened at Liverpool in 1988.

0:25:000:25:06

Mrs Ambrose, Nora Ambrose brought in her huge teapot,

0:25:060:25:11

and Nora has been a sort of groupie

0:25:110:25:14

round the north of England ever since. Wherever we go, there's

0:25:140:25:18

Norah, and we have to have a kiss and a cuddle.

0:25:180:25:21

When me mother-in-law gave it to me, she said to me "Look after it now,

0:25:210:25:26

"because it's over 100 years old." She said, "It was very old

0:25:260:25:30

"when I was a little girl,

0:25:300:25:31

"because my granny used to have it even before us."

0:25:310:25:35

I thought, "Well, it seems a bit far back, really, when she was 86."

0:25:350:25:40

Well, we get told this, I think, as a story more than anything else.

0:25:400:25:43

People say, "It belonged to my grandmother, and her grandmother".

0:25:430:25:47

And they add it up and arrive at two or three hundred years,

0:25:470:25:50

-and we almost always have to discount the story.

-Yes.

0:25:500:25:53

They've got muddled in the family.

0:25:530:25:55

In this particular case, it's more than true.

0:25:550:25:58

-This is actually a very ancient pot indeed.

-Oh!

0:25:580:26:01

But it is, is something which is of some value.

0:26:010:26:05

-Have you any idea what it's worth?

-No, I haven't any idea cos

0:26:050:26:10

-me mother-in-law gave it to me.

-Do you think it might be worth

0:26:100:26:13

-several hundred pounds?

-I don't know, I don't think so.

0:26:130:26:17

-You wouldn't have thought so?

-No.

-So if I told you it was worth

0:26:170:26:20

-£600 or £800, you'd be really shocked, would you?

-Oh, I would!

0:26:200:26:23

Right, so if I told you it was worth £1,500, you'd be really shocked?

0:26:230:26:28

-Oh, you're kidding, aren't you? Well, I am kidding, actually.

-Oh.

0:26:280:26:33

It's actually worth about £5,000 to £6,000.

0:26:330:26:37

Oh!

0:26:370:26:38

CROWD GASP AND LAUGH

0:26:380:26:40

-What happened next for Nora? You didn't propose, did you?

-Well,

0:26:400:26:44

Nora finished the record by saying "Of course I'd never sell it",

0:26:440:26:47

and the next thing that happened was that she was, five weeks later,

0:26:470:26:51

on the telephone to an auction house where I worked, as it happened.

0:26:510:26:54

"I want to sell my teapot".

0:26:540:26:56

And my colleague said "It's cracked. It's chipped.

0:26:560:27:02

"It's not worth the £5,000 you quoted on it."

0:27:020:27:05

And it sold for £14,500.

0:27:050:27:09

And Nora got her cheque from the auction house, and she went out

0:27:090:27:14

and bought her council house with the money,

0:27:140:27:17

so she's now living in her teapot.

0:27:170:27:19

-You mean it?

-I mean it, absolutely. It's exactly what the market is

0:27:210:27:25

desperate for. I don't think I've ever seen such a large, good one.

0:27:250:27:28

Oh, gosh, isn't that marvellous!

0:27:280:27:30

What a nice little spinning wheel. And it's obviously

0:27:350:27:38

seen quite a lot of use, because there's an old repair here.

0:27:380:27:43

And, you know, there are areas where you can tell that this has

0:27:450:27:48

-been well loved and well used.

-Yes.

0:27:480:27:50

-In your family?

-It's been in the family a long time.

0:27:500:27:53

It was left to my father by his aunt

0:27:530:27:56

in the early '70s, and I couldn't say before that

0:27:560:28:00

how long it's been in the family, but I imagine it's been

0:28:000:28:03

-in for quite a long time.

-Do you remember anybody using it?

0:28:030:28:06

No, I've never seen it used at all.

0:28:060:28:08

There are some spinning wheels that are used purely as decoration,

0:28:080:28:12

so they would have stood in the main room in a grand house to remind

0:28:120:28:17

the young ladies of the house what sort of tasks they might be

0:28:170:28:22

-able to do, so if you didn't sew, you should learn how to spin.

-Yes.

0:28:220:28:27

But my feeling with this is, this was a working spinning wheel, and I

0:28:270:28:30

-think it was a spinning wheel used for spinning flax.

-Oh, yes, yes.

0:28:300:28:34

Obviously one thing that's missing is the sort of drive band that would

0:28:340:28:38

have gone round here and then connected up to this wheel here,

0:28:380:28:41

which would have been made of something simple like leather.

0:28:410:28:44

-Right.

-Obviously breaks and gets lost.

0:28:440:28:46

-What kind of wood is it?

-Well, because these...

0:28:460:28:49

I mean this is a really nice example of a country, country piece,

0:28:490:28:53

so you've got the sort of woods you would have found locally.

0:28:530:28:56

You've got elm, you'll have a little bit of ash, anything that's...

0:28:560:29:00

-you know, fruit woods, that sort of thing.

-Yes.

0:29:000:29:02

People love these wheels,

0:29:020:29:04

because they are also very collectable as treen.

0:29:040:29:08

-Yes.

-You know, objects made of wood.

0:29:080:29:11

This lovely spindle turning. But there are signs of wear,

0:29:110:29:14

which is great to see, because this

0:29:140:29:17

is obviously not a reproduction. Look at the woodworm hole

0:29:170:29:20

-round the back.

-That's right, yes.

0:29:200:29:22

-You can't fake that sort of thing.

-No.

-And when you look

0:29:220:29:25

at something like this, you have to think about those things.

0:29:250:29:28

Is it a reproduction that was made yesterday, or is it an old one?

0:29:280:29:31

And this is a 19th century one, but it's a collector's piece.

0:29:310:29:34

-Yes.

-I would put a value of somewhere between £600 and £800 on it.

0:29:340:29:39

As much as that, yes?

0:29:390:29:40

"Improved magneto newly invented electric machine

0:29:400:29:42

"for nervous diseases". We've seen tonnes of these.

0:29:420:29:46

-You've got plenty.

-What, nervous diseases?

0:29:460:29:49

-Yes.

-We've seen plenty of these, but we've never done the experiment.

0:29:490:29:54

-Right.

-To see how many people the charge will go through.

0:29:540:29:59

-There's plenty here.

-All right, let's try.

0:29:590:30:01

Please don't turn the handle too fast.

0:30:010:30:04

-Too fast.

-Start turning.

0:30:040:30:05

-Start turning.

-Faster.

0:30:050:30:08

-Not too fast.

-I can't feel anything. Yes?

-I've got it.

0:30:080:30:12

Yes? Can you all feel it?

0:30:120:30:15

-Yes.

-All tingling?

-OK.

-Well, your hair's certainly standing on end.

0:30:150:30:18

ALL LAUGH

0:30:180:30:21

I always get really excited

0:30:210:30:22

when I see just a plain little box that has definitely got some age.

0:30:220:30:26

Tell me about this.

0:30:260:30:28

Well, it was left to my husband by an aunt

0:30:280:30:33

who said it belonged to her great grandfather,

0:30:330:30:38

and it was put in the loft. And last night I took it out

0:30:380:30:42

and I thought, "It's just plastic",

0:30:420:30:45

but I thought, "Oh, I'll take it anyway".

0:30:450:30:47

Well, I think what's lovely about this is when I do that, and you see

0:30:470:30:53

this fabulous little service.

0:30:530:30:56

You thought these were plastic.

0:30:560:30:58

-I did.

-But actually

0:30:580:30:59

these are very early glass. This is a wonderful little children's

0:30:590:31:05

service in its lovely original box. It was probably made about 1820

0:31:050:31:11

or 1830. Look at these lovely little cups with their little handles

0:31:110:31:16

and the plates, little compote here and even little spoons.

0:31:160:31:21

-Yes.

-So rare to find this. Just look

0:31:210:31:24

at this lovely jug, and look at these hand-painted roses on it.

0:31:240:31:27

-Yes.

-So beautiful.

0:31:270:31:29

-Yes, it is.

-So it's glass, and look

0:31:290:31:31

at the condition it's in after all this time, when you think it would

0:31:310:31:35

-have been played with by children.

-Yes, yes, indeed.

0:31:350:31:38

And would you have any idea what

0:31:380:31:39

-that would be worth?

-Not at all, no.

0:31:390:31:42

Because it's very rare. It's rare to find it, it's rare to find it in

0:31:420:31:47

this condition. And because toys and dolls and anything to do with them

0:31:470:31:51

are going up so much in value, I could easily see that sell for £500.

0:31:510:31:57

-Really?

-Absolutely.

0:31:570:31:59

It was a wedding present. I've had it for 22 years now.

0:32:010:32:06

It was from my mum and dad.

0:32:060:32:09

Well, I mean, does it worry you to know that they gave

0:32:090:32:13

you something that was second-hand?

0:32:130:32:15

-No, I did get one or two other things as well.

-You did?

0:32:150:32:18

-Yes.

-Well, I'm glad to know.

0:32:180:32:20

Well, as with any work of art, what you're looking for is a signature.

0:32:200:32:23

And although it's not very easy to determine, it's all in a name.

0:32:230:32:29

And you can see here "Galle", and that of course is Emile Galle.

0:32:290:32:35

Does the name mean anything to you at all?

0:32:350:32:38

I've heard of Galle, but I thought they were producers of glass.

0:32:380:32:41

I didn't know they did furniture. That's why I brought it,

0:32:410:32:44

to find out a more...if you knew anything more about it.

0:32:440:32:47

OK, well let me just say that Galle in actual fact

0:32:470:32:49

was a bit of an all rounder, and he did actually produce some

0:32:490:32:54

very interesting furniture. And he's working down there in

0:32:540:32:59

the Alsace region, down in that part of France which is

0:32:590:33:03

quite close to the German border.

0:33:030:33:05

Let's have a look at the actual inlay, because this is

0:33:050:33:09

all marquetry inlay. There is nothing here that's worked

0:33:090:33:15

with a pen or anything. He is using

0:33:150:33:18

the actual natural grain of all these different woods, um, to get

0:33:180:33:23

this effect of almost like sunlight cascading onto, onto a seascape.

0:33:230:33:30

The good news, of course, is that you've got a nest of three.

0:33:300:33:33

-Yeah.

-So let's have a look at the...intermediate one, OK?

0:33:330:33:39

So we've got now,

0:33:390:33:41

um, obviously we've got almost like a fishing village here.

0:33:410:33:45

Again, he's using fruit woods

0:33:450:33:47

and burr woods to get this wonderful naturalistic effect, and again he's

0:33:470:33:52

signing down here.

0:33:520:33:54

Date wise, um, I think you're looking at around about 1902-1903.

0:33:540:34:00

One thing I can tell you is that

0:34:000:34:02

1904 was a really bad year for Emile Galle. That was the year he died.

0:34:020:34:08

-Oh, right.

-OK, and let's have a look at number three.

0:34:080:34:12

Oh, that's rather nice, isn't it?

0:34:120:34:14

Almost like red sails in the sunset, isn't it?

0:34:140:34:17

-I like that one best.

-Again, a clever use of wood grain

0:34:170:34:21

with this almost macassar-type ebony showing through there.

0:34:210:34:25

Are they the sort of thing you regularly use?

0:34:250:34:28

No, I never use them. They just stand in the corner with a cloth over them

0:34:280:34:32

so they don't get dusty.

0:34:320:34:34

Well, it's a bit of a shame really that they're stacked away.

0:34:340:34:37

If I wanted to go out and buy this set today, if I was going to give

0:34:370:34:41

them as a wedding present, which is highly unlikely

0:34:410:34:44

because I'd want to buy them for meself, then I dare say I'd have

0:34:440:34:48

-to part with around about £2,000.

-Really?

0:34:480:34:53

Which, um, which ain't bad really, is it,

0:34:530:34:55

for three old second-hand tables?

0:34:550:34:57

Oh, that's smashing.

0:34:570:34:59

We've got six wonderful diaries here. They are completely wacky,

0:34:590:35:05

off the wall and during a time of war. And they make,

0:35:050:35:08

not exactly fun of the war, but they're very stoical,

0:35:080:35:12

they're very funny, and at the same time they seem to be making

0:35:120:35:15

the best out of the situation. Now, who are they by?

0:35:150:35:18

It's Thomas Cairns Livingstone, a gentleman who lived in Rutherglen

0:35:180:35:21

in Glasgow at the turn of the 19th century, 20th century.

0:35:210:35:24

I feel that they're very much

0:35:240:35:27

like Mr Pooter. I mean, this is what he is, Mr Pooter

0:35:270:35:29

of George and Weedon Grossmiths' book, The Diaries of a Nobody

0:35:290:35:35

where, you know, everything worries

0:35:350:35:37

him and nothing really matters at all that worries him.

0:35:370:35:41

And here they all are, and they're just absolutely hilarious.

0:35:410:35:44

But these have illustrations, which I think make it even better.

0:35:440:35:47

I mean, on Wednesday December 2nd 1914, he says

0:35:470:35:52

"Tommy got a bad cough, made him a wee bridge",

0:35:520:35:55

I assume for his railway,

0:35:550:35:59

"and at night brought him a new slate".

0:35:590:36:01

I assume that was for going to school the next day.

0:36:010:36:03

And this lovely illustration of this lady with her skirts blowing up.

0:36:030:36:07

This is 1914, don't forget, they're all proper.

0:36:070:36:10

"Very stormy, wild, wet day".

0:36:100:36:13

And then he repeats himself the following day.

0:36:130:36:16

Thursday 8th - "Wild, stormy, wet day. Tommy's still got a bad cough",

0:36:160:36:21

and so on and so forth. He's really sending himself up,

0:36:210:36:24

but he goes on with things like "Belgrade taken by the Austrians,

0:36:240:36:27

"De Wett, the Boer rebel, captured.

0:36:270:36:30

"King George in the British trenches".

0:36:300:36:33

You know, he sort of goes from the sublime to the ridiculous,

0:36:330:36:36

really, or from the ridiculous to the sublime, really.

0:36:360:36:39

1914. Let's go to...1915.

0:36:390:36:45

"The heat waves continue. Zeppelin blown up near Brussels".

0:36:450:36:48

And there they all are, and they're all falling out.

0:36:480:36:51

It's just absolutely wonderful, tremendous. And this one, I think,

0:36:510:36:57

-this is hardly Sunday night entertainment.

-A bit risque.

0:36:570:37:00

"Wild snow storm all day".

0:37:000:37:02

This is 1916, Saturday 25th.

0:37:020:37:05

"Worst we've had all year. After tea we all went to town to the salon,

0:37:050:37:10

a picture house and saw "She". Came home duly edified".

0:37:100:37:14

And there he does a picture of a naked lady with, um,

0:37:140:37:19

the naughty bits censored. I mean, it's just absolutely ridiculous,

0:37:190:37:22

and absolutely lovely.

0:37:220:37:25

Next one, "I've got a bit of a cough".

0:37:280:37:30

ALL LAUGH

0:37:300:37:31

You just love it.

0:37:310:37:33

Look, you've obviously got good quotes from these that you want

0:37:330:37:37

and I won't have shown the ones that you want.

0:37:370:37:40

-What can you remember?

-I think there's one where it's late at night

0:37:400:37:44

and he hears a gunshot in the back alley of the street, and he knows

0:37:440:37:47

the next day that a man shot his wife and he says "Oh, a man shot his wife,

0:37:470:37:51

"silly fool", and it just summarises the whole manner

0:37:510:37:54

in which he writes the diaries in.

0:37:540:37:57

I love that. Well, I would have bought these any day,

0:37:570:37:59

so where did you see them? Where did you...?

0:37:590:38:02

There was a local auction just a few miles away from here

0:38:020:38:05

a couple of years ago. It was just in a shoe box. Picked the first one up,

0:38:050:38:09

read the first one and had to buy the lot. They're so good

0:38:090:38:12

and you don't see many, many diaries like this.

0:38:120:38:14

So what did you know how to pay for them?

0:38:140:38:16

I didn't, really. I just really wanted them.

0:38:160:38:19

You rash so and so!

0:38:190:38:20

-I know.

-Go on, tell me.

-I think it was a couple of hundred pounds,

0:38:200:38:23

-with commission.

-Right, that's including commission?

0:38:230:38:26

Yeah, so I think it's money well spent.

0:38:260:38:29

Well, I think it was money well spent.

0:38:290:38:31

I mean, I would say the war ones are probably the funniest, because

0:38:310:38:35

1918, 1919 is not quite as funny

0:38:350:38:39

as the rest, and so I suspect that the others aren't as good.

0:38:390:38:43

I'd put more value on these.

0:38:430:38:45

I'd put sort of £200 or £300 on these each, and...and

0:38:450:38:50

-a bit more on the rest, so we're coming up to about £2,000.

-Wow!

0:38:500:38:55

And I wouldn't be surprised if they're not worth printing.

0:38:550:38:58

I'd love to see them in a wider audience. I think the amount of work

0:38:580:39:02

and effort he's put into them, I think he deserves to be seen.

0:39:020:39:05

Well, I assure you if you get them on the Roadshow

0:39:050:39:07

there will be a wider audience!

0:39:070:39:10

Well, obviously we've got a marine chronometer here.

0:39:100:39:13

And it's signed by the chronometer work GMBH Hamburg,

0:39:130:39:18

which was a German manufacturer, Second World War period.

0:39:180:39:22

To all intents and purposes, it appears to be a decent instrument.

0:39:220:39:26

Let's have a look at it. It's suspended in gimbals. Now, that's,

0:39:260:39:29

there we are, that's confirmation of what I'm saying. It's actually got

0:39:290:39:33

the Kriegsmarine logo on the back with the swastika,

0:39:330:39:37

which proves that it's Second World War origin,

0:39:370:39:40

and the marine number 339.

0:39:400:39:42

The interesting thing about the Kriegsmarine mark on the back

0:39:420:39:46

is that it's probably going to turn out to be one of the earlier

0:39:460:39:49

instruments, because the later ones, towards the end of the war,

0:39:490:39:52

first of all they were vastly inferior quality, and they had

0:39:520:39:56

the logo and swastika on the front, actually stamped on the dial.

0:39:560:40:01

The movement should hopefully come out and reveal that,

0:40:010:40:06

yes, no question. Look at the quality of that.

0:40:060:40:08

The late ones, I can hardly describe. They're very poor

0:40:080:40:12

quality, very poor finish.

0:40:120:40:14

This is beautiful. It's all spotted all over the plates, this little

0:40:140:40:18

machining mark. It's gilded.

0:40:180:40:20

The screws, as you can see, are highly polished.

0:40:200:40:22

Now tell me, by any chance, do you know any of the history?

0:40:220:40:25

Usually they're just spoils of war, but nobody

0:40:250:40:28

knows where they came from.

0:40:280:40:30

Yes, sure. We know quite a lot about its late history which is that it was

0:40:300:40:35

the chronometer of a U-boat, a U1-10 which was captured by my grandfather,

0:40:350:40:40

so that's how it came into our possession.

0:40:400:40:42

Not many U-boats were captured, most of them were sunk. I can't say

0:40:420:40:46

I know them all, but I know three or four boats that were actually

0:40:460:40:50

stranded and brought up and then captured. Any history on this one?

0:40:500:40:53

Absolutely. It was in a convoy action, so it was pursuing a convoy

0:40:530:40:59

bound for Liverpool, and it was caught by three Royal Navy vessels

0:40:590:41:06

under the command of my grandfather, and depth charged to the surface.

0:41:060:41:11

And the crew abandoned ship and they thought that they'd set the scuttling

0:41:110:41:15

charges on it, but they hadn't. And my grandfather noticed that the ship

0:41:150:41:20

wasn't going down and sent a boarding party on board who, um,

0:41:200:41:27

retrieved as much stuff as they could from the U-boat

0:41:270:41:30

including an Enigma machine and all the documents that went with that,

0:41:300:41:36

-this, and other things.

-Well, that's a very famous action.

0:41:360:41:41

-So they got on board, they got an Enigma machine.

-Yes.

0:41:410:41:46

But not the first one, because I think some had come from Poland

0:41:460:41:49

and there were a few, but it's the one where they got the code books.

0:41:490:41:52

That's correct, so they picked up all the naval code books from it.

0:41:520:41:56

And, er, fortunately the Germans were unaware that we'd captured this,

0:41:560:42:02

this U-boat and its contents,

0:42:020:42:04

so that was kept a very closely guarded secret,

0:42:040:42:07

and it meant that we could, er, decode.

0:42:070:42:10

-Decode them.

-That's right.

-The beginning of the decoding.

0:42:100:42:13

And if I can remember the end of the story, they tried to take it

0:42:130:42:16

in tow, and it sank. It really is a sort of real history.

0:42:160:42:19

That's right, so it was actually fortunate that it sank in many ways,

0:42:190:42:22

-because it enabled them to keep the capture secret.

-Right.

0:42:220:42:25

But it must have been disappointing at the time, as they were trying

0:42:250:42:29

to pull their trophy in to shore.

0:42:290:42:31

Fantastic history.

0:42:310:42:33

Oh, well, that makes my life more difficult.

0:42:330:42:36

One of these is worth,

0:42:360:42:39

without the history, £1,500.

0:42:390:42:43

And now I have to say, how much is the history worth?

0:42:430:42:47

And I really don't honestly have a clue.

0:42:470:42:49

It is such a significant piece of...

0:42:490:42:53

of naval history in the Second World War.

0:42:530:42:56

I mean, really, it's the point at which I suppose we began to...

0:42:560:43:01

if not win the war, to turn the tide, because once we'd

0:43:010:43:05

broken those codes, began to break them, there's all the stories about

0:43:050:43:09

Bletchley and everything else... this is where the tide began

0:43:090:43:12

to swing, and I...so...mmm, I really can't...

0:43:120:43:17

-I'll say £5,000 or £10,000. How's that?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:43:170:43:22

-What a fantastic story. Amazing.

-Thank you.

0:43:220:43:24

In 700 years, Alnwick Castle has seen some great heroes

0:43:260:43:29

from Henry Percy to Harry Potter, and now the Antiques Roadshow.

0:43:290:43:33

I must say, for a place that's supposed to be forbidding

0:43:330:43:36

and impregnable, it's been very inviting.

0:43:360:43:39

But we mustn't outstay our welcome,

0:43:390:43:40

so just a quick game of quidditch and we'll be on our way.

0:43:400:43:43

Until the next time, from Northumberland, goodbye.

0:43:430:43:46

Michael Aspel and the team survey more antiques and heirlooms. The team head north to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, where they encounter a twenty thousand pound plate from the days of Samuel Pepys, a crystal radio set concealed inside a former PoW's water bottle and Oliver Cromwell's sleeping cap.