Fiona Bruce returns to Layer Marney Tower in Essex. One great find is the first-aid box that accompanied Shackleton on his 1914 expedition to the Antarctic.
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At eight storeys,
this is Tudor England's equivalent of a skyscraper.
And it's worth the climb.
I'm told this is one of the best views in Essex. Look at that!
What a vista. Welcome back to the Roadshow from Layer Marney.
At the very top of Layer Marney Tower, I can get right up close
to these amazing terracotta battlements.
They weren't for fending off invaders
cos there weren't many of those in the 16th century,
but these playful little dolphins here hint at a nautical theme.
We're only a few miles from the coast and from here,
you can see across the Blackwater Estuary and round to Mersea Island, and that, there, is oyster country.
The area to the south of Colchester, with its salt flats and little muddy inlets,
has been home to oyster fishermen for 2,000 years.
Oyster farming was a thriving industry by the time
Layer Marney was built and by the 17th century,
they were so popular they'd become the pub snack of choice
and you'd share them, like you might share a bag of crisps.
So highly regarded were the oysters from this area that in 1667, Sir Samuel Tuke -
whose family once owned this house -
wrote the first ever scientific paper on oysters for the Royal Society in London.
This is still a big oyster fishing area today. We think of them as being a luxury,
but in the 19th century, so many oysters were being caught, they became the poor man's food -
the sort of thing you cooked up to bulk out a meat pie.
There's no way I'm going to be cooking these, far too delicious as they are.
This is the native oyster,
which used to be known as the Colchester green oyster
and these days the little native is grown alongside
the more familiar rock oyster, which was only introduced in the 20th century.
I can't resist it, I'm going to try one.
Mm! Well, there isn't one in that oyster,
but let's hope our experts find a few pearls at the Roadshow today.
We're looking at a lump of rock, really. What made you buy it?
I never bought it. I found it.
I was digging the pond out on my father's farm
and I just managed to pull that out
with the digger arm, and as I tipped it out onto the dirt,
there it was, presented in front of me.
-It just sort of went clunk?
-An odd shape... Just this odd-shaped figure of stone.
-And the more I scrubbed away at it, the more I was convinced it was worth a lot of money!
-Which I am.
-Oh, the folly of youth!
So, what do you think it is?
representing a family in the Essex area.
It is carved stone,
you've got a lion on this side, and in fact you would almost certainly
have had another lion on this side. You can just see his paws, in fact,
-sitting on top of the shield, so it would have been replicated.
What I don't know and what's impossible to find out on the day...
-..is exactly which family this relates to.
Now, getting in touch with the College of Arms in London,
-that would be identified, so that's the next step for you to do.
But I think that this is either 15th or maybe 16th century,
but my feeling is that it's on the cusp there, so it's old.
It's incomplete, it's very badly worn.
The value is limited, I don't want you to get over-excited now -
I can see you're hyperventilating!
-But my feeling is it's going to be between £500 and £800.
-As it is.
-I mean, if by any chance you are able to marry up the other piece...
-..Then it would certainly double the value, if not a bit more.
My suggestion is that you get back on your digger and go back
-to the pond and see if you can find the other lion.
-Well, I did.
I continued for the next five hours
and extracted about another 100 tonnes,
but then my parents said, "For God's sake, Ryan, you've got to come in for your dinner", so I...
-And they didn't want a pond that big!
-No, no - they didn't, no.
It was beginning to take over the whole farm, was it?
Being a bit of an Indiana Jones, I weren't prepared to stop, either.
Are you in the butchery trade?
No, I'm not, but years ago my family were,
-back to my great, great, great grandfather.
And his name wasn't Osborn, was it?
-Funnily enough, yes.
-Good Lord, and there's the name,
emblazoned on what is an absolutely delightful butcher's shop display.
It dates to the middle of the 19th century, so hopefully that ties in.
-And whereabouts was the family butcher's premises?
It looks like this was in Walkers Court in Berwick Street in London.
-Gosh, so it's a known property.
-Yes, the butcher lived there many years ago, yeah.
Oh, that's absolutely marvellous and it looks like they lived upstairs, because upstairs we have obviously
netted curtains and even the actual chandelier is bang-on 1850s,
it was hand-made using a lamp.
-And this is why we can tie this piece to exactly the mid-19th century and it's totally original.
-The butcher himself.
Do you think it's based on a real man?
Yeah. Can't you see the likeness?
Yeah, look at those sideburns! He looks the job and you wouldn't mess with him, would you?
-Butcher's block, knife at the ready and all these are hand-carved wood and hand-painted.
So of course when the shop was shut, this would be in the window,
so people had an idea of what they could come back for the next day.
-I think that's probably part of the appeal of them.
And how long have you personally owned it, as part of the family dynasty?
-I've had it for about the last three or four years, but before that...
-Is that all?
Yeah, before that my father had it and he just kept it in a wardrobe
and then before that my grandfather, so it's been eldest son, eldest son, all through the generations, yeah.
Well, I mean I'm not going to mess about with value. It's such a good one.
If I put this in an auction next week,
-I'd put an estimate of £7,000 to £10,000 on it.
-It's a classic bit of folk art, an incredible survivor.
Do you know, I think it's 28 years since I've seen...
or at least TOUCHED one
as big as this. I mean, a teddy bear, that is.
Sorry, sorry, I'm going to start that again, I'm VERY sorry!
-Tell me what his name is.
-He's just called Bear.
-He's just... He's just known as Bear.
He belongs to a very dear family friend
-and Frank is now 82 years old.
That bear was purchased as a present for his mother, by his father,
so that he knows of, it's 85 years old.
And I loved him as a child,
-he was bigger than I was, when I first met him.
-Yes, I'm sure.
I used to be taken upstairs and he'd be made to growl so that I could hear him, and I loved it.
Oh. He is by the firm of Steiff, in Giengen, which is Southern Germany.
If he had his little button in the ear,
he would also tell me more - definitely his date.
And I've found a little hole where it's been torn out by...
probably the mother of your friend Frank, because they
are so difficult to get out, so to pull it out you always make a hole.
The reason he's sort of so stooped forward is that someone has loved him so much...
-Probably holding him here, because he's very difficult to hold for a child.
-And because he is filled with thin strips of lime wood.
After a while it becomes sawdust, so he hasn't actually lost any stuffing, it's just become sawdust.
-Yes, he does leave a bit of a trail of dust behind him.
-Oh, right, right.
Well, I only date him definitely to 1907 because the growlers didn't come in until then.
I mean, I'd love to try and make him growl... Maybe you can?
Yes, I'll try, yes.
Come on, Bear.
Ah, he is heaven.
Well, I can tell you that if your friend Frank tried to sell him,
he would probably get somewhere in the region of £10,000 to £15,000.
You know what I think he should be called? Colossus.
Well, I'm quite partial to a cheeky red now and again
and I can't think of a better vessel to decant my bottle into.
But tell me a little bit more about this wonderful claret jug of yours.
Right, Well, it was bequeathed to my husband from his grandparents.
-We've used it once.
-How was that?
It was lovely, it was quite tentative.
We used it at a Christmas, but I must admit because we usually
have children round, we put it to one side up in the bedroom.
Well, what an ornament
for your bedroom!
Because what we're looking at really
is the marriage of two of the finest sort of exponents
of this kind of item of the 19th century.
First and foremost we've got to look at the silverware,
by a chap called Alexander Crichton.
-And Alexander Crichton in 1881 launched an owl
which was to be the first of a series of what we call zoomorphic claret jugs.
He followed on with a duck, a drake, an otter, a penguin...
they just kept rolling out.
-And actually amongst them was the cockatoo.
-So it's a cockatoo.
-It's a cockatoo.
-Now the bodies were actually made up in Stourbridge,
the heart of British glass.
-And they're down to two makers, actually.
John Northwood is down as making them, but also Thomas Webb and Sons.
-Really two great exponents of glass manufacture.
But the marriage of these beautiful materials, brings forward something
that is not only humorous, it's practical and it just shouts quality.
-And I bet when it's filled it must look...
-It does look lovely, yes.
Sensational. They're always popular and when they are so popular and so
sought after, they often tend to end up in very smart West End retailers.
And if you wanted to go and replace your cockatoo claret jug
in one of those smart West End retailers,
you're going to have to open up your wallet
with at least £6,000 to £7,000 in it.
Wow, I was thinking perhaps six to seven hundred!
Maybe it deserves a good bottle of claret in it, tonight, when you get home!
-Tell you what...
-There's always an excuse for that!
-I'll be round by ten, if that's any good!
He is a joy.
the only one you have, or...?
No, there's a set. There's a set of two carvers and six singles.
Are they at home, do you use them?
They're at my mother's, in her dining room.
OK. And how did she come by them?
My late father bought them in 1988.
Right. Well, I imagine when your father bought them, he would have bought them very excitedly.
Good quality mahogany, wonderful carving in a Chippendale style, and I have to say, when I first saw them
at a distance and I saw the chair coming in,
I thought, "there is a mid-18th-century wonderfully carved chair".
-And then you get a bit closer
and the quality of the timber is as you'd expect, here and here.
Then you start looking and the carving isn't...
it's ALMOST of the style in the 18th century, but it's not quite.
There are elements that start telling me that it's 19th century.
So, I was looking at this piece here, the rosettes here,
exactly what you'd expect to see on an 18th-century chair, but this isn't.
This is very much a 19th-century type of quite shallow carving,
and you just wouldn't see that on an 18th-century chair.
What did you father... Do you know what he paid for them?
I do. I found out recently.
-It's not going to be one of them bad stories, is it?
Um, no, it's not a bad story.
It's difficult. I would say in today's market, if your father
was to go and buy another set to match up with these, I'd expect him to probably pay about £4,000.
Christ! Well, lucky he's not here!
But if your mother enjoys them, they sit round the family dining table...
We do have Christmas with them, but it won't be the same now!
Hundreds of people have turned up to the Roadshow already and it can get
a bit boring standing in the queue,
but occasionally some people come along to provide entertainment.
Not this, usually, though.
-Wayne... It's Wayne, isn't it?
Now, these are very sweet,
what's the story with the lambs?
These are all orphans from their parents
where their mums have had triplets or quads and that,
and we bottle-feed them to bring them on.
-And they're here on the estate at Layer Marney?
We do it every year, from Easter onwards until they're ready to feed out by theirselves.
I've seen them wandering around. Can I feed one?
-Course you can.
-Fantastic, oh, they've wandered off, hang on.
-Come on, come on.
Ooh! Ooh, my word. Come on, mate, come on.
How long have you been collecting?
Oh, 45 years.
Well, I've just selected these three particular pieces
and I'd like to know, how much do you like this?
-How much did you pay for it?
-Er, not very much, not very much for that.
And what do you think you bought?
Something that had been designed
from a very old piece of Chinese porcelain.
-You're choosing your words carefully.
-I am, yes, yes.
-Because I couldn't afford the real thing.
-This is actually modern.
-It is modern. What about this?
That, when I first bought it,
it was told to me that it was a piece that had been presented to somebody
high up in the court for the good deed that they'd been doing.
Well, the subject matter on this is a dragon and the story you've told
sort of fits with that, because a dragon is often used when someone has succeeded in an examination.
They are compared to a dragon - the aspiring dragon pursuing knowledge.
And the dragon itself - there he is - clutching the pearl of wisdom.
Now, I'd love to say that this was an 18th-century example,
but I'm going to have to say it's a 19th-century example.
But tell me about this piece.
Well, that piece, it was on the floor
in a car boot sale, under a table,
and I watched a lady pick it up,
and as soon as I saw it, I thought, "I hope she puts it back down."
She moved along and I picked it straight back up and she says, "Oh, I'm still looking at that."
-I said, "No, it's in my hand."
Yes. So he said...
I said to the lady, "How much do you want for it?"
So she said, "£3." I said, "I'll have it" and that was it.
Fine. Now, when it was put back carefully,
how carefully was it put back? Because I see that we've got a...
I did that yesterday afternoon.
-Preparing to come here?
-Yeah. So I'm blaming you.
Three auspicious animals, two of them Chinese, one Japanese.
I'm going to have a look at this, because there's something about this
that isn't the case usually on Cloisonne.
When you actually run your hand across it, you can actually feel the texture of the fish.
-You can feel their scales,
and you can even feel the water eddies as they rise to the surface.
-That's very, very difficult.
That is a particularly beautiful technique.
Date, about 1900.
You bought it for £3. OK, let's just think about it.
There was a plant growing in it when I bought it.
-Did you keep the plant?
-No, I threw it out.
Well, your copy of the Schrander dish is worth not more than £20.
No, Well, it was about 25, 30.
OK. Your 19th-century dragon dish
I would think is probably worth in the region of...
-£50 to £80.
You paid £3 for this...
We could say that this, today, is worth somewhere in the region of,
The bad news is that, before the chip...
..it would have been worth
-twice as much.
-That is probably the most expensive chip we have ever shown on the Antiques Roadshow.
Well, at least I've got something to be proud of!
Now, about ten years ago on the Roadshow,
I remember with great clarity, I filmed the sledge flag
belonging to Sir James Wordie
who was on the legendary Shackleton expedition of 1914-16
to the Antarctic and it was a wonderful moment,
and you've brought in some further pieces.
Yes, that's right. Sir James Wordie
was the father of the lady you met, who's my mother in law,
who brought in those wonderful chattels including the sledging flag
and I've brought in some more Shackleton treasures,
which include his first aid box.
Now, tell me about this. This went on the Endurance expedition.
This went on the Endurance expedition of 1914, the Trans-Antarctic Imperial Expedition.
Put together by what was then called Burroughs, Wellcome & Co and it was de rigueur for all those expeditions
of the heroic age, to have this particular first-aid kit,
although of course they put their own specific ingredients in, which included anything from heroin,
I suspect, to bandaging.
Let's just open the tin box and see what's inside. Take this out.
And there inside we can see, you have all the compartments for the various phials and things like that.
Well, I think a lot of people will know about the expedition, how the ship got crushed in the ice
and how the men were stranded on Elephant Island, and eventually Shackleton left with I think six men,
to try and make South Georgia to get rescue and he tried twice, I think, to come back,
and failed and the third time, they eventually came back
-to Elephant Island after four and a half months, I think.
-And Shackleton said, "not a life would be lost" and that was the case.
-And that was the case, yes.
Gosh. Now, is it a coincidence,
or more than a coincidence, that you yourself are a polar explorer?
I don't think my husband married me because I was a polar explorer!
In fact I actually became a polar adventurer after I married,
and I remember being very moved when I went to the Royal Geographical Society
and listened to a reading of Shackleton's diaries and since which I've been -
yes - to Antarctica and the Arctic and on my own.
And I am very aware of how heavy some of these pieces of equipment are, that they actually took.
And these would have contained things like chloroform, presumably.
Yes, indeed it would. Something I wish I'd had myself on my last expedition!
-You've used chloroform, have you?
-No, I didn't.
The chloroform was used in this medical kit for Blackborow when
he was on Elephant Island, because he had to have his toes amputated.
-And I too got frostbite and gangrene in several of my toes and I had to amputate them myself,
because I was on my own and I didn't have any chloroform, not even a tot of rum!
So you cut your own toes off?
-Yes, yes. Needs must.
-I stand in awe.
-I still stand.
Tell me what this is. This must be related to a sledge.
This was part of the sledging harness that Sir James Wordie wore
on this expedition.
It's actually not that dissimilar to my own sledging harness.
This is made of a sort of hardened leather
and I think that the sledging trace which would be attached
to the sledge would be attached from here.
On the face of it, if you look at these items,
you've got a tin box, which is an empty medicine chest and a typed list of food.
In themselves not very interesting, but when you tie them in
to one of the greatest polar explorations in history,
they become very important and I think if these pieces came up, as a group, they would probably fetch
maybe £5,000 to £7,000, because just because of what they are, and what they represent.
I think Ernest Shackleton would have been very appreciative of that to put towards his sponsorship funds!
Now tell me about your great trip planned for next year.
Well, it's Arctic, North Pole,
-on my own. So no other woman has achieved that yet.
-if you succeed, you'll be the first woman to go solo to the North Pole.
-In the world.
In the world, that's remarkable.
And I shall take a very clever medicine cabinet with me.
Very sensible, and I'm sure everybody here, and everybody watching,
wishes you every success and good luck.
Yes. For Great Britain.
Thank you very much.
-Well, it's always intriguing to find a piece of jewellery with a monogram on it.
And it's got a lovely, interlocking...
-I think it's an "A"... Two "A"s going across each other.
-And it's mimicked on the case as well.
And I wonder what the "A" stands for.
You've got a royal crown on the top of the box there, embossed in gold,
and on the top of the brooch you've got another crown on the top there. So what does that tell us?
It's something to do with royalty?
-I think you're right.
-I think it is, yes, I think it is something to do with royalty.
Beginning with "A", I think it might be Princess Alexandra,
Princess consort to who later became Edward VII.
OK. The "A" on the piece of jewellery here is in enamel,
in white enamel and then amethyst which is inset in there.
I'd never have known that.
This piece is probably early 20th century, around 1905, something like that.
You've told me a lot I didn't know about it.
-For one thing, amethyst is my birth stone.
Is it? Oh, that's even more lovely.
But then my father had it for my mother about, I think about 40-odd years ago.
Well, it's a lovely jewel. I mean the royal connection really helps.
-An awful lot. I've looked at it carefully and there are a few
little bits of damage on the enamel,
-the white enamel on the interlocked "A"s.
But despite that, if it were to come up at auction,
simply because of its royal provenance,
I think it would fetch around £1,500 to £2,000.
-So it's quite...
-Quite a lot, isn't it? Yes, for a little thing like that.
Goodmor'n, as they say in Danish.
-I'm sorry, I'm not Danish.
-It's my husband who's Danish.
Your husband's Danish and hence he has this wonderful Danish picture.
-By, I think, a wonderful artist called Peder Monsted.
-1918. Did he inherit it, or did he buy it?
No, he inherited it. His grandfather was an art collector.
Oh, yes, and would it surprise you
that such a great artist is not represented in any Danish museum?
-And the reason why I think that Monsted is considered to be
a little bit too commercial for his own good,
-is that apparently in his studio, he used to have ten canvases going at the same time.
-So he'd do a little figure here and then he'd go on to the next one, do a figure there.
-So he was very prolific.
-And it is said he painted over 60,000 pictures.
-But, nonetheless, look at the skill, look how brilliant he is.
-The snow is superb, the light coming through.
-The light in it, yes.
And the scale would look fantastic in anybody's house,
as long as, of course, it was big enough!
-Right, well we had to build the room where it's in now.
Scandinavian pictures are very much in demand.
People love the stillness and the quietness, and would it surprise you that I think that if it came up
for auction, it would be worth between £30,000 and £50,000?
Yeah, that is more than I thought, yes.
Well, good on Monsted
and shame on the museums for not having any works by him, because he's a wonderful artist.
Thank you very much.
We're taking a moment in this series to look back at some of
the most memorable finds of the Antiques Roadshow over the last 33 years.
And I reckon if you asked most people, one thing they would remember is a collection of silver
that came into the Roadshow in 1993
at Crawley and left our expert Ian Pickford just reeling.
-My father collected them extensively through most of his life.
He passed them on to Mum, now that he's gone and we are still
-learning about what they are and where they're from, really.
Have you any ideas as to values?
-I wouldn't even be able to hazard a guess.
£2,000 to £3,000.
-For a little thing like that?
-For a little thing like that.
What else have you got in there?!
Another little box, yeah.
Gosh, that is a very rare box.
At least £12,000 to £15,000.
£15,000 to £20,000.
Ooh, somewhere around...
£30,000 to £40,000.
Oooh! Now, THAT is exceptionally rare,
there are about one or two
known to exist.
There's three, now.
I remember sitting at home with my parents watching that, and our jaws hit the floor.
Certainly Ian Pickford's did, as well. What did the owners think?
Well, Richard, you were there, you've brought along your sister Carolyn.
-What was going through your mind?
-Where did he find it all?
Yeah, well, Dad - you've done it now!
-And you had no idea.
-No, no, not at all, until literally,
until we found it under the bed, we had no idea.
-I mean this is the stuff of dreams, really.
And what happened to it all afterwards?
The majority of it got spread in the family
and some other pieces got sold to look after Mum in her old age.
Now you've brought along a couple of pieces today, so did Ian see these back then?
Ian saw this piece back then,
but this piece was undiscovered, we've found this since.
-So where, where was it hiding?
-In a piece of newspaper, in a bag.
-So these things are still coming to light?
Goodness me, and do you know anything about the value of this?
-No, we know nothing about it.
-Well, you know you've come to the right place, don't you?
Well, I'm excited, Ian's going to be beside himself.
Well, I don't know about you, but I grew up with Noddy
and sort of part of my psyche I think
was involved with the stories of Noddy and Big Ears
and all their friends in Toyland,
and here they are, the original drawings from some of the books.
Now, what's your relationship with these? Did you go out and buy them?
No, I've always loved Noddy as a little girl, and my three daughters also love Noddy.
So where did they come from? Did you buy them?
Well, my husband bought them for me for a present from an auction in about 1997.
Right. I mean let's talk a bit about Noddy, because he was first drawn
in 1949 and he's still going strong at the age of what...63?
Enid Blyton, who is one of those children's authors
who some people love, and some people revile,
her publisher got her together with an artist which really saw her vision,
and created the characters,
and that was somebody called Harmsen Van der Beek.
Now Van der Beek is the best known of the artists.
He couldn't keep up with the demand of Enid Blyton writing
all these Noddy books, so he had his little helpers, just as Noddy did.
And so although Van der Beek died in 1953, even by then, there were
a lot of other artists involved in producing the Noddy illustrations.
And two names that I know of -
Robert Tyndall, Mary Brooks and there were lots of others -
really copied slavishly the style that Van der Beek had created
and I would love to say that what we're looking at is a group of Van der Beek drawings.
I don't think we are.
I think that we're looking at very good drawings produced by
-other people within the Noddy stable, if you like.
They are beautifully drawn.
They are watercolours heightened with body colour.
-I would have thought that what we're looking at here is in the sort of £300 to £500 category.
-But in a way, it's not about the money.
-No. It isn't. Not at all.
It's about walking past these pictures in your house and being
-taken back to when you were five or six and first discovered them.
So how many years is it, since the great event?
It's got to be 20 plus years.
-Yeah? But what have you done to your hair? It was dreadlocks then.
-Well, times change.
-Things move on.
So, tell me about this one.
-Where has that come from?
-We found it wrapped in a bag in some newspaper.
Gosh, what a beaker, though!
Because what we've got here...
These are all the battles fought by Wellington in the Peninsula War.
Now THAT - that is fascinating.
Wellington of course was made Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
-And in 1839, about ten years after he'd been appointed,
they had a huge banquet for him, to celebrate his appointment.
It was about ten years too late, but it was...
And they put up this massive marquee
and they had about 2,000 guests
-and there of course is Wellington.
So what a piece to find.
I've never seen that before. I've heard about it.
Does that mean it's the only one?
The medal would have been specially struck and it is, I think, quite a rare medal.
-How many were actually issued, I don't know.
Bit of research should reveal that. Actually the medallist,
I've just noticed there, his name, is just under his head, Wyon.
-And boy, he was the great medallist of the 19th century.
So whether every guest got one, or whether it was literally just
a question of whoever wanted to pay for one, but mounted in the beaker,
what on earth is that worth?
And would that be ivory or bone?
That should be horn.
-I'll go for that being horn, the shape and the colour.
So we've got to add to the total, haven't we?
Oh... At auction,
I reckon we're looking at between £2,000 and £3,000.
-Blimey. Goodness me.
-Now you're sure you've actually found everything?
He was quite a fellow, your father.
-He certainly was.
-What a collector.
So you, I believe, have a connection to Layer Marney,
this wonderful corner of England that we're visiting today.
Our family owned Layer Marney for a mere 160 years.
So it's more than just a connection!
-So your family... You're Mr Corsellis.
But what you've brought me today is certainly not from that period,
this is something much more recent. This is from the 20th century.
Still has the name Corsellis on it.
My elder brother - he was two years older than me.
-So this case is your brother's, not yours.
Well, inside it is what looks to be an RAF scarf
as well as a collection of notebooks.
He left behind about 230 poems which he'd written during his life,
but only 15 had been published in his lifetime,
but this is his full collection.
And he was writing when?
Couple of years before the war and the first two years of the war.
-And he wrote about the war.
-Yes, very much so, because he was training to become a pilot in the RAF.
I assume he was a young man when he was writing.
-Yes, he certainly was, he was 20 when he died.
-He died in the war?
That's it, yes. Flying fairly low and the plane stalled
and he was not able to regain control over the plane, so it crashed.
And so he died at a very young age.
Yes, but many of the war poets died young.
So, some of these poems talk about his flying experience.
-They do, yes.
-But a couple of these I stumbled across
-are talking about his experiences in London.
-Where he was obviously helping out on the ground rather than as a flyer.
he was working for Wandsworth Borough Council as a very young air raid warden.
And it looks as though every few days, or at least every week,
-he was writing down his experiences in his book.
This one caught my eye - "Dawn after the Raid".
"Under this pile of fallen masonry Under those spillikins of beams
"Where number thirty-two lies shattered, there may be a body.
"Dig For there may be a body. "
I think it's incredibly powerful and really takes us to the heart of the Blitz
-in the early 1940s.
-I do agree.
Wonderful image of spillikins of beams - of a house being smashed apart like a children's game.
Now the value of a collection of artefacts like this, clearly doesn't rest in money.
It's far more important that this kind of material is published and known about,
but of course people will be interested to know what it's worth.
I suppose if this were sold at auction, today or tomorrow, it might make
£8,000, possibly as much as £10,000,
but I suppose it will be very much more valuable in the future.
I'm not surprised.
I couldn't help but see you struggling along with this thing.
What on earth is it?
OK, it's a Victorian vacuum cleaner.
-Yes, there's a badge round here which tells you all about it.
The Wizard, Standard Number Two.
And so just talk me through how this works, then.
Probably needs about two maids to work it,
one holding this
-and the other one turning the handle.
-Oh, I see the bellows here.
You can turn it, the bellows work.
There is one of these in the Science Museum, by the way, but I don't know that there are any others.
Right. Can we give you a hand? Where are you going with it now?
Well, I'm attempting to get down the steps to the bottom field.
-Right. I'll give it a go.
There is a word that the Antiques Roadshow valuers
keenly long to hear.
It's a word that causes the very hairs on our necks
to rise up, and that word is "Titanic"
and you are the lucky owner of a piece of Titanic memorabilia.
Yes, I certainly am. My grandfather
was a master joiner and worked on The Titanic.
Worked in Harland and Wolff in Belfast.
-This presumably is his portrait.
-This is my grandfather here.
-In photograph album.
Alexander, and he actually sailed on her, on the sea trials
and then sailed to Southampton on the ship.
Right, as a master craftsman no doubt for sort of four or five years,
that enormous task of producing those fabulous first-class passenger cabins
with all the wonderful woodwork...
And of course the other very exciting thing is that 2012
is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship.
So what exactly have you got?
Cos I'm looking at an envelope with a black edge to it.
When my grandfather was in Southampton,
before he left the ship -
-because he left the ship to go back to Belfast...
..one of the crew actually gave him a memento,
-which I have here today.
-I'm just beside myself with excitement,
come on, open it! Open it, what is it?
Let's have a look.
It's actually a hat band from a member of the crew of The Titanic.
That's obviously made of black silk.
-Which obviously went round a hat...
..of a member of the crew.
I shall immediately contradict you
-and tell you that this is actually a souvenir gala night ribbon.
And these were actually available on the ship and at the quayside
-as a souvenir to anyone who wanted to actually buy one.
Your granddad was probably given one.
-I mean if you look, they're actually far too long to go round a hat.
-To go round.
And these are actually used for display on board the ship, for example, when you were
fine dining, you may have a silver centre-piece in the middle of
the table and you could obviously take the ribbon
and wrap it right round.
And quite frankly, White Star Line ribbons are fairly common.
-From sister ships to the Titanic, and in fact those can be bought for a few hundred pounds.
-But this, look... Let's face it,
this is RMS Titanic,
-and there's actually only 20 of these actually known to exist.
Now when it comes to value,
it is such a difficult market to predict, it's a very volatile market
and values can run away with emotions, but we would put this
in a sale with an estimate around £8,000 to £12,000.
That's just for a little fine ribbon.
Well, there's so few known.
-Right, it's always been said it's been a hat band.
So it's lovely to share it with you today.
100 years after it sank, it seems even the smallest item of
Titanic memorabilia can cause a stir among the specialists.
This is a marvellous contraption.
Now, Neil - this is yours. What is it?
Well, it is a pedal roller and it was made for rolling
a cricket crease or a gentleman's lawn, or something like that.
You do it with your feet, obviously.
Yes, but it's such hard work, that it didn't really go into production,
and this model is actually unique.
And how have you come by it?
My grandfather had it and...
-Did he use it?
And it was stuck behind the farmhouse in some nettles
and I was always interested in it, and they gave it to me.
Look at this photograph, isn't this amazing? Is this your mother?
-Yes, it is indeed.
-In the 1950s.
-Look at that.
Riding this, this garden roller.
Fiona, how do you fancy kind of re-enacting this photograph?
You can be my Mum.
-I'll give it a go.
-All right, go on then, go on, let's see.
-Yeah, go on, go.
Oh, my word! Is it going to just sort of career off?
-Has it got brakes?
-Yeah, there is a brake on the back here.
If you go too fast, I'll sort it.
-Right, OK, right here we go - are you ready?
Ooh! From Layer Marney...
..and the team at the Antiques Roadshow, until next time, bye-bye.
Fiona Bruce and the team of experts return to Layer Marney Tower in Essex. Among the objects under scrutiny are the first-aid box that accompanied Shackleton on his endurance expedition to the Antarctic in 1914, a suitcase of poems evoking life as a fighter pilot in World War II and a small but valuable relic from the Titanic.