Flog it! comes from Chiddingstone Castle in Kent. Antiques experts Thomas Plant and Adam Partridge find some fascinating antiques and collectables to take to auction.
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"Flog It!" has travelled to the beautiful county of Kent,
where during World War II, the skies were filled with planes,
as the Battle of Britain raged overhead.
Later on in the programme,
we'll be finding out more about Kent's role
during World War II.
And visiting the home of the great
Sir Winston Churchill.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
The Battle of Britain was short and intense.
As the sound of dogfights rattled through the air,
the people of Kent took shelter and held together.
Remembering the past helps us keep history alive,
and that's exactly what we do here on "Flog It!"
Today, we are at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent, which is
crammed full of historic items.
We are hoping to find the artefacts that help us capture the past,
whether it's memories of wartime or of childhood.
But it's not all about history, this lot are definitely in the here
and now and they're clutching bags and boxes full of treasures.
A big, big thank you to all of you
turning up on this lovely summer's day.
Hundreds of people here, laden with antiques and collectables,
hoping for a favourable valuation from our experts.
The great thing about this show is someone in this queue has
something that's worth a small fortune. They don't know it yet.
It's our experts' job to find it.
And once they've found it, there's only one question on your lips,
ALL: What's it worth?
Fighting to find the best items in the queue are...
Wow, look at that! Straight to the spear.
..Mr Soft And Gentle, Adam Partridge...
Hello. What have you brought along today?
..and pretty in pink, Thomas Plant.
Look at the size of that beast.
If they like an item, they sticker its owner,
and that's where the Flog It! journey begins.
Now it's time for everyone to take
the weight off their feet, apply the suntan lotion
and hope they get a life-changing valuation.
On today's show, three fascinating items from far-flung lands.
An oriental piece that found a new use in the UK.
My grandma used it to make all our Christmas puddings
and our Christmas cakes.
Foreign objects of the tribal variety.
It's just something we found at a boot fair.
It was only four pounds.
And a special book that charts
a year in the life of a British man abroad.
I've got an eight year old, and I think he'd laugh at these. Yes.
Which do you think makes the most money at auction?
Everybody is now safely seated.
Let's hand the proceedings over to Thomas Plant.
He's found his first item, and I've just been told it's a gem.
Tell me, you've brought along your family group of medals. Yes.
Who do they all belong to?
The Second World War medals are my father's.
The First World War medals are from both sets of grandparents.
And the watch here, this is a First World War watch. It is.
I would say that probably belonged to one of your grandparents. Yes.
Now, did you know that the two medals you've got for each of your
grandparents are Victory In British War medals from the First World War?
Yes. These are silver, those are brass. Yes.
Round each of these medals is a name and rank and regiment. Yes. Right.
If I pick up this medal here,
it's for Lance Corporal GF Mannering, MFP. Yes.
Military Foot Police. Yes.
So he was in the police and he was a Lance Corporal in the police. Yes.
It looks like his number was 7479. It's got P next to it.
I think that was his police number.
It possibly was. Kept his police number. Yes.
Interesting being Military Foot Police. Yes.
And this chap here...
Is it CJ...?
CJ Manktelow. Kent Regiment. Yes.
They must have been quite young when they joined up.
I suppose, like most First World War soldiers,
they were anything from 16 to 18 when they joined up.
What's interesting, it would have been after the 14-15 years,
because they don't have the 14-15 Star. Right.
So I'm pretty sure it would have been after that they would
have joined up. And your father's medals here.
He has the Pacific Star. That's right. And the 1939-45 Star.
What regiment was he in?
I'm not sure because he was serving on the Burma to Siam railway
as a prisoner of war for three years.
So he was captured? Yes. That's right.
He was in one of the prisoner of war camps alongside Kwai.
He never talked about it that much.
God, that must have been awful.
I never used to question him on what regiment he was and that,
but I'm sure he must have been in some sort of Kent Regiment
because we are Kent people.
Just tell me, what's your reasoning on selling these?
I have no children to pass them on to.
And quite frankly, the medals have just been sitting in a tin,
in a drawer, for many, many years. The same with the watch.
Part of me says sell them as two lots.
Yes. Part of me says sell them as a family group. OK.
Because of the Kent connection. Yes.
I think that might be quite interesting. Yes.
When it comes to value, funnily enough,
these are not worth as much as people think. No.
However, Military Foot Police I think is quite rare.
The East Kent Regiment. People like regiments more than corps. Yes.
And, of course, we have the watch.
We have probably got ?100 with the watch there and the medals here.
And then your father's medals probably add another 50. Yeah, yeah.
I think we'd say ?150-?200. Right. And reserve it at 100. Yes.
Are you happy with that? Yes, I would be, yes.
Very interesting. And thank you for bringing them along.
It's quite emotional, really. I'd like to see them at auction.
Yes, I'd like to see them go to a nice home.
It's always hard selling family medals, but with
the provenance of this group, they're sure to go to a good home.
It's not just local history that we take an interest in -
war items come to the show from all over the world, as Adam discovered.
It's quite a surprise to come to Kent and to see African tribal art,
shields, blow pipes, bow and arrow. What's all this about?
Well, it was just something we found at a boot fair.
The assegai was the first thing that we found. Yes.
It was only four pounds... Four pounds?
So we thought we'd bring it home.
And that started off... That started off...
How long has this been going on for?
It was within a short period of time. It was about 15 years ago.
OK. It took... "We" being?
My husband and myself. OK. Yeah.
As we got them, we displayed them on our dining room wall, which was
quite a nice feature for people to talk about when they came to dinner.
How has it ended up on our valuation table at "Flog It!" today?
What's the reason for getting rid of it?
My husband passed away three years ago.
Just before that, we moved house. Right.
To a Georgian house. And they really don't fit into a Georgian house.
What sort of house were you in before that they did fit into?
It was just a modern flat. Right, OK.
So we did what we wanted to do within it.
I think they are good fun, really.
Are these poisoned?
They are. They are poison-tipped arrows in the blow pipe.
Very good. Ever had to use one?
No! A bit rough around Chatham?
LAUGHING: Sometimes, but I've never used it.
It would be another one, wouldn't it?
"Burglar impaled by poisoned arrow."
That would be quite good.
So the spear was the first thing.
That was... That was four pounds. Four pounds.
It looks like it has a bit of age about it, doesn't it?
Yes, it does.
Some engraving on the blade and some nice bits of wear.
There can be a great demand for certain older tribal art things.
And they can make many, many thousands of pounds.
I think the majority of this is tourist-ware that people would
have picked up on holidays throughout the 20th century.
Some maybe as recently as 30-40 years ago.
I think this one might even be aboriginal rather than African.
Yeah. The decoration on that looks more Australian, doesn't it?
And also... I'll just put that back a minute.
These are... These are... I think they are original, actually.
I think they are. Yeah, you are quite right.
Rather gruesome. They are bolas. Or bol-as.
That's right. Do they sort of swing them round and...?
For swinging and throwing and ensnaring the animals.
Yeah, but they are very heavy, aren't they? They are.
I'm quite sure that they are... They are very weighty.
..they are real. They must be lead-filled, I think.
And I agree with you, I think they are the real thing.
So, you've got a reason for selling them,
you haven't paid much for them... No, no. These were 50 pence.
I don't think they are going to be massive money. OK.
I think we'd put a guide price of ?50-?100 on them. OK.
Is that all right? Try and hide the disappointment, Linda.
A few more noughts would have been nice.
I doubt it. Although you almost never know.
I hope for you that it's one that really takes off.
Thanks for bringing them along. Not what I expected to see in Kent.
No! That's the joy of this programme.
The "Flog It!" folk are a calm and gentle sort,
which is more than can be said for this formidable group.
Heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper,
with heavyweight gangsters, the Krays.
George. Yes. You don't sound like you're from these parts.
I'm not, I'm from the East End. You're from the East End?
A proper East Ender? I'm a proper East Ender.
What brings you down to these parts?
Well, I've lived in Kent now for the last 50 years. Have you? Yeah.
So you've been a Kent person more than a Cockney? Definitely.
But you were still born there.
I was born there, I was bred there, and I still love the East End.
And tell me, you brought along some interesting photographs... Yeah.
..of what looks like a boxing night. Yes.
What it is, it's mostly of the Kray twins,
and their brother Charlie.
That's Charlie Kray, Reggie Kray,
Henry Cooper, and Ronnie Kray.
You didn't know the Krays, did you?
You'd obviously heard of them growing up?
Oh, I've met them a few times. Have you? Yeah.
How did you meet them?
Well, we used to...
When I was in my teens,
there used to be little sort of disco clubs around the East End,
and many a time, the Krays, the two brothers used to walk in,
have a little dance, and chat with the fellas and that.
But they were... Well, to me, they seemed nice fellas. Yeah?
But in their own little circle, we know what happened, don't we?
Well, yes, absolutely. It's extraordinary.
And the celebrity of criminality...
It's been publicised heavily, in films, documentaries... Yeah.
..and auction houses do sell a lot of Kray memorabilia, actually,
from the twins here.
There's a big group of people here,
and you can see the twins here, and anybody you recognise there?
Yeah, that's Terry Spinks, the boxer.
The little guy there? Oh, yeah, he was a brilliant boxer, Terry.
Was he? Yeah, brilliant, Terry Spinks. This fella here,
I used to go to school with. Really? This chap there?
Yes, this chap there, Harry Abrahams,
I went to school with him. He's a nice fella.
So how did you get these photographs?
Well, I've had them about 25, 30 years now.
And a friend of mine had them,
and we were just looking through them one day.
I said, "Oh, I'd like to keep them."
He said, "You can have them if you want them. I don't want them."
Really? And he just gave them to me. Well, they are...
They're quite candid shots as well.
I quite like the fact that you've got... Here's an example.
You've got the Kray twins here,
sort of one sort of leaning in to make sure he's in the photograph,
but the cameraman has photographed them through the boxing ring.
That's right. So you've got the rope in the middle of it all.
Yeah, that's right. It's all quite odd, isn't it? Yeah.
As you can see, they were very smart fellas.
Well, I think these are marvellous photographs,
and underneath here, you've got a Matt Busby,
one of Manchester United's most famous managers,
but also the one who took them through the Munich air disaster.
That's right. So...a real hero.
Well, I'll tell you how that came about.
My son, Tony, unfortunately, he's not with us no more.
We lost him about 16 years ago. Oh, I'm sorry.
My father-in-law - my wife's dad -
he worked for the Mirror Group newspapers,
and Sir Matt Busby came in there one day.
I said, "Do you think I could get a signature for my son?
"He plays football, and likes football."
So he said, "Certainly," and he just wrote that.
"To Tony, best wishes, Matt Busby." Yeah.
It's such a treasured thing, really.
You sure you want to sell these things? Well...
You don't want to give them away. I don't want to give them away, no.
I think there's two lots, though. Yeah.
I think the Kray photographs are candid, they're exciting,
interesting. The provenance is...
You're an East Ender, they've come straight from the horse's mouth,
so to speak. Right.
I think they're worth at least 60-100, maybe even ?80-?100.
So let's meet in the middle.
Let's say ?70-?100, with a reserve of round about ?50. Yeah.
So we won't give them away. Yeah.
So, on to the valuation of the Matt Busby signed piece of paper.
The estimate would be between 40 and ?60. Right, yeah.
I'd reserve it at at least ?30. OK. You happy with that?
Yeah, I'm happy with that.
So, a pleasure to see them, and to meet you as well.
Oh, thank you very much! Thank you.
They might not be worth a fortune,
but those photos are fresh to the market
and could be very rare.
Items from abroad give us a picture of the world in another era,
and Adam's found a book full of them.
Thanks for coming.
It's an interesting album you've got here by the looks of it. Thank you.
What can you tell us about it?
It goes back to my late husband's grandfather. Yes.
When he was out in Egypt, tied up with the diplomatic service.
I see! And presumably working out there at that time.
When was that?
The postcards are basically 1908. So that era.
This is the year he was perhaps out, stationed in Egypt?
That's what I would think. And he's formed this collection of cards?
Yes. Some aren't written on, and some I guess he sent back.
Some of the later ones, as you go through the album, he had sent back
to what would have been my husband's father when he was a little boy.
Right. We'll have a look at those.
We've got, of course, the Sphinx and some pyramids.
They won't have changed much, will they? No!
But some of the places will have changed incredibly. Very much so.
A lot of this is Egypt, right.
And then the Suez Canal. Yeah.
Eventually, they come through to...it's almost a tour...
They went on a bit of a European tour by the look of it.
Because then we are in Paris.
Yes. I have a feeling that's perhaps when they were on their way back.
On their way back they maybe did a bit of a tour.
Here's an interesting one - trains. Yes. People love trains.
That translates to the collectors of rare train cards as well. Yes.
Those are a little more interesting perhaps than all the views
that you get, which are quite common tourist pick-up things. Yes.
We carry on through a little bit and where are we now? Vesuvius.
Keep going. Greek costume.
And here, these are fun. Yes.
These are the ones that he sent back to his son, aren't they? Yes.
There is one there that's half in. There's one there... Look at that!
All it is, is to Master AC Brockies in London.
There is no message, just the address.
There you go, there is a postcard for you. Yes.
And how nice for little boys to see that. From his dad. Yeah.
When was that? I think... 1908?
It is 1908, isn't it?
Absolutely right. How young do you think the boy would have been?
He would have been eight, because he was born in 1900.
OK, I've got an eight year old, and I think he'd laugh at this.
Look at these. They are great fun, aren't they? They are.
All of them simply with just a name and address on the back.
Sally, it seems slightly sad, in a way,
that you've decided to sell them. What's the reasoning?
Well, none of the family are really interested.
Equally, how do I split an album like this
between seven granddaughters and one grandson?
Very good point. You can't split it.
In terms of value, there's not a huge amount of value there.
I might be over-optimistic thinking about the hundred mark.
I think we could make towards 100. Yeah.
I would temper it to maybe 70 to 100 as an estimate.
And put a reserve of about ?70 on it.
Yes, I think definitely a reserve on it. I think so.
Thanks for coming, Sally.
I'm looking forward to seeing how they go.
Thank you. A fascinating chronology of your family history.
Thank you very much.
While everyone's busy here, I'm off to do something
Two and a half miles of track,
cars driving wildly at hundreds of miles an hour.
Sponsorship deals worth millions and an international
audience of billions!
This is Brands Hatch,
a Formula 1 racetrack for 22 years,
loved by all the driving greats, from Stirling Moss
to Graham Hill.
But how did this world-renowned track come about?
And why here, in Kent?
Well, it all started with an overgrown field
and the humble bicycle.
In 1926, a group of cyclists were riding past on bikes,
like this, led by a local man, Ron Argent.
Now, Ron noticed that the field's natural contours
acted like something of an amphitheatre,
and he thought this would be the ideal racetrack,
with these banks acting as natural viewing platforms.
At the time, the area was owned by Brands Hatch farm,
so the cyclists approached the owners
to see if they could use it as a racetrack,
and thanks to the farmer saying yes, Brands Hatch was born.
The first-ever race was in 1926
and it was between cyclists and the cross-country runners.
Nobody knows quite why the contest was between man and machine.
The runners won the day,
and the event put the wheels in motion for more wheels in motion.
Before long, the circuit developed into a three-quarter-mile track
in the valley, attracting even more two-wheelers -
this time, the motorised kind.
Local groups of motorcyclists got together,
and they had their first meet here, in March of 1932.
50cc Nortons and Triumphs raced on the dusty, noisy track.
Within two decades, the circuit was tarmacked
and races attracted 30,000 spectators -
and this was just the beginning.
By the 1950s, the track started filling up with cars like this -
a 1953 Staride Formula 3,
the first car ever to race at Brands Hatch.
It was the forerunner to the Formula 1 car,
and this particular one raced here at Brands Hatch in 1953.
Its present owner, Xavier,
brought it back to Brands Hatch to race again -
61 years later, after its first outing.
Hello. Hi, hello, good to see you.
And you. And what a machine! Brilliant, isn't it? Yes.
Now, I know you've never been a professional racing car drive,
so how did you end up owning a Formula 3 car like this.
Very easy story, really, Paul.
I decided to retire early. I've always loved motorsport,
so what do you do when you retire?
You buy a racing car. It's almost as easy as that.
You've never grown up, really, it's boys and their toys, isn't it?
Absolutely right. So, what you inspired you to buy
this particular car, then? I'll show you. This.
A model of it? A model of it.
When I was a teenager, 13, 14, I used to make model kits.
And one of the ones I made was of a Formula 3 racing car.
And ever since then, I've really, really loved that type of car.
So when I retired, save a bit of money, buy a car.
So you know the history of this car? Absolutely.
It raced here first in April 1953,
then stayed racing around various circuits in the UK
and was eventually exported to California in 1959.
Then came back on the historic race scene in the States.
And then eventually, I bought the car at the end of 2010.
And that's when you found it.
That's when I found it, absolutely right.
OK, let's just get a bit technical, very, very quickly. OK? OK.
Maximum speed? Gearing - 110, 115, depending on the circuit.
That's quite fast! It's quick enough when you are about three inches
off the ground! Yeah, you're very, very low, aren't you?
You are low. And what sort of cylinder is the engine?
It's got Norton - is that a bike engine?
It's a Manx Norton - it's only 500cc.
That's nothing, is it? Absolutely nothing.
What does your good lady wife think of all this?
Well, without Angie, I couldn't go racing,
because Angie's the person that starts the car.
How do you start this car, then?
Well... You don't stick a key in the ignition.
I'm afraid you have to jack it up, you have to spin the back wheels
to get the car going, and then you fire it up.
So, jack the back of the car up,
then third gear, then the Demon starter comes along.
This is only part of it cos it needs someone to work it.
You can feel the whole room vibrate.
Xavier is just one of many people whose lives have been
touched by Brands Hatch,
and it's brought Formula 1 into the homes for many millions of people.
In 1986, Brands Hatch held its final Grand Prix.
115,000 people came here to witness this historic event.
And the passionate crowd would have been on their feet here
in the grandstand, over there on the South Bank
and all around the edges.
The atmosphere would have been electrifying
as Nigel Mansell won the race with a five-and-a-half-second lead.
Grand Prix are no longer held here,
but Brands Hatch is still a hive of activity.
And today, it's my turn to experience
the buzz of the racetrack.
Nigel Mansell, eat your heart out.
Hi, Paul, I'm Peter. Pleased to meet you.
I'm a instructor here at Brands.
Let's show you how this circuit goes.
Looking forward to this. You are a brave man!
Oh, well, here goes.
Wish me luck!
MUSIC: Cars by Gary Numan
And up to third gear.
Can I go for it? Accelerate down the hill, yeah. Wow!
You can feel the contours.
You can, it's a very undulating circuit, Brands Hatch.
It's a real drivers' circuit. It's fantastic!
Then we're braking for Graham Hill Bend.
Graham Hill Bend - wow!
Named after one of the classic British racing drivers
of all time.
Straighten the front wheels slightly, that's good.
That's good, here comes this main straight. Oh!
Power on, power on. Oh, ho-ho!
Superb! Very well done.
Climb up the hill...
Well done, sir. PAUL CHUCKLES
That was fantastic.
That was scary.
That was the real McCoy.
Gosh! Brilliant. Woo!
And now a quick reminder of what's going off to auction.
There's a curious collection of tribal artefacts.
Is it all made for tourists, or
will some of it make a small fortune?
War medals that tell a family story.
The Krays, Henry Cooper and Matt Busby -
all big names, but will they fetch big money?
And you get a lot of postcards for your money with this lot,
but will the album make the ?70 reserve?
There's only one way to find out, it's auction time
and we're nipping over the county border to Surrey.
This is where we put
our valuations to the test -
Ewbank Auction Rooms.
And I tell you what, the car park is full, which means
it's going to be jam-packed inside.
Let's get in there and catch up with our owners.
Our items have been catalogued and displayed,
and Tim Duggan is the man with the gift of the gavel.
First up, it's Linda's tribal collection.
Good luck, Adam, because this one is a hard one to value.
A collection of African spears and shields and tribal art.
Bought in car-boot sales.
How much do you think you collectively paid for the lot?
For the lot, probably about ?15-?17.
Not bad. You are going home with a profit. Yeah, hopefully.
They will sell, won't they? There's enough of it.
There's a nice diversity.
OK, we are going to put it to the test right now.
Here we go, this is it.
We've got the tribal collection there, including two African
animal-skin shields there.
?50 for these.
Bid me 30. ?30. ?30 bid.
Yes! Good! ?40. 45 I've got now. 45 now.
Can I have 50 anywhere? Be quick. 50 we've got online now.
?50. Looking for 55 now.
For the last time, selling them online at ?50.
GAVEL BANGS ?50. Yes!
Sold to a chap on the internet. Whew!
We got there. Well done. Thank you.
Not a bad return on a ?17 investment.
Well, let's hope this next lot hits the back of the net
and scores a great goal.
It is Sir Matt Busby's autograph and it belongs to George.
Were you a Manchester United fan? No. No. Just a football fan?
No. I'm a football fan, yeah.
Who do you support? Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham Hotspur.
You're a...Londoner. OK...
And there you go. It should sell. This is it.
We've got Matt Busby there, the autograph there,
signed in blue pen.
How do you see it? ?40 for it.
20, if you like. 20 bid.
20 bid. 25, 30 now. 35, sir, with you at 35.
Now looking for 40...
At 35, then, in the jacket we go at ?35.
Sold. ?35. Well done.
Next, those fantastic photos.
And the Krays are quite collectible, aren't they?
Oh, yeah, the celebrity of the criminal
has become a collectible subject in its own right.
Good luck, both of you. OK. Good luck, here we go, this is it.
Got the six black and white photographs there.
The Krays - including Henry Cooper as well.
?50 for these, ?50 for them.
30, if you like.
30 bid, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55...
60, 65... Selling, good.
70, 75. We're in estimate now...
85, 90, 95...
At ?95, close in at ?95, then,
right in front we go, then, selling, then, to the lady in front
?95. We've done it, George. Yeah. Done it, that's a good result.
That's a brilliant result. I honestly...
You were spot-on with your estimate there. I didn't know
what they were going to make, it was a guess, I have to say.
Yeah. It was a well-educated one. Well done, Thomas.
A spot-on valuation by our expert.
Well, I think this next lot is absolutely fascinating
It's a postcard album featuring Egypt and Europe after 1908.
And it belongs to Sally, who is right next to me.
And our expert - Adam.
Have you ever been to Egypt? No, I haven't. Nor have I.
And I'm fascinated by it.
I'd love to go there. That's right.
How many pictures there, do you think? About 200.
It's hard to put a value on, isn't it?
Because some of these typography things really fly.
I think we always kind of hold back. Let's see what happens.
Adam is going to be spot on. I'm going to eat my words.
OK, let's find out.
I'd love it if they made loads more for Sally, but I don't... Good luck.
Thank you. Good luck, Sally, this is it.
Lot 247. We've got a postcard album containing over 200 postcards.
What did we say on this one? We've got interest on the go.
In on the commission of ?50 now. ?50. 55 in the room now. 60. Five.
70. Five. 80. Five. 90. Five. 100.
110. At 110 now. 120 anywhere?
Are we all done then? Selling online at 110.
BANGS GAVEL Yeah, 110.
You were getting excited for a minute. Yeah, I was getting excited.
I was like, go on! 200! Acquired information or something.
No, no. The top end of the estimate. That's good. Really good.
I'm pleased with that. Thank you very much.
It's a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for bringing it in.
Brilliant, thank you.
More international history saved from the skip.
Going under the hammer right now, we have a very special lot.
It contains an incredible amount of family history.
And I know, at the valuation day, Thomas,
you gave us a wonderful description of the medals.
Since that day, the reserve has been raised, hasn't it?
Yes, simply because they are family medals. 150, wasn't it?
I think I put ?100-?200 or 150, but you've upped it to... 200.
A fixed reserve at 200.
I think that's very sensible because they are a huge group.
Look, they are going under the hammer.
I just hope, for your sake, you get what you really want for them.
Top, top money. This is it.
We've got the family of war medals there
and a Jaeger-LeCoultre gentleman's military pocket watch.
?80 online now. ?80 bid now. 85 now.
90. 95 now.
100 bid now. 110. 120.
170. 180. 190. 200.
220. 240 now.
At 240. 260 anywhere?
At 240 now with me on the commission.
At 240, you are out, sir.
At ?240. Are we all done, then?
Selling at 240.
240. So that's ?40 above your reserve. Yeah.
You've got to be happy with that.
Yes, I am, yes. And they've gone to a collector.
Yeah, I hope that a collector will look after them and appreciate them.
Well done. OK. That's a hard thing to do. Hard thing to do.
Unfortunately, the successful bidder for David's medals never came
forward and paid for them.
In such rare cases, when this happens,
the lot is returned to the seller.
So David has got his medals back.
'Now it's back over to Kent
'to visit the house of a very famous military man.'
The house is called Chartwell.
'And he was one of the greatest figures in British history.
'Earlier in the week, I went to find out more.'
The man in question lived like a king in his stunning Victorian home.
But he was no royalty.
He received the Nobel Prize for Literature,
but writing was not what made him famous.
And he lived in this peaceful setting,
surrounded by animals and paintings.
But spent much of his life in the midst of war.
So who would live in a house like this?
'We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds.
'We shall fight in the fields. And in the streets.
'We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.'
Yes, you've guessed it, Sir Winston Churchill
lived at Chartwell with his wife, Clementine, from 1922 to 1965.
It was the family home for their five children
and was a place for entertaining and for solace.
Churchill had a vivid public image.
He was a compelling orator and a robust, driven man.
But what happened away from the public's gaze?
Who was the real man behind the V-sign and the cigar?
Well, follow me, because I think the answer lies up these steps.
The Churchill family enjoyed Chartwell for over 40 years
and today, it looks very much like it would have done in the 1950s.
The first thing that strikes you when you walk around the house is
the quantity and quality of the paintings.
Winston Churchill started painting at the age of 40, which is
relatively late for any artist.
Churchill showed a natural flair for oil on canvas
and painting became more than a pastime - it was a lifeline.
He was plagued with what he called the black dog -
a depression that followed him throughout his life.
Painting helped him find peace when the black dog rose.
And it became a lifelong pursuit, creating over 500 stunning oils.
From his studio at Chartwell,
you start to get an insight into the man himself.
There certainly is an impressive body of work here.
Churchill may have suffered from depression,
but it doesn't show in his artwork.
They are vivid, they are warm, beautiful landscapes.
Some of the UK and some from abroad. He definitely liked to travel.
And he definitely loved to study a view.
And Chartwell is a lush, green space surrounded by nature.
Here is an image from Chartwell, looking out into the garden,
with the man himself.
That's the painting I'm going to find out about.
Celia Sandys is Sir Winston Churchill's granddaughter
and spent many happy summers here as a child.
How does it feel being back here?
It's always lovely to come back to Chartwell.
I used to spend a lot of my school holidays here.
And I came so often, I think I've signed the visitors book more
than anyone else.
I can't believe how beautiful it is here.
It's absolutely stunning.
Churchill must have been inspired by so much nature.
Well, he loved it, but he didn't buy a house, he bought a view.
He'd been brought up by his nanny, Mrs Everest, who came from Kent.
And she said that Kent was the Garden of England.
I think she probably put that into his head.
I know the house is full of wonderful art.
But there's one particular one I want to talk to you about,
and that's Mary's First Speech. Absolutely, yes.
Mary is the youngest child, born in 1922.
My grandfather, he wanted to do bricklaying
and he enjoyed building some of these walls.
He built these walls along there?
He built a large part of the walls. Gosh!
Anyway, he decided to build this little house,
miniature cottage for her, called the Marycot.
So he did a painting of Mary laying the foundation stone.
There is Randolph and my grandfather and Mary in the picture.
I think he found for himself the best form of therapy to relieve
stress that he could've done. And one that he really enjoyed.
One of the greatest pleasures of his life, I think,
was to be surrounded by as many members of his family as possible.
He'd had quite a bleak childhood.
His family, when he was a child, was his nanny and his brother.
Wherever they were was home.
Therefore, I think he made a decision that he wanted to
have as much of his family around him as possible.
He was never happier than when he could look around the dining
room table here and see his children and his grandchildren here.
But it was here in the study that Churchill spent most of his time.
Here you can see his writing desk,
full of wonderful family photographs.
And here Churchill would stand and dictate to his secretary.
Did you know that he wrote one novel, two autobiographies
and three volumes of memoirs?
He won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his prolific works.
That's not bad for a man who helped save the nation
from German occupation.
Writing was more than a hobby, it was a job.
Politics didn't pay then what it does now and writing helped fund
the upkeep of Chartwell and his taste for the finer things in life.
But even with the volumes he wrote, the bills kept mounting up.
Churchill's lavish lifestyle nearly cost him this house.
But in 1946, consortium of wealthy businessmen bought
the house on the understanding that Churchill
and Clementine could live here until their death.
Winston Churchill passed away in 1965, at the age of 90.
His state funeral was attended by unprecedented numbers
and as the cranes of London dipped in honour,
the nation mourned the loss of one of its greatest leaders.
You were 21 when he died. Yes.
Tell me, what was he like, the grandfather?
He was lovely. For us, he was just Grandpapa.
I think after the war, the only people who took
Winston Churchill completely for granted were his grandchildren.
Even his children were in awe of him.
What did Chartwell mean to him?
Chartwell meant everything to him.
He once famously said, "A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted."
But that didn't stop him running away from it all the time.
He seemed to have an absolute need to travel.
And he got an adrenaline rush every time he went.
But Chartwell was the harbour that he returned to.
And where he felt most at ease.
And most of the most important things
that happen in his life happened here.
Wonderful memories. Great memories.
Thank you for sharing them with me here today as well.
Very happy to be with you.
We've got a great insight into Winston Churchill.
My biggest hero, I think. Mine too.
We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be.
Back at our valuation day at Chiddingstone Castle,
there's a great atmosphere as the people of Kent await a valuation.
And Thomas has found more intriguing pieces of military history.
You have brought an interesting collection of war items
dating, I think, from the First World War.
How come they are in your possession?
They belonged to my mother. And they were her parents' before then.
They had been sitting in a chest belonging to my mother
and grandparents, not doing very much.
We think that this booklet was given to my grandparents by a friend
The other items may or may not have come from him as well.
We really don't know.
You've got a number of different things here.
We've got instruments of death. Yes.
And then we have what could be parts of an airship.
This could be the canvas of the actual airship, aluminium
from part of the actual workings of the ship, it looks like a pulley.
It's light enough. And sights and other items
from it. Could be salvaged from this wreck.
They were all in the chest together? Yes.
Interesting that they were all in the chest together
with a photograph of a destroyed ship, burnt out. Yes.
Along with a collection of instruments of death. Yes.
Flechettes, these are called. These are British flechettes. Right.
These arrows or darts were used
to pierce the actual airship themselves.
Oh, were they? Mm-hm. Dropped from planes flying above them. Oh!
These could have been thrown out as bucket-loads
either on troops or airships as well.
And they'd sail through the air and land and
they would be almost silent killers until you actually heard them -
THUNK - hit you on the head, and that's it, game over.
Horrible. Indeed! Then again, war is horrible. It is.
Tell me, what do you feel about these items
and why do you think your mother has kept them?
I suppose they have always been in the chest.
And that's just where they stayed.
But I certainly don't want to keep them. No. And my mother doesn't.
There is a huge collectorship in these items.
Yes. There is a possibility of you making over ?100. Yes.
Easily. Mm-hmm. I think there is a possibility of you making ?300.
Right. So what I would say,
let's put a really wide estimate. ?200-?300.
Yes, that's fine. Do you think that's fair?
Then we'll reserve it, a really low reserve at ?100. OK.
I think that gives it a fair... It gives the auctioneer a lot of scope.
Because we don't know the story.
If this was coming into my saleroom, then I would be getting details
and looking for crash sites. I'm sure one could find out...
Yes, you could. Because look at the way it has landed.
There would be other photographs. And people would do research.
There are your collectors out there who will know. Yes.
Anyway, you happy with the valuation? Yes, yes. Yes.
Let's see what happens.
The Flog It! team are still hard at it - well, most of them at least -
and local lady Pat's brought my hero along for a valuation.
Have you had a good day, Pat? Very much so. Definitely.
You are holding a little Toby jug of Winston Churchill.
That reminds me of my visit to Chartwell House.
Oh, you have been there? Don't drop it.
No, I won't drop him. He's a little Royal Doulton figure.
With cigar. My husband told me not to sell it today.
I said, "Well, they are not buying today." No.
Pat's keeping hold of her little Churchill,
but Linda's silver cup is up for sale.
I always like to see a nice box like that.
Things were just presented so nicely,
weren't they, in the Victorian period?
That's right. I just can't wait to have a look. Can I open it up?
Please do. Very good. Let's have a look and see what's in there.
Oh, look at that!
And we are the box has suffered over the years,
this has been perfectly preserved inside,
this little silver bowl with this heart-fluted body.
It's got a presentation inscription to a DBR Fagge.
Do you know who Mr Fagge was?
Unfortunately not. My husband inherited it from his father.
Unfortunately I lost my husband recently, so
the information about it, I'm not really very clear on. Oh, dear!
His father, I think, had it as a wedding present.
But where Fagge comes into it, I don't know.
It would be nice if this DBR Fagge was an eminent politician or
historian or surgeon or...
I tried to find out. ..an actor or sportsman. No? No.
I haven't been able to trace him.
What a shame that we can't find that out
because that would then make the inscription helpful. That's right.
A lot of presentation inscriptions on silver are things like
on the occasion of your marriage or anniversary.
And those people erase.
But the box has been really good to it.
It has kept it in lovely condition, hasn't it? Yes, it has.
If we just take it out for a moment, then you will see that the
gilt interior is beautifully done, isn't it?
And on the bottom we have got nice,
clear hallmarks for William Evans, a silversmith from London.
And the hallmark there is from 1890.
What made you bring it along to Flog It! today?
If it had a family name on, then I would have kept it and passed it on.
But it means nothing really to us. Where does it live?
Does it live stuck away in a box, tucked in a cupboard somewhere?
Yes, it does. I thought that would be the case. Yes.
People often say, "Oh, it's only worth the weight in silver."
That really annoys me, actually. It's too beautiful to be... Exactly!
Can you imagine someone smashing that up and melting it?
I wouldn't let it go for that.
Which is why they need to make sure it doesn't go for that.
It's about 3 1/2 ounces of silver, which is about ?35 worth.
It's about ten pounds an ounce at the moment.
We have got to make sure we clear that.
I suggest we put ?50 to ?80 estimate and 50 reserve,
so that whatever happens, you get back more than you would
and whoever buys it is going to buy it as an object and not as a
piece of metal to go and use making a mobile phone
or something like that.
Hopefully it'll make somewhere along ?50 to ?80.
Would you do anything specific with that money?
I know it's not an awful lot, but do you have anything...?
I would do something for the garden because my husband loved the garden.
So something in the garden for him.
And we are in the Garden of England after all. We are, yes. Definitely.
And what a glorious day it is. Beautiful.
Linda, thanks for coming along.
You are welcome. I really hope that it finds a new home in the auction.
I hope so too. Thanks a lot. Thanks very much.
Finally, let's find out what John has to say
about his rather large bowl.
It belonged to my grandmother.
Although we believed it was brought back from the Far East
by my uncle when he was with the Royal Marines.
In the Second World War? Yes.
Grandma used it basically to make all her Christmas puddings
and her Christmas cakes.
For years. For years? Years and years, yes.
Now, when I met you in the queue, you said,
"I've got a Japanese bowl."
I always thought it was Japanese. It's just the figures on it.
I thought these were more Japanese than Chinese.
I have to shatter your illusions and say I'm afraid it's Chinese.
However, that makes it more valuable. OK.
The story about your uncle bringing this back from Asia,
what was his name, Uncle...?
Ron. Uncle Ron? Ronald.
He was a corporal in the Royal Marines.
A corporal in the Royal Marines sees this bowl and thinks,
"Do you know what, my mother is going to like that..."
Yep. "..to mix her Christmas pudding in."
And he actually takes it and puts it on the ship
and brings it all the way back. He looks after it.
He brought a load of other stuff back as well. Did he? Yes.
How did he manage to do that? In a crate? I don't know.
Carved elephants and things like that. Really? Yep.
How interesting. In his later life he was a storeman.
Perhaps he had that in his blood
when he was coming back from wherever it was.
We've got to talk about the actual piece itself.
How old do you think it is?
I would say roundabout 100 years old. That's a rough guess.
I would then minus another hundred years and you might be there.
1820s to 1830s. Really? Yes, it's got age.
It's got age. It's not 18th century. Certainly early 19th century.
Chinese export-ware. Ah!
And it's part of a larger set. Right.
It might even be a washbasin,
part of a large serving dish for rice, a big family serving bowl.
Because most of the decoration is on the inside.
If it was on the outside, it would be worth considerably more.
Oh, what a shame! Because you could see it then, couldn't you?
What a shame. What do you think was going on here?
It seems to tell a story of some sort.
But I'm not quite sure what it is all about.
Whether it's a wedding or something like that going on.
I think it's discussions, maybe pre-wedding.
I think it's a family scene. It's a very busy plate.
Yes, and then you have this fabulous design round the edge here.
We've got to check that it's in good condition.
It's got a little chip on the side. A little chip.
On the base, a very minor crack here. It doesn't go through.
What do you think it's worth? I'd hoped for 200 or ?300.
I wouldn't argue with that at all. I think we'd say ?300-?500.
Don't be surprised if it makes the upper end.
I think we should put a reserve on it. Definitely.
And I think that reserve should be 280. That's fine. Yeah?
Grandma's Christmas pudding bowl.
Let me ask you a question, do you like figgy pudding?
I like all puddings.
I used to like...licking the bowl. Did you really?
What better way to celebrate than with a bottle?
Don. Pleased to meet you, Andrew. Pleased to meet you, too.
I was going for the bottle, but I'll take a handshake. Handshake, yeah.
I've got some cups here, let's crack it open, it's a lovely sunny day.
Yeah, I don't think so. Oh. Let's have a look.
A bottle of Armagnac, 1914.
Armagnac from the Armagnac region of France, 1914.
It says it all on there, 65 proof.
And sold by Averys of Bristol,
a very famous firm, Averys of Bristol, founded in 1793.
Yes. So, I don't want to be rude here, Dom,
but clearly you haven't had this since 1914.
How did you come to get it? Right.
I took part in the Armed Forces day down in Woking.
There was a raffle on for Help The Heroes
and I happened to win this bottle in the raffle.
Wow! You won it in a raffle!
Now, you're an ex-serviceman yourself. An ex-Royal Marine.
Ex-Royal Marine, yeah. Very good.
And you've had an interesting life, haven't you?
I've had an interesting life doing government security.
Government security. Yes.
Can you say any more, or is the rest of it...?
I won't say any more, no. Cos you sign that little form.
Oh, do you? Yes.
So you've done government... That's very interesting, Dom.
Seeing I'm not a brandy drinker,
I don't want anything of the proceeds. It's all going to charity.
Brilliant. Well, what a great reason to sell it.
Now, we've had a little look into it
and it's quite hard thing to value, really.
We've all seen some bottles of wines and brandies
make huge sums of money, but sadly there's very little
to compare this with on the market at the moment.
So we've had to take a bit of a guess.
And the guess that we've taken is ?100-?150.
It's not bad really, is it? Well, whatever it comes...
And do you know what? I bet it's still very drinkable.
It's got to be someone who wants it. It has, hasn't it?
So we're going to put it in the auction at ?100, ?150.
Do we want a reserve on at all do we let it make what it makes?
Let them make what it makes. I think so.
And hopefully it will make more than 100 quid for your charity.
Well, it'll be any named charity, but it'll be for a youth charity.
A youth charity. Even better. Yes, yes.
Maybe we'll talk about that further on the sale day.
When we know exactly what we've got,
we'll know how we're going to split it. Exactly.
And let's go for a third handshake. OK, Andrew. Thanks, Don. Thank you.
Thanks for coming. See you soon.
Chiddingstone Castle has been a marvellous valuation day venue.
It's full of antiques
and the people who have turned up have embraced it, they've had
so much fun, and I think we have all learned a great deal today.
Sadly, it's time to say goodbye to our host
location as we are off to auction for the very last time today.
Here is a quick recap of what is coming with us.
A collection of World War I items
that are both shocking and intriguing.
And a 100-year old bottle of brandy,
definitely not available at your local supermarket.
A silver cup that Linda won't see sold for scrap.
And a Chinese bowl - apparently perfect for making cakes!
Let's see if there are any bakers or buyers in the saleroom right now.
Thank you for coming in to the valuation day
and bringing a nice piece in.
I know you were initially very happy with Thomas' estimate
and we did have a reserve of ?280. Yes.
You had a chat to the auctioneer and you've put the reserve up to? 350.
Because you feel that you don't want to let it go at 280.
I just thought, 350, if it doesn't go,
then we will put it back into the auction again later.
If it's going to sell, then it is going to sell well.
Hopefully, it won't put the bidders off. This is it. It does look good.
We have a revised estimate.
This is the Chinese famille verte bowl there.
With the decorated panels. Nice art on this one.
I go in at ?200 now. 220. 240. 260.
Looking for 280 anywhere.
At ?260. I'm looking for 280 anywhere. At ?260.
Nice item this one. At 260. Are we all done?
No. Didn't even get 280, did it? No.
Apparently, they have a Chinese and ceramics auction in November.
Right. That's probably a good thing to do. Put it in a specialist sale.
Put it back in here then. Brilliant.
The reserve stopped the bowl selling for a song,
we hope John has better luck next time.
Well, it could be cheers all round if our next lot sells,
it's the Averys bottle of brandy
and I've just been joined by Donald, who looks extremely smart.
I love this. And who's your mate?
My mate is Chas, we've been comrades since 1961
and we still go out together now.
Were you both in the Royal Marines?
We were both in the Royal Marines,
we served with the third commando brigade all over the world.
And you never thought of cracking open this bottle of brandy then?
No, thank you. Bottle of rum, maybe.
That's it, that's a proper Royal Marine.
We've got no reserve on this bottle. That's right. None, it says.
No reserve. Well, we'll see, the market will speak.
We're going to see. It's going under the hammer now, this is it.
How do you see it? ?100 for it.
50, I've got a bit online. 50 bid, now. 55.
Now 60, I've got. Now, I want 65 please online.
And 70 online now.
75 now. Looking for 80. 80 bid.
85. At 90 online.
95. 100 I need.
110 in the room now. ?110.
Right in front we go then. Selling then at ?110.
Yeah. ?110. Within estimate.
That's good. Happy? Happy, boys? Yes, yes.
The bottle of brandy has found a new home.
Whether it's kept in a cellar or emptied straight into a glass,
it's a great result for Donald and Chas.
Fingers crossed, Linda. This is Linda's first auction.
So hopefully, you are going home a happy lady.
I hope so. I think we will sell this.
I think Adam is spot on with this silver cup.
William Evans, London maker, Victorian, with original case.
That's right. Fingers crossed. This is it.
It's going under the hammer now.
Lot 46. The silver presentation bowl there. Nice one there.
Straight in at ?50 on this. At 50. Five. Now looking for 60.
60 in front. Now want 65 for it. It's with you, sir, at ?60.
It's gone, hasn't it? Yes.
At ?60. Right in front. Selling at ?60.
We got it away. It's sold. That hammer going down is a good sound.
Going under the hammer right now
we have a collection of World War I items belonging to Susan.
Good time to sell. I think it's a great time to sell.
Also, it just goes to show that
that war was the first mechanised war.
But it was also quite Heath Robinson-esque.
It's quite horrific really, isn't it? What went on.
The courage of those young men. All of them in all wars. Yes.
We've decided to give the money to charity. Good for you.
It seems an appropriate thing to do somehow.
Yes, I think you're right, actually. I would do the same.
We are putting them under the hammer right now.
265. We have got 11 flechettes here.
Can I see ?100 for it?
90 bid. 95 now. 100 we've got now, bid online.
110. 120. 130 bid now.
Very rushed. 140. 150.
Those flechettes and bits there.
180. At 180 online now. 190 anywhere?
190 bid now. 200. 220?
At ?200 now. 220 bid. 240.
Very furious now. At 260 online.
At 260 online now. You just don't see these things. You don't.
I've never seen them for sale before.
Coming on the phone. 280 on the phone.
Need 300 now please. Online.
280 on the phone now. I need 300. 300 bid now.
Yep. 340 online please. 340!
That's good. 360.
400. 420 online.
Bids all out. Selling online at ?460.
?460! That's brilliant. And all that money will go to charity. Excellent.
Good for you! And what a lovely surprise.
And what a way to end today's show.
I've learnt something, I hope you have as well.
I told you there would be a big surprise. Well done, both of you.
That's lovely, thank you very much. Thank you.
And join us for many more surprises to come in the future.
But until then, from Ewbank's here in Surrey, it's goodbye.
# Are you up for the day? You up for the rhyme? #
Join Len Goodman for his brand-new show.
# So get yourself ready This is the time
# Are you up for the day? You up for the rhyme? #
Flog it! comes from Chiddingstone Castle in Kent. Antiques experts Thomas Plant and Adam Partridge find some fascinating antiques and collectables to take to auction. Paul Martin visits Chartwell House, home of Sir Winston Churchill, to uncover the real man behind the politician.