Hay-on-Wye The Great Antiques Map of Britain


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Hay-on-Wye

Antiques series. Tim Wonnacott visits the Hay-on-Wye literary festival, where he finds a striking traditional Welsh costume and a curious object relating to pit ponies.


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'Britain is stuffed with places famous for their antiques

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'and each object has a story to tell.'

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Hello!

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'I'm Tim Wonnacott, and as the crowds gather

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'for their favourite outdoor events around the country,

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'I'll be pitching up with my silver trailer...' How do you do?

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'..to meet the locals with their precious antiques and collectables.'

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I'm feeling inspired myself, thank you very much.

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LAUGHTER

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'Their stories will reveal

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'why the places we visit deserve to be on

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'the Great Antiques Map of Britain.

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'Today, we're in Wales, at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye.

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'Lots of eager owners have come along

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'to show us their intriguing items...'

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The biggest thrill of all for me

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is this very rare object.

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'..which represent this area's unique antiques heritage.'

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Of course, it's very nice,

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but Huntington is a very close neighbour to Hay-on-Wye.

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-It is indeed.

-Which is where we are today.

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'Also, of course, they want to find out

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'what their precious objects are worth...'

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£250.

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Under £100.

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The top end of £5,000.

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'..and here's today's mystery object.'

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That's a big hint as to what this thing was used for.

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'Hay-on-Wye's a tricky old place to identify.'

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Hello!

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'Officially, it's in the Welsh county of Powys,

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'but as far as the Royal Mail is concerned,

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'it's in the English county of Herefordshire.'

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Now, you've probably heard of Hay-on-Wye because of the books,

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but I can tell you

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there's more than meets the eye,

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here in Hay-on-Wye.

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'For ten days a year, it's positively rammed,

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'with 85,000 visitors flocking to the festival

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'whatever the weather.

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'But in times gone by,

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'it was the river which kept this place alive,

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'providing a vital trading link between Wales and England.

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'I've brought the old rig to Hay Castle,

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'which was originally built in the 12th century.

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'I don't suppose we'll find any objects as old as that today,

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'but you never know!

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'We're bright in spirit -

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'even if the weather is dull as ditch water.

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'Cheery Diana has come to see us

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'wearing her grandmother's traditional Welsh costume.'

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It's all over 100 years old.

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I try to wear it on St David's Day if I can, in Hay.

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If it's a fine day, I'm quite happy to wear it

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and walk around town and cause a few people to glance at me.

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Well, I must say, it looks very fetching,

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-if you don't mind me saying so...

-Oh, thank you. No, I don't mind at all.

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-Now, this apron is quite coarse.

-It is.

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What's the material?

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-Flannel.

-Flannel, Welsh flannel.

-Welsh flannel.

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But in a rather fetching pinstripe.

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The strips always went down,

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because it's flattering.

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-There's a fashion tip for us all.

-Now there you are.

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And the shawl?

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This is the everyday shawl,

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I mean, the houses were very cold -

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they only had the one fire in the range,

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so they needed warmth,

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and these are all flannel, made from sheep's wool.

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-And that's Welsh again, is it?

-So they're all amazingly warm.

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And your arms are covered in these cotton or linen...

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-Sleeves.

-..sleeves.

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The work that ladies had to do was very hard -

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they had to black lead grates,

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scrub stone floors

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and they had, usually,

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a blouse with a three-quarter sleeve,

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so that when they were washing...

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-You know, the sleeves wouldn't get wet.

-Yeah.

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They would put these sleeves on to look smart.

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Now, the number one Welsh feature, though,

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has to be the stovepipe hat.

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-Can I have a look at it?

-You may.

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Thank you very much.

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Now, I've never handled one of these -

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and it is magnificent, isn't it?

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It's light,

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the thing is covered in this silk plush...

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Oh, yes - silk plush on buckram.

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..and if I turn it upside down...

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Oh, look - we've got the maker's name in it -

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"Carver and Co, King Street, Carmarthen".

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-Now, you can't get much more Welsh than that, can you?

-No, you can't.

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So your family can date this hat back to the 1870s, then?

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1870-1890, yes.

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Brilliant.

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-And underneath it, you wear this cap...

-a bonnet.

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..and it's trimmed with lace, is that Welsh lace?

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Oh, I don't know. I hope so.

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LAUGHTER

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So do I. Anyway, we must replace it immediately.

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You'd like me to put it on?

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Please, if you wouldn't mind, cos it just completes the ensemble.

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'But how much would you have to part with

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'for an original costume like this?

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'Find out later!

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'Coal mining was once the biggest single employer in Wales.

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'Among the workforce was a sure-footed fleet of ponies,

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'to undertake much of the drudgery.

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'Next, we have a curious object relating to those pit ponies,

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'which has been brought along for valuation by Sandra.'

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I don't know what it... Quite what it is.

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I had it given me for a pit pony,

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from a gentlemen that worked in the pits, looking after ponies -

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and he said it was a pit pony tool,

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so I don't know any more than that.

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What do you like about it, do you like the timber?

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It's the timber.

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Yeah, it's quite a weighty thing when you're actually holding it -

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and if you look carefully,

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this has got quite a close grain, this timber.

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It's not mahogany, it's not oak.

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I think it's a fruit wood.

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I think it could be apple or pear

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and that apple or pear bow has then gone onto a lathe.

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It's been turned - it's been turned and tapered.

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And then we get down to this globular bit at the bottom

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and it's been reinforced with some sections of iron here

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that have gone all rusty.

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But the intriguing thing for me is the stamp here,

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because if you look, it says "Arnold and Sons"

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and that's a big hint

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as to what this thing was used for.

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If we pull the handle, it reveals a length of steel there,

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and it...withdraws into the tube...

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the flat plate on the bottom.

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I date this thing to about 1860

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and it's called a balling gun,

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or dosing tube.

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So the vet would put his medicine in there,

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it could be a fluid medicine, or something more sinister.

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He'd load it up like that

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and the poor old pit pony

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would then be required to open its mouth

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and you'd jam that thing down the pit pony's throat

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and then when it's well and truly down, you go...

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like that and fire a great dose of medicine

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down the back of its throat.

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And that is all in the name of getting the pony better.

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LAUGHTER

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What's it worth?

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'Have a guess and soon, all will be revealed!

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'Now, what's the best thing you can buy around here for under a pound?'

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-Hello there, how are you?

-Very well, thank you.

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Jolly good, nice to see you.

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'It's as many crossings as you want in a day,

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'over this delightful old toll bridge,

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'which is owned by Maggie.'

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Now, this bridge has been here for how long?

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-Oh, 240 years.

-Is it?

-Yeah.

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And how did it come about?

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There were two main houses, where they had farms both sides

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and actually needed to take their animals across to

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the common land, which is over there.

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And to get to build the toll bridge, what would they have to do?

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Go to parliament, ask a question in parliament

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and have it ratified and agreed.

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Pitt the Younger was the Prime Minister at the time.

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He ratified thousands of these with Acts of Parliament.

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All had different little nuances in them.

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-Take so many cows...

-Yes.

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-Take so many pigs...

-Absolutely, yes.

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Yeah, no, brilliant, brilliant.

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And that statute is what gives you the legal right

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-to continue with the toll today.

-Absolutely, yeah.

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When was that ratified then, roughly?

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The final one was 1797.

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-Right.

-So some of the bits of the bridge you're standing on now

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-are 200 years old.

-Are they really?

-Yeah.

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-Now you tell me, now that I'm standing on it.

-MAGGIE LAUGHS

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-Yes, some people do say, "Is it safe?"

-Just tell me,

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why didn't they just have a stone bridge all the way, then?

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Oh, really interesting.

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They did originally build it all in stone, so the two stone arches

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-you see were all continued to stone in the middle...

-Yes.

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..but, as today, look at the speed of that water -

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it's really in spey at the moment.

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-It's vicious, isn't it?

-It is, it's really high at the moment.

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And what happened was, when it was so high, the stone just...

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-The mortar just washed away.

-Oh, did it?

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So they then went back to Parliament and had it re-ratified,

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to say that they could build it in greenheart oak.

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-When it comes to the big old replacement cost...

-Oh, yes.

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..which is going to be the major stanchion somewhat,

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-it's going to be a number, isn't it?

-1993, it was £300,000.

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-Was it really?

-Yeah.

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And how much is your toll?

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-80 pence, per day.

-80p a day?

-Yeah.

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So I can go back and forth as many times as I like?

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Any number of times.

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The Hay Festival must have made quite a difference to your business.

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Oh, it's huge for us.

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The first week, we take 10% of our income on these 10 days.

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Do you?

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'So the festival effect is felt here too

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'and the town of Hay-on-Wye would not be as well connected

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'without this little toll bridge.

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'That little bridge was built

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'well over 100 years after this map was produced

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and it belongs to Ant.'

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Map is of Herefordshire County

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and it's got all the castles in Herefordshire on it,

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as far as we can make out.

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It's got lots of other information on it

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which we're not quite sure about,

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which hopefully Tim will be able to help us sort out

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and work out a bit more about it.

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Now, is Herefordshire your home county?

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-Um, it is now.

-It is now?

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Definitely yes, yes -

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and I have... My grandfather, who bought the map originally,

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-is born in Herefordshire.

-And where was he born?

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He was born in a little village called Huntington, which is up here.

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Oh, right.

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So he was attracted to the map because it related to his county.

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-Yes.

-And that's why he had it framed up and hung it at home.

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-Absolutely.

-And of course, it's very nice that Huntington

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is a very close neighbour to Hay-on-Wye.

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-It is, indeed.

-Which is where we are today.

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The map-maker was a man called John Speed -

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and the way that Speed went about producing these maps

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was completely novel.

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First of all, he came up with

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the idea of producing a map county by county -

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that had not happened before 1612.

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And then he introduced these little vignettes.

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So on this side of the Herefordshire map,

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we've got the City of Hereford as a kind of road map,

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which hadn't happened before Speed came up with this arrangement.

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-Right.

-And then he included local aristocratic families,

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with their coats of arms.

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And then, of course, they're coloured -

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and they're not coloured by a printing process -

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all these colours are put on by hand,

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with a person with a watercolour pot,

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so it's a heck of a lot of work.

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Yes. Crumbs, didn't appreciate that, yes.

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And strangely enough, the value varies, county by county,

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depending on how prosperous the inhabitants are.

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-Oh, right.

-Yes.

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The valuation of these maps is a complete nightmare,

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because Speed, having come up with

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the original printed edition in 1612...

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The plates were then used

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for at least 50 further years -

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into the 1660s -

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and it's very difficult to identify

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the precise printing date in that long period.

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What is pretty well certain is

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that this one would have been produced before 1646.

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Oh, gosh, didn't realise it was that old, gosh.

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And I guess if you wanted to sell it,

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you'd probably get at auction maybe sort of £250-£350,

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something like that.

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It's a genuine old map. Very, very nice.

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Oh, thank you.

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'In the literary festival's tented village,

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'visitors are immersing themselves in books

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'and merrily mingling with authors and celebrities.

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'Meanwhile, at the castle, another local has rolled up

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'with a couple of family heirlooms he'd like to know more about.'

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Now, Aubrey, this table's had a bit of a hard life,

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so let's pick it up, OK,

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and have a quick bird's eye

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at the underside...

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..and this displays characteristics of an 18th century table.

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But once upon a time, somebody's broken that leg off

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and they've taken a tin of baked beans

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and they've flattened the tin

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and then they've screwed the baked bean tin inside that leg,

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to make it nice and firm, all right?

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Then another raucous party,

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somebody knocked that leg off

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and what they decided to do was to put five big screws in that -

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and that's what keeps that leg on.

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Now, these two back legs were once on these rails,

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which were period rails, but you can see the timber there's new,

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that's because that back leg once upon a time broke off

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and they replaced it with a new piece of timber.

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But basically,

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this is an old table,

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OK?

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And it dates - I guess -

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from about 1770-1780...

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and once upon a time, it was an immensely grand thing,

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because the timber that they veneered on top of all that pine

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is mahogany and satinwood.

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Particularly lovely is this

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satinwood central demi-loom,

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then they've inlayed that with something called garrier,

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which is the shape of a classical husked leaf,

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which is what these things are -

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and they've done that in swags.

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But, at some point, somebody decided to have their supper off this...

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-Yeah.

-..and unfortunately...

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it resulted in a bit of a spillage,

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-but it's perfectly easy to get restored.

-Yes.

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OK?

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Is it a games table or a tea table?

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We open it up like that and it's got baize inside, so it's a games table.

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All in all, this is what they call a "restoration job" in the trade.

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This table, in brilliant condition,

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is worth about £15,000

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and I think it would probably cost you

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at least £500-£700

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to get it decently restored and looking top hole,

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which I guess, gives it a residual value now of about £500.

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So, next...

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a rather fine lithograph.

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James Watt, Britain's premier engineer

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and inventor of the 18th century.

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I'm descended by five...

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generations to James Watt.

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-Are you really?

-Yeah.

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-Great-great-great-great-great...

-Five.

-..great, that's five.

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-That's great, isn't it?

-Watt?

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LAUGHTER

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Yes, I mean this is the man who sorted out the steam engine

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by shoving a condenser on it,

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that effectively led to...

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-BOTH:

-The Industrial Revolution.

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I mean, none of this would have happened without your

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great-great-great-great-great- grandfather,

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which is quite something.

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And this image is a famous image.

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A man called Francis Chantrey was a sculptor

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and he famously sculpted James Watt

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in a bust, dating from 1814...

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and he sketched James Watt before he carved the marble

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and this is a print of the sketch.

0:15:570:16:00

It's a very illustrious family -

0:16:000:16:02

it must make your bosom swell with pride.

0:16:020:16:04

AUBREY LAUGHS

0:16:040:16:06

I feel proud for you, so let's not be modest here -

0:16:060:16:10

he was a great man

0:16:100:16:11

and we owe a tremendous amount to his inventiveness, actually.

0:16:110:16:15

It's a print, it's not the three grand original,

0:16:170:16:20

but I guess with the connection to your family, nevertheless,

0:16:200:16:23

-it's got to make the thing worth... I don't know, £100-£200.

-Yes.

0:16:230:16:27

'So how did Hay become a Mecca for bibliophiles?

0:16:320:16:36

'Well, largely thanks to this man -

0:16:360:16:38

'Richard Booth.

0:16:380:16:39

FANFARE

0:16:390:16:40

'In the 1960s, he recognised the potential of second-hand books

0:16:420:16:46

'to rescue his town of Hay-on-Wye

0:16:460:16:49

'from its failing rural economy.

0:16:490:16:51

I don't think any book really is junk,

0:16:510:16:54

this is kind of a religion with me.

0:16:540:16:56

I think I'm just beginning -

0:16:560:16:58

I think I've got about a million books now.

0:16:580:17:00

I think it's possible to get 5-10 times larger

0:17:000:17:03

and then I'd hope to, er...

0:17:030:17:05

bring people in on buses and planes

0:17:050:17:08

and make it a kind of centre for the second-hand book trade.

0:17:080:17:12

'Initially dealing books from his rather roomy car,

0:17:120:17:16

'he established a second-hand book shop

0:17:160:17:18

'to attract people from far and wide.'

0:17:180:17:20

I think I was geographically in a perfect location.

0:17:200:17:26

You see, you're a nice hour or two's run from

0:17:260:17:29

Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Swansea...

0:17:290:17:32

So we had customers who'd come...

0:17:330:17:36

..for a day's outing to Hay.

0:17:380:17:40

The book is the perfect symbol of a nation's culture -

0:17:400:17:45

therefore, it is the perfect partner of the tourist industry.

0:17:450:17:49

'He bought the local cinema, fire-station and even the castle,

0:17:500:17:54

'filling them all with books.

0:17:540:17:56

'He was an inspiration

0:17:560:17:57

'and soon, book shops opened all over the town.

0:17:570:18:00

'Then, in 1977,

0:18:000:18:02

'came an ingenious PR stunt.'

0:18:020:18:04

Tomorrow, Hay-on-Wye announces its intention

0:18:050:18:08

to become an independent state,

0:18:080:18:10

free from the bureaucracies of central government

0:18:100:18:13

and able to concentrate on its own products,

0:18:130:18:16

like Hay sausages and Hay bread.

0:18:160:18:18

People of Hay!

0:18:180:18:19

'Declaring himself King of the Independent Nation of Hay

0:18:190:18:23

'brought lots of media attention.'

0:18:230:18:25

It was a joke and it slowly grew into more than a joke.

0:18:250:18:29

Can I see your passport, please?

0:18:290:18:31

We ultimately decided it should be on April Fool's Day.

0:18:310:18:35

'And the world's first book town was born.

0:18:360:18:39

'One of the giants of Welsh literature

0:18:430:18:45

'is of course, Dylan Thomas

0:18:450:18:47

'and collector Geoff has brought along some of his works to show me.'

0:18:470:18:52

I was in school in Swansea Grammar School, which is where Dylan went

0:18:520:18:56

and I'd heard the name when I was a schoolboy

0:18:560:18:59

and then I went on to read other stories.

0:18:590:19:02

I've got much more interest in his short stories, I think,

0:19:020:19:05

than in his poetry,

0:19:050:19:06

but I'm growing into his poetry.

0:19:060:19:09

Now, Geoff, I quite like this book,

0:19:090:19:13

because it's got this cracking image of Dylan Thomas on the cover.

0:19:130:19:18

And this is a first edition, dating from 1954.

0:19:180:19:23

Dylan, of course, had died in 1953

0:19:230:19:26

and this probably is one of the first

0:19:260:19:30

collective volumes of a mass of his material

0:19:300:19:34

-produced after his death, which is interesting.

-Yes, yes.

0:19:340:19:38

And I suppose this is likely to be worth...

0:19:380:19:42

I don't know, perhaps £150, something like that.

0:19:420:19:46

This one is very important to find in its dust cover,

0:19:460:19:50

cos there are lots of these that aren't with dust covers.

0:19:500:19:53

The Map Of Love, which I think

0:19:530:19:56

was produced as a first edition in 1939...

0:19:560:19:58

So this is a first edition, I suppose that book today is worth

0:19:580:20:02

the top end of £600, £500-£600, that sort of amount.

0:20:020:20:06

But the biggest thrill of all for me

0:20:060:20:09

is this very rare object.

0:20:090:20:13

-Yeah.

-Cos if I'm right and if this thing is genuine,

0:20:130:20:17

what we have is Under Milk Wood

0:20:170:20:20

in the broadcast version, if you like -

0:20:200:20:25

and on the outside,

0:20:250:20:26

it even records the date of the first broadcast,

0:20:260:20:30

in January 1954.

0:20:300:20:33

And that is a thrill to be able to handle, actually.

0:20:330:20:36

And the value of such a rare item?

0:20:360:20:39

Well, you'll have to wait and see.

0:20:390:20:40

'The origins of the Salvation Army date back to 1865.

0:20:450:20:50

'William Booth founded the organisation in London's East End

0:20:500:20:54

'to help the poor and needy,

0:20:540:20:55

'always galvanised and cheered by music.

0:20:550:20:59

'The Hay branch opened in 1886 with its own band

0:20:590:21:03

'and an early member and tambourine player

0:21:030:21:06

'was Anne's great grandmother.'

0:21:060:21:08

She was in the Salvation Army from about the age of 20.

0:21:080:21:11

She lived in Pontypridd

0:21:110:21:13

and eventually, she came up here -

0:21:130:21:15

she was here by 1890.

0:21:150:21:16

-In Hay-on-Wye?

-Yeah.

0:21:160:21:18

This was her instrument, was it?

0:21:180:21:20

-That was hers, yes.

-OK.

0:21:200:21:22

Salvationists didn't call them "tambourines",

0:21:220:21:25

-they were called "timbrels"...

-Right.

0:21:250:21:27

..and it was not thought proper,

0:21:270:21:29

if you were a female in the Salvation Army,

0:21:290:21:32

to perform as part of the band.

0:21:320:21:35

The only instrument that a female Salvationist

0:21:350:21:38

was allowed to perform with was a timbrel,

0:21:380:21:41

one of these tambourines.

0:21:410:21:43

And so philanthropic was the Salvation Army,

0:21:430:21:47

that they had a works in London

0:21:470:21:49

that made these timbrels -

0:21:490:21:51

-that made the tambourines.

-Really?

0:21:510:21:52

And if you were unemployed and a male in London

0:21:520:21:55

and you needed a bed for the night,

0:21:550:21:57

the Salvation Army would take you in,

0:21:570:21:59

but your penance the next day

0:21:590:22:01

was to help in the manufacture of instruments like this.

0:22:010:22:04

And what I think is brilliant is that here we are in Hay-on-Wye,

0:22:040:22:09

your great-grandmother in the Salvation Army

0:22:090:22:12

would have used this...

0:22:120:22:13

-Oh, yes, she did...

-..on the streets, just down the road.

0:22:130:22:16

If I had to bring a number on it, I suppose it might bring, locally,

0:22:160:22:20

perhaps £50, something like that.

0:22:200:22:22

Yeah, but I mean, that's not the value, is it?

0:22:220:22:24

Not at all, but it sure does strike the right note for me.

0:22:240:22:27

Oh, thank you very much. Thank you, thank you.

0:22:270:22:30

'The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012

0:22:360:22:40

'was a spectacular event,

0:22:400:22:41

'breaking the world record for the largest ever parade of boats.

0:22:410:22:46

'Herefordshire was represented by

0:22:460:22:48

'a specially built replica of a traditional Wye river trow,

0:22:480:22:53

'named the "Hereford Bull".

0:22:530:22:55

'Before 1800,

0:22:550:22:57

'Hay-on-Wye relied more or less entirely on the river

0:22:570:23:00

'for transport of coal, stone, wool -

0:23:000:23:02

'well, you name it.

0:23:020:23:04

'Locally built trows were a very particular design,

0:23:040:23:07

'to cope with the river's fluctuating water levels,

0:23:070:23:11

'narrow gorges and low bridges.

0:23:110:23:13

'I went to see the Hereford Bull

0:23:130:23:15

'with the president of the committee that built her - Bob Tabor.

0:23:150:23:19

She's a very sturdy vessel

0:23:190:23:21

and she's a replica of a vessel

0:23:210:23:25

which we believe would have traded about 1800,

0:23:250:23:30

used on the Wye to transport cargo

0:23:300:23:33

from the very early days.

0:23:330:23:35

-And this is it?

-And this...this is it.

0:23:350:23:37

And another exciting part, of course, was the fact that

0:23:370:23:41

local people gave us the timber.

0:23:410:23:44

-Did they?

-So we...

0:23:440:23:46

The trees were chopped down,

0:23:460:23:48

they were made into planks in position

0:23:480:23:50

and they were transported to Gloucester, where she was made.

0:23:500:23:53

Well, she is a very sturdy-looking craft, I have to say.

0:23:530:23:57

You've got a very big tiller on the stern, haven't you?

0:23:570:23:59

-Yes, you have.

-So, a lot of leverage with that.

-Yep.

0:23:590:24:02

And I see the rudder goes out a fair old stride at the stern -

0:24:020:24:07

that's cos you can't have it terribly deep in the water,

0:24:070:24:10

is that right?

0:24:100:24:11

Tim, you're absolutely right, she has a very shallow draft

0:24:110:24:14

and would have to have, obviously, to come up the river

0:24:140:24:17

when the river was low.

0:24:170:24:19

But of course, the point about these vessels -

0:24:190:24:22

although she has this wonderful mast and we have a square sail -

0:24:220:24:26

that sail would probably only have been used when the boat

0:24:260:24:29

-was sailing through gorges, like Symonds Yat gorge...

-Right.

0:24:290:24:33

..where the wind would blow either one way or the other.

0:24:330:24:35

Yeah, you'd be very jammy

0:24:350:24:37

to get a good wind going up and down reliably.

0:24:370:24:39

Now, tell me, when it comes to bringing her up the river,

0:24:390:24:43

what's the motive power?

0:24:430:24:45

In the earlier periods -

0:24:450:24:47

14th, 15th, 16th centuries -

0:24:470:24:49

-it was men.

-Was it?

0:24:490:24:50

They were called "bow hauliers"

0:24:500:24:52

and there were gangs of men and boys

0:24:520:24:55

who would be waiting up the Wye

0:24:550:24:59

to be hired to haul these vessels up.

0:24:590:25:03

-It would have been a long haul.

-It would have been a long haul.

0:25:030:25:06

And latterly, of course, they were helped by horses

0:25:060:25:09

and the towpath became men.

0:25:090:25:11

They would have been shifting all sorts of stone, iron ore,

0:25:110:25:15

coal would have been coming down, agricultural produce...

0:25:150:25:19

Hay was particularly important

0:25:190:25:21

when it came to trading on the Wye, wasn't it?

0:25:210:25:24

It would have been vitally important to them.

0:25:240:25:26

You go back to 1850 and the Severn Estuary is probably

0:25:260:25:29

the busiest waterway in Europe at that time.

0:25:290:25:33

'Lush forests around Hay

0:25:330:25:35

'meant that not only trows were built here,

0:25:350:25:38

'but there's a history of all sorts of other woodcraft.

0:25:380:25:41

'Jill's grandfather used local wood to make his furniture -

0:25:410:25:44

'these pieces are now antiques, made in Hay.'

0:25:440:25:48

I brought a hall table and a frame -

0:25:480:25:51

both made by my grandfather -

0:25:510:25:53

and the frame contains his wedding photograph.

0:25:530:25:56

-He is the hero of our piece, your grandfather, isn't he?

-He is.

0:25:560:26:00

-Do you know the date of this photograph?

-1914, January.

0:26:000:26:04

And your grandfather and grandmother on this happy occasion lived where?

0:26:040:26:09

Well, my grandfather lived where I live now

0:26:090:26:11

and that's where he took his bride.

0:26:110:26:13

How lovely. So you're in the old family home?

0:26:130:26:15

I was born in the old family home, yes - and I still live there.

0:26:150:26:18

Would you describe most of your grandfather's furniture

0:26:180:26:21

-as being chunky?

-They're very solid.

0:26:210:26:23

-Yeah, there you go.

-And he only worked in oak.

0:26:230:26:25

He only worked in oak and he only worked in solid planks of oak,

0:26:250:26:28

which he then carved up.

0:26:280:26:30

We've got two simple planks

0:26:300:26:32

which are jointed by a platform in the middle

0:26:320:26:34

and then we've got this substantial top on it.

0:26:340:26:37

The frame is interesting, too -

0:26:370:26:38

we've got a long continuous trail of ivy

0:26:380:26:42

that's in between some bands of what's called "chip carving" -

0:26:420:26:46

so you take your chisel and you just

0:26:460:26:48

meter out a little nick like that

0:26:480:26:51

and oppose those nicks

0:26:510:26:53

and that's what he's done to create that decorative effect.

0:26:530:26:55

-He was clearly a very talented man.

-Oh, yes.

0:26:550:26:59

So how many pieces of your grandfather's furniture

0:26:590:27:01

have you still got in the house?

0:27:010:27:03

About half a dozen, I suppose.

0:27:030:27:04

-Have you?

-Mm.

0:27:040:27:05

-That's quite a survival, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:27:050:27:08

And would you ever sell any of it?

0:27:080:27:09

-Oh, no - definitely not.

-Oh, no...

-LAUGHTER

0:27:090:27:12

Well, if I had to put a value on these pieces,

0:27:120:27:15

I have to tell you the value's not going to be tremendously high.

0:27:150:27:18

For this hall table, you would get, at auction,

0:27:180:27:20

probably under £100

0:27:200:27:23

and I would guess, maybe £60-£80.

0:27:230:27:25

The photo-frame, strangely enough,

0:27:260:27:28

is not worth a lot less.

0:27:280:27:31

I think you'd get probably £30-£40 for the frame.

0:27:310:27:34

Is that right?

0:27:340:27:35

Anyway, do you want a hand home with it?

0:27:350:27:37

'What about Sandra's pit pony medicine dispenser?'

0:27:380:27:42

And I think, in the right sort of sale,

0:27:420:27:45

you could get the top end of £250

0:27:450:27:48

for this balling gun.

0:27:480:27:51

'To value Diana's traditional costume,

0:27:510:27:53

'we hooked up with Welsh textiles expert Jane Beck for her opinion.'

0:27:530:27:58

'So I think we're probably looking

0:27:580:28:00

'around £450-£500.'

0:28:000:28:03

'And finally, the Dylan Thomas Under Milk Wood script.'

0:28:030:28:07

And if I'm right and if it is genuine,

0:28:070:28:09

this thing is probably worth the top end of £5,000.

0:28:090:28:12

What a great day we've had

0:28:170:28:19

and what an eclectic mix of objects

0:28:190:28:23

here in Hay.

0:28:230:28:25

It certainly puts this place on our antiques map.

0:28:250:28:28

You could say it's a bit of a hurray-day for Hay!

0:28:280:28:33

Cheerio.

0:28:330:28:34

Tim Wonnacott and his silver rig visit the Hay-on-Wye literary festival, where he finds a striking traditional Welsh costume and a curious object relating to pit ponies, among many others. Putting Hay on the Great Antiques Map of Britain, he also sees furniture made in Hay itself over a hundred years ago. He also meets the owner of a private toll bridge which helps to connect Hay to the outside world, and he investigates the story of bibliophile and 'King of Hay' Richard Booth.