Heirlooms in the sun as ‘Antiques Roadshow’ wows Newstead Abbey

BRUCIE BONUS -- Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce takes a look at a painting with Gary Cooke and Pedella Monk -- DISPIC NMAC12-1527-13
BRUCIE BONUS -- Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce takes a look at a painting with Gary Cooke and Pedella Monk -- DISPIC NMAC12-1527-13

FAMILY heirlooms and much-loved treasures were dusted off for closer inspection as the long-running TV show, ‘Antiques Roadshow’, descended on historic Newstead Abbey.

Visitors arrived in their droves, laden with favourite toys, ornaments, paintings and other eyecatching objects.

The team of experts, under the watchful eye of the BBC cameras, were on hand to reveal more about the items and give estimation as to their value with the crowds eagerly waiting to find out if someone had been sitting on something worth a fortune.

The filming took place in the shadow of the Dispatch district’s premier tourist attraction and the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron as queues, packed with patient visitors, wound their way through the picturesque and sun-bathed grounds.

Others simply took advantage of the glorious weather and enjoyed a picnic by the lake.

For presenter Fiona Bruce it was the first time she had visited the abbey, parts of which date back to the 13th century.

She said: “It’s stunning. It’s beautiful — the gardens, the lakes, the ponds, the Japanese gardens.

“The house itself has a fascinating history with Lord Byron and the subsequent owners.”

One of those waiting to have their treasures looked at was former Ashfield District Council chairman and magistrate Mick Parker, who had a rare pot used for pins, needles and thimbles in the shape of Winston Churchill’s head.

Mr Parker’s father was in the pottery trade and regularly used to travel to Stoke-on-Trent. The piece depicts a slightly younger Churchill and dates back to before the Second World War.

Said Mr Parker: “He used to go with his pony and trap and get pansions (used for baking bread).

“There were only about seven of these (Winston Churchill pots) made.”

Pam Forman, from Ravenshead, was at the event with her family and her father, Brian Hutchinson, had brought along his Hornby train set, which he played with when he was seven years old.

Said Pam: “I can remember the train set coming out and being set up. I have got two older brothers, so I think they had more to do with it than me.”

Among the more unusual items taken along were firemen’s helmets dating back to 1810, as well as an impressive vintage fire engine from 1953.

The fire engine had come from Mansfield Fire Museum and had been lovingly restored by Terry Spalding, who is a volunteer and administrator at the museum.

He said: “It was stationed at Retford for 12 years and then it was a spare appliance and travelled to different stations for six years. Then it was sold to a transport company.

“I have owned it since 1989 and it took eight-and-half years to restore.”

Also among the crowds at the Roadshow were Paul and Mary Duckworth, who now live in Sydney, Australia after emigrating in 1986.

THE new series of ‘Antiques Roadshow’, which will mark the programme’s 35th anniversary, begins on BBC1 in September. No date has been announced for when the Newstead Abbey show will be aired.