Royal Marines Museum hosts the Antiques Roadshow

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COLLECTORS don’t always know how much their family heirlooms are worth – or that they could be sat on a goldmine.

But there was an opportunity for them to find out when the Antiques Roadshow came to the grounds of The Royal Marines Museum, in Eastney, Portsmouth.

Gordon Brown with his Jolly Roger and expert Graham Law at the Antiques Roadshow at The Royal Marines Museum, Eastney. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (131533-425)

Gordon Brown with his Jolly Roger and expert Graham Law at the Antiques Roadshow at The Royal Marines Museum, Eastney. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (131533-425)

Crowds queued up eagerly to see experts who would tell them more about their possessions and their value.

Gordon Brown, of Gosport, brought along the Jolly Roger flag of HMS Tantalus, which was given to his father John Brown, the boat’s youngest submariner, after she was decommissioned in 1950.

Symbols on the flag tell the history of HMS Tantalus.

The four bars represent the torpedoing of four ships, while the two daggers denote the submarine’s two ‘cloak and dagger’ operations.

The eight stars in the top right corner surrounding crossed cannons represent the eight times the deck gun was fired.

Mr Brown, 67, knew the flag would be worth a lot of money because he had previously been offered £1,000 for it – but was still amazed to hear he would actually get £5,000.

‘I was offered £1,000 for it and I thought to myself, “I am not going to sell it.”

‘It’s part of the family.

‘Now they have told me it’s £5,000.

‘It’s unique. It’s the only one of its kind in the world.’

Malcolm Gillespie, 56, who lives in Portchester, went with his six Indian brass ornaments and beggars bell – which he discovered the poor would ring to get money from passers-by. The collection was left by his grandfather Thomas Gillespie.

‘They’ve just been at home,’ he said.

‘I’ve had the collection for about 45 to 50 years. I was told I would get £30 for the bell and £20 for each of the others.’

Television star Fiona Bruce, who presents the show, was there.

‘It’s been a great day here,’ she said.

‘We’ve had fantastic weather and this is an amazing place – what’s not to like?’

Paul Shipley, who visited with wife Jo and their children Isla, one, and Isabelle, two, said: ‘It’s been really interesting seeing all the things people have brought along.’