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HUNDREDS of antique enthusiasts from across Somerset braved the wet weather to see if their old treasures were worth a penny or two as the Antiques Roadshow came to the county.

Crowds filled Minehead station to have their treasures valued by some of Britain’s leading antique experts.

Speaking to the County Gazette Fiona Bruce, presenter of the Antiques Roadshow, said: “I am really happy to be back in Minehead for the roadshow’s 40th anniversary.

“I have been to Minehead before, I came when I was 14 with my parents for a trip to Butlins and I enjoy coming to Somerset as it is a lovely place.

“My favourite part of presenting the roadshow is just seeing visitors come with their antiques and tell their stories.

“You never know who is going to turn up on the day and people bring in some fantastic antiques for our experts to look at and it is really interesting.

“It is lovely to be at the West Somerset Railway for the show.”


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Visitors from across Somerset brought in a variety of interesting items for the show’s experts to value.

Ronald Davell, from Woodcombe, brought a copper washing machine to the event.

He said: “I brought in my copper washing machine today to show off at the roadshow because it is unique and its not something that you see everyday.

“The machine was built in Huddersfield in 1885 and is made from copper which was widely used at the time.

“I don’t know how much it is worth but if one of the experts wants to value it I would be intrigued to know just how much it is worth.

“I have had so many people come and ask what it is and it is great that so many people have come to the station today.

“There is a really nice atmosphere here and its nice to see that the wet weather has not stopped people from coming out.”

David Temple, from Washford, brought in a carved wheelbarrow which was the first used on the Dorset Central Railway.

Mr Temple said: “We brought the wheelbarrow along today because it is a piece of railway history.

“The wheelbarrow and spade date back to 1856 when they were used on the Dorset Central Railway.

“The Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust keeps the wheelbarrow in a museum but today we thought it would be nice to show it to the experts.”

Visitors also had the chance to catch a train from the station and members of the West Somerset Railway Trust were giving people tours of historic trains.

Chris Austin, chairman of the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust, said: “It is terrific to see that so many people have come to the West Somerset Railway to have their antiques valued and to look at the history of the station.

“The railway has such a rich history and the station is the ideal place for the roadshow to come.

“It has also been nice to see people so interested in the history of the West Somerset Railway and lots of visitors have come to look at our sleeper train, which dates back 1897.

“This has been a huge event to set up and the team from Antiques Roadshow have made this into such a great event.

“It is lovely to be a part of it and to see the station so full up.”

Robin White, a volunteer at the West Somerset Railway, said: “I have been a volunteer at the West Somerset Railway since the age of 16 and I’m 53 now so I have had the opportunity to watch it grow and grow.

“It is lovely to see so many visitors coming to the station and show a great interest in its history.

“I have always liked the show and everyone from the Antiques Roadshow has been so nice and professional.”