Nazi toys amongst items valued as BBC One's Antiques Roadshow comes to Cromer
Copyright: Archant 2018
Twenty-four hours before the weather had been dismal - but Cromer rose to the occasion with beautiful sunshine as BBC One's Antiques Roadshow rolled into town.
Thousands of people packed the pier and the promenade with experts sitting down with locals to evaluate their family heirlooms.
It was the first time in the show’s 40-year history that it had been broadcast from a pier.
Presenter Fiona Bruce arrived in north Norfolk the night before and was met with a cold day more typical of winter than late spring.
She said: “It was freezing. I was wearing five different layers of clothing, but today there’s a 15C change in the weather, This is the first time I’ve been to Cromer. I said I was going to have a crab sandwich and I have - at the Rocket Cafe.”
She was holding a sampler made by local legend, Henry Blogg’s mother, which she was about to talk to camera about.
“She did that in 1869. Children would start doing that when they were six years old,” she said.
She mentioned one particular highlight of the day, a man who brought in some Nazi toys.
“I have never seen that in my 11 years on the show,” she added.
The man with the toys was John Needham, from Cromer.
He said: “I was in the Military Police in Berlin from 1968 to ‘72. The British and American sectors were quite close. The American engineers were going to blow up a building and some bits from a house fell into the British sector.
“An American came out and threw a box on the pavement. It was full of German toys. He was going to throw them out. He said ‘Do you want them?’.
“You cannot sell Nazi items by law in Germany. There’s Hitler’s Mercedes Benz from 1935 with a figure of Hitler in the back. It’s a very rare survivor because the Germans broke all Nazis items up after the war.
“The car has Nuremberg written on it, which was where they held their rallies, and has a Berlin registration number, 2A.
“It was made in 1935 and is number seven. I had it valued in 1974 and it was worth £350, so I think it will be in excess of £1000 now. But I would not sell it anyway.”
Hilary Cox, North Norfolk District Council’s portfolio holder for the coast, said: “The amount of people and the atmosphere are tremendous. Cromer has risen to the occasion with the weather.”
How much is my saxophone worth?
April Vogel, who lives near Happisburgh, brought a 1920s saxophone called a Conn.
She said: “It’s gold-plated. I rescued it from a skip. It was being thrown out. It was with a load of other instruments, also being thrown out.”
Ms Vogel believes that the saxophone was originally made and played in America.
She continued: “More recently, I took it to a car boot sale in Stalham. I was looking for about £400 for it, and people kept walking away because they canted something cheaper. But the very last town people told me that it could be worth about £1,500 and that I should hold onto it.
“I probably wouldn’t sell it even if it was worth a lot, it’ll be worth more over a longer period of time anyway and it’d be nice to pass on.”
Glassware of all shapes and sizes turned out for show
Trinkets of all shapes and sizes were pulled out of the loft in anticipation of the antiques roadshow.
One such item was Jeff Daley‘s collection of oriental vases, which he had inherited from his grandmother.
He said: “I have a pair of vases and then a smaller one with a cap on it. They’re quite attractive, so I’d like to find out more. I’ve got no idea how much they’re worth, it could be £40 or £200.”
He added: “I’ve also got a little bowl which is really quite a sweet piece, I think even if it was worth a lot I wouldn’t sell it.”
Another decorative item was Robin Pritchard’s Swedish vase. Mr Pritchard said: “I bought it in a church auction for about 50p, and didn’t look at it closely for many years. When I did I realised it was a limited edition from the 60s.”