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Program 103

Eastnor Castle


Host Michael Aspel and the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK experts encounter some bizarre objects among the turrets and terraces of Eastnor Castle. The first is a wooden bicycle made during the World War II steel shortage, an incredibly lucky pack of postcards from World War I, carried in their owner's father's breast pocket during the war, and the first "All Blacks" rugby shirt.

World War II wooden bicycle appraised by Nicholas Mitchell

WWII bike The first time the owner saw the wooden bike was at a cycle show in 1952 and he fell in love with it, but it was not for sale. Then, two years later he saw one for sale for £25 outside an Italian cafe and, although he was saving to get married, he bought it. These bicycles were built during the war by two brothers, using wood because of the steel shortage. One of the brothers used his skills as a ski manufacturer on this new type of bike. As well as saving on steel, these bicycles were lighter and faster than the older models. The owner has never seen another complete bicycle, and Nicholas Mitchell notes that it is very rare and would be worth £2,000 to £3,000 ($3,000 to $4,500).


World War I postcards examined by Michael Aspel

WWI postcards Michael Aspel is astounded to find a pack of postcards, which probably saved the life of a First World War soldier and thinks it's a story that might have come straight from a film script. The army-issue, khaki-cloth packet containing postcards belonged to the lady's father and was carried as part of a backpack or breastpack. The postcards are French and one is marked "souvenir de la guerre." On the outside of the packet is a bullet hole and lodged inside the pack of postcards is the bullet itself. The owner says that her father was 17 years old when he signed up and, like a lot of young men at the time, he was underage. Michael notes that if her father hadn't been wearing this pack of cards, she herself might very well not be here today.


"All Blacks" team rugby shirt appraised by Tim Wonnacott

Rugby jersey Tim Wonnacott comes across a "very exciting object"—a jersey belonging to Duncan McGregor, who was a member of the first official New Zealand rugby tour to England in 1905. The team became known as the All Blacks because upon arrival, when the press asked them what colors they would be playing in they answered "all black." McGregor's cap and ball are also among the memorabilia. The shirt has McGregor's signature on the inside of the leather neck, along with those of other players, which makes it "the earliest piece of antipodean rugby memorabilia that anyone could ever wish to find". Tim thinks it could make between £5,000 and £8,000 ($7,500 and $12,000) at auction.


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