Friday 26 April 2019

Churchill’s hat turns up on Antiques Roadshow after being found in dump

Letters written by Churchill’s cook were also among the collection.

Winston Churchill’s hat on Antiques Roadshow (John House/BBC)
Winston Churchill’s hat on Antiques Roadshow (John House/BBC)

By Julia Hunt, Press Association Entertainment Correspondent

Sir Winston’s Churchill’s top hat and cigar were featured on Antiques Roadshow after being discovered in a rubbish tip.

The items, along with a cigar case and letters from a cook to her son giving details of the prime minister’s daily life, appeared on the BBC One programme on Sunday and were valued at £10,000.

They were taken along to the roadshow by a man named David Rose, who discovered them at the dump where he works.

He presented the famous hat, a cigar, a cigar case and more than 200 letters from Churchill’s cook to her son, in which she gave an insight into the wartime leader’s life.

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Churchill’s hat on Antiques Roadshow (John House BBC)

The items were gifts from Churchill for the cook, and included a signed photo of the politician himself.

Mr Rose said: “She used to write to her son every day about the daily goings of Winston Churchill, what he was getting up to, how he was feeling and just interesting stuff about him.”

Antiques Roadshow specialist Mark Smith said the authenticity of the items would be in doubt were it not for the detailed letters.

He said Mr Rose had brought “lots of things that Winston touched, Winston signed and Winston owned” to the programme.

Mr Smith valued the whole collection at £10,000, which Mr Rose described as “crazy”.

Mr Rose declined to give the location of the dump, but said he had three sheds full of items discovered there.

“I’ve worked there for like 15 years and I get to pull out whatever I like, mostly antiques,” he said.

Antiques Roadshow broadcasts on Sunday evenings on BBC One.

The episode, at Eltham Palace in Greenwich, is available on BBC iPlayer.

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