People searched their attics and dusted off their family heirlooms as a TV antiques roadshow rolled into town today. The queues started to form at 7am as hundreds of people took their collectibles along to a Flog It! valuation day at De Montfort Hall. Paintings, silverware, furniture, coins and even a wooden spear from the South Seas were brought along for a group of experts from the popular BBC One show to evaluate. A crew of 40 people, including eight cameras and the presenter Paul Martin, were at the hall all day to film enough material to produce five 50-minute episodes of Flog It! Hospice shop worker Sophie Chell took along a pair of gold cufflinks and a woman's gold and diamond watch which were donated to raise money for the organisation. Ms Chell, who runs three shops for the Dove Cottage Day Hospice in Stathern, near Melton, said she was delighted by the valuations. She said: "I found the cufflinks, which were from 1849 and made with American dollar coins, in a box of cufflinks handed in at a shop. "I thought they looked special and the experts said they would go for something like £150 at the auction. "The ladies watch was given to me by a volunteer at one of our tea rooms. She was clearing out and said we could have it to try to raise money for the hospice. "I thought today would be a perfect time to bring it along and the expert said it was from the fifties or sixties and valued it at about £300. "The items will be going for auction next month and if we get nearly £500 for the pair that will be marvellous news all round." Hilary Maddy and her sister Linda Foster and brother-in-law Jeff Foster turned up at the free valuation roadshow with a wooden spear and wooden club. Hilary, 63, of Thurmaston, said: "They are family heirlooms and had always hung up on the wall at our parents' house. "We thought we would pop along to see what they might be worth. We thought they were from the South Seas but that's all we knew." The experts told the sisters, who are fans of the TV show, that the club was a Maori item from the 1920s and the spear was Polynesian. Jeff, of Thurmaston, said: "They reckoned the pair would fetch between £300 and £500 at auction. "There is talk of them going online too which might draw a better price as there might be more interest from Australia and new Zealand." Julie Lillystone, of Leicester Forest East, was happy to learn how much her ornate french clock and matching candelabra were worth. Ms Lillystone, 58, said: "I live in a normal three-bed semi detached house and these are just too much for the house. "They told me the clock was from the 1870s and the set together would be worth between £120 and £180 at auction. "I am very happy with that. Flog It! presenter Paul Martin said the response from the public of Leicestershire had been remarkable. He said: "People have turned up in their droves today. It's wonderful. "We have such a fascinating and eclectic mix of antiques and collectibles coming in that it has made our job so much easier." Graham Hicken, front of house supervisor at De Montfort hall said they were proud to have been chosen to host the valuation day. He said: "It is a privilege for us to host this show. "Everyone has been very patient waiting to be seen and we have all had a good day."
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