Friday, 7 September 2012

Surplus to needs...

Yesterday Son-of-Furtheron and I went to the filming of Antiques Roadshow at the Chatham Dockyard.  I took a watch my Dad was awarded when he started work there in 1940.  I'll have to explain it one day when I have a bit more time.  However I suspected (knew) the watch wasn't intrinsically worth much but with a cutting from the paper, the inscription, my Dad's original apprentice indentures etc. I thought it may have local interest.  As I talked to the expert we were 20 ft from the last RN vessel built in the yard, HMS Ocelot an O boat sub, which my Dad worked on.   But the harsh reality of commercialism showed through. Since the watch is "worthless" (well up to £100) the expert wasn't keen on it featuring on the programme.  The programme their choice but there you go.  The best thing was how British it was.  1 hour in the first queue to be told the second queue to join for another hour or so and then 10 mins with the expert!!!  Thousands of people there so given what a max of 20 items on the show our not making there is to be expected I suppose.  Still he did tell us to repair it so it works didn't look like an expensive job - my son would like that.  Maybe in time it will return to the yard in the museum again as the expert recommended we'll see maybe a family decision on that at some point.


  1. Interesting post Furtheron. I always try and watch Antiques Roadshow, but sometimes i get the idea it's all about big bucks.

    As an aside on the O boats, I can remember seeing HMS Oberon in Valetta harbour in Malta back in the middle 60s. I think those boats looked much deadlier than the nucs that followed. More sharks to the nucs whale.

    1. Dad worked on Oberon as well - at least in one major refit after something happened to her.

      He was chief shipwright on the last three out of Chatham that went to the Canadians and throughout the rest of their days was involved in many refits/repairs.

      There is bizarrely a Russian Diesel Electric sub moored in the Medway near the dockyard sadly rusting slowly away. It'd be great if that was restored and put alongside the Ocelot

  2. Still sounds like you had a fun experience even if you didn't make it on the show. You'll have to upload a picture of the watch so we can see what it looks like.

  3. Oh that show. It's compelling and painful to watch the "value" of some cherished items. Definitely look into getting the watch fixed. We had a cuckoo clock (how fitting, I know) that stopped working. One inexpensive cleaning later, and it's running better than it ever did.

  4. There are different way of valuing things. Considering the story, it has intrinsic value for you, and for the dockyards. But for the commercial world? Not so much.

  5. Antiques Roadshow is a guilty pleasure. Each segment is like a brief history lesson. Thanks, UK, for sending it to our shores! What do we send in return?

  6. yeah...they may know the price of everything but do the know the value of Oscar may have asked!!

  7. I've always wondered what it would be like to go to one of those shows, sad that it's based on value not interest.