Craster WI, April meeting

The Craster WI April meeting was rather different than usual as Sylvia Biott had arranged for Jim Railton to give us a talk and to value antiques we had brought for our version of Flog It.

To begin the meeting, our secretary, Doris Clarke read the minutes of the February and March meetings and the various invitations and activities for April and May.

Our speaker Jim said that he had been in the business for 20 years and was still learning. On occasion he had to value articles for which he did not have the knowledge to be confident of achieving an accurate figure but he had experts on whose experience he could draw.

Coins and medals were particularly difficult to value, as were some types of china, silver and gold. Prices fluctuate depending on fashions at the time.

Antiques no longer have to be over 100 years old. Be careful what you throw away as it may become quite valuable over time, eg Beatles memorabilia and Ercol furniture.

On our table we had brought a wide variety of articles to be valued, from a Mousey Thompson cheeseboard, a carriage clock with a case, a small Steiff bear from the 1930s, various pieces of china – Belleek, Maling, Majolica, Mason, Wedgwood – and some very beautiful and valuable jewellery.

There was also a German concertina-action camera with an unusual Bakelite case, an ebony money box, a chunky 18th century glass bowl, a Second World War cigarette lighter, an album of cigarette cards and First World War silk postcards.

Joyce Shaw gave the vote of thanks and we are hoping to invite Jim back again – possibly for a version of Cash in the Attic.

The winners of the competition were Anne Mallen, Fiona Craster and Nancy Grey. The birthday flowers this month went to Alice Green and Nancy Nicholson.