A presentation plaque, dating back to the 1930s, has been found in an old storage room inside an Alnwick fishing museum.
The artefact was presented to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain by Hardys Fishing Bros in September 1938 following his famous ‘Peace in our time’ speech.
The plaque reads ‘as a mark of esteem and appreciation for his determined and successful efforts in averting a world war, September, 1938’.
It was only a year later when Chamberlain declared war on Germany after Adolf Hitler continued his aggression by invading Poland.
It has been known for many years that the rod and reel were given to the Prime Minister and still remains in the Chamberlain family but this presentation plaque has been hiding away for many years.
Leading antique fishing-tackle expert Victor Bonetto, who lives in Cardiff, found the document when conducting a two-week-long project to catalogue and value the thousands of items from small lead weights to large shark reels.
Hardy’s parent company, Pure Fishing, is keen that Alnwick remains Hardy’s home for the future. Some production has already been brought back from oversees and the plan is to return more to the Northumberland base.
Victor said: “Hardy Brothers fishing tackle, their innovative products and attention to detail is second to none.
“The successive family members who ran the business were all fishermen and champion casters, they knew what fishermen wanted and that has kept them at the top for more than 100 years.”
Victor is making a return visit in a few weeks and if you have any interesting items Victor is willing to assist.
He is a regular visitor to Alnwick and can be contacted on 07977 599218 or email firstname.lastname@example.org