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Hall's day of heirlooms and experts

PUBLISHED: 10:48 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:30 01 August 2010

THOUSANDS of budding collectors took their family heirlooms and ancient curiosities to the Antiques Roadshow at Somerleyton Hall yesterday.

The popular BBC programme was being filmed at the hall, near Lowestoft, and crowds filled the estate's gardens waiting patiently for their items to be valued.

THOUSANDS of budding collectors took their family heirlooms and ancient curiosities to the Antiques Roadshow at Somerleyton Hall yesterday.

The popular BBC programme was being filmed at the hall, near Lowestoft, and crowds filled the estate's gardens waiting patiently for their items to be valued.

The show, now in its 32nd series, attracted about 2,000 visitors to Somerleyton, with the first person waiting outside at 5am and long queues stretching across the garden as people waited in the sunshine for the show's experts to value their treasured possessions.

Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce, who is now working on her second series of the programme, said: “Obviously we are always hoping to see some big value items, but sometimes some of our best shows are the ones with the really great stories. It is often peoples' reactions which make the show so special.”

She added: “This is an absolutely beautiful spot to hold the Roadshow. The hall is an extraordinary Victorian confection of a building and looks like it should be spun out of icing sugar; it is the perfect backdrop.”

Estate owner the Hon Hugh Crossley and his wife Lara mingled with guests in the formal garden while filming was taking place.

Mr Crossley, the son of Lord and Lady Somerleyton, said: “I am so pleased to see this many people here. This is a great event for Waveney and I'm pleased that the show has come to this part of East Anglia.

“It is so nice to have visitors appreciating the hall and gardens. Houses like this were intended for big functions and having so many people here makes the hall look like it should; I'm so pleased.”

The Roadshow has been filming around the UK during the summer, and the new series will be broadcast over the autumn and winter of 2009/2010 starting on September 20.

The 100-strong BBC crew has been on the estate since Monday setting up the marquees, cameras and equipment for the production.

Among those waiting for their goodies to be valued were Godfrey and Linda Blaxell, from Gorleston, who had taken along an old hand-painted paper map of Southwold.

Mr Blaxell said: “We don't know anything about it, so we thought we'd bring it along. It belongs to our son; he bought it in a job lot at an auction for about £5 so we're fascinated to hear whether it's worth anything.”

To watch video from the Antiques Roadshow at Somerleyton Hall, visit www.edp24.co.uk.

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