tv Eyewitness News at 4 CBS December 22, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
i only had a message to bring. he wants to buy the post office, doesn't he? miss lane will never sell to him. why would he ask you to talk to her? blakestone knows i have friends here. laura, it's just... if some good can come from me playing the go-between... why won't you tell me what was said between you? it's not for me to say. you should ask miss lane. fisher, please. that is not why i'm here. how long will you be in inglestone for? the job will take me a week or so. i love my life here, family on my doorstep.
i treasure that. i know you do. i could never leave candleford. i can't even imagine leaving the post office. i know that, laura. the seasons are all the change that i need. laura, i'll never be what you might call a success. i'll never be rich, but i can look out across a field and see the beauty in it... and how it makes me feel alive like i can't describe... and i know it's the same for you. i lived the gypsy life because i didn't care to see the same faces day after day... but your face, laura...
fisher... please. i don't want to hear your declarations. it isn't wooing that i'm here for. but i don't know how to stop. i want you to hear what i'm trying to tell you, what i mean by staying here. laura... if i asked you to marry me... i'm not saying marry me now, but in time. i'm looking for a way to show you-- fisher, you can't ask me that. not at all? or just not yet? not yet. i don't know. don't say any more. "not yet" leaves me with hope.
margaret: is she sleeping? it would seem so. despite my earnest best efforts to unearth... ( whispers ) her master, there has been no sign of anyone to claim her. if they cared at all, they would be out searching for her. it does make one wonder. i think perhaps she is ready to venture out tomorrow, though i am still quite concerned about the chilly weather. do you suppose? margaret, it occurs to me it might be cruel to go on calling her "her" or "it" or "she."
do you know, i was thinking just the same thing. yes, yes, of course, any name we might choose to give to her would only be temporary, as at any moment we might discover... ( whispers ) her previous master. it occurred to me as i gazed upon her this morning that my mother's name suited her-- amelia. ah. well, as i went about my delivery yesterday, i became increasingly fond of the idea of calling her after my grandmother-- cordelia. oh. ah. i have been in touch with head office in oxford this morning. it seems that what mr. blakestone says is true enough. he has every right to deliver directly from the area main sorting post office.
my hand is forced. i am left with no option but to consider his offer. will you wait for me? i wish to come to inglestone with you to speak with mr. blakestone, in person, to receive from him, in person, particular assurances. of course. he may wish to hide from me, but i have no wish to hide from him. for a man who has a clock to make in inglestone, you spend a lot of time in candleford. you're the city journalist. i'd have thought you might figure that one out yourself. well, if you want laura to take you seriously, you must want to convince her you'll stay. if you don't mind, right now i'd rather just keep my own company.
i have a job to do, and i ain't feeling too good about it. what's going on? what have you done? daniel, some days, even the good things you do are bad. sydney, i will be home for tea. ma, will i one day be post master of the candleford post office? sydney, you are so bright. you can go to university to study for law or medicine or-- but i know what i want. i know it like you did. i find myself in an impossible predicament. if i do not sell, mr. blakestone will cut off the source of our income. if i do sell, i can secure your positions here, but i will be betraying sydney's hopes.
ma'am, you cannot even consider it. i must be clear to you. it is your positions i would be putting at risk, as well as my own, if i turn him down. i can only take mr. blakestone on with your full support. i could not live with my own conscience if i were to carry out one parcel in that man's name, ma'am. ma'am, i'm not sure we could even trust him to keep his word to employ us. mum, if you ain't to be here, then there ain't no here here, and i ain't cooking and cleaning for no one but you... and sydney.... and thomas. thank you, minnie. and laura... and mrs. brown sometimes. then we are united? good. mr. bloom, i will not be accompanying you to inglestone.
i wish you to carry back a simple message to mr. blakestone-- i will not sell to him. i will not be bullied into submission by his bribery. i will fight him. i do not know how, but everything i hold dear is right here, and i shall defend it with every ounce of cunning i can muster. you have my best wishes, ma'am. mr. blakestone's man. i'm my own man. we must expect blakestone to launch a full-scale attack. i have been investigating the man. he is a truly political animal. he has forged favor and built up his position of strength patiently, making friends at head office in oxford.
they are convinced by him because he talks only of efficiency and providing a good, rational service. he appears unassailable and will do all he can to undermine us. we cannot outmaneuver him. he holds all of the cards. so we must out-wit him. ( door opens ) miss lane, surely there is a missive from my sister today? i'm sorry, miss pratt, still nothing for you. then i am correct in thinking that my sister has forgotten me... but, of course, i cannot expect no sympathy here, however grave my predicament. ( typing ) ( door closes ) daniel, i wanted to thank you for the consideration you've shown towards the post office. this mr. blakestone-- the power he has and how he intends to use it-- i can't bear the injustice of it. i feel compelled to do something.
when we spoke, laura... i was driven by hurt and anger. i was, too, daniel. what if it's true? what if this wasn't meant to be? is that what you feel? ( sighs ) if fisher had not come here, we might not be asking any of this, but he did, and you reacted to that. i don't know if it was jealousy and fury at losing my trust in you... or a painful way of reaching the truth. isn't love constant? i have been shaken, so have you. what does that tell us? perhaps you're right, daniel.
( sighs ) i do not know. why are you so determined to prove to alfie that he can't go courting? i ain't, i ain't. twister turrell, i know you better than you know yourself. i see it when the wintertime gets into your thinking and you can't abide being old. you're jealous of alfie. jealous? not i. never. what's there to be jealous of the young for?
don't we have everything they have? perhaps a little less enthusiasm, mind. don't you see how i look at you sometimes? ain't cozy... here... together? while we still got enough breath in us. ( both laugh ) alfie, you listen up to a man who knows. never mind your difficulties, a young man should set himself to courting. what's made the tune on your lips change?
ma, you must gather lark rise folks together. we must speak to everyone. morning, ma'am. miss lane. if i appear tired today, it is because my wife and i have been kept awake half the night. thomas, margaret... i have received a message. your notice was noticed. it seems that the owner of amelia... cordelia... her master has identified himself and wishes his dog to be returned. thank you, ma'am. ( sighs ) stratton audley. i will be going out that way today. then, of course, you must...
mwa. ( whining ) good girl. ( whining ) ( telegram machine rings ) oh, minnie! minnie! oh, we must cook! we must prepare the finest tea our table has ever seen. it isn't mr. blackrod, is it, mum? it is someone far more important than mr. blakestone. he is on his way already. he is coming all the way from london... by train! i ain't never cooked for london before. daniel: miss lane and the candleford post office have served you for many years. laura: now she needs your support, to stand beside her. to protest against this attack on her... and to save the post office which we all hold so dear. we shall! of course we shall! but how shall we? we wish to create a show of opposition... make it known that people do not want to mr. blakestone to push miss lane out.
if you cause a stir, i will print an article about the protest. news will travel. it could get as far as london. we have a song for the purpose-- a rousing song with justice in it and a bit of ire and a bit of fire. isn't that so, alfie? ♪ when the roll is called up yonder ♪ ♪ when the roll is called up yonder ♪ splendid! splendid! who will come with me now to candleford? ( all cheer ) you're a fine speaker, laura. i have a fine teacher. thank you. i meant my pa. ( both laugh ) my ma used to always tease my pa, when he was at his most passionate, said he looked so handsome on his expounding plank. are you telling me that i'm handsome, or that i am prone to expounding? i'm saying i'm glad to know a man with such a passion for life, for people--
someone who will stand up and fight for all that matters to the folks around here. well, i'm glad you're glad. ( door opens ) ( sighs ) he did not want her coat. i hope she settled. i do pray he is a kindly master. i am not so sure. he showed no affection. please, i would rather not know. ( sighs ) i took him to be a rather callous man. thomas, please. our conversation took an unexpected direction. the man could see how fond i'd become of cordelia-amelia. he called her trixie-- a vulgar name for such a beauty.
please, i find it unbearable. he suggested that, if we were to pay him four pounds, he might be willing to let her go. four pounds? but how could he land upon the exact amount we have put by? oh, well. well, it is an exorbitant amount. it would be unreasonable to pay. to spend all of our savings on a dog, it would take some considerable thought and prayer to justify, to even contemplate. we couldn't possibly act rashly and submit to the man's demands. well, we are agreed. we will be sensible about this and not be overcome by sentimentality.
heavens. quite a gathering, and it isn't even market day. we're here to see you, miss lane, if we may. it isn't our business perhaps... that's our post office as much as it is our streets and our clouds and our winter. what we mean to say is, dorcas, we wish to show our support. queenie: we intend to march! alf: on inglestone! we have a song for it! ♪ when the roll ♪ when the roll is called up yonder ♪ ♪ when the roll ♪ when the roll is called up yonder ♪ every man and woman and child and goose and trumpet that can walk... candleford folk as well as lark rise, to make it known how we feel about our post office.
you are part of us, miss lane, and whatever harm comes to you, comes to us as well. how many times have you shown us such loyalty and devotion? then i am grateful indeed. we will be ready to set off for inglestone in an hour or so, miss lane. we propose to invite as many candleford folk as we can to join us, ma'am. oh, an hour. i see. very good. let's hope the train arrives at bicester in time. we are expecting a visitor who might give you a glorious headline. ( chuckles ) ( all chatting ) minnie...
( sighs ) minnie... while i was in candleford, i just wanted to say-- i know, alfie. i have my sisters to look after. i know. i live in lark rise, you live in candleford. i know, i know. i know we can't. minnie, i ain't saying we can't. i'm saying we can. if you-- what, kissing? yes, kissing... and sunday walks and tea at our cottage, if you like peas pudding. nine days old is my favorite. ( cheering and applause ) ( laughs )
ain't romance what we're supposed to feel? it is... to begin with. i feel exhilarated when i am with you, fisher-- giddy, so that i am lost in it... but i come down again. i don't know what will happen with daniel, but i know what i want. i know what this is. you think i'm blakestone's man. i was only trying to help, laura, do the right thing-- for you. and i know daniel's been asking questions around inglestone about me, and it's true-- blakestone did offer me a position to settle, but i turned him down. whatever daniel's been saying--
( indistinct chatter ) now i know what it was you were trying to tell me, ma-- what you fall in love with as a girl, isn't always what you want as a woman. you can still have sweetness and giddy joys, just so long as that's not all there is. ♪ oh, please excuse me. could we wait just a little while longer?
what is it, miss lane? when i realized i could not rely on any support from head office in oxford, i decided i must appeal to a higher power, and then it struck me-- the declaration. i signed it when i was a girl. "i do solemnly promise and declare "i will not open or delay or cause "or suffer to be opened or delayed any letter or anything sent by post." even the most humble member of her majesty's postal service must sign it. so mr. blakestone will have signed it, and he is causing the mail to be delayed. because it will take longer to come out from inglestone than it will from candleford. then he is in breach of post office regulations. i'm sure he could argue a case against me, but anyway... i put this in a telegram to the southern district post master general. lordy, that's as high as high powers get.
in the post office. i had already invited the southern district post master general. he has rather a soft spot for me, but when you told me of your protest, i thought-- wouldn't it be splendid if he were met here by your outpouring of song and feeling. we shall outpour, miss lane. but where is he? ♪ all: not yet! yes, now! look! ( horse whinnies ) ♪ when the trumpet of the lord shall sound ♪ ♪ and time shall be no more ♪ ♪ and the morning breaks eternal bright and fair ♪ ♪ when the saved of earth ♪ shall gather over on the other shore ♪ ♪ and the roll is called up yonder ♪ ♪ i'll be there ♪ when the roll is called up yonder ♪ ♪ when the roll is called up yonder ♪ ♪ when the roll is called up yonder ♪
♪ when the roll is called up yonder ♪ ♪ i'll be there ( all chatting ) ( adult laura ) miss lane was always a stickler for post office regulations... especially when it suited her. life in candleford was once more safely restored to the rhythms of ordinary life. our own particular brand of ordinary life. i love you, minnie. so do i. i mean-- i know what you mean. sometimes life offers us paths to take,
the choices we must make. wonderful news! my sister is unhappy! oh, i'm sorry to hear. not at all, no. she misses candleford terribly. terribly, miss lane! terribly is wonderful! i suspect the slightest nudge, she will come home! i often look back at the time when two very different paths were opened to me... but have any of us a free choice... or are we driven by destiny... along a path already marked out? who can tell? ♪
of the yorkshire coast for a special reason. each week, we hear our experts wax lyrical about beautiful objects brought along to the show. so, today, alongside the normal roadshow, we're asking our experts to choose which era they believe produced the finest, most beautifully crafted objects. when was the ultimate "age of elegance"? so, where could we stage such a show? how about a highly fashionable resort of the edwardian era? the bridlington spa and gardens was a clever idea, recognizing that rain was as likely as sunshine during a typical british summer. it combined exterior and interior space for 5,000 people right on the edge of the beach. from the very start, the riff raff were strictly excluded. people deemed as "objectionable" were banned from admission, so all came to the spa
in the best and most fashionable outfits. tragically, two fires ravaged the original buildings in the early 20th century, and in the 1930s, a new center was erected on the site-- the spa royal hall, and the resort saw something of a revival in the art deco era. it was a great venue in the days of the tea dance. one band leader described it as "certainly the finest dance and concert hall on the coast." it's taken some knocks since then, so, for the last two years, it's been closed for a complete face-lift. and here she is today looking a million dollars, and what a perfect backdrop for this special edition of the roadshow, celebrating the very best of elegant design. so, let's see what beautiful lines are catching our experts' eyes as they start uncovering the treasures brought along by our visitors.
this is a beautiful royal worcester figure. she's known as "the bather surprised", but i was puzzled at the title. you see, she doesn't look surprised at all. i think she's been expecting it to happen all along. but she's a gorgeous girl, modeled by sir thomas brock, who was a great victorian modeler. and he actually designed the great central queen victoria monument, yes. outside buckingham palace. so, he was an important chap, and he made this model for royal worcester. the colors are very 1920s. right. earlier on, there was stained ivory. sort of darker in color, but she was a very boisterous, modern girl at the time, and, uh, she's done in three different sizes. a large one. this is the medium size. crikey. and a little baby. what's that? i think she's gorgeous. how did you come by it? um, it belonged to my grandma, and, uh, i inherited it when she passed away. my grandparents were travelers with a fairground,
and, um, i always remembered that she said that-- that it traveled in their wagon with them, and that they used to have to lay it on the bed when they moved about from fairground to fairground, and wrapped it in the bedding just to keep it safe. she used to take it around for fairs with her? yes, with her, because she loved it so, so much. but, i mean, as a child, i used to see it in her bedroom, and i admired it and always hoped that it would be mine one day, which it was, yes. fairground people love porcelain. they love especially royal worceste yes. um, you know, did they used to have any fruit plates? yes, i've got two fruit plates on my wall at home. they love the fruit plates. i know, they're gorgeous, they are. they used to come to the worcester factory when i was there and plead with me to let them have pieces from the museum. "well, i'll buy that, governor!" or something like that. "i'll give you any money you like" but, of course, i couldn't sell them. she always had some lovely-- some lovely pieces. my grandma, she seemed to have a nice taste of-- a taste for nice things. it's wonderful. wonderful thing that this has traveled around the country with the fair. i know. that's right. and especially here at bridlington, of course,
with all the marvelous fairground things here. oh, it is, yes. a fascinating life they must have lived. it is absolutely lovely. go to all these places. i'm very proud of my family history to do with the fairground. i'm sure. quite right to be, too. well, she's a beautiful girl. there's one little bit of damage. i see the thumb has come off the-- that's been there as long as i've known it. right from a child. don't worry too much about that. all right. it is not too noticeable, but she's a gorgeous girl. suppose, in this condition, um-- we'll expect for this size figure to be something like about £1,250. right. so, she's jolly, jolly nice. yes, she is. so, look after her. oh, i do, i do. she's beautiful. she is lovely. do you know, this is the most remarkable collection, this double-album here of cricketers, footballers-- and they're all little caricatures, and they're all signed. where did they come from? my father started collecting and did all the drawings when he was about 20.
and he sent off for the signatures? yes. he would send a letter, and then hopefully get a reply with an autograph. well, i think it's quite amazing. look here, we've got-- uh, jack buchanan and fred astaire. but they're both signed photographs, aren't they? oh, yes. which is rather nice. i don't know how he managed to get hold of those. if we go further on into the albums, i mean, we get things like, um, von richthofen. now, how did he get von richthofen, for heaven's sake? and here is a picture of them all-- the german flying aces, a couple of german flying aces, and a british one, and they're all here, and they're all signed. yes. i can't imagine richthofen actually sort of doing that sort of thing, but obviously he did. so, was he a professional cartoonist? no, no, his father was a farmer, and he went to the local grammar school as a boarder when he was about 10. ah, now look who we got here. amy mollison-- amy johnson. yes. and of course... of course. she's a bridlingtonian, isn't she?
hull and then-- yes, she's from hull, yes. and she went-- and she went-- first person to fly to australia. that's right. first woman to fly to australia, first person to fly to australia single-handed. and here is a picture of her craft, um... desert cloud. and we go on even further, and i mean, just finally, here-- this one caught my eye, which is of... "yours sincerely, john tenniel." he was the man who did-- the illustrator. the "alice" man. yes, the "alice" man. yes, of course. he did all those. i didn't know. and there is a nice little photograph of him, so, he must have got him fairly early, because, i mean, i don't think he-- he-- he was basically a 19th century figure, wasn't he? well, he probably had some given by some other people. do you reckon? i don't remember. did swapsies or something like that? possibly. so, it's a ridiculous thing to say, but did your father-- did your father-in-law-- actually love this collection? oh, yes. oh. he adored it. yeah. we owned that through the war, and we all survived,
but i think, you know, my father would grab the autograph books before his wife and children. before the baby. you've got hundreds and hundreds of these. 200, 250. i mean, just by looking through, and, you know, having enthusiasm for some, and possibly not so much for others, but they're all remarkable, and he's remarkable to get a collection together like this-- so comprehensive, and such fun to look at. i would put a price of about £1,500 to 2,000. really? oh, my. yes. there you are, that's another exploded bom-- unexploded bomb toake you away. ( laughs ) thanks for bringing them in. thank you very much. yes. we need four candles for this. ( laughs ) now, seriously, though... ancient order of foresters. is that linked with your family in any way? no, it isn't. uh... my father actually bought it in a sale room, uh, which-- it was all in a box, in pieces--
for 10 shillings, you know, about the 1950s. right. uh, it came-- he had a hotel at the time, and thought it would look rather nice for buffets, wedding receptions, and it stayed in the family, and we sold out in 1990 and brought it with us. and it's stayed with us, and my wife was very keen to find out a little bit of the history, really. right. if you want an archetypal piece of mid-19th century work, this is it. and you've got all this wonderful naturalism, yeah. i like-- it's fascinating. the foresters, what have they chosen? an oak tree. there's one for the tree growing up and then the branches coming 'round. you're missing the nozzs there, but, well-- not a huge problem. fascinating, as well-- the stags. was the inscription 1862? mm-hmm, perfect, yes. 10 years earlier, landseer painted the monarch of the glen.
and of course, this is the influence of that sort of work coming through. it is an electroplate, not silver. obviously, that's going to make quite a big difference to its value. a super piece, which does stand up on its own. the fact it's four branches-- if it'd been a straight three, that doesn't work very well, so-- but that center of a circular table-- great. you know, you can put that anywhere. it's going to look magnificent. i would think, at auction today, you could be estimated between about £600 and £800 for it. well, i-- i didn't expect that at all. and it's nice to hear about the history of it, as well. but it-- you know, enjoy it, as you are. thank you very much, indeed. thank you. do you know this comes from whitby originally? yes. who does it actually belong to? it belongs to me. right.
and where did it come from in the family? it was my paternal grandmother's, and great grandmother. so, was this always known as the family treasure, this particular piece? no, it was my father's, from his mother, my grandmother, and my father gave it to me. was it worn in the 19th century? never, never. 'cause, you know, it goes back as far back as about the 1870s, 1880s. yes, we do. yes. um, whitby is known for two very important things. first of all, the whitby jet business-- the extraordinary amount of jet that was turned out in the victorian era. especially after the death of the prince consort in the year 1861. and as soon as the prince consort died-- she was in deep mourning. queen victoria went into mourning for the next 40 years, really. and couldn't wear diamonds and pearls.
can you imagine how restrictive it must have been for ladies in society that all they could wear was this heavy, dense, black material? but it isn't heavy. it isn't heavy. well, the color is, though, isn't it? yes. i mean, you can't get blacker than black. jet. jet black. it's the lightest jewelry. now, that's it, 'cause you touched upon an important point, because real jet is actually surprisingly light in weight. it's a kind of a fossilized wood, jet, and the thing about whitby-- it seems to be the home for it there. in the victorian period, at the peak of the production, you had as many as about 1,500 people, you know, all working in the jet industry, and it's interesting, because as soon as queen victoria died, the jet industry died with her overnight, as people wanted to embrace the lighter, more frivolous lifestyle that was indicative of the edwardian era.
the other thing that whitby is very well-known for is that when bram stoker wrote the book dracula, dracula comes into whitby. yes. that's right. his boat comes into whitby, so, stoker must have known something about the jet industry at that time. now, can i have a look at the book locket? and it's got a very interesting inscription, hasn't it? it is engraved on the surface here. "in memory of auther warwick." who was auther warwick? it would be my great- grandmother's child. oh! um, who died on november the 9th in the year 1870 at 2 years, 10 months. how sad. how sad. what happened, then? do you know? we don't know. do you wonder she wore jet as a mourning...? no. so, it must have shattered for their whole life-- what's been your sort of feeling that you've had about that? do you find this is a very, very sad thing?
a lump in the throat, really. it does, 'cause it's not only engraved on one side. on the other side, also, j. edward, who died on november the 5th, 1870, at 8 months. yes. so, the two of them passed away. it must have been dreadful, as a mother, to have lost all young children. very poignant. so, the photographs within... are my grandmother-- my paternal grandmother and my great-grandmother, the mother to the two children that died. and never to be the same again, really. so, this is very worn, very damaged, but from a sentimental point of view-- i'll bet she never took it off. no, probably not. i've touched on the fact that this necklace is in less than perfect condition. if it were in tip-top condition, i think we'd probably be looking at something in the region of around £500.
the fact that it is-- needs some work done, let's be a little bit more cautious. maybe something in the region of £300, 400 for it. your book locket, which is-- if i may be very respectful and say it is absolutely clapped out, this book locket, with all the engraving on the surface, i would say that it is sentimentally priceless, and commercially modest. yes. yes. thank you very much. well, thank you very much. this is an interesting chair, and i'm sure it has an interesting story to it. uh, yes, it's my mother's family. um, we know it more or less back to sort of mid-19th century. it belonged to an ancestor called j.c.a. thorpe, who had 13 children, and would've definitely used it quite a lot, and it would've remained in south yorkshire until just after the war when the house was sold for death duties,
and my grandmother had it, so i sat on it when i was a child, and then it came to my mom, and my children now sit in it. wow, fantastic. so, yeah, it's been used a lot. what this is actually echoing is a model of an adult chair. oh, right. so, i can imagine, in the big whole house, there would've been a large dining table, and this type of chair, but for adults, going around the dining table. right. when children came along, they said to the estate manager or to the cabinet maker, "i need another chair for my-- my heir." um, it's actually 18th century, not 19th century. there's a number of reasons i can see that, and i'll point them out to you. one of them is the out-swept arms, which is, to me, typical of the chippendale period. as you can see, there's a little hole left and right, and along there would go a little wooden rod,
with a lacquered maltese on the end. do you-- do you still have that? no, we don't, but i've had to use all sorts of things to keep my children in it. bits of dowling and... yeah. right. um, and another thing, there's-- at the bottom, there's a little slide, which would've come out to rest one's feet. oh, yeah. the piece plat at the back is typical of the 18th century. and, um-- what i like about it-- the lower section here-- is this slight gothic influence. and it's just beautifully patinated down there. it's a little bit worn up here, i think where the children have either climbed out or it's fallen backwards. fallen backwards, yeah. but it happens. it happens. it's a good piece of 18th-century english furniture. i'd put a value on this between £800 and 1,200. really? i didn't think it'd beery much, because it's in such a state. that's part of its charm. that's part of its charm. oh, good. i shall tell my children they're not to blame, then. ( chuckles )
as you'll have seen at the top of the program, there's a very good reason why we've chosen the spa bridlington for our venue today. with its echoes of art deco elegance, it's the perfect place to talk to some of our experts about which era they would choose as the ultimate age of elegance. now, hilary kay, you've got opening honor today, and the kind of stuff you brought along is the stuff that reminds me of my parents' era, actually. okay. did you keep it? should i have done? well, wait and see. i mean, i think... what i have to say is that the era that i've chosen, the 1950s, i've chosen because it's so full of optimism. it's so full of brand-new stuff. after the war, almost anything goes, and the few things that we've got here are a reflection of that. and i suppose i also know 1950s things from my parents and from my grandparents, and it strikes a chord in me. there's a sort of resonance there. and looking at these things, they are--
they're not all icons, but some of them certainly are. well, let's look. this is so distinctive, the fabric, isn't it? these kind of patterns. this is perhaps the most influential piece of fabric designed that you and i will see. it's called calyx. it's designed by lucienne day. it was described as, "if you can't afford a piece of abstract art, at least you can have them on your curtains." and that's what it is. inspired by calder and by miro, this was designed for the zenith of design of the period. i.e., the festival of britain. when you look at this, for example, i mean, can this claim to be part of the british ultimate age of elegance? because scandinavia, of course, had such a big influence, didn't it? you're absolutely right, and i think that, um, the whole use of scandinavian-- light materials, new fabrics, new types of manufacture, created a whole different look, and i think that if one looks at this light and airy furniture,
the stick-like legs, the uses of different woods and different shapes, the sparseness of the decoration, it speaks volumes to me, and the fact that we are now all returning to this look is a testament, i think, of its longevity and its influence. we're not to the fashions, of course. we're not returning to the fashions, particularly, and they were-- i mean, they really were something. they were remarkable back then in the '50s, weren't they? they were, and again, one goes back to that sort of rebellion against all those restrictions of the wartime. and with somebody like dior, for instance, when he created the new look, suddenly, in came the hourglass figure, femininity, luxury, wastefulness-- all these things that were absolutely forbidden for the previous 5, 10 years. and it also meant subliminally that women were to be looked at in a different way. at the end of the war, the soldiers came back,
the girls had to give up their jobs to give jobs for the soldiers. they became housewives. what could be more applicable to this new housewife generation than the dior dresses? this is a very sort of classic boxing, training pose. yes. who is he? that is my grandfather, who was born cyrill hills out of manchester, who boxed under the name of darkie ellis, became a bridlington man and married a bridlington lady okay. i'm going to ask the obvious question-- what happened to the genes? uh, lightened along the years, i think. ( laughs ) i mean, i would never have believed he was your grandfather. yes. did you know him? unfortunately not. i wish i had done,
'cause the stories he could've told would've been wonderful. fantastic, yes. what about your grandmother? yes, my grandmother, unfortunately, passed away last year at the age of 92. oh, so you heard lots from her. yes, lots from her. to be honest, she was quite reticent about the past. it was, "what's in the past is in the past. it doesn't matter." were there secrets? there probably are, and that's for me to find out as i go along, i think. i mean, why did he change his name, for a start. no idea. total mystery to us. but i'm told that his mother and his sisters actually had a business on bridlington beach as fortune tellers, and made a very comfortable living. so, he was a sort of showman. definitely. he actually, i believe, boxed in the fairground boxing booths, as well. all right. so, we're going into a very sort of basic level of boxing, at that point. exactly. i mean, this is dated 1933. he's there with-- is that his manager, or...? uh, i don't think it's his manager. i think it's probably one of his trainers. one of his trainers. right. so, he's a very stylish, elegant man, isn't he? i think he definitely was for the time of the era that he came from.
now, that-- they look a classic lot, don't they? ( laughs ) they definitely are. real sort of heavies of that sort of sport. there he is. that's right. now... let's think about his name. i mean, today, nobody would call themselves that, and yet he was called cyrill. he chose to be called darkie. and i suppose that was accepting his popular name. he must've chosen to call himself that, 'cause i imagine that was his nickname, anyway. i would imagine so. he was always known. if you speak to people around bridlington who can remember that era, they always knew darkie ellis. yeah. so, we've got here a lovely scrapbook. that's right. and these are his sort of bouts, aren't they? they are his bouts, yes. "england's best middleweights, darkie ellis and donald keys." what was his status in this sport? was he just a local boxer? did he make good? i think he made quite good. i think at one time, he was classed as middleweight champion of england-- of northern england, because i believe there was-- it was regional at that point. that's right, it was regional at the point.
now... that's an interest-- is that-- is that your grandmother? that is my grandmother, yes. they're a stylish couple, aren't they? basically looks like gangster's moll, doesn't it? it looks exact-- it's true. the untouchables. so severe, her attire. it's straight out of al capone. it is. it's fantastic. i love it. my grandmother went on to become a very well-known local landlady in bridlington, and she ran the crown hotel in bridlington for a very long time. my grandmother later in h life. yeah. i think it's a great story. now, we haven't talked about the poster. what a great image. isn't it wonderful? it's fantastic. now, what we're looking at here is-- it's a-- it's an international. belgium versus england. four belgian boxers, four british boxers, including-- there he is. and he is, obviously, the great hero of the time. he's the most important person. he's the feature on the poster. it brings to life not just him, but that whole sort of sense of what boxing was as a popular sport. this is quite a valuable item, because, 1) it's a sporting poster. move yourself away from your family connections.
it's a great image. it's also about black history. now, black history is something that we are becoming increasingly, quite rightly, aware of. it's so much a part of our culture in britain. it doesn't start in 1948, '49, it goes back much longer. and images like this underline the fact that, you know, we have a very, very strong black cultural history, going back to the 18th century, and therefore, today, that would be a very desirable object, 'cause it focuses very much on that. there he is-- as i say, no color differentiation. he's one of a team fighting for england against belgium. so, you've got a poster here which is worth several hundred pounds, you see. um, but that's in a sense incidental. you need to know that. what you've got to do-- and it's not for me to tell you, but i think this is such a fantastic story. you've gotta find out more. ( laughs ) lots and lots of questions, and to go back to the beginning, what happened to the genes? exactly. pandora's box, i always assert. i do. well, it may be tricky, but you've got to open it. thank you very much. thank you very much, indeed.
now, i've got to tell you, i've traveled all over yorkshire, and i have yet to come across a yorkshire tea plantation, so i can't fathom how-- how come you've got yorkshire tea? but one thing's for certain-- you like your teapots big. i mean, this is the biggest county, isn't it, in england-- hang on, hang on, eric. yours may be big, but mine is bigger. ( chuckles ) what do you make of that, eh? i have to concede defeat. that is a whopper. it is, it is a whopper, but unfortunately, my spout is not quite as big as yours. you have upstaged me here. but do you realize what has happened? look at your arm, eric. i'm doing it! you've gone into teapot mode. ( laughs ) short and stout. yes, exactly. but the problem with our teapot is that somebody did obviously try to pour tea out of this. was it you? no. you haven't tried pouring out of this? not yet. because it was-- the burden of tea in there would be ridiculous. and so, our handle, i'm afraid, has taken a turn for the worse.
was your seriously for tea? um, well, this? you know, i mean, this is the sort of thing they use for sunday school. 'cause this is a late victorian one. i just love it, 'cause it's almost like brand new. but that started off life sort of definitely east of whitby, didn't it? yeah, yeah. this is from japan. around the year 1900. yours is... well, this is, um, maybe 1890, 1900, so they're of a similar vintage. both enameled. beautifully done. yours, obviously, in the right style, and mine, well-- what's yours worth? because... does size matter? i'm afraid it does, eric. ( laughs ) this is spectacular. beautiful enameling. damaged though it may be, it's probably worth somewhere in the region of £2,000. gosh. well... at this end, um, we're, um, we're nearer £200. all right. but given the choice, i'd rather take this one home with me. no disrespect over there. this is a working teapot. it is?
yes. and that's-- has that done a few charities, then? it has. it has, indeed. and it's been in the family? yes, many years. it belonged to my great aunt, who had 3 of these giant teapots which she used. so, as they say in this part of the world, you can sop some stuff out with that. there's a good few cups in that. 50 cups. 50 cups. only in yorkshire. ( chuckles ) of course, i'm just looking at his bird. ( both laugh ) but isn't he magnificent, that bird? it's a lovely bird. is it a falcon? it's a falcon, and it's-- i've always been told it's a peregrine falcon. and peregrine falcons have royal connotations. yeah. is that right? yeah, they're royal birds. that's very interesting, and they've got this, uh-- wonderful sort of mottled plumage on their underbellies, haven't they? and they have the longer wings. longer than a hawk, anyway. that's right. yeah. yes, yes. um, and actually, looking back from his wonderful plumage, what about his owners? well... this is, uh--
one of my forebears. it's my father's family. we don't know an awful lot about him, but it's always been in the family, and probably most of the time in yorkshire. what i like is the-- is the, uh-- is this wonderful silk doublet that he's wearing with slashed silk revealing this lovely color underneath. and these-- and these little, uh-- i suppose they might be pearls or some kind of braiding or maybe silver. certainly he's got rather a smart belt with gold fittings, and obviously a gold dagger handle there. all this means that he's a man of rank, i think. well, this is what's interesting-- the peregrine falcon, the royal connection. so, the story in our family is that he was actually a falconer to the king, and the king being james i. yes. uh, now, there's no documentary evidence for that, as far as i know. but that's-- that's the story that's come down to us, yeah. and then around his tunic here, you've got this-- this silken rope. it seems to be silk.