It’s time to dust off your treasures for a great, free day out as BBC One’s ever-popular Sunday evening programme, Antiques Roadshow, comes to the West Somerset Railway at Minehead Railway Station on Wednesday 17 May.

Antiques Roadshow celebrates a special anniversary this year and its visit to the West Somerset Railway at Minehead Railway Station will take place exactly 40 years to the day since the very first recording. On 17 May 1977, the cameras rolled at Hereford Town Hall, as presenter Bruce Parker and expert Arthur Negus welcomed the first visitors.

Many of Britain’s leading antiques and fine arts specialists will be on hand to offer free advice and valuations to visitors, who are invited to raid their attics and bring along their family heirlooms, household treasures and car-boot-sale bargains for inspection by the experts.

Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce, who marks her tenth year presenting the programme, said: “The best part of working on Antiques Roadshow is that we never know who or what is going to turn up on the day. The visitors, the objects they bring, their stories and the location all combine to make a fabulous experience that we aim to capture for the viewers. If you are a fan of Antiques Roadshow, curious to see behind the scenes, or just fancy a day out, I would urge you to dig out your treasures and come along – we’d love to see you.”

It is not the first time the Antiques Roadshow has visited the local area and it was during a visit to Barnstable in 1986 that one of the most exciting discoveries in the programme’s history was made was made – a lost painting by nineteenth-century artist Richard Dadd.

‘Halt in the Desert’ had been missing since 1857 and was valued by expert Peter Nahum at £100,000 – the highest valuation given on the show to that point.

Owned by a local couple, the painting had languished in the loft of their family home for years before they took it to the Antiques Roadshow on the off-chance. The watercolour was later sold to the British Museum.

Antiques Roadshow has filmed in Somerset over the past 40 years and this will be the second time the event has visited Minehead Railway Station.

In 1997 they discovered an eclectic mix of treasures and collectables. Among some of the items brought along were a pair of stuffed and mounted fish from the 1920s, estimated to be worth around £1,500; a tiny, rare Beatrix Potter pottery figure of the ‘Duchess of Flowers’ which ceramics expert John Sandon thought was worth £1,600; a Tunbridge Ware workbox bought for £125 which turned out to be worth between £6-8,000; and a ‘drawing’ of the Mask of Cupid by Sir Edward Burne-Jones which art expert Rupert Maas revealed to be a “brilliantly done” copy of the original which was still worth around £1,200.

Antiques Roadshow Executive Editor, Simon Shaw, said: “Our Antiques Roadshow at Minehead Railway Station on Wednesday 17 May marks the start of our 40th anniversary filming, and we feel the locations this year are some of our most beautiful and historic yet.

“Our team of experts and Fiona love nothing better than hearing people’s stories and seeing what items they bring, so we hope as many people as possible come to Minehead Railway Station and enjoy what our visitors consistently tell us is a fantastic day out. Even after 40 years, the magic formula of surprising some lucky guests with exciting news about their treasures is still a thrill for us, the visitors and the viewers.”

The doors open at 9.30am and close at 4.30pm. Entry to the show is free, everyone is welcome, and no tickets or pre-registration are required.

For visitors coming from the Taunton / Bridgwater area, West Somerset Railway is running a very special train service from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead Railway Station. Visit the Antiques Roadshow website to book a free ticket.

Visitors who are driving are asked to use a temporary Park & Ride service which will be operating to and from the fields just off Seaward Way and Coach Park next to Minehead Railway Station. A vintage bus will run to the venue every 15-20 minutes.

Visitors are welcome to just turn up on the day, but if they have an item with a particularly unusual story attached, or perhaps an interesting collection, or large items of furniture, they can let the team know in advance via the Share Your Story link on www.bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow

Alternatively, email: antiques.roadshow@bbc.co.uk or write to Antiques Roadshow, BBC, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR.

Please note this is an outdoor event, so all visitors are advised to dress appropriately and protect their objects accordingly. More information on planning your visit, frequently asked questions, and parking information, can be found at: www.bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow

Highlights of our 2016 Roadshows included a ‘lost’ masterpiece by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, worth £200,000-£300,000, an eighteenth-century doll’s house of national importance worth £150,000-£200,000, and the moment the team reunited the belongings of a World War Two air ace with members of his family.




Local people who are considering a career working with young people are being given a special opportunity to volunteer at YHA ‘s Summer Camps in 2017 to gain vital experience and boost their CV.

Youth Hostelling charity YHA (England and Wales) is calling on people to volunteer at its popular week-long GoXtreme and Action Adventure residential Summer Camps which are held during July and August.

As well as the opportunity to work with 10-16 year olds, YHA will provide training in safeguarding and behaviour management as well as food, accommodation and travel expenses throughout the volunteering experience.

The volunteering opportunity is open to anyone who is 18 and has had any previous experience working with children. They must be available to have a DBS check as well as be available for a week or preferably two weeks in July and August. Volunteers must also be available to undergo a residential training course on the 14 and 15 July.

YHA Summer Camps give young people the chance to be independent, try outdoor experiences, grow in confidence and make new friends. Each year hundreds of young people attend YHA Summer Camps at Youth Hostels in Edale and Ravenstor in Derbyshire, St Briavels in Gloucestershire, Okehampton in Devon and the South Downs in Sussex. The Summer Camps are an action-packed five days, featuring activities such as rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, weaselling, archery and quad biking.

Crewenna Dymond, Head of Volunteering at YHA (England and Wales), commented: “As YHA is a charity, volunteers are essential to enable us to create these unique and memorable experiences. Volunteering to help at YHA Summer Camps is a uniquely rewarding experience for anyone, but particularly people who are considering a career that involves working with young people. However, the camps are as fun-packed for the volunteers as they are for the children and we always get great feedback.”

The closing date for applications to become a YHA Summer Camps volunteer is 22 May 2017. To find out more about volunteering, visit jobs.yha.org.uk/volunteer/   or apply here jobs.yha.org.uk/volunteering-form .