Slideshow: TV’s Antiques Roadshow comes to Belton House, Grantham

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Coming across a piece of Margaret Thatcher-related memorabilia would be the icing on the cake, said Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce today (Thursday).

The BBC show was filming in the grounds of Belton House, where hundreds of people turned out and queued with what they hoped were valuables.

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And with Thatcher’s links to the town, Fiona had hopes of her own, of trumping a previous Thatcher find in Eastbourne.

She said: “It would be tremendous of someone came forward with a Thatcher connection. The last time we had something with a Thatcher connection was in somewhere by the sea...Eastbourne, that was it.

“It was a tombola that was used at the hotel that was blown up in the Brighton bombings, used the day before.”

It had within it tickets signed by members of the Cabinet at the time, including Baroness Thatcher. And as Fiona held the ticket bearing Baroness Thatcher’s name in front of the camera as it rolled, the wind blew it from her hand.

She said: “It was a panic moment!”

Luckily, someone in the crowd managed to catch it and it was returned. The tombola was valued at £5,000.

Filming at Belton House began on Wednesday, with the first day focusing on the National Trust property.

Fiona said: “We’re telling the story of Belton House as an introduction to the show. There’s an extraordinary collection of silver inside.”

Speaking before the valuations really got underway, Fiona said she hoped the day would bring some fascinating and valuable finds, particularly in silver, remarking on the part silver plays in the heritage of the Brownlow family, who once lived in Belton House. She described it as “a beautiful home with wonderful architecture”.

The programme will air sometime between late Autumn and early next year.