Thousands flock to Antiques Roadshow in quest for hidden treasure

Pistols at dawn on the lawns of Stormont ... presenter Fiona Bruce shares a laugh during Saturdays filming of the Antiques Roadshow in Belfast
Pistols at dawn on the lawns of Stormont ... presenter Fiona Bruce shares a laugh during Saturdays filming of the Antiques Roadshow in Belfast

Thousands of people brought their most treasured objects and heirlooms to Stormont at the weekend as BBC’s Antiques Roadshow came to Belfast.

Filming took place at Stormont Estate early on Saturday morning as eager people from across the Province arrived clutching their prized possessions.

Queues were long at Stormont on Saturday as people brought items large and small

Queues were long at Stormont on Saturday as people brought items large and small

Visitors were encouraged to stay and join presenter Fiona Bruce and the team of experts as filming continued throughout the day.

Tents were erected to protect valuables against the Northern Irish weather.

It was the third time in the last 10 years the popular programme has been filmed in Northern Ireland, after shows at the Titanic drawing rooms in 2008 and Hillsborough Castle in 2014.

Among those who attended Saturday’s event was Jenny Robinson, who brought three dolls originally from Asia that belonged to her aunt.

Experts were on hand to give their valuations of the Ulster publics prized heirlooms and possessions

Experts were on hand to give their valuations of the Ulster publics prized heirlooms and possessions

“She was a missionary in China in the 1930s and they’re very much part of my childhood memory and when my aunt died I got them,” she told BBC News NI.

Presenter Fiona Bruce explained the appeal of the programme: “People like to think that whatever they have in their house that they might have inherited from their granny or has been gathering dust on the mantelpiece, might be something either very valuable or significant.

“And they’re right to be hopeful, because that happens an awful lot of the time.”

BBC One’s Antiques Roadshow is celebrating 40 years of touring the country, valuing family treasures, car-boot sale and charity shop finds.

Expert Paul Atterbury said: “People come here with expectations and I’m afraid we’re in the disappointment business.

“In the course of the day most of these people hopefully will have a great time, they might learn things they didn’t know, but they won’t go home any richer.”

The programme will air later this year.