Charles Hanson has 'a treasure-chest of a day’ at Cathedral

Wednesday 8 May

TV personality and auctioneer Charles Hanson was at Peterborough Cathedral on Saturday 4th May for a special event to raise funds for the Cathedral and parishes in the Diocese of Peterborough.

A steady flow of people came to see Charles and his fellow expert, Edward Rycroft, bringing with them jewellery and collectables for valuation or to donate for sale at a future Hansons Auction, when all the proceeds would be donated to the donor's church and the Cathedral.

“It was a really exciting day, meeting local people and sharing memories about the objects they brought,” said Charles Hanson. “We’ve seen some real treasure which I expect to realise a healthy sum when presented to a worldwide market at auction. From a Fabergé paper knife to an abundance of silver and some wonderful jewellery, it has been a very fulfilling treasure-chest of a day!"

To entertain visitors to the Cathedral as they waited to see the experts, Lesley Smith was present, splendidly costumed as Elizabeth I. People of all ages were surprised and thrilled to see her as she chatted to children and posed for photographs.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to be here in this glorious Cathedral. People have been bringing treasures large and small, but always with love and affection for this place, and the parish churches they are supporting,”

said Lesley, who is Curator at Tutbury Castle and has been involved in similar fundraisers at Lichfield Cathedral.

Hilary Halstead had travelled from Northampton for the event.

“We’d been clearing some boxes of family heirlooms which none of our children wanted, and we wondered whether the things had any value. Treasure for Treasure was the perfect way to find out. Of the things I brought - a few porcelain ornaments, a couple of pug dogs, a pair of zebras and some decorated bowls - four of them were valued at £50 each and one at £100, possibly made by Meissen. If they achieve those prices we’d be delighted to know that the proceeds will be divided equally between the Cathedral and our parish church. That’s much more worthwhile than them gathering dust in my attic!”

The Dean of Peterborough, Chris Dalliston, said:

“The day has been fun, but what is striking is the generosity of people, not least Charles Hanson and Lesley Smith who have given their time, and Hansons Auctioneers who are waiving their seller’s commission on the items donated. We are most grateful to them, but also to everyone who has given up their special objects to raise funds for their church and their Cathedral.”

The items collected by Hansons will now be sold at their next appropriate auction, with proceeds then being divided between the Cathedral and the parish church designated by the donor.

For more information please contact Peterborough Cathedral on 01733 355315 ( or Hansons Auctioneers on 01283 733988 (

Photos courtesy of Graham Williams.

Treasure for Treasure in progress. Photo: Graham Williams

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