People and Places collects collectors

People and Places meets members of the public – and some Granada stars – with unusual collections

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From the TVTimes for week commencing 25 September 1960

A TEAM of People and Places researchers and correspondents are scouring the north for interesting people who collect unusual objects. Each week the owners of articles ranging from handcuffs to cricket caps are being brought to the studios to tell viewers the story behind their hobby.

Programme producer David Plowright said: “People who collect unusual items have appeared in the show many times, but during the past two months we have been presenting one collector each week.

“We are looking for people who not only have an unusual collection but can tell an interesting story about it as well. We have in mind people who are well-known in some walk of life and have a hobby of which the public know little or nothihg.

“Many people have written in teiUng us about their collections, but few are suitable for the programme because they are the sort of things thousands of people collect — like foreign stamps.

“For us, it must be something out of the ordinary.”

The programme researchers did not have far to go for four people who have appeared in the show in the past few weeks.

A man points at a figurine
Ernest Thompson with some of his religious figures

Ernest Thompson, who is a technical editor with an engineering firm, went to the Manchester studios from his home four miles away to talk about his collection of religious figures.

Antique dealer Harold Gilbert and his collection of handcuffs were found at a shop only half a-mile from the studios, and David Drummond, who appears in the Biggies series as Lord Bertie, walked in from the studio next door, where he was rehearsing, to show his collection of walking sticks.

Drummer Amos Smith left his place in the People and Places Derek Hilton Trio to go before the cameras and discuss his coin collection.

Thirty-year-old Amos, who started his collection of more than 1,000 English and Roman coins 10 years ago, said: “I have had many letters from other numismatists since my collection was seen in the show.”

Has he been able to obtain any rare coins as a result?

“No.” Amos told me. “But I’ve heard from two dealers who want to buy the collection, which I insured for £2,500.

“The only coins I’m really interested in are about half-a-dozen English crowns. They are held by people not prepared to sell. But even if the crowns came on the market I wouldn’t be able to buy them. They would probably cost as much as my whole collection is worth “

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