Antiques Roadshow comes to Yorkshire SLIDESHOW

There wasn't a suit of armour in sight when the Antiques Roadshow hit Bolton Abbey. But there was a big brown wooden bear and a stunningly valuable cow.

The latter was the iconic Craven Heifer which gives its name to many a pub and is a painting that hangs on a wall in Bolton Hall.

It was brought to the lush lawn in front of the hall by Lady Celina Carter, daughter of the 12th Duke of Devonshire.

Expert Dendy Easton told her it was worth 69,000.

This was unquestionably the early highlight of the show yesterday. A crowd of 200 people had gathered for the 9.30am opening and the earliest had arrived at 6.15am.

The familiar faces of experts like Lars Tharp, Eric Knowles, David Battie and Rupert Mass could be seen in huddles with punters hoping they owned a priceless heirloom.

But the elegant figure of new presenter Fiona Bruce was the star attraction. She wore a cream jacket with black belt and matching black jeans and one comedian quipped: "I think she's auditioning for Blake's Seven!"

Fiona revealed she had always secretly wanted to front the antiques show, but never mentioned it to anyone.

"So I was thrilled and surprised to be offered it," she said.

"This is the sixth or seventh show I have recorded, so I am getting the swing of it and having a great time."

She revealed it was her first visit to Wharfedale and exclaimed: "How stunning it is. I have been blown away by it and I definitely want to

come back here for a holiday with my family.

"I crossed the stepping stones yesterday and I think the cameraman hoped I would slip – and I nearly did. It would have been a great out-


Maureen Jordan, of Addingham, brought along an exotic-looking teapot from Sicily.

"I bought it in an art crafty shop in Yorkshire for 30," she said, "and I am hoping it is worth a bit more. I have a traditional house and keep the teapot by my fireside. It's too heavy to use. I was attracted to it because I like things that are original."

Lars Tharp spent a lot of time with a Lothersdale couple who brought two pieces of pottery. One – which came from the Channel Isles during the German occupation – had an interesting history but little value.

But a piece of blue Florian ware made nearly 100 years ago, was rather different. Its owner said: "It was worth a lot more than I thought."

Beverley farmer Simon Foster had a photograph of the Rugby League Test match between England and Australia at Sydney in 1946. The match ended in an 8-8 draw.

His father, Trevor, a Bradford Northern forward, was among the so-called "Indomitables" team, but missed this particular Test because of injury.

Simon also brought his father's rugby shorts and socks, which he won't be selling. Fiona Bruce held them up and asked: "Do you think they suit me?"

Another farmer, octogenarian Richard Gill, of Bolton Abbey, brought a beautiful carriage which he found in a scrapyard near Knaresborough and subsequently restored.