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Our luckiest hour! Churchill's iconic top hat is part of £10,000 haul found at a dump that includes his cigar case and letters from a cook detailing the PM's daily life

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 25/03/2019 Susie Coen

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Recycling centres are not usually the destinations for unique historical artifacts, but David Rose has proved that one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

The tip worker keeps a close eye on what other folks throw away – and it has now paid off handsomely.

He found a top hat, cigar case and cigar which once belonged to Sir Winston Churchill. 

a group of people standing in front of a building: Tip worker David Rose, left, pictured with Antiques Roadshow specialist Mark Smith, right, has proved that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Mr Rose has worked at the recycling centre for 15 years and says he can pull out whatever he likes, including antiques © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Tip worker David Rose, left, pictured with Antiques Roadshow specialist Mark Smith, right, has proved that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Mr Rose has worked at the recycling centre for 15 years and says he can pull out whatever he likes, including antiques

And along with them came 200 letters from a cook to her son, giving fascinating details about the wartime leader’s life on the home front.

Mr Rose brought his finds to be valued at the Antiques Roadshow at Eltham Palace in Greenwich, south-east London, for a programme screened last night. 

The items were gifts to the cook from Churchill, and included a signed photo of the politician.

The tip worker keeps a close eye on what other folks throw away – and it has now paid off handsomely. He found a top hat, cigar case and cigar which once belonged to Sir Winston Churchill © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The tip worker keeps a close eye on what other folks throw away – and it has now paid off handsomely. He found a top hat, cigar case and cigar which once belonged to Sir Winston Churchill a man wearing a suit and tie: The items were gifts to the cook from Churchill, above, and included a signed photo of the politician © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The items were gifts to the cook from Churchill, above, and included a signed photo of the politician

Mr Rose said: ‘She used to write to her son every day about the daily goings of Winston Churchill, what he was getting up to, how he was feeling and just interesting stuff about him.’

Roadshow specialist Mark Smith said the authenticity of the items would have been in considerable doubt were it not for the detailed letters.

They confirmed Mr Rose had brought ‘lots of things that Winston touched, Winston signed and Winston owned’ to the programme, and Mr Smith valued the whole collection at £10,000. 

A delighted Mr Rose described the estimate as ‘crazy’.

Mr Rose, who has three sheds full of other items retrieved from the skips at the centre, said: ‘I’ve worked there for 15 years and I get to pull out whatever I like, mostly antiques.’

© Associated Press

Previous notable finds on the BBC1 show have included a genuine Van Dyck which had been bought for £400 in 1992 in Cheshire by a priest and was valued at £400,000.

A Banksy picture, a leather jacket owned by John F Kennedy and Beatrix Potter paintings are among other treasures members of the public have brought to the programme in recent years.

Pictures: Politicians before they came to power

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