A wry view of life for the world-weary

Hauls Of The Week


We learned this week that thieves had relieved a number of safe boxes of their contents in a supposedly safe deposit facility in the Hatton Garden area of London. This raises the question of where exactly do you keep those valuables which you don’t need for daily use.

A solution which has stood the test of time is underneath the mattress of your bed or the modern-day first world equivalent, in a ski boot. This is all very well provided that you remember where you put your valuables.

I read this week that Pamela Sampson from Dorset placed a diamond and sapphire necklace, brooch, ring and two fob watches in a ski boot in 1999 for safe-keeping. Her house was burgled some time later and being unable to locate the items she assumed that the thieves had made off with them.

Last month she took the old ski boots to a charity shop in Bournemouth and when the staff examined the goods they were astonished to find inside a bag containing the jewels valued at around £10,000. After some amateur detective work the shop tracked Pamela down and reunited her with her jewels. Wonder where she will keep them now?

Many bemoan the myriad charity shops that populate our high streets but for those who have their wits about them, they can be an unexpected treasure trove. The other week I picked up a first edition Penguin paperback of Lady Chatterley’s Lover for a fraction of the price sellers are asking. Fortunately, it was not a Captain Pugwash edition – no Seaman Staines in sight (boom, boom).

I did, though, miss a first edition of Francisco Suarez’s Varia Opuscula Theologica, which was banned by Pope Innocent XI in 1679, and had been donated to a charity shop in Shrewsbury, doubtless by someone fearing a knock on the door from the Spanish Inquisition. A conservative valuation of the book is around £500.

Seek and ye shall find!


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