Bargain Hunt star Charles Hanson is urging people to help save the UK’s heritage by backing a vital fundraiser for ‘national treasure’ Creswell Crags - and you can bid now.
Charles volunteered to run a charity auction for its museum after discovering it was ‘in a desperate financial situation due to Covid-19 closure’.
Charles, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “When I heard about Creswell Crags’ plight, I had to do something. It’s one of the most important heritage sites in the UK, a national treasure with a history dating back tens of thousands of years. And it’s close to home. It’s on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border near my saleroom headquarters.
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“During lockdown, I raised £38,000 for the NHS and £18,000 for London’s Florence Nightingale Museum through online charity auctions with lots donated by well-wishers. Now it’s time to help Creswell Crags.”
More than 50 lots have flooded in for the July 3 auction including books signed by Creswell Crags’ patron Professor Alice Roberts and her fellow archaeologist on TV’s Time Team Francis Pryor.
Professor Alice Roberts; Woolly mammoth painting by wildlife artist Emily Rose
Replica stone tools, including a knapped glass handaxe, have been donated by experimental archaeologist James Dilley, plus renowned metal detectorist Adam Staples is offering a day out metal detecting.
Other lots include two nights at a holiday cottage owned by The Welbeck Estate together with a pottery experience at The Harley Gallery and a one-off painting of a woolly mammoth has been created for the auction by wildlife artist Emily Rose.
A spokesperson for Creswell Crags said: “We are so grateful for the support we’ve received for this charity auction. It means the world to us.
“We’re in a desperate financial situation due to the COVID-19 closure. We’re run by an independent charity, with no external funding since local council grants ended in early 2020. We’re entirely reliant on public income from tours, school visits, café and shop sales and museum entry.”.
Knapped glass handaxe, donated by James Dilley; renowned metal detectorist Adam Staples
Creswell Crags is famous for its limestone caves which were occupied around 43,000 to 10,000 years ago. It’s home to the only verified Ice Age rock art in the UK and boasts extensive evidence of habitation by early humans and prehistoric creatures such as woolly mammoths. It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is also a renowned beauty spot.
Charles, who toured the site during filming for TV’s Antiques Road Trip, said: “I’m a man who’s passionate about history and Creswell Crags is a crucial part of England's heritage.
“I was overwhelmed by the support I received for my NHS and Nightingale auctions. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on charities across the country. I hope people will help me ensure this wonderful tourist attraction is preserved for future generations to enjoy.”
The charity auction will be broadcast live on Hansons' online bidding platform - www.hansonslive.co.uk - on Friday, July 3 from 7pm. The charity auction catalogue is LIVE on www.hansonslive.co.uk and people can bid in advance or live during the sale once they have registered on the bidding platform.