At the end of every long summer holiday my family insists on having a huge deep clean and clear out involving the alien skip that owns our driveway for about a week.

This year we not only cleared out our house ready for the winter months but went up to my Grandparents house to help them clear out their house. Upon entering the secret ‘back room’ that I was never allowed to enter as a child, I was rather intrigued to find out what dark secrets and mysterious objects that maybe lurking in the shadows of the house that kept so many happy childhood memories.

Rather like a little girl in a new toy shop I entered the emporium wondering where to start, what to pick up and what to leave. Noticing my confusion my Nan passed me a huge wooden jewellery treasure chest with a smile and said have a look through that, there maybe some things in there that maybe of interest to you. I left the maze and carried the huge chest to the landing trying to hold my breath as not to sneeze from the pile up of dust that lay on the lid. Holding my nose I wiped away the dust and opened the metal lock that resembled something rather similar to a heart’s chest from a well-known blockbuster movie.

There was necklaces, rings, brooches, ration books, pipes and even a bullet after my Great Grandfather was shot in World War One. He survived, with his pipe in top pocket knocking the bullet to the side, the bullet entered his arm and not his heart and was kept as a charm to remind my family of how precious life is, and how lucky they were to survive.

My Nan then joined me on the landing and went through a some short stories explaining each of the items. She then took my hand and said, “please take what you want, I would like them to go to a good home”. I recovered a brooch from my Great Grandmother, a black and gold cameo ring, string of pearls, two gold necklace stop watches, gold and pearl clip on earrings and a number of lucky charms that included a pixie, black cat clip and elephant to keep in my purse.

With shops replicating similar vintage clothing and jewellery why not have a clear out with your family and see what you can recover. Although charity shops are considered gold mines for vintage items, true heirlooms are priceless.


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