Four charities became stars of the small screen after appearing on BBC1’s Antiques Roadshow, which was filmed at Helmingham Hall.
Bury St Edmunds-based West Suffolk Sight, St Nicholas Hospice Care and St Peter’s Church, together with international equine welfare charity Brooke – Action for Working Horses and Donkeys, were invited to appear on the show after a first edition of George Stubbs’s “Te Anatomy of a Horse”was left to them in a will.
Brooke legacy manager Susan Hughes and St Nicholas Hospice Care legacy officer Nick Duncan represented the charities during the programme.
After an evaluation from rare book specialist Rupert Powell, who described the book as “the holy grail of equestrian books”, representatives of the charities were told that the book might be worth between £10,000 and £15,000.
On behalf of Brooke, a charity working to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable working horses, donkeys and mules, Susan Hughes said: “We’re extremely grateful to our generous supporter for giving this special book to us. Being featured on the Antiques Roadshow was a great experience and I hope it helps highlight the importance of leaving gifts in wills, which fund two-thirds of Brooke’s work.”
Mr Duncan commented: “Gifts in wills, regardless of their size and type, are the life-blood of the hospice and help to secure hospice care for the benefit of future generations. This book is one of the more unusual gifts we have seen in a will and we are very thankful to have been left a share in it.”
The book, which was part of a larger bequest by a Bury St Edmunds resident who passed away in 2016, was sold at Christie’s auction house in London for £10,000. The money will be shared equally between the charities to help them fund their vital work.
The Chairman of West Suffolk Sight, a charity supporting visually-impaired people in West Suffolk, remarked: “It’s heartening to know that one of our members was so appreciating of the help we gave her that she chose to remember us in this way.”
The Reverend Nick Alexander, Vicar of St. Peter’s Church, said “Since I arrived here three years ago, the congregation has supported me in embarking upon a major period of outreach and growth. Moving forward with our planned new initiatives will, as a result of this legacy, now be possible in a way previously unattainable.”
Pictured above is St Nicholas Hospice Care’s legacy officer Nick Duncan, Kate Yates from West Suffolk Sight and Susan Hughes from Brooke Action for Working Horses and Donkeys alongside Ian Nurcombe from St Peter’s Church.