I am sure that all of us at some time have given away or disposed of personal items which in later years we wished we had held onto. Items that we had grown out of or we consider at the time to be of little value but which often prove to be of great value to us in years to come.
I often wish I had looked after and put away those Dinky Toys I had so many of has a child. If only I had kept that model 1952 coronation gold coach and team of horses that now sells on eBay for £100 upwards. If only I had held onto those pop concert programmes and pop mobilia items that just disappeared with time. If only I had stored away my collection of comics and Rupert annuals dating back to the 1950s. These and many more items that I took very much for granted are now much sought after collectors items.
There are so many of these action type shows on television at the moment and how often do we see items go for very high prices that we once had in our possession but got lost or given away over the years. If I had made a profession out of collecting all the mobelia associated with the sixties pop band ‘The Beatles’ I would have been a very wealthy man by now. But of course it is very easy to be wise in hind sight, none of us around at the time expected the kind of interest the Beatles would have all over the world even 60 years after they were formed.
Most of us have at least one item handed down through the family that we treasure, for me it is a scrapbook that a six year old brother of my Grandmother made. He must of made it sometime between 1906-13 when just a boy, there are some fine examples of Edwardian fashion and decorations from about the time, I also have one of his sketchbooks, he was a very good artist in my opinion. My one regret is I was unable to hang on to four volumes of books all about the Boer War that my Grandmother had, after her death they were sold along with the house contents. Some of the illustrations in the books of battles during the war were breathtaking, as a boy I used to spend hours looking through them. I believe the contents of the four massive books were released on a monthly basis and were collected by my Grandfather when just a lad and later bound together, shudder to think what they would be worth in today’s market.
However it is my belief that the greatest of all family heirlooms any one of us can possess is the simple family snap shot. I have only a very few photos of family members, just two of my Grandparents and none at all of my Grandfathers family. I wish I had taken more interest in family photos when I was younger, there were always loads of them lying around in drawers or in old handbags and now that I am researching my family tree there are so many gaps in my family where I have no knowledge of what any of them looked like. It was not until the 1960s and beyond that camera’s became affordable and in general use and that is why many of our family photos were often taken at the seaside by professional photographers. It’s a pity there is not a photo bank where you can send off for those lost pics of great uncle Jim or Great Aunt Maud. That is why it is very important that we try to preserve those family snap shots in our possession. The internet is a wonderful way of preserving them. There are many photo sharing sites like Flikr or Photo Bucket that will hold all of your photographs for free even. In future years your offspring’s offspring will be able hopefully to be able to view these treasured flicks and so will be able to put together a more detailed account of your life than any of us are ever likely to achieve of our ancestors.