In Lancashire, the Victorian dining chairs and Antique desks seen on Antiques Roadshow have been known to throw up a few surprises. However, a surprise of a different kind greeted Australian viewer Chris Dawson when he tuned in recently. He is convinced a woman in the background is his ex-wife Lynette, who was last seen alive in 1982. She was presumed murdered – though no body was ever recovered.
The episode was filmed in Padstow, Cornwall in 2006, but has only recently aired on Australian TV. Part of season 29, it was recorded at stately Prideaux Place over two episodes. The host was Michael Aspel, who remained with the show until 2007. At the time, the most exciting finds were a letter written by Lord Nelson on board the Victory, and a (possibly) rare Ming vase. Neither Michael nor the viewers could have guessed the ordinary-looking woman in the background would bring the episode back into the headlines in 5 years’ time.
But is it Lynette Dawson? Her family say not, pointing out that Lynette would never have worn such “frilly, lacy clothes” as those worn by the mystery Roadshow woman. Then again, a few hours spent at Prideaux Place are enough to make anyone think differently about the way they dress. Visitors from Cumbria can see the antique desks, Chippendale cabinets and antique bookcases of this stately Elizabethan and Gothic Revival manor for themselves, when it reopens at Easter.
Antique dealers in Preston sell Victorian dining chairs and antique desks very like those at Prideaux – which may yet turn out to have an extra skeleton or two in its closets.
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