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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Keswick to Barrow pledge to fighting fund

FURNESS’ bid to secure a permanent home for a Viking hoard is gaining pace after a further £4,000 was pledged to the “Treasure Quest” fighting fund.

The Keswick to Barrow Walk Committee confirmed yesterday the donation would be made from money left from last year’s event.

The gift comes after more than 1,000 people flocked to the Dock Museum on Sunday to see the treasure, and be entertained by a visiting troupe of Vikings.

The hoard was uncovered last year in Stainton by a local man and is on display for one month only, unless the community can raise enough money to buy it.

K2B committee member Roy Barnes said the cache of silver coins and ingots was a vital part of the area’s history that should be retained locally.

“It’s a one-off find and it would be such a shame if we lost it,” he said.

The Barrow community must raise £49,500 to purchase the hoard or face the prospect of it being bought by another museum.

The K2B committee’s donation – together with £19,000 from the Furness Maritime Trust and £5,000 from Tarmac Limited – has reduced the shortfall to £21,500.

Dock Museum curator Sabine Skae said she was overwhelmed by the generosity and interest shown by locals towards the collection, which dates back to 950 AD.

“I’m absolutely delighted and it’s going to help enormously in getting the hoard back to Barrow,” she said.

Educator and entertainer Terry Harvey-Chadwick thrilled audience members on Sunday as his alter-ego Bjarni Thorvaldrson the Viking.

And another hoard, this time a collection of Chinese coins found in the Furness area last year, will be donated to the Dock Museum tomorrow. Local metal detectorist Dave Taylor, who uncovered the 105 coins, will be on hand to formally donate the cache to museum staff. The presentation will be followed by a talk by British Museum Asian coin expert Qin Cao. The free session will run from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.

• Donations to the Treasure Quest campaign – a joint initiative of the Evening Mail and Dock Museum – can be made in person at the museum or by calling 01229 876400.

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