THE nation's Sunday evening TV viewing would not be the same without a helping of the Antiques Roadshow, so to mark the BBC programme's 40th anniversary year we are looking back to 1993 when the cameras and experts came to Barrow.

Barrow Park Leisure Centre was the venue and 3,000 people turned up on a damp day to find out more about their treasured possessions.

First to arrive — at 6.30am — were sisters Hilary Thomson, from Barrow and Vera Langhorn, from Dalton. They were followed shortly afterwards by Ivy Norbury, from Barrow.

The highest valued item was a globe on a wooden stand from 1791 with a price tag of £6,000.

Barrow Town Hall had the second most valuable item — a Japanese bowl presented to the town in the 1930s by an admiral and said to be worth £3,000 to £5,000.

A spokesperson for the 1993 show said: "On the recording day, the doors open at 10am and between then and 4pm when the doors close, people pour in, clutching their personal treasures.

"An the roadshow guarantees that everybody in the queue will be seen by one of the experts on hand.

"From crumpled newspaper wrappings, carrier bags and battered boxes emerge curious, unusual, rare and occasionally highly valuable pieces.

"If an expert stops something special the owner will be asked to hear the expert's thoughts in front of the camera for the benefit of the viewers."

An article in The Mail described the day of frantic activity as the cameras rolled on Thursday, July 15 in 1993.

Presenter Hugh Scully said: "The show is much more about people than it is about antiques, people with all their humour and interesting stories and eccentricities."

The article noted: "Inside, the hall had been transformed with bright lights, a reception desk, a centre staging set with pieces of local furniture, signposting and little baize-topped tables for the experts to examine the wares.

"Ready with their detailed knowledge and instant valuations were 17 of the roadshow's pundits including Hilary Kay, Eric Knowles, Henry Sandon, David Battie, Richard Price, Henry Wyndham, Roy Butler, Christopher Payne and Ian Pickford — household names to the programme's many fans.

One of Hugh Scully's favourite items seen at the valuation day was a pole screen brought in by John Reed, of Millom.

The article noted: "It was made to stand by the fire so that ladies of old would not get too hot in the face as they sat sewing, otherwise the wax they used to smooth out their complexions would melt and run down their chins.

"Mr Scully was especially delighted because Mr Reed's pole screen had belonged to the famous Coniston philosopher John Ruskin.

"The screen part was an unusual painting on glass and it was valued at £400."

Plenty of the items seen by the experts at Barrow had values of under £10 but there were still shocks for some owners.

The article noted: "One man who bought a silver card case at a car boot sale a few months ago for £3 had it valued at £500 and a toy Princess Elizabeth locomotive that had belonged to someone's father-in-law was worth up to £2,000."

The article noted: "An Ulverston couple were shocked to discover a porcelain bowl was worth £1,000 — they had just given it to their daughter.

"The finale of the show was a look at some of the personal items that had belonged to Ulverston-born Stan Laurel from Bill Cubin's Laurel and Hardy Museum.

"The Antiques Roadshow team selected an ashtray Stan had made to balance on his finger after he had a stroke, one of his hats and his cocktail book."

On Thursday, October 11, in 2007, the BBC team was back to record another episode of the Antiques Roadshow - but this time from Ulverston Coronation Hall.

More than 2,000 people brought along items to be valued.

One of the oldest items was a rare wooden chest of the 1730s made by Benjamin Crooks, of London.

It belonged to Marion and John Williams, of Haverthwaite, and was given a valuation of £800. It had been bought around 50 years earlier for £22.

Dalton Parish Church found out about its 1571 communion cup from Silver expert Ian Pickford.

Church warden Bernard Rigg said: "He told us it's very valuable.

"It's nice to know it's been in Dalton parish for 500 years.

"It's still used for communion on special occasions. It's now going back in the bank."

The show's first item to be valued at £1m was a model by Antony Gormley of his sculpture Angel of the North in 2008.

It had been gathering dust in the offices of Gateshead Council for 13 years.

Another item valued at well above £1m was one of the five original FA Cup trophies which was brought to a valuation day in 2016.

It was in used between 1911 and 1991 before being retired due to wear and tear.