For a time I had a small collection of stones on my window sill. I was in the habit of kicking stones along the road as I went for a walk. Pebbles that had travelled some way became things I was reluctant to leave behind, so I picked them up and put them indoors on the window sill. Oddly, the collecting seemed to generate repeat behaviour on every walk, until one day I realised my charming collection had become a pile of meaningless stones and I threw them out - though not without a little sadness...

Almost every photograph I have of my wife on a beach shows her bending over looking for amber, sea glass or simply beautiful pebbles. I share her enjoyment of the finds themselves although I don’t feel the need to add to the collection...

Yesterday, along with an audience of around 20 people in the Old King's Head I listened with pleasure to the second part of Gary Alderton’s talk about his collection of memorabilia from the Great War. The objects that form the collection is inextricably linked with the meaning of each piece and this is far more important rather than any financial value particular items may have - in fact Gary enjoys explaining how little some have cost him! .

Clearly the Hoxne Hoard does have a financial value being largely composed of gold and silver. But the stories it tells, the stories it hides and the story of its finding seem to me to be the largest part of its value

Local man Eric Lawes was briefly a reluctant celebrity. Teaching in Stradbroke at the time of the Hoard’s discovery several children were keen to share in his fame as they related ‘a- friend-of-my-uncle-who-knows Eric Lawes.

It was his integrity and honesty that added immensely to the historical value of the find by allowing a fully professional excavation . The find, and Lawes exemplary behaviour, lead directly to the Treasure Act of 1996

It seems the things we treasure most are those that hold the most meaning for us. A friend whose house burned to the ground realised the most valuable things she had lost were the photographs of her son growing up. The pebbles on my window sill became just stones like any other when I could no longer relate the stories they commemorated.

The Hoxne Hoard - a talk by the highly entertaining Tony Diamond can be heard at the Waveney Heritage Centre on Sunday 30th September. Book Here

Part 3 of Gary Alderton's talk about his WW1 collection takes place on Thursday 27 September 2.30pm , The Old King's Head, Brockdish. Arrive early to get a seat!

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