As every second household in Petersfield and the surrounding area seems to have spent the summer clearing their bookshelves, we have had an avalanche (or tsunami depending on your preference for natural disaster metaphors) of books into the shop.
Needless to say they were not all of the highest quality so a lot, a very lot, of sacks have been filled and stay piled up in the back room until the strong young man comes to collect them on a Friday.
But enough of all that – I certainly have had recently.
Donated last week were a couple of medals, one a Women’s Voluntary Service medal from the second world war and, another which says it was presented by the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs ( a very small clubhouse or a very small gun – who knows?)
And we had a tin cap-badge which had ‘Peninsular’ on it and we thought was from the Peninsular War.
The best beloved did a bit of research into the cap badge and found that the regimental museum was in Winchester – a hop and skip away.
On Saturday we decided in a rather spur of the moment, raffish way, to go to this museum and see what we could find out about the badge.
It is a very nice museum – given that it is all about war – and there is an amazing model of the Battle of Waterloo, but also had on its premises, the curator – which was a real bonus.
So we got to find out that it was not a cap badge from the Peninsular War but a later one and worth not much at all – we hadn’t had big hopes on that score so not a disappointment.
And now we have its history, I am planning to have a display of military history books with the medals and their backgrounds on the shop table.
So, are we Oxfam volunteers so easily delighted.
(Should you be interested in the Rifle medal here is what I found out http://www.rifleman.org.uk/Society_of_Miniature_Rifle_Clubs.htm)