Friday, September 29, 2017

The Bishop's Castle Piano Mystery

Back in April BBC News reported this story:
A hoard of more than 900 gold sovereigns found hidden in a donated school piano has officially been declared as treasure as the coins’ original owner and the reasons for them being so covertly stashed still remains a mystery. 
Piano technician Martin Backhouse, 61, was astonished to discover the coins, found hidden under the upright’s keyboard and carefully stitched into seven cloth packets and a leather drawstring purse. 
He had been called in to tune the 110-year-old instrument at Bishop’s Castle community college in Shropshire, which received the piano last year from a couple who were “downsizing” their home. 
The hoard, the largest of its kind consisting of 633 full sovereigns and 280 half sovereigns dating between 1847 and 1915, was declared to be treasure by Shrewsbury coroner John Ellery. 
He said it was substantially made of gold or silver, was deliberately concealed by the owner with a view to later recovery, but that the owner, or his or her present heirs or successors, remained unknown.
This affair has now been the subject of a Punt PI programme on BBC Radio 4. Its researchers made some progress but failed to solve the mystery.

A mystery that begins in Bishop's Castle? We are clearly in Malcolm Saville territory here.

Indeed, his Lone Pine Five begins at Bishop's Castle market, where Tom buys Jenny what turns out to be a Roman spoon. It is a sign that there are Roman remains to be found in the Stiperstones. (Well, the Romans did mine lead there.)

Except that if they Lone Piners had got involved they would undoubtedly have solved The Bishop's Castle Piano Mystery.

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