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TV show watches bidders do battle at Yeovilton

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

  • Flog It! presenter Paul Martin speaking to Lt Dan Inge in the air traffic control tower at RNAS Yeovilton, above, and walking out on the air field ready for a spin in an 815 Lynx, left

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BBC antique valuation show Flog It! uncovered a piece of wartime history while filming at Somerset's Fleet Air Arm Museum.

The show, which puts a price on visitor's hidden treasures then offers the chance to test the valuation at an auction, spent two days filming at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton.

Air base chief Commodore Jock Alexander shared a piece of Naval history in the form of a painting by artist Philip West of three air crew in a Swordfish torpedo bomber fighting off a German attack at Brest in February 1942.

Cmdre Alexander revealed the story behind the work on air, adding: "The Swordfish was in a squadron of six and the rear of this painting has the signatures of World War Two crew including two of the survivors of this particular battle."

Presenter Paul Martin said a similar work by the same artist depicting a Lancaster bomber had fetched £15,000.

"This picture is potentially more valuable as it is signed by battle survivors on the back, which makes it so much more special," he added.

The painting, which belongs to the Royal Naval Historic Flight, was returned to its place, hanging safely on the wall in the Commodore's office.

The Military Wives Choir from the air station sang during filming as TV hopefuls endured a five-hour wait.

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