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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

If only I'd kept...

Have you ever got rid of something only to regret it later?

My dad in his 2 stroke 1937 Morgan in 1953

My dad always maintained he should never have sold his Morgan sports car. "It'd be worth a fortune now!" he'd say. I'm guessing that when he'd had his in the 1950s, it wasn't the valuable iconic vehicle it is now and that he'd decided to change it for a more practical car.

In a recent moment of nostalgia (possibly induced by seeing a local news item about the construction of English Heritage's new bridge to Tintagel Castle) my husband recalled his childhood lead model collection of the Knights of the Round Table and wondered what happened to them.

He remembered them costing 4/11 (a tad less than 25p in "old money") and after much searching he found a photograph of the toy shop in Birmingham where he used to go to buy them - The Model Aerodrome, on the corner of Temple Row and Cherry Street.

King Arthur standing centre, Sir Percival 3rd from right on horseback

On a whim he browsed the internet and was excited to find Sir Percival for sale on eBay. He bought him and over the last few weeks, he's tracked down all the knights in his collection and bought them too, along with some more - even "the brown one" which he didn't like as a child and wouldn't waste his pocket money on it! They're all now on proud display on a shelf next to his painting easel.

The only thing I really regret getting rid of are my teenage diaries. I'm sure they'd make fascinating reading - that's if I could still decipher them, as I wrote them "in code". I was learning Russian at the time (not a great success - I can only remember how to say, Good Day, Good-bye, grandmother, Here is a chair and It's snowing) but I had the great idea of writing the diary entries using the Cyrillic alphabet phonetically - although they were in English, only anyone who understood Russian letters could read it. Neat, eh?

The Cyrillic script version (top line) of "written phonetically"

Sadly, though, my embarrassment at what was in the diaries (oh, if only I could remember!) overcame any appreciation of the value of posterity. With school behind me and college ahead, I decided I had no need of such childish things and I threw them on Dad's garden bonfire!

Have you ever thrown away anything that you now wished you hadn't?


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