A top collection that's hard to beat

SALLY KIDSON
Last updated 13:00 07/01/2014

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Some people collect teaspoons, but Geoff Scott collects British police helmets.

"I guess some people collect wives," Mr Scott said. "It's like stamp collecting, you see something you are interested in and away it goes."

His collection of helmets now numbers about 70 and is displayed in his Stoke home.

A former Senior Sergeant who served in Christchurch and the West Coast, Mr Scott has a long held interest in collecting enforcement memorabilia. Some of his helmets are "battled scarred" and some are new.

He will be displaying his collection at the The Nelson Antique Bottle & Collectables Club show and fair at the Suburban Club, Tahunanui Drive on Saturday.

Antique dealers and collectors from all over New Zealand will be exhibiting and selling a range of goods, from postcards to pottery, paintings to paperweights.

Mr Scott said there were 43 police forces in England and Walese, with each having its own helmet. Some of the forces are specialist including port police, parks police and civil nuclear police.

His favourite helmet is one of the rarest and comes from from the City of London Police - a force that covers only the financial district, also known as The Square Mile.

Helmets can cost from $50-$400, but shipping them from the UK can add another $40.

Mr Scott will also be displaying memorabilia from the former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The RUC was replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland in 2001. During the Troubles, more than 300 members of the RUC were killed and almost 9000 injured in paramilitary assassinations or attacks.

In peaceful contrast, Mr Scott's wife Merys will be displaying some of her vast collection of TY bears, including a very rare New Zealand "Ferny" bear.

Spokeswoman for the show Judy Pittman said the show would host a wide range of antiques and collectables.

While it was put on by the The Nelson Antique Bottle & Collectables Club, it was "not just old bottles".

Collectors would be showing items from their private collections.

"There will be something for everyone."

Mrs Pittman said people would be interesting memorabilia from Nelson also on display including items from the old Kirkpatrick Jam Factory, which was in the now demolished VTNZ building.

Collectors and specialists at the show would be available to provide people with approximate valuations of pieces.

People who had items they were curious to know were valuable or not were welcome to bring them along.

"You are welcome to bring along Granny's old clock or that vase you found at a garage sale."

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Items will be available to buy, swap or sell at the show. Entry is $5.

- The Nelson Mail

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