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Deeside pawn shop a trove of unusual memorabilia

A REAL-LIFE Aladdin’s cave filled with an array of unusual items will feature on a new international television programme.

Regal Pawn, which is owned by businessman Mark Manning, is a cross between the BBC props cupboard and a museum – with an eclectic variety of items ranging from the ordinary to the unbelievable.

Autographed sports memorabilia, war medals, antique weaponry, coins, collectible Star Wars items including light sabers, original photographs of The Beatles and a mini-replica of Del Boy’s van powered by a mobility scooter engine are just some of the treasures you will find.

The company’s unit in Deva Business Park, Sealand, is currently a hive of activity as film crews are working on-site – but staff are remaining tight-lipped about what programme they will feature in for the time being.

Twelve members of staff are based at the facility – which has only been up and running since December – each with a different area of expertise.

Mark’s daughter Vicki has returned from Spain to help catalogue each of the items and set up the latest venture.

She said: “If someone wants to sell an item our experts offer an individual assessment and value it. We then come to a mutual agreement on a price and then we buy it.”

For centuries pawnbrokers have provided loans in exchange for valuable items which are then held for an agreed amount of time until the owner can repay the loan – plus interest – and reclaim their effects. If they failed to stump up the cash the pawnbroker would then have the right to sell the item to someone else.

But at family-run Regal Pawn items are available for sale to the public.

“We basically buy and sell,” added Vicki, whose family also run The Gold Shop in Queensferry.

“Everything has got a story, I could bore people to tears telling them all the details. I can name where every single item came from!”

For £1,000 you can take home Doctor Who’s Tardis – which was created by the Museum of Science and Industry for an exhibition – and £3,000 could buy you a working electric Dalek.

The most expensive item is a tiny but precious piece of the Titanic’s hull which has a price tag of £2m and is locked away for safekeeping.

Other Titanic memorabilia includes a wooden segment of the famous grand staircase and a fragment of a discarded offcut of carpet fitted in the liner.

To contact Regal Pawn, telephone 01244 459140 or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RegalPawn.