Britain Is A Nation of History Hoarders

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Nearly three quarters of the country is keeping historical items in the hope they will be worth something in years to come - from 1970s Beano annuals and original Beatles records to WW2 ration books and gas masks, according to new research by the Yesterday channel to mark new series Trading History, which starts Wednesday 16 November, 7pm.

With a new 12-sided pound coin due to be introduced in March next year, the findings reveal that old coins are the most popular historical item kept by Brits, followed by classic vinyl albums and singles, stamps and football programmes.

The brand news series explores history through items up for auction - from previously unheralded World War Two heroes, incredible forgotten characters and tales from the 20th century to amazing new discoveries of historical items.

And according to the research conducted among 2,000 adults on behalf of the programme, 72% of Brits say they keep items because they think they will be worth something one day - with fewer than one in ten (9.25%) saying it's not something that interests them.

The Top 10 items Brits have bought in the hope that they will go up in value, according to Trading History:

  1. Old coins (bought by 26.1% of Brits)
  2. Vinyl records (21.5%)
  3. Stamps (19.9%)
  4. Football programmes (9.5%)
  5. Celebrity autographs (9.3%)
  6. Annuals (9.1%)
  7. Old video games (8.6%)
  8. Football shirts (8.5%)
  9. CDs (8.4%)
  10. Star Wars collectibles (6.1%)

Toys are an increasingly popular area for adults to buy in the hope that they increase in value, with over one in ten (13.9%) admitting they have purchased toys purely for their potential value, keeping them unopened and not allowing children to play with them.

The most popular toys considered likely to increase in value is Lego, bought by 7.9% of people quizzed, followed by price comparison site Compare The Market's Meerkat figures (4.1%), Doctor Who figures (3.1%), Action Man (2.92%) and Disney Frozen toys (1.74%).

Adrian Wills, general manager for Yesterday, said,

There is a wealth of fascinating historical detail behind the items featured on Trading History. People collecting items is a way of bringing the past alive, and the show explores how much these artefacts will make at auction. It's fascinating to find that we are a nation of collectors, with three quarters of the population holding onto items in the hope they'll be able to profit from them one day. It's also good to see that a good portion or people hold onto items for their historical value too.

A quarter (24.5%) say they put their historical items on display somewhere in the home, usually in frames or on shelves, while a further one in five (22.8%) bring them out to show guests who call.

And around one in thirty (3.26%) regularly post photos of their historical items on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

However, one in twenty (5.75%) admit they have sold, lost or thrown away something that is now worth a fortune - while a similar number (7.65%) have sold, lost or thrown away something which was worth a fortune at the time without knowing.

But money doesn't always matter to collectors, with a quarter of Brits (24.5%) keeping hold items purely for their historical importance - the most popular subjects being pre-decimal coins, from before 1971, kept by 33.1% of those quizzed, World War Two memorabilia (32%), 1970s memorabilia (22.3%), 1940s memorabilia (21.5%) and World War One memorabilia (20.6%).

However, keeping hold of historical items can sometimes cause domestic disputes - one in five (21.4%) say their partner thinks they're daft, telling them they WON'T increase their value, while seven per cent keep their items a secret from their other half.

Arguments in the home caused by keeping hold of items are most likely to be about the amount of space they take up (19.7%), that they will never become valuable (13.1%) and the amount of money spent on them (9.1%).

Regionally, history buffs in Wales are the most likely to collect items in the hope they'll go up in value, with a higher percentage of people in Aberystwyth more likely to keep 'lots' of items than anywhere else in the UK, followed by Cambridge and Portsmouth. And Worcester is the home of Lego-as-investment collectors, followed by Wrexham and (equally) both Coventry and Aberdeen.

Trading History is on every Wednesday, from 16 November, at 7pm on Yesterday.

Sample size: 2,000 UK adults polled nationwide 28-31 October 2016 exclusively on behalf of UKTV for Trading History.

For pictures, video and more press info:

Howard Bowden - 07720 839 852 /, Joe Dyble - 07771 825 359 / at Generation
Katie Sheldrake at UKTV

Trading History

About Trading History

Treasures reveal the history of the world, that's what makes them special and desirable. They are a tangible piece of the past that can be touched, held and owned.

How much would you pay to own Napoleon's hat? Or the Rolex watch that belonged to the 77th man through the tunnel in The Great Escape? Or the earliest aerial photographs of London? Or even a silver bell that belonged to Queen Elizabeth II as a child? Perhaps you'd like to own a 1912 photo of the iceberg that sank the Titanic? What about items that previously belonged to members of the British Secret Service? Or Napoleon's tooth? Or even a chair designed by Pharrell Williams? Or John Lennon's guitar?

These treasures sell at extremely high prices, anything from thousands to millions of pounds. Wealthy private collectors battle to outbid each other, and often they will outbid museums and public archives.

This all new series uncovers intriguing family history through the prism of auction house artifacts, and foes on an investigative and genealogical journey. The back story of each object for sale is revealed from three perspectives; the sellers, the buyers and the auctioneers.

The series examines famous figures from history - Churchill, Hitler, Napoleon, the Suffragettes, our royal monarchs and great writers of the 20th century - as their treasures have emerged at auction houses selling for millions after being hidden away from decades. For many items, this will be a 'last chance to see' before they disappear into private collections.

The opening episode features the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck, baby photos of Queen Elizabeth II, the death of an Irish aristocrat, antique eyewear, a WWI tank mask and clothing that once belonged to Queen Victoria.

About Yesterday

Sky 537, Virgin 206, Freeview 19, BT and TalkTalk 019 and on demand via UKTV Play Showcasing UK premiere series such as Raiders of the Lost Past, Forbidden History, and UFO Declassified, Yesterday provides fascinating factual stories. The channel also features dynamic nature and science programming including David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities and Why Planes Crash, and programmes which challenge expectations including Secrets of the Bible. Ancient history is also featured in series including Medieval Dead, plus modern conflict in shows such as Black Ops.

About UKTV

UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK.

The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for 9.31% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £319m and EBITDA of £82m. It invested £148m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.

Now celebrating its 23rd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list. / / @uktv_press