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'It was a massive surprise' say couple who owned piano with hidden hoard of gold inside

A couple who donated a piano to a local school which then turned out to have a hoard of stashed gold sovereigns hidden inside say 'It was a massive surprise'.

Graham and Meg Hemmings had owned the piano for 33 years from when they lived in Saffron Walden in Essex.

They moved to Shropshire two years ago and donated the piano to a local school, where the gold was discovered when it was being tuned.

An Inquest concluded it was treasure, meaning it will now be offered for sale to a museum. The school and the piano tuner who found the gold could be in line to benefit with a reward of up to the market value of the coins under the Treasure Act of 1996.

The original owners say they're happy the find will now benefit the school.


19th Century court turned house up for sale in Royston

The Old Magistrates' Court on Priory Lane, Royston Credit: Royston & District Museum

A 19th Century police station and magistrates court is up for sale in Hertfordshire, complete with three prison cells.

The Old Magistrate's Court on Priory Lane in Royston has been converted into a four bedroom town house and is on the market for £800,000.

The three former cells are now used as a gym, a utility room and a study, while the old courtroom which was last in session in 1990, is a lounge and dining area.

One of the cells is used as a utility room Credit: ITV News Anglia

"People are always sort of taken back by it, I'm not sure if they're daunted by the history of it, it's a bit quirky for them, but people are always amazed by it and we're just waiting for the right person to come along and buy it."

– Laura Browning, Fine & Country
The hallway where the cells are Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's always fun to say come and visit me in prison. You're living in a part of history and its quite a dark, potentially dark history, so there's that feeling that this is a place that had meaning to a lot of peoples lives. It's quite a creative space I feel, I spend a lot of time in the cells actually just working, you've got total isolation."

– Tameen Antoniades, Owner
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