Paul Atterbury is a freelance writer and lecturer specialising in 19th and 20th century Art and Design.
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An old camera that had been used in the Cottingley Fairy saga
Paul was formerly a historical adviser to Royal Doulton and editor of The Connoisseur. His books include Moorcroft Pottery, Dictionary of Minton, Poole Pottery, Cornish Ware, The North of France, The Thames, Country Railways, Branch Line Britain, and Exploring Britain’s Canals. He was the Curator of the Pugin Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in 1994 and the same Museum’s Victorian Vision Exhibition in 2001.
Despite never having an ambition to appear on television, Paul has been working with the 'Miscellaneous' team on the Antiques Roadshow for over 20 years. With a huge variety of interests and expertise including railway history, World War I, sculpture and 1920-30s jazz, it is no surprise that Paul has recorded a whole range of objects in his time on the Roadshow. One of his favourite items turned up in Belfast when Paul was presented with an old camera, which turned out to have been used in the Cottingley Fairy saga. "This was really a case of touching history, and it started me on a quest to find out more about the whole Cottingley story", he explains.
Outside the Roadshow, one of Paul’s main passions is the World War I. Since the 1980s, Paul has visited the battlefields of the Somme at least once a year. What began as an interest in the work of architect Edward Lutyens, later turned into a personal pilgrimage when Paul discovered the name of his great uncle commemorated on the memorial at Thiepval.