TV antiques expert Paul Martin joined forces with Devizes auctioneers Hendry Aldridge & Son to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance on Saturday.

Hundreds of people took everything from jewellery to Toby Jugs to Melksham Assembly Hall to have them valued and explained by the experts.

Among those seeking advice was Idris Edmunds whose father Percy was a Melksham bookmaker and during the Second World War had been given a silver medallion made by a French soldier he had saved on the battlefield.

Mr Edmunds said: “The French man told my father he was learning to be a silversmith and it was the only thing of value he had. He wanted my father to have it for saving his life.”

Auctioneer and antiques expert Andrew Aldridge said: “It is a lovely story but unfortunately as a piece of silver it is only worth a very small amount.”

People who attended on Saturday with their bags of keepsakes had free entry and were given the chance to have free valuations with no obligation to sell.

But they also had the option to put forward their item or items for sale at Aldridge auctions on Saturday or March 14 when all of the sellers commission will be donated to Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Among them were former Devizes Mayor Andy Geddes and his family with a collection of trinket boxes and jewellery. He said: “They have just been gathering dust under the bed.”

Mr Martin, who lives in Seend,and is best known for TV show Flog It said: “I’ve been an Ambassador for Wiltshire Air Ambulance for three years now because it’s a charity that is so important to the local area.”

He was delighted that so many people turned up with valuables and believes several thousand pounds will be made from the donated commission. He said: “We are here to raise thousands not hundreds.” Several valuable clocks, paintings and collectable jewellery will be auctioned.