Allan Blackburn column

Crowds browsing a meat stall at last year's Lancaster Food Festival.
Crowds browsing a meat stall at last year's Lancaster Food Festival.

So it’s a week after the big event and we are just getting the site back to normal.

After 12,000 people visited us over the Bank Holiday weekend for the Lancaster Food and Drink Festival, we’ve been taking down the marquees, clearing up and generally getting things back to normal.

You think that you’ve organised everything but with that many people on the site, it’s the little things you need to keep on top of.

We emptied the bins 20 times taking over 200 bags of rubbish away.

We got through an astonishing 300 toilet rolls and I’d hate to think how many gallons of water we used with the flushes.

So we all feel like we are getting back to the normal routine now (even though I’ve still some wonderful goodies in my freezer to enjoy this week).

This week a lady came in to the centre asking for a valuation on a cutlery set. We offer a free valuations service which is very popular, but hadn’t had many in the last few weeks, presumably because everyone’s attention had turned to food, so it was nice to get my hands on something this week.

Cutlery has been used for centuries, although initially its use was purely utilitarian rather than a sign of good manners. Knives and spoons were always widely used, but the fork did not appear until the 17th century.

As a result of the arrival of forks, the knife has became less of a ‘spear’ and their handles grew thicker.

Collecting cutlery is a rewarding hobby, all silver was marked from the 17th Century so it can be identified and there are hundreds of books around on hallmarks to help the collector out.

I was pleased to be able to tell the lady that her cutlery is worth about £8 for each piece.

I’ve asked her to go and check at home to see if the set is complete, because if it is the value will be in the hundreds of pounds which would be great news.