As a society we have always valued our storytellers, from when men and women exchanged stories while sitting around an open fire in medieval times to the modern day celebrity starring in a great new movie.
The perennial thread here is the simple story, and these days there is a modern take on the storyteller and that is the pawnbroker, which is the focus of a massive degree of interest from the public with reality TV shows focused on the day-to-day operation of pawnbrokers all over the world.
Stories from the….Pawnbroker
You might not believe it, but the pawnbroker is the source of a myriad of stories, and interesting goings on! When you think about it, it makes sense, as the pawnbroker is where people go to secure loans against their valuable assets, and assets often become valuable or more valuable based on the story which attaches to them.
An example if you don’t believe us!
The most interesting stories can come out of the pawnbrokers and the story of the Titanic relics is a really good example. Here is how it goes…
Mark Manning was no stranger to weird things coming through the door of his pawnbroker shop, but when someone called in with a plastic bag full of stuff alleged to be from the Titanic, he was a little taken aback. He bought the collection for 15k and it turned out that the hoard was actually worth 1.2 million, with most of the value attaching because of the story the relics preserved.
The chap with the plastic bag started his collection of Titanic items when he inherited a piece of the Titanic’s stairwell from a first class cabin on the liner. This piece was a small piece of carved wood which was initially preserved when it was gifted to a deckhand on the Cable Ship Minia- a ship that helped in the recovery operation of the wrecked Titanic. The collection expanded when a chap called George Tulloch gifted the avid collector a piece of the Titanic’s metal hull and these pieces were among the treasure trove that came through the door of Mark Manning’s pawn shop.
The remarkable collection was again expanded when the collector wrote to the manager of a Titanic salvage operation, expressing his anger that the ship was to be disturbed. The man who received the letter replied – defending his intentions and explaining that the salvage operation was about preservation of the ship – not profiteering. The friendship that came out of this strange of events led to even more expansion of the collector’s treasure trove of relics and Titanic related artefacts, and this is what ended up in that plastic bag bought by Mr Manning!
Modern Day Stories
Lots and lots of stories like this have emerged from pawnbrokers up and down the country, and even from as far afield as the USA. What is exciting as well is that the stories are about to get justice done to them, because pawnbroking is being drawn more and more into the mainstream as a result of its reinvention by clever startups like Unbolted.com who have shaken up the pawnbroking industry by making pawnbroking a fairer, more transparent process.
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