Old Masters

Season 11, Episode 6
Old Masters title card
Air date 2nd December 2001
Written by Douglas Watkinson
Directed by Noreen Kershaw
Episode guide
Home Sweet Home
The Rivals


George Woodford, 80, sets off from his cottage on the moors on his vintage motorbike, Lord Ashfordly decides to open the Hall to the public, and the police investigate an art theft.

Full SummaryEdit

George Forrester is an eighty year old veteran art thief. As his health begins to fail he feels the need to have one last dalliance with danger and the opening of Ashfordly Hall to the public provides the perfect opportunity. Vernon's grand tours of the Hall are part of the service provided by the newly created Noble Endeavours Ltd. George joins a tour for the chance to browse around, and nab a series of Constable sketches. He phones an old contact, Bill Weatherby, to see if he can sell the sketches on only to find out that he has died and his nephew Steven Collier has taken on the business. Steven has no interest in what George has to offer him. The alarm is raised that there has been a theft at Ashfordly Hall. Amongst the suspects are Eileen Jepson, the programm seller and George's friend and cleaner and a mysterious Robert Price who has been taking a keen interest in the price of Ashfordly's valuables. However Craddock is soon on to another lead after Blaketon recognizes George Forrester from photographs taken on the first tour. Mike and Tom are sent to question Forrester but Mike is forced to turn back to tend to another case. Tom goes on alone and enters the house to see George mugged and bound to a chair. As he valiantly goes to rescue George, he gets a brief glance at Steve Collier before he smashes a heavy vase over Tom's head and runs out with the sketches. Tom is stunned but finds the blow is less painful when Tricia comes to his aid. The sketches aren't in Georges house. Craddock interrogates him to find out exactly what has happened much to the annoyance of Tricia who has sharp words with Mike about George's delicate health. Her words are soon proved to be correct when, under heavy questioning George has a heart attack and later dies in hospital. At the funeral Ventress gently talks to Eileen Jepson discovering that she has hidden the sketches in George's allotment in attempt to protect George. She also tells Ventress about George's phone call to Steve Collier. They hastily track him down and arrest him in Whitby. Craddock is still perplexed about Robert Price, the rather shifty character that has been hanging around the Hall. All becomes clear when Price announces that he is in the Insurance business and that if Ashfordly's wants to continue to open the Hall to the public his insurance will rise ten- fold. Needless to say Ashfordly swiftly decides to close the Hall to the public and Vernon is left to explain to the people eagerly awaiting his next tour.



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