In a triumph of restoration, an Iron Age helmet recovered as part of the Aedbald Road, Charleton Marshall Treasure and which many thought damaged beyond repair, goes on show for the first time tomorrow in the Edna Whisky-McNightly Gallery of the Anglo-Saxon Museum and Dark Age Experience Park, Fleetsbridge.
Perhaps the "crown jewel" in the finds and certainly unique in its completeness, the helmet was excavated by University of Afpuddle archeologist Professor Mona Lith and her team in 2019 shortly after they took over the dig from amateur excavationist Basil Bone*.
* for a different and truer picture of who exactly made the discovery and who subsequently "f**ked it up" see the forthcoming THREADFLIX | thrupiecefilm "The Big Boat in the Garden".
Little is known of the circumstances in which the helmet was buried and - were the University of Afpuddle's academics to prevail - even less would be known about the circumstances of its recovery, including the notorious incident in which, having been found and kept safely in Mrs Luckie's under-stairs cupboard for more than a year, it was accidentally run over as it was being readied for transport to the University of Afpuddle's forensic laboratories by the Department's transit van. Since that time the helmet has not been seen in public pending restoration of both its fabric and the Archeology Department's reputation. That the priceless artefact has now been returned to its near-original condition is a triumph for Bradford Abbas Technical College-trained garage mechanic Sid Yobbe.
Sid's reputation as a panel [should that be wife? [Ed]] beater - "he's a dab hand with an oxy-acetylene torch, a pair of pliers and a round-headed hammer" - came to the attention of embarrassed University of Afpuddle conservators when the call went out for someone who could straighten out the mangled helmet prior to its unveiling as part of the planned Aedbald Road Exhibition. "Sid has done a terrific job", Exhibition Curator Ayron Aige said, "he's not only talented, he's very discreet, largely because he can't string a sentence together. In his private life he keeps himself to himself though he does have a group of like-minded friends who - surprisingly - recently had a letter published in the Sydling St Nicholas Sun. I believe their letter was something to do with an itinerant celebrity... but in any case it wasn't about helmets - or at least not ones like this".
Unable to break the habits of a thus-far relatively short lifetime, Sid has added a small touch of his own to the restoration, though opinion is divided as to whether or not it's an improvement. "There's nothing remotely authentic about it", says Ms Aige, "though it has attracted a lot of interest and the possibility of sponsorship. We are currently in discussion with Netherbury Nissan to see if they are willing to pay for the catalogue.