Can You Play The Ocarina?

LITTLEPORT man Stuart Gathercole was digging a trench in King s Lynn when he saw a strange lumpy piece of clay lying in the mud among bits of old bottle on a former rubbish tip. It was only when he took it to Ely auctioneer David Palmer, who identified i

LITTLEPORT man Stuart Gathercole was digging a trench in King's Lynn when he saw a strange lumpy piece of clay lying in the mud among bits of old bottle on a former rubbish tip.

It was only when he took it to Ely auctioneer David Palmer, who identified it as none other than a Japanese transverse ocarina (also known as a sweet potato) - that Mr Gathercole realised the object was quite rare.

Mr Palmer then showed it to Bargain Hunt eccentric Tim Wonnacott who confirmed it was indeed an ocarina, possibly dating back to 1877.

Modern Japanese ocarinas are often made from plastic, and are used to play traditional music via a complicated system of finger holes.


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Neither the Ely Standard team, Mr Palmer or Mr Gathercole could get a note out of it, but can you do any better?

Take up the Ely Standard challenge and show us how to play an ocarina. Get in touch by telephone on 01353 667831 or by email to catherine.atkinson@archant.co.uk and we will publish your musical efforts on www.elystandard24.co.uk and the best performer will win a bottle of wine.

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Pic cap: David shows the ocarina to Bargain Hunt presenter Tim Wonnacott.

Photo: SUPPLIED.

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