Every item touched by the famous

Lakes District Museum and Gallery education officer Amy Taylor (left) and front desk receptionist...
Lakes District Museum and Gallery education officer Amy Taylor (left) and front desk receptionist Jane Peasey present a Snow White and the Seven Dwarves book signed by Walt Disney, a golf club bag that belonged to Tiger Woods and Queen axeman Brian May's signed guitar, just three of the items on display in the new summer exhibition ''Sign of the Times''. Photo by James Beech.
Darth Vader's glove, Muhammad Ali's boxing trunks, Sir Paul McCartney's violin bass guitar and a check list from Apollo 17 are among the valuable exhibits on display in the Lakes District Museum and Gallery, Arrowtown.

''Sign of the Times'' opened at the weekend and is an Aladdin's cave of unique collectables from some of the giants of the worlds of entertainment, literature, politics, sport and aeronautics.

An anonymous and still active collector in Arrowtown, who built on the memorabilia saved by his father and grandfather, had made available a selection from his independently authenticated collection, museum director David Clarke said.

''He very generously has let us have these items over the summer period and I think this will be a popular exhibition because there's something for everybody,'' Mr Clarke said.

''There's some pretty famous people who have touched, held or signed these things.''

The black right-hand glove worn by Star Wars villain Darth Vader is signed in silver ink by the English bodybuilder and actor who played him, David Prowse. He wrote: ''If the glove fits, choke them!''Titans of sport are well represented, from football shirts signed by George Best and Pele to the flag flown by the American basketball ''Dream Team'' at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

A self-portrait by Michael Jackson, the glove worn by first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova, Katharine Hepburn's international driving licence and a variety of author-signed first-edition books and signed Hollywood portraits help make up the extraordinary exhibition.

Baseballs are signed by former United States presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter as well as James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, complete with his doodle of a DNA helix.

Each item is displayed with its back story about how it came to be collected.

''Sign of the Times'' runs in the Lakes District Museum and Gallery until February 23.

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