Commonwealth record holder puts medal haul on display
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Medals won by the Commonwealth's most decorated sportsman have gone on display after being lovingly restored.
Mick Gault, from Dereham, competed in shooting at six Commonwealth Games, winning 18 medals in the process.
His bronze in the 10-metre air pistol event at Glasgow 2014 brought him level with fellow shooter Phillips Adams, but Mr Gault's nine golds put him top of the pile.
They first went on display for a short time at Norski Noo's Gallery, off Nunn's Way in Dereham town centre, in 2019 - allowing the public to see his haul in the flesh.
But earlier this year Mr Gault discovered the impressive metalwork had fallen into a state of disrepair and, after some much-needed TLC, they have been restored to a stunning condition by Breckland Framing and Restoration.
"Many months ago I decided to have the medals cleaned and it was fair to say they needed to be refurbished," said the 68-year-old, who lives in Toftwood.
"We decided to have them redone and the framer spent a long time doing them - and has done a fine job.
"I'm totally blown away by the results. They've been taken to another level and each frame now helps to tell a story."
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Andy Sullivan, who runs Norski Noo's, said it was a pleasure to have the awards on display alongside letters from former prime minister David Cameron and the Queen for his OBE.
"They look great," he added. "It's a unique collection and it's obviously the largest medal haul there is. With that in mind and the fact they are so well presented, it is quite a spectacle.
"Dereham should be taking pride in these. It's a unique collection, and a tangible collection that people can see.
"A lot of older people in Dereham know about Mick, but young people not so much. We've got a lot of sports people and these should serve as encouragement and show what can be achieved."
While Mr Gault himself takes immense pride in his achievements, he insists the medals belong to his town.
He added: "I may have won them but, to me, they are Dereham's medals."
Mr Gault's medals will remain on display at Norski Noo's until September 1, before being exhibited at the National Shooting Centre in Surrey.