Episode 16 Antiques Road Trip


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Episode 16

Antiques challenge. Auctioneers Philip Serrell and Natasha Raskin take to the open road in the search for treasure. Their first leg takes them through Wales.


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It's the nation's favourite antiques experts...

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I don't know what to do.

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..with £200 each, a classic car,

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and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.

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What a little diamond.

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The aim? To make the biggest profit at auction but it's no mean feat.

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Back in the game! THEY LAUGH

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Charlie!

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There'll be worthy winners and valiant losers.

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So, will it be the high road to glory or the slow road to disaster?

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Oh!

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This is the Antiques Road Trip!

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Yeah.

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It's a brand-new road trip,

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and we are coasting along with a freshly minted twosome -

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Philip Serrell and Natasha Raskin.

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When I found out I was working with you, Phil, I was a bit nervous.

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What, really?

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Yes, because your reputation goes before you.

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Ha! It does indeed!

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Philip Serrell is an august auctioneer based in Worcester,

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who brings his many years of experience to the game.

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-How old are you?

-28.

-Great.

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SHE LAUGHS How old are you?

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Shut up.

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Not to mention his sunny disposition.

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Glaswegian Natasha Raskin is a relative newcomer to the Trip.

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But this bright young auctioneer, specialising in contemporary

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art, has already proved herself a very canny competitor.

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This is my second only ever Road Trip.

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I'm looking forward to it.

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I'm really looking forward to it. It's lovely to work with you.

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Our duo are driving a delightful 1957 Porsche 356 coupe.

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Delish!

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What do you think of our car?

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I think this car is pretty great.

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I genuinely thought I was going to be more Penelope Pitstop.

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I don't know who I am right now. Mr Magoo.

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But it's great.

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Hmm. Eyes on the road, Natasha.

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Both of our experts begin this journey with £200 in their pockets.

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On this epic road trip,

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Philip and Natasha will journey from Narberth in Pembrokeshire, Wales,

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covering several hundred miles to end

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up in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.

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On this leg, they are winding through the Welsh countryside,

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heading for auction in Cross Hands, in Carmarthenshire.

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Let's hope they are not sitting on their hands.

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Pembrokeshire is just the best place.

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-I love this part of the world.

-So beautiful.

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-We are sort of slap bang in the middle, aren't we?

-Yeah.

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-This is exciting.

-It's all of that.

-I just don't know what to expect.

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Neither do I.

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First stop this morning is the town of Narberth,

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where our two part ways at the rugby club.

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Have a lovely time.

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-Oh!

-Be careful.

-There we go.

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-Take care.

-Thank you so much. Take care.

-See you soon, lovely.

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You won't find any items there, Phil.

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Never seen him look so happy.

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Oh, I don't know, maybe there is an antiques shop around.

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Ah, there we are!

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Dealer Peter awaits inside.

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-High, you must be Peter.

-Good morning, Phil.

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-Welcome to the Malthouse.

-Good to see you.

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You've got some stuff in here, haven't you!

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We are crammed with it, yes.

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Certainly is. Full to bursting.

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If I'm going to beat Natasha, or Tash,

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who's suddenly become my new best friend because I think she's lovely,

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I've got to box really clever here.

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I've either got to think what's going to do well.

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But the other thing I've got...

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What was the other thing I could think of?

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I don't know, Phil, what was it? Must be your age, dear.

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My plan is, I've got to try and buy specifically for the auction.

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That's really my plan.

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Good, I'm so glad you've cleared that up, Phil.

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Look out, he's onto something. Get the nurse, quick.

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What on earth is that off? It's a measuring stick.

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It's got on here, look - Bentley & Taylor, London.

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So it's got to be quite a well-made thing.

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Customs & Excise.

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So this is actually...

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It's got a brass cap down here.

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This measuring stick, marked as being used by

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Customs & Excise, is priced at £20.

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Do you know what...?

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I haven't got a clue what that is.

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But I think that's quite fun.

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So he's got the mystery measure in his sights and he's browsing on.

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Hmm.

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I don't think so, do you, Phil?

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No, best not, but here is something more promising.

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See, that's quite fun.

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You know, this is a little miniature cricket bat.

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Signed by the Australia cricket team 1956.

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I mean, actually it's not signed

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because these are all facsimile signatures. It's a transfer print.

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That's a bit of fun, isn't it, you know?

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15 quid. I've got a couple of cheapies I might be in for here.

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Yeah, he has also spotted a ship's light,

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probably dating from the early 20th century,

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which is marked up at a hefty £95,

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which, added to the measuring stick and bat, have a

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combined ticket price of £130.

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I think time for a sit down, Phil, don't you?

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Your ship's light, has that been in long?

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No. It came in two, three weeks ago.

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What can you do on prices for me? What about the light?

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The ship's light...

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95 on...

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I can treat you today and do it for 45.

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-OK, would you mind getting the light for me?

-No, I'll do that for you.

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I see no ships only hardships.

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Let's hope it's not hardships for Phil.

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What deal can they strike for all three items?

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-I'm going to put these two in at a tenner each.

-OK.

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-Ten, ten, 30. That's 50 quid.

-Yes.

-That all right?

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-Yes, that seems reasonable to me.

-You are a gentleman, sir.

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Thank you very much indeed. Thank you. Let me get some money out.

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You better had. That's quite a deal.

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All three items for a nice, clean £50.

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Meanwhile, Natasha has driven on to the Pembrokeshire town

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of Newport, where she is strolling off into the

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Carningli Centre, a fine place to hunt for a special buy.

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She's meeting dealer, Anne.

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Hello?

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-Hello.

-Oh, hello. Hi. I'm Natasha.

-Hello, I'm Anne.

-Lovely to meet you.

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-What a lovely wee shop!

-Thank you.

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And she is on the hunt.

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Nice squirrels!

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And she is finding out that this shop goes full steam

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for one kind of item.

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I don't have a clue what I'm looking for,

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but I think that if I was looking for railwayana,

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I think I know where we would find it.

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Phil would go mad if he was in here.

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He would be absolutely in his element.

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I'm just trying to think what Phil would buy. What would Phil buy?

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And I think the answer to that is stop thinking what Phil would buy

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and maybe concentrate on what I should buy.

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Have a look around.

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Now there's an idea.

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And she's soon spotted something that really fires up her interest.

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These are just so lovely. They've got to be Arts & Crafts.

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It's a pair of early 20th-century firedogs,

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used in a hearth to support firewood.

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They are in the Arts & Crafts style.

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And like Natasha, possibly of Scottish origin.

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They certainly seem to appeal to her.

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Yeah, they are really nice. It's a sort of thin gauge of copper.

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Hand beaten.

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This lovely, typical Arts & Crafts motif in a kind of foliage style.

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Then a bit of a sunset or something in the top. They are just lovely.

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They are really, really nice. And they are only £30.

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I'm getting the impression you quite like them.

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I think I would like to have a punt at these.

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Because they are really, really lovely.

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Yes, time to talk to Anne then.

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I suppose it's not really in my interest to say this, Anne,

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but they are quite reasonably priced. I mean, £30 is the price.

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Is there any movement on that?

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-I could do them for 25.

-25.

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Do you know what, Anne, I really think for the pair, 25 quid...

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It's such a great deal. Can I please shake your hand on that?

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-Lovely.

-I'm really, really grateful.

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Deal done very decisively. And her first buy is in hand.

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Now, Phil has travelled on to the village of Rhydowen,

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a pretty pastoral little place, to continue the day's buying.

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Oh, that's nice.

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Phil is strolling off into Alltyrodyn Antiques,

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where dealer Chris is on hand to help.

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-Hi, how are you?

-Hi, good.

-I'm Philip.

-Hi, Philip, I'm Chris.

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Chris. Is your phone box for sale?

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-Could be.

-Right, how much is it?

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Make me an offer.

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This isn't the way it's supposed to work.

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I don't know, is it worth £100?

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No, it's worth rather more than that, my dear. 700, 800 quid.

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Yeah, I think they are worth between £600 and £1,000, aren't they?

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-Yeah, about that.

-I won't be buying that then, will I?

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Nope, Philip, you will not. Chris certainly seems like a canny one.

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You will need your wits about you in this shop.

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Philip still has £150 to spend. So he had better get hunting.

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This looks a bit more realistic.

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This is fun, isn't it?

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BELL RINGS

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I quite like that.

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An old wooden till with working key and bell.

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It probably dates from the early 20th century. And is priced at £60.

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And there is another surprising item as well.

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This is interesting, isn't it, Chris?

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Because to the outside world,

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-that looks like a small chest of four drawers.

-Yeah.

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-But you and I know that ain't a chest of four drawers.

-We do.

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It is, in fact, a commode.

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Handy. It's mahogany and probably dates from the late Georgian period.

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Ticket price is £35.

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Its inner fittings have been removed, perhaps thankfully. Ha!

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It could make a handy little firewood store.

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Or be made into firewood.

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That is just wonderful quality mahogany, isn't it?

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It's lovely, yeah.

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And that is just the finest woodworm you see. Can you see that?

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-Yeah, I wouldn't bang that too hard.

-No.

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He likes the till and the commode. So I feel a haggle coming on.

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Come into my office, please.

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Have a seat, please.

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First, the till.

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Go on, how much is it?

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-40 quid.

-Behave!

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-I'll give you 40 quid for it...

-Yeah?

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But you've got to throw in the commode.

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-No!

-I'll give you 40 quid the two.

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-45.

-No, honestly, 40 is the end for me. It is the end.

-Go on, then.

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-Are you sure?

-Yeah.

-You are an angel. Thank you very much indeed.

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Let me get some money out.

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Thanks to a very generous deal from Chris,

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he's got another two items for £40.

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The Silver Fox.

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Now Natasha has jumped back in the car.

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Her next stop is the town of Cardigan.

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Cardigan Castle to be precise.

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It's the site of the first Eisteddfod,

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an ancient Welsh festival of music

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and poetry that has been staged for hundreds of years

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and has exported the unique culture of Wales all over the world.

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Natasha is meeting historian Glen Johnson.

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-Hello, hi, I'm Natasha. Nice to meet you.

-Nice to meet you.

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The castle comprises buildings of many different eras,

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including some dating back to the medieval period.

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It's a reminder, really -

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Cardigan Castle has a 900-year history.

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And through that history, it's constantly been reinventing itself.

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The first person to reinvent it was a man called Lord Rhys.

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-Rhys ap Gruffydd.

-OK.

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He changed it from being a wooden castle,

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established by the Normans in 1110, to a stone castle.

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He was the first Welshman ever to build a castle in stone.

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It was completed in 1176.

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He held an event here which was a house-warming

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party for his new castle.

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And the event was the pre-runner of the modern national Eisteddfod.

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Lord Rhys was a prominent Welsh prince who use the castle to

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improve relations with the English king.

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His parties became the Eisteddfod, a festival in which the country's

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greatest musicians and poets competed to win prizes.

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A house-warming party has gone on to become a national event?

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-How did that happen?

-Yes.

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Rhys was clever enough to understand there was a very fragile

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-peace at that time between himself and King Henry.

-OK.

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What was becoming really popular in European courts

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were big artistic events.

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So he thought he would do something like that here.

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He'd invite people from all over Britain

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and probably from the Continent as well.

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And he'd have contests in music and poetry.

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And in doing so, he'd show the rest of Britain that, you know,

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the Welsh are not barbarians, we are a cultured,

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-civilised people with long musical and poetic traditions.

-Very nice.

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And it was. It was a hugely successful event.

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It probably secured the survival of Welsh culture.

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Really, you think it is significant as that?

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-I think so, yeah.

-Amazing.

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The Eisteddfod continued but didn't emerge in its modern form

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until many centuries later.

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In 1792, a man who went by the bardic name of Iolo Morganwg...

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-That's some name.

-It is. He held an event in London,

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and that was the beginning of a major resurgence.

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There is one item above all others that explains unique

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part of the festival's traditions.

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I think the first thing we have to talk about is this beautifully

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-carved chair. I'm guessing it's of some importance.

-Yeah, well,

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the chair has always been the great symbol of the Eisteddfod.

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Going back to the very first one.

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Lord Rhys had this idea.

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Instead of giving a cash prize for the best bard or the best

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musician, he'd set a chair for them.

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-This may sound a bit odd nowadays...

-It does, yeah.

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In those days, most ordinary people sat on benches or stools.

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Chairs were reserved for really important people.

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The bishop had a chair. The prince had chair. The king had a chair.

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Ordinary people did not have a chair.

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So the idea of almost enthroning the best bard, you know,

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you were paying them a great honour by having a chair for them.

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And this tradition has carried on.

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In every Eisteddfod now, a carpenter will be asked to produce a

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chair which will be his imagining of how an Eisteddfod chair should be.

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So each chair is unique. And the winner gets a chair like this.

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From the Victorian period onwards, the Eisteddfod

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and its traditions became the most important celebration of Welsh arts.

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It's become really,

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if you like, the mark of national excellence really in Welsh culture.

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So to have been a competitor in an Eisteddfod

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-is regarded as, you know, kudos.

-Yeah.

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And to have won your category in Eisteddfod, you know,

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really is a sign that you've arrived as a representative of your art.

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How has it changed?

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Not only has it branched out across the UK but internationally.

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There's Eisteddfodau all over the world.

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The view from the battlements at the top of the castle

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illustrates how the Eisteddfod took on the world.

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Wow, this is quite the view!

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-Yep, this is the outer defence of the castle itself.

-OK.

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From here, you get a great view of the river.

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And it's a reminder that in the early 19th century,

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Cardigan was one of the biggest seaports in Wales.

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One of the biggest seaports in the country.

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Cardigan ships sailed all over the world.

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And like other people stealing from other Welsh ports,

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one of the things they took with them

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to these different countries was the idea of the Eisteddfod.

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All these Welsh emigrants going all over the world established

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Eisteddfodau in all sorts of surprising places.

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Canada, the United States, Australia, I've even

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-heard of an Eisteddfod in Japan.

-Amazing!

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And some of them

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have become quite large annual events overseas as well.

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-Yeah, I can imagine.

-The Eisteddfod has gone global.

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The festival is still the most prominent symbol of Welsh

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culture all around the world today.

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Glen, I have to say,

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it's been absolutely fascinating meeting with you today.

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-What a great tale.

-Thank you very much.

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With that, a jam-packed first day draws to a close.

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Night-night, Road Trippers.

0:17:200:17:22

Nothing will keep our energetic pair off the trail for long.

0:17:240:17:28

And the morning finds them back in the Porsche

0:17:280:17:31

and gearing up for the competition ahead.

0:17:310:17:34

How many things have you bought?

0:17:340:17:36

Um, one.

0:17:360:17:37

Good thing?

0:17:370:17:39

-One good thing.

-One very good thing?

0:17:390:17:41

-Good to very good.

-Oh, no! No, no, no!

0:17:410:17:45

-In my humble opinion.

-Oh, no!

0:17:450:17:47

So far, Natasha has bought only one item -

0:17:480:17:51

the pair of Arts & Crafts firedogs for £25 -

0:17:510:17:55

meaning she still has £175 to her name.

0:17:550:17:58

Philip has been extravagant by comparison.

0:18:000:18:03

He's already bought five items - the measuring stick,

0:18:030:18:07

the souvenir cricket bat,

0:18:070:18:09

the ship's light,

0:18:090:18:11

the till

0:18:110:18:13

and the commode.

0:18:130:18:15

The one lot was a mistake, really. A real mistake.

0:18:150:18:19

Well, we'll find out on the day, won't we?

0:18:190:18:21

I'm guessing it's the woodworm playing on Phil's mind.

0:18:210:18:25

Is that right?

0:18:250:18:27

-I bought livestock.

-No, you didn't.

-I did, honestly.

0:18:270:18:31

I promise you, I bought livestock.

0:18:310:18:33

Woodworm. A whole herd of it.

0:18:330:18:36

Have you ever seen a herd of woodworm?

0:18:360:18:38

There is a thought.

0:18:380:18:40

This morning they are in Trecastle.

0:18:410:18:43

This historic village nestles on the border of the beautiful

0:18:440:18:48

Brecon Beacons National Park.

0:18:480:18:50

A lovely place to kick off the day.

0:18:500:18:53

Beautifully driven. Beautifully handled.

0:18:530:18:55

SHE LAUGHS

0:18:550:18:58

Right, OK.

0:18:580:19:00

Which way? Oh, thank you so much.

0:19:000:19:02

They are clearly getting on well.

0:19:030:19:05

We'll see how long that lasts when there's bargains to be fought over.

0:19:050:19:09

They are heading into Trecastle Antiques Centre

0:19:090:19:12

and meeting dealers Margaret and Louise.

0:19:120:19:15

-Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Tasha.

-I'm Margaret.

0:19:150:19:18

-Margaret, nice to meet you.

-I'm Louise.

-Louise, lovely to meet you.

0:19:180:19:21

Nice to meet you. We are all charm today.

0:19:210:19:24

Right, you two, time to get buying.

0:19:240:19:26

-Have you been emptying your local church?

-I wouldn't do such a thing!

0:19:300:19:34

There's pews everywhere.

0:19:340:19:35

Margaret would do nothing of the sort.

0:19:350:19:38

-Are they for sale or...?

-They are for sale.

0:19:410:19:44

Quite a collection of ladies' fans there.

0:19:440:19:48

-How much are these each?

-They are £15 each, Phil.

0:19:480:19:52

-That's beautiful, look.

-I know. I know.

0:19:520:19:55

Sounds keen. Looks like he's picked up his favourite from the bunch.

0:19:550:19:59

Something to keep in mind, no doubt.

0:19:590:20:02

-Yes, I will take care of them for you.

-Thank you very much.

0:20:020:20:05

Now keep browsing.

0:20:050:20:07

What's he got now?

0:20:120:20:14

Margaret, what's the national sport of Wales?

0:20:150:20:17

Rugby.

0:20:170:20:19

When in Wales...

0:20:190:20:20

It's a collection of 1970s Welsh rugby programmes.

0:20:200:20:23

-I was at that game.

-Were you?

-Yeah.

0:20:260:20:28

There is no ticket price on them. So what could Margaret do?

0:20:280:20:31

How much for the lot?

0:20:310:20:33

20 quid.

0:20:340:20:35

That's the bargain of the day.

0:20:370:20:38

It might be, but Phil is looking for an even better deal on these

0:20:380:20:42

and the ladies' fans.

0:20:420:20:44

In my eyes...

0:20:440:20:45

I honestly think those have got to be 30 and those have got to be five.

0:20:460:20:50

That's what I really think, if I had the two. What do you reckon?

0:20:500:20:53

-Go on. We've had such fun.

-You are an angel, thank you very much.

0:20:530:20:56

Thank you, my love.

0:20:560:20:57

Good on you, Margaret.

0:20:570:20:59

That will keep Phil happy for a while at least.

0:20:590:21:02

Meanwhile Natasha is around here somewhere.

0:21:030:21:06

Oh, careful!

0:21:060:21:08

Lordy, what is she up to now?

0:21:090:21:11

Oh, Phil. En garde!

0:21:110:21:14

I'm coming to get you. Oh, no!

0:21:140:21:16

How are you feeling about your rival, Natasha?

0:21:160:21:19

But no, Phil. Phil I'm suspicious of. Always.

0:21:190:21:22

SHE LAUGHS

0:21:220:21:23

Rightly so. Now, time to hunt some buys.

0:21:230:21:26

I don't know, this kind of section is quite good, actually,

0:21:290:21:32

because there is quite a lot going on.

0:21:320:21:33

There are really nice hand sickles down here as well.

0:21:330:21:36

A sickle is a hand-held tool for cutting a grain crops or grasses.

0:21:360:21:40

This set of three have a ticket price of £17.

0:21:400:21:43

And what's really nice is that Phil was telling me

0:21:430:21:46

in the car this morning that one of his items is riddled with woodworm.

0:21:460:21:49

And so is this one.

0:21:490:21:51

It says it has been treated but these too have woodworm.

0:21:510:21:53

Lovely.

0:21:530:21:55

So I don't know if maybe I just want to make Phil feel a little bit

0:21:550:21:57

more at home.

0:21:570:21:59

I'm not sure you're quite in the cut-throat spirit of this

0:21:590:22:01

competition yet, Natasha.

0:22:010:22:03

But the sickle's a definite possibility.

0:22:030:22:05

And on the rural theme...

0:22:050:22:07

I don't know why, but I really like this lawnmower.

0:22:070:22:10

And it does say on the label there that it is in working order.

0:22:100:22:13

I don't know if anyone would use it.

0:22:130:22:15

But for decorative purposes, it's great.

0:22:150:22:17

Yeah, have it in your lounge(!)

0:22:170:22:19

Why not? It dates from the late 20th century and the ticket price is £33.

0:22:190:22:23

Oh, something else now.

0:22:230:22:25

OK, this is a beautiful fireplace. That's really lovely.

0:22:250:22:28

Very nice indeed. Cast metal fireplace.

0:22:280:22:31

It's a late Victorian cast-iron fire surround,

0:22:310:22:34

complete with its original tiles.

0:22:340:22:36

It's £85.

0:22:400:22:42

It's £85.

0:22:420:22:44

In fact, the combined ticket price on the sickles, lawnmower

0:22:460:22:49

and fireplace is £135.

0:22:490:22:51

It's a little bit industrial, isn't it?

0:22:550:22:57

But I like it. No, I like it.

0:22:570:22:59

Time to speak to dealer Louise, then.

0:22:590:23:01

-If I make you an offer for the lot?

-Right.

0:23:010:23:04

I'm going to make you an offer of 100 quid,

0:23:040:23:07

-and if you think I've lost the plot, just tell me.

-OK.

-100.

0:23:070:23:10

Nice round number. Think of that. £100 in your hand. Today. Cash.

0:23:100:23:13

-Since it's you, we could probably squeeze to 100.

-Do you reckon?

0:23:150:23:17

-We could probably do that.

-You are acting on someone else's behalf,

0:23:170:23:20

so I don't want to get you in trouble.

0:23:200:23:22

-No, I think that would be OK.

-Do you think so?

0:23:220:23:24

-I think it would be OK.

-Lawnmower, fire surround,

0:23:240:23:26

three hand sickles filled with woodworm,

0:23:260:23:28

-treated mind you.

-Yeah, I'm sure they are.

0:23:280:23:30

They would be because anything coming in would be treated.

0:23:300:23:33

You reckon? Should we do it?

0:23:330:23:34

-Go on, then. We'll do. I'll do.

-OK. £100.

-£100.

0:23:340:23:37

I'm going to go get my cash. Louise, thank you so much!

0:23:370:23:39

Crikey, that sudden flurry of impulse buying means Natasha

0:23:390:23:43

has another three lots.

0:23:430:23:45

Philip meanwhile is back in the car.

0:23:460:23:49

Having already bought all his items,

0:23:490:23:51

he is driving into the lovely Brecon Beacons National Park.

0:23:510:23:55

Near the village of Abercraf is Dan-yr-Ogof -

0:23:550:23:59

the National Showcaves Centre for Wales.

0:23:590:24:02

An extraordinary wonder of the natural world that was discovered by

0:24:060:24:10

two very courageous local farmers, the Morgan brothers, in 1912.

0:24:100:24:15

He is meeting the curator of the centre, Ashford Price.

0:24:160:24:21

-Hello, Phil.

-Ashford, how are you?

0:24:210:24:23

Welcome to Dan-yr-Ogof caves.

0:24:230:24:25

The cave system the Morgan brothers found here is now known to

0:24:250:24:29

extend at least 11 miles into the Earth.

0:24:290:24:33

And it's so fast that the outer limits are not yet known.

0:24:330:24:36

When they first found the caves, the brothers were looking for the

0:24:360:24:40

source of a river that flowed from the mountain, termed a resurgence.

0:24:400:24:44

In June of 1912, they actually went into the resurgence.

0:24:450:24:49

Literally by going in there.

0:24:490:24:51

They only went in there about a couple of hundred yards.

0:24:510:24:54

Just with candles. And one of them

0:24:540:24:56

found a little passageway leading off from the main river. Followed it.

0:24:560:25:00

And lo and behold, he didn't find the source of the river,

0:25:000:25:03

but he found some of the best caves probably in Europe.

0:25:030:25:06

With a little bit of trepidation, is it time to retrace some steps?

0:25:060:25:09

Yeah, I think so.

0:25:090:25:11

If it's any consolation, I've never lost a tourist yet.

0:25:110:25:14

You are in good hands then, Phil.

0:25:140:25:16

The Morgan brothers had no experience at all of caving

0:25:180:25:22

and ventured in with minimal equipment.

0:25:220:25:25

They came in the cave as complete novices,

0:25:250:25:28

not knowing what they were going to see

0:25:280:25:31

and certainly had no idea how long they would be underground.

0:25:310:25:34

So they came in with their ordinary suits.

0:25:340:25:37

They had a handkerchief tucked in. They had a their gold watch chain.

0:25:370:25:40

And also, which is amazing today, all they had with them

0:25:400:25:45

was literally a candle. Can you imagine?

0:25:450:25:48

Would you like to walk round this place on your own basically

0:25:480:25:52

just with a candle? They were exceptionally brave.

0:25:520:25:55

Cos if anything had happened to them on that first day,

0:25:550:25:59

nobody would have guessed as to where they were.

0:25:590:26:02

And certainly they would have just died in the cave.

0:26:020:26:05

It would have been a pretty grim ending.

0:26:050:26:07

What they were doing to try and get out, which is

0:26:070:26:10

-equally as important as coming in...

-Too right!

0:26:100:26:12

They would put a little arrow marks on what was then the sandy floor.

0:26:120:26:17

This was their only way actually of coming in and out of the cave.

0:26:170:26:21

On the second day, though, they got a little bit wiser

0:26:210:26:24

and they brought in some balls of string that they used on the farm.

0:26:240:26:29

And they tied it to where they actually entered the cave

0:26:290:26:31

and they ran out the string behind them as they went further

0:26:310:26:35

and further into the mountain.

0:26:350:26:36

I would have been absolutely terrified as to what was

0:26:360:26:39

-round the next bend.

-Well, I think they were also frightened

0:26:390:26:42

because as they went farther into the cave, one of them

0:26:420:26:46

actually took in, according to his diaries, his old ex-army revolver.

0:26:460:26:51

Despite their complete lack of experience and equipment,

0:26:530:26:56

the brave Morgan brothers managed to explore an extensive area.

0:26:560:27:01

They even used a small boat called a coracle

0:27:010:27:04

to cross the underground lakes.

0:27:040:27:06

Well, Phil, what do you think of that then?

0:27:080:27:11

This whole chamber is known as the Coracle Chamber.

0:27:110:27:15

It's about 40 foot high. Imagine finding that in 1912.

0:27:150:27:22

The Morgan brothers were responsible for discovering this

0:27:220:27:25

wonderful underground landscape, and their descendants,

0:27:250:27:29

of whom Ashford is one, still run the complex today.

0:27:290:27:32

Over the decades, other cavers have made greater

0:27:320:27:36

and greater advances through the stunning rock formations that have

0:27:360:27:40

been hewn over millennia by water passing over the limestone rock.

0:27:400:27:43

Experienced cavers are still discovering new

0:27:490:27:51

areas of the cave system.

0:27:510:27:53

Even with modern technology,

0:27:530:27:55

exploring underground can be dangerous

0:27:550:27:57

as rising water levels can cut explorers off,

0:27:570:28:00

temporarily depriving them of an escape route.

0:28:000:28:03

Cavers have been overdue. We've had a few cave rescues.

0:28:040:28:08

What do you mean by overdue?

0:28:080:28:09

They've had to spend a few nights in here.

0:28:090:28:12

That's a sobering thought.

0:28:130:28:15

In 1953, members of the South Wales Caving Club finally

0:28:150:28:19

discovered the area many consider to be the jewel of the Dan-yr-Ogof,

0:28:190:28:24

known as Cathedral Cave.

0:28:240:28:27

I don't think you see that in many places probably in the world.

0:28:270:28:31

Both the waterfalls there are about 40 foot high.

0:28:310:28:34

They lead onto vast cave systems left and right there.

0:28:350:28:39

You can imagine, Phil,

0:28:390:28:41

the vast amount of water required to make a cave passageway like this.

0:28:410:28:45

Obviously, a lot of this water came from all the various ice ages,

0:28:450:28:49

when, obviously, the planet was frozen.

0:28:490:28:52

It then thawed and, obviously, you had vast amounts of rainwater

0:28:520:28:55

coming through this area.

0:28:550:28:58

It is truly magnificent.

0:28:580:29:00

It doesn't matter how often I see it, I'm still impressed by this.

0:29:000:29:04

Thanks to the courageous efforts of the Morgan brothers,

0:29:040:29:08

the caves here can now be enjoyed by visitors who don't even have

0:29:080:29:11

to bring their own candle.

0:29:110:29:13

It is quite a magical place.

0:29:130:29:16

I'm feeling like Indiana Jones in here, you know?

0:29:160:29:19

-Where is that bit of string?

-We'll find it now. Come on.

0:29:190:29:23

Natasha meanwhile has motored on to Brecon,

0:29:260:29:29

a very attractive market town that boasts its very own Norman castle.

0:29:290:29:33

With £75 still to spend, Natasha is heading into Brecon Antiques Centre,

0:29:350:29:39

where she is meeting dealer Linton.

0:29:390:29:42

-Hello, hi there.

-Hi.

-Hi, I'm Natasha.

-Pleased to meet you. Linton.

0:29:420:29:46

Linton, it's lovely to meet you!

0:29:460:29:47

-This looks like an absolute treasure trove.

-Yes, it's quite compact.

0:29:470:29:52

Which suits Natasha

0:29:520:29:53

as her thoughts are turning to the bijou this afternoon.

0:29:530:29:57

I'm just looking for something small.

0:29:570:30:00

I think that everything I've bought has been quite humphing, quite big.

0:30:000:30:04

Especially the cast-iron fire surround.

0:30:040:30:08

I think I need something more delicate.

0:30:080:30:09

And as if by magic...

0:30:090:30:11

40% off! You cannot resist. Let's have a wee look.

0:30:110:30:15

I mean, there is loads of stuff in here.

0:30:160:30:18

I don't know if there is a huge amount of age to all of it.

0:30:180:30:21

It's mostly glass items, by the look of things.

0:30:210:30:24

Even a few delicate pieces in there for you, Natasha.

0:30:240:30:27

And the promised discounts never hurts in this game.

0:30:270:30:30

I just, it's not something I ever buy, glass. But I'm just thinking...

0:30:300:30:34

I am thinking that if you are going to go kind of kitschy

0:30:340:30:37

and colourful, should you go the whole hog?

0:30:370:30:40

There are things like, you know,

0:30:400:30:42

a little bit of Murano glass there. It's nice.

0:30:420:30:44

It's not going to change anyone's life. It's a pretty thing.

0:30:440:30:47

But what I do think is a life-changing piece of glass

0:30:470:30:50

and, dare I say, art

0:30:500:30:52

is this very nice ankle boot.

0:30:520:30:55

Oh, careful.

0:30:570:30:58

Look at that.

0:30:580:31:01

Is that not the most hideous thing that you have ever seen?

0:31:010:31:06

Well, it's not my style, but I'm sure someone would like it.

0:31:060:31:09

I think that I have to buy it.

0:31:090:31:14

Mm. Sensible reasoning.

0:31:140:31:16

It's marked up at £39.

0:31:160:31:18

But the all-important 40% discount will have to be subtracted.

0:31:180:31:23

OK, my maths is really bad. It's £39.

0:31:230:31:27

Essentially call it 40.

0:31:270:31:30

4+4...

0:31:300:31:32

Good grief! After the discount, it's £23.40.

0:31:320:31:37

Best have a word with Linton.

0:31:370:31:38

-This has to be the best thing I've ever seen.

-The magic slipper.

0:31:380:31:41

And I tell you what's great, it was in a 40% off cabinet that I found.

0:31:410:31:45

-Never.

-That you were keeping from me. You didn't...

-Oh.

0:31:450:31:48

Yeah, thanks for that, Linton.

0:31:480:31:50

Another dealer owns the enchanting boot.

0:31:500:31:53

What deal could Linton strike on his behalf?

0:31:530:31:56

What do you think is the bare minimum?

0:31:560:31:58

18 to 20. But I think you might squeeze 18 out of him.

0:31:580:32:02

It has to be 18 quid for a Laguna glass boot vase.

0:32:020:32:05

It's the best thing I've ever seen. It's beautiful!

0:32:050:32:08

-OK, thank you so much. You are my prince.

-With pleasure.

0:32:080:32:11

And with that fairytale ending, they are all bought up.

0:32:110:32:14

Natasha bought the Arts & Crafts firedogs,

0:32:170:32:21

the three wooden hand sickles,

0:32:210:32:23

the mechanical lawnmower,

0:32:230:32:25

the cast-iron fireplace,

0:32:250:32:28

and the much-loved glass lady's boot.

0:32:280:32:32

She spent £143 exactly.

0:32:320:32:35

While Philip bought the Customs & Excise measuring stick,

0:32:350:32:39

the memento cricket bat,

0:32:390:32:41

the ship's light,

0:32:410:32:43

the till,

0:32:430:32:44

the commode,

0:32:440:32:46

the rugby programmes,

0:32:460:32:48

and the ladies' fans.

0:32:480:32:50

That little lot cost him £105.

0:32:500:32:53

So what do they think of each other's offerings?

0:32:540:32:58

I'm not quite sure what his till is going to do.

0:32:580:33:00

I think it's a really quirky thing. I really like it.

0:33:000:33:03

But is it the sort of thing that people would buy

0:33:030:33:05

apart from just decorative purpose?

0:33:050:33:06

Maybe they will. I don't know. I hope so.

0:33:060:33:08

I think the fire stand is really, really lovely.

0:33:080:33:10

If she's got two people at the auction who want that,

0:33:100:33:13

I can see it making three figures.

0:33:130:33:14

I think Phil has done brilliantly. I think he is an absolute star.

0:33:140:33:17

I think my favourite item has to be the commode,

0:33:170:33:20

purely because we are in it together with our woodworm,

0:33:200:33:22

and I think it's going to be the battle of the woodworm.

0:33:220:33:25

I like to think that, you know, my influence has worn off on her,

0:33:250:33:28

because with those three sickles, we've got

0:33:280:33:31

all the true Serrell traits of rust and woodworm.

0:33:310:33:35

And I expect them to go in a similar fashion to my commode.

0:33:350:33:41

In a skip somewhere.

0:33:410:33:42

On this leg, they've travelled from Narberth, Pembrokeshire,

0:33:450:33:49

to auction here in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire.

0:33:490:33:52

Today the proof will be in the pudding, Mr Serrell.

0:33:550:33:58

I think my pudding may be a bit stodgy.

0:33:580:34:01

I think that probably goes for both of us.

0:34:010:34:04

That's the spirit!

0:34:040:34:06

It's a lovely day, isn't it?

0:34:060:34:07

It's beautiful.

0:34:070:34:09

It is indeed.

0:34:090:34:10

Let's hope fortune shines on our brave

0:34:100:34:13

pair as they head for the reckoning.

0:34:130:34:15

They are just arriving at Welsh Country Auctions, today's saleroom.

0:34:160:34:20

-Well, here we are. Are you ready?

-I'm ready. Are you ready?

0:34:200:34:24

Shall we go in arm and arm to our first auction?

0:34:240:34:26

That way, that way.

0:34:260:34:27

-This way.

-That way. Come on.

0:34:270:34:30

This bodes well.

0:34:300:34:32

Holding the gavel today is auctioneer Andrew Williams.

0:34:320:34:35

Before the off, what does he think of Natasha and Phil's lots?

0:34:350:34:39

The rugby programmes and the bat, they are quite nice things,

0:34:390:34:42

but we do tend to get a lot of rugby programmes in.

0:34:420:34:45

We get boxfuls in, sadly.

0:34:450:34:46

It's a job telling how old the glass boot is,

0:34:460:34:49

but we do have collectors of boots and shoes and quirky things.

0:34:490:34:52

It's a nice enough piece, so it should do OK.

0:34:520:34:55

The cast-iron fire surround,

0:34:550:34:57

different design with the domed top to it. Somebody will use it.

0:34:570:35:00

Could end up in a garden, could go back in a house.

0:35:000:35:02

The barrel measure is quite nice.

0:35:020:35:03

It's something unusual, something different.

0:35:030:35:06

And the till does make a nice sound when the drawer opens,

0:35:060:35:08

so it'll cause a little bit of interest.

0:35:080:35:11

Right, let's get on with it then. The auction is about to begin.

0:35:110:35:14

First up, it's Philip's souvenir cricket bat, which he's placed

0:35:180:35:22

in a job lot with his collection of 1970s Welsh rugby programmes.

0:35:220:35:26

Five. Five pounds. At five.

0:35:280:35:31

-Eight. Ten. 12. 13.

-Yes!

0:35:310:35:34

The programmes are signed.

0:35:340:35:36

18. At £18. 20 in the back.

0:35:360:35:38

Two. 25.

0:35:380:35:39

At 25.

0:35:390:35:41

Any more? At £25.

0:35:420:35:44

On my right at £25.

0:35:440:35:46

BANGS GAVEL

0:35:460:35:47

Philip Serrell.

0:35:470:35:49

A decent profit for Philip.

0:35:500:35:52

-Well done. That's great.

-It's a profit, isn't it?

0:35:520:35:56

That's our very first profit.

0:35:560:35:57

You have started this auction with a bang.

0:35:570:36:00

Firedogs are coming up next.

0:36:000:36:01

Are they going to be dogs or are they going to be all right?

0:36:010:36:04

I don't know.

0:36:040:36:05

I'm a little bit worried because they were my first buy.

0:36:050:36:07

I just sort of went with what I knew, Scottish Arts & Crafts.

0:36:070:36:10

But maybe I should have remembered that we were in Wales.

0:36:100:36:13

Natasha now with her Arts & Crafts firedogs.

0:36:130:36:17

Ten I'm bid. At ten pounds.

0:36:170:36:19

At ten for the pair.

0:36:190:36:21

At ten. Ten pounds. 15.

0:36:210:36:22

20. At 20.

0:36:220:36:25

Five. 30.

0:36:250:36:27

Five.

0:36:270:36:28

At 35 for the pair. I thought these would have made more.

0:36:280:36:31

-At £35.

-No!

0:36:310:36:33

-BANGS GAVEL

-35.

0:36:330:36:35

LAUGHING: They could have done better.

0:36:350:36:37

We just seem to be nerdling away at ten-pound notes here, don't we?

0:36:370:36:40

That strong start has Natasha now neck and neck with Phil.

0:36:400:36:44

Next, it's Philip's vintage till,

0:36:470:36:50

selling in a job lot with his Customs & Excise measuring stick.

0:36:500:36:54

-There you go, there is a lovely...

-BELL RINGS

0:36:540:36:56

-Listen to that sound.

-Come on. That's so good.

-Wonderful. And again.

0:36:560:36:59

BELL RINGS NATASHA CHEERS

0:36:590:37:01

What a good bit of kerching.

0:37:010:37:02

This is lot 139. Rostrum bid to start.

0:37:020:37:04

-At 20.

-He's got 20.

-Five.

-Yes!

0:37:040:37:07

30.

0:37:070:37:08

Two. 35.

0:37:080:37:10

At £35. Let's have another ding.

0:37:100:37:12

38. 40 in the back.

0:37:120:37:14

At 40. Two. 45.

0:37:140:37:17

50. At 50.

0:37:170:37:19

Is it going to be another tenner?

0:37:190:37:21

-BANGS GAVEL

-50.

0:37:210:37:23

THEY LAUGH

0:37:230:37:24

It's ten-pound profits all round today.

0:37:240:37:27

I saw a lady over there, and she'd only got one glass left boot on.

0:37:280:37:32

-So you never know. If it's the right size...

-I'm glad she came.

0:37:320:37:35

Mind you...

0:37:350:37:37

There was a pumpkin and some wild mice out the back as well.

0:37:370:37:40

-Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.

-Pardon?

0:37:400:37:43

SHE LAUGHS

0:37:430:37:45

You might have guessed. It's Natasha's glass boot now.

0:37:450:37:48

20 I'm bid. Rostrum bid to start.

0:37:480:37:50

-At £20. £20 bid.

-At 20. No, he doesn't.

0:37:500:37:52

-The glass boot at 20.

-He actually has that?

0:37:520:37:55

25.

0:37:550:37:57

30. At 30.

0:37:570:37:59

At 30.

0:37:590:38:00

-And five now? £30.

-I've made 12 quid thus far.

0:38:000:38:04

At 30.

0:38:040:38:05

-BANGS GAVEL

-30.

0:38:050:38:07

Someone does take to it. A surprise success for Natasha.

0:38:070:38:12

That was unbelievable. How did he...?

0:38:120:38:14

This is the best auction house in the land.

0:38:140:38:17

Now let's see if Phil's ship's light can illuminate proceedings.

0:38:170:38:22

-£20.

-That is sexy. £20 bid.

0:38:220:38:24

25. 30.

0:38:240:38:26

Five. 40.

0:38:260:38:28

Five. 50.

0:38:280:38:30

We're off to the races.

0:38:300:38:32

60.

0:38:320:38:33

Five. At £65.

0:38:330:38:35

-Hell yeah!

-65.

0:38:350:38:38

-Last call then at £65.

-Off the rocks anyway.

0:38:380:38:40

BANGS GAVEL

0:38:400:38:43

You are a legend.

0:38:430:38:45

Ha! Some might say.

0:38:450:38:47

And with that, Phil has now taken the lead.

0:38:470:38:50

So it's Natasha's mechanical mower next.

0:38:510:38:54

20, one of you?

0:38:540:38:55

Oh, go on! Why not?

0:38:550:38:57

Won't get a better cut than with a nice old push mower.

0:38:570:39:00

-At

-Two pounds. Two?

-It's got to be sold.

-Why are they laughing?

0:39:000:39:03

At two. Five. At five pounds. At five. That was a lucky escape.

0:39:030:39:07

-This is terrible. They are laughing.

-Eight.

0:39:070:39:09

Yes, it's not usually a good sign.

0:39:090:39:11

At ten pounds. At ten. Save on your electric as well.

0:39:110:39:14

-Oh, no.

-Ten pounds here.

-Oh, no.

-At the end of the row then.

0:39:140:39:17

BANGS GAVEL

0:39:170:39:18

Oh, Phil! Oh...

0:39:180:39:21

The saleroom doesn't take to it. Bad luck.

0:39:220:39:24

While Philip's ladies' fans fare any better?

0:39:260:39:29

Ten I'm bid. At ten. Ten pounds.

0:39:290:39:31

15 for the fans. 20.

0:39:310:39:33

Five. 30.

0:39:330:39:35

Five. 40.

0:39:350:39:37

Five. 50.

0:39:370:39:39

-And 60.

-Oh!

0:39:400:39:42

-I'm very surprised.

-70.

0:39:420:39:43

80. There's quite a few of them in there.

0:39:430:39:46

-We're back at £80.

-Yes.

-Once, twice.

0:39:460:39:49

All done at £80.

0:39:490:39:52

-How good is that?!

-That's a real result, isn't it?

0:39:520:39:55

SHE LAUGHS

0:39:550:39:56

Go and get one quick and fan me.

0:39:560:39:58

Blow me down! Philip is now a real contender.

0:39:580:40:02

In all honesty, I think, to the right man,

0:40:020:40:05

your fireplace is 150 quid.

0:40:050:40:08

-No. Stop it.

-I do, I do, I do.

0:40:080:40:11

It's Natasha's big chance to shine with her cast-iron fire surround.

0:40:110:40:16

-Pretty surround.

-At 20. Oh, no.

0:40:160:40:18

At five anywhere now?

0:40:180:40:20

-Oh, no.

-Going to sell it then. At £20.

0:40:200:40:22

25. Here comes the rush. 30.

0:40:220:40:24

35.

0:40:240:40:25

At 35. Lost you in the back now.

0:40:250:40:28

SHE GROANS

0:40:280:40:29

-Bids behind me.

-At £35.

0:40:290:40:30

BANGS GAVEL

0:40:300:40:32

-Oh, that's soul destroying.

-I think you were unlucky with that.

-Oh.

0:40:320:40:37

So sweet. An unlucky loss.

0:40:370:40:39

-You live, you learn.

-Yeah.

-I'm in Wales.

0:40:390:40:41

I'm learning how the Welsh do it now.

0:40:410:40:43

So what will the Welsh saleroom make of Philip's star buy,

0:40:430:40:48

the woodwormed commode?

0:40:480:40:50

Wherever you would like to start. A reasonable offer?

0:40:500:40:52

Reasonable offer of...

0:40:520:40:54

20 I'm bid. At 20.

0:40:540:40:55

Quick, before they change their mind.

0:40:550:40:57

A little Georgian commode. At 20. Five. At 25.

0:40:570:41:01

Don't tell him to put the hammer down, it's going up.

0:41:010:41:03

No, no. They might change their mind.

0:41:030:41:06

At £25. All done? No more?

0:41:060:41:07

Last call at 25.

0:41:070:41:09

BANGS GAVEL

0:41:090:41:10

You are schooling me today.

0:41:100:41:13

You are schooling me today.

0:41:130:41:15

25 quid for that.

0:41:150:41:17

Ha! A very respectable outcome for Philip.

0:41:170:41:20

How do you feel?

0:41:200:41:22

Uh, I feel lucky.

0:41:220:41:24

And so you should, Philip.

0:41:240:41:26

One final lot now - Natasha's hand sickles.

0:41:260:41:30

Perhaps there is a woodworm collector in the crowd.

0:41:300:41:33

I don't know how these are going to fare, but you know what,

0:41:330:41:36

has this not just been the nicest morning?

0:41:360:41:38

-It's been really good fun.

-Yeah.

0:41:380:41:39

-Aren't we lucky to do this?

-I know!

0:41:390:41:41

-Ten pounds for the three.

-Yes, come on!

0:41:410:41:44

Someone go ten.

0:41:440:41:45

Ten I'm bid. 12.

0:41:450:41:48

15.

0:41:480:41:49

18. At £18.

0:41:490:41:51

At 18 right down the centre.

0:41:510:41:52

-It's better than I thought.

-21 now?

0:41:520:41:55

-At £18 for all three. No more?

-BANGS GAVEL

0:41:550:41:58

-Yes.

-That's really good.

0:41:580:42:00

Very respectable.

0:42:000:42:02

I'm quite happy with that. I'm really pleased for you.

0:42:020:42:04

And I've really enjoyed our morning in Wales.

0:42:040:42:07

-It's been good fun, hasn't it?

-Yeah. Yeah.

0:42:070:42:09

Aw, aren't you two sweet?

0:42:090:42:11

So it's time to tot up the totals.

0:42:110:42:14

They both began this leg with £200.

0:42:140:42:16

Rather bad luck meant Natasha lost £38.04

0:42:160:42:21

after auction costs are deducted,

0:42:210:42:24

which means she has £161.96 to carry forward.

0:42:240:42:28

While Philip played a stormer,

0:42:290:42:31

making a profit of £75.90 after costs.

0:42:310:42:36

So he has £275.90 for the next leg.

0:42:360:42:40

-Thank you very much.

-Well...

-Very well done, Phil.

0:42:420:42:45

-Well, a bit of luck, but I tell you what, loser drives.

-Loser drives!

0:42:450:42:48

-I was going to say the winner drives away.

-No, the loser drives.

0:42:480:42:51

Loser drives. I'm up for it if you are.

0:42:510:42:53

Only fair. And so, on to the next leg.

0:42:530:42:56

On the next Antiques Road Trip, Natasha is full of compliments.

0:42:580:43:02

I cannot think of a better way to spend a day than

0:43:020:43:05

driving around Wales with a handsome man like you.

0:43:050:43:08

What a girl! What a girl!

0:43:080:43:09

And Phil is full of doubt.

0:43:090:43:11

I don't know what to do.

0:43:110:43:13

Auctioneers Philip Serrell and Natasha Raskin take to the open road in the search for treasure. This first leg journeys through Wales, ending at an auction in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire.