Philip Serrell and Catherine Southon are behind the wheel of a classic Citroen. From the Midlands, they journey to their first auction in Salisbury.
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It's the nation's favourite antiques experts...
-..with £200 each...
..a classic car, and a goal - to scour Britain for antiques.
That's exactly what I'm talking about!
I'm all over a-shiver.
The aim? To make the biggest profit at auction.
But it's no mean feat.
-Going, going, gone.
There'll be worthy winners and valiant losers.
So, will it be the high road to glory?
Or the slow road to disaster? HE GRUNTS
How awfully, awfully nice.
This is Antiques Road Trip.
Well, ho-ho! It's a brand-new Road Trip
for two fine antiques experts,
Catherine Southon and Philip Serrell.
You're looking very glamorous today.
-Why are you being so nice to me?
-Because I love you and I haven't seen you for so long.
Isn't he sweet?
When she's not road tripping, Catherine's a veteran auctioneer.
Mountains of cash.
Auctioneer Philip is also no stranger to the Antiques Road Trip.
I do like lumps of stone.
Lovely. Each of our experts has £200 in their pocket.
They're gliding around the country
in this very French left-hand drive 1970s Citroen DS 20.
-I have a beret.
-I could put a nice little beret on you.
-We should be going, "Hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw!"
THEY CHUCKLE IN FRENCH ACCENTS
This pair's road trip kicks off in Coleshill in Warwickshire,
meanders around the Midlands,
before heading due south
to the tip of Cornwall.
Then, nips briefly into South Wales and finishes up
for an auction in Wells, Somerset.
Today, our experts are in Coleshill
and they'll end up at auction
in Salisbury, Wiltshire - lovely.
Catherine's first stop is here -
But, hang on. What this?
Am I in the right place?
You certainly are. Most definitely.
-Catherine - you are...?
-Pleased to meet you.
I'm Kim, welcome to Remember When?
-This is...different from the norm.
-It is. Antiques is my profession.
The wool is my hobby. And we decided to combine the two.
Well, I'm going to give this a go, then, the antiques.
But if I don't find anything, I'm going to come back
and I'm going to buy lots of chunky wool.
-Yes, that's fine.
-And knit myself a blanket to wear in the car.
Oh, look at the wool. This is fabulous!
Come on, Catherine. You're here for antiques.
I'm going to restrain.
-I'm going to look at the antiques.
Good job. Meanwhile, Philip has made his way
to the Moseley area of Birmingham for his first shop of the day,
which is run by a nice chap called Maurice.
Maurice, how are you?
I'm fine, thank you. How are you?
-Yeah, really lovely to be here.
-I'm looking for something very, very specific.
What I'm looking for is a really large...profit.
Better get on with it, then.
# You ain't nothing but a hound dog! #
-MIMICS ELVIS PRESLEY:
-Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.
Hey, a little less conversation, Philip!
Get back to the job in hand.
Now that is just ridiculous, isn't it? Utterly ridiculous.
What's up, Philip?
This piece of 1950s industrial metalware...
..is now worth more than a Victorian mahogany chest of drawers.
-The world's gone mad.
That's a cool thing, but I'm not sure it would be sensible
to buy that here and take it to a country auction.
HE BANGS METAL
-That wants to go to London, doesn't it?
-You're the expert, Phil.
-What did you just call me?
Don't you start using that sort of language, Maurice.
-What I want to ask you, Maurice...
-..these stoneware barrels...
-How much are they?
-Well, that one's 35 and the top one's 25.
-That's 35, is it?
OK, so there's a possibility there, isn't there?
We'll keep it as a possibility.
What we need to do is convert possibilities into probabilities.
Back in Coleshill, Catherine's finally found the antiques.
-I do like your little ladies' RAF compact.
And then I also spotted, down there, another compact.
Right, OK, the large one.
Compacts are collectable.
It's nice to have that RAF emblem on it, which is super.
Ticket price, 18 smackers.
-Oh, it's made by Stratton.
-It's a common name.
-Yes, it is.
-As you know.
It's ones that you find all day long.
OK, that is a possibility, along with that one.
-May I have a look at that one?
-You certainly can.
Kim's priced the second compact at £36.
"Vogue". You've put "vogue". Why? Is it actually stamped...?
It is marked.
What have you put this out as, '40s?
I think it's 1948. I've actually done some research on it.
Cos it is in remarkably good condition for being...
It's in a very good condition.
..'40s, isn't it? May I put these two aside?
-You certainly can.
-I don't know if you would perhaps do a little...
-..something on those?
-We won't talk money yet.
I'm sure we can do something, Catherine. I'm sure we can.
Kim, you and I are going to get on very well.
I'm also looking at these.
The amber beads, yep.
-The thing is, you've got to be so careful with amber...
..as to whether it really is amber.
-There's so many different ways that you can tell.
I often find the only way to really tell
is to get a pin and just touch it.
And if bits start coming off, then it is amber.
Careful, all breakages must be paid for.
-Ooh, you've got a pin?
-I have a pin.
-Let me see. You don't mind me doing this?
-No. Of course not.
-You have to check, cos otherwise I could be doing...
So, if we just prick that into there
and you can see, instantly, it fragments.
I think we can safely say that they are amber.
They do look a little bit...slightly worse for wear.
65, you've got quite a lot on that, though, haven't you?
-OK. Can I put those to one side as well?
-Yes, you can.
-I'm going to give you the whole shop to hold in a minute.
-It's all right.
This is good, for me. I've only been in the shop a few minutes.
I've picked out three things.
You're so decisive, Catherine!
Over in Moseley, though,
Philip's still taken by the stoneware barrels.
NORTHERN ACCENT: Ooh, he does love a barrel!
What I want to look for...is I just want to see
if there's any cracks in it.
This is salt-glazed stoneware.
And I quite like this.
This is going to date to about...1880, 1900.
Just a little bit before my time.
Just a tad.
This would have been a spirit barrel in a pub or something like that.
He sounds keen. Stand by, Maurice.
-I like that one barrel upstairs, the big one.
That was the 35 quidder.
I'll be truthful with you, it's been here a while.
25 was... £20, that's it, finished. End of deal.
I always said you were one of the finest blokes, Maurice.
Haven't I always said that? I've always said that.
Oh, yes. Flattery gets you everywhere.
£20 seals Phil's first deal.
-Go on, I'll have the big one.
-You've actually made me cry.
Oh, God, Maurice! Don't start!
-Well, let's see if we can find something else first.
I'd better pay... Shall I pay you for that first?
-If you want to.
-Hold on, mate.
You might forget, you see?
Maurice has got the measure of you.
One deal done, but Maurice knows Philip likes a bit of rust
and there's a potential sale to be had in his workshop.
Maurice, is that one of those, like what we saw upstairs?
It is, but it's in the unfinished state.
PHIL BANGS METAL
It turns into a lovely piece of furniture
-in the end, doesn't it, really?
For me, as it stands, it's 20 quid.
-Ooh, 20 quid, you're making me cry.
That will be the finish for me as well.
I tell you what, you can take it away for 20 quid.
-You're a star. Thank you very much indeed, Maurice.
There you are. Let me give you some money.
-You can give me more, if you like.
-No, no, no.
I think that's just lovely.
The thing is...
..is Salisbury ready...for a rusting tin cabinet?
Oh-ho-ho! We'll soon find out!
-You take care, thanks very much.
-Please call again.
See you again, bye.
Down the road in Coleshill,
Catherine is still looking through Kim's cabinets.
I didn't know whether you might be interested
in the miniature dominoes set in the little mahogany box?
Do you know what? I did see that.
Is it bone or is it ivory?
I believe it's bone.
-I don't think it's ivory.
-May I have a little quick look?
Ticket price, £32.
-These are complete, aren't they?
-Yes, they are.
-They're impossible to get out.
You need the little tiny fingers to go with it.
If they're bone, you normally get these lots of little flecks,
-so you can see...
But I'm not sure that they are bone, you know.
I think they might be ivory.
Today, the trade in ivory is illegal.
However, items can be bought and sold as long as they predate 1947.
These dominoes were made sometime in the early 1900s.
Catherine's got quite a collection now, what to do?
Can we have a little...chatette about these pieces?
We've got £18 for that one
and 36 for that.
So, what could you do on those, Kim? What do you think?
In an ideal world, I'd like to tuck it a little bit under 40.
Right, OK. 38.
-If that helps you.
And the dominoes set?
Erm, that's a nice piece.
25 on those, OK.
And what about the amber?
See, I think I'd like to go quite low on those.
-What do you think is reasonable?
I don't have a problem with those.
That's the only thing I would prefer...
If you can't do it, don't worry.
What about 35?
-Yeah, I think we'll give a go on those, shall we?
And I have no idea what that's added up to.
God, you're good at this.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
-You're very welcome.
Kind Kim has agreed to a £53 discount,
giving Catherine her first three lots for auction.
Philip is on his way to the centre of Birmingham
to find out how a local had a big hand
in the development of lawn tennis.
-You must be Bob.
-Good morning, Phil.
-Good to see you.
-Good to see you. Would you like to come in?
-I'd love to. Yes, please.
At the library of Birmingham,
local historian Bob Holland has been piecing together
the story of Harry Gem, who lived and worked in the city
during the 19th century.
He was born in 1819
and Harry was a great sportsman.
He was a swimmer, he was a runner,
he played cricket, he was a rider,
he played racquets down in the centre of Birmingham.
-He was a sportsman?
-Very much so.
When he was the secretary of the racquets club,
down in Bath Street in Birmingham,
he'd met a Spanish guy called Augurio Perera
who lived in Edgbaston,
who was also a great racquets player.
This meeting would prove instrumental
in the development of a new game.
The two of them got their heads together and they were looking
at the idea of inventing a game which they could play outside.
The advent of India rubber allowed balls to bounce on grass
for the first time.
And the Victorian obsession with croquet meant
there was no shortage of lawns to use as courts.
The two friends started to develop their new game.
This particular book here, in the Birmingham Library,
is what's known as the Gem Scrapbook.
Basically, it's interesting items through Gem's life.
And this particular page is open at his rules of lawn tennis.
When did they first appear in public?
This particular set of rules appeared in November 1874
in Field Magazine.
-Is that Gem's court?
-That's Gem's court, yes.
The net looks a lot bigger.
It is, actually. It's four feet high
from side to side.
The modern net is only three feet.
Whereabouts was this court first set up?
This was in the garden of Perera's house,
-in Ampton Road, Edgbaston.
-Where is that?
It's just yonder there, about a mile-and-a-half.
-A mile-and-a-half that way?
-Literally as the crow flies.
So, is that court still there, or...?
It has a garden at the back of it,
but the area of grass where they'd have laid out their court
is still there.
I don't suppose we could...?
We can, most certainly.
I know the owners, so we can go over and have a game.
Bob, this is clearly a really special piece of grass.
It is, indeed. This is really the spiritual home of lawn tennis,
where two gentlemen took up two racquets and devised a game,
which is very similar to the modern game of lawn tennis.
When the All England Croquet Club started playing tennis,
they adopted rectangular courts, similar to Gem's.
The Croquet Club then became the All England Lawn Tennis Club
and the rest, as they say, is history.
Chris Elks shares Bob's passion for early racket sport.
Chris, this is your collection?
Yes, it is. Part of it.
-You've almost got a history of the racket here.
Out of all these rackets, the thing I love
is that racket on the end,
because that's just a work of art, isn't it?
All of the other rackets were played with by men, essentially.
Of course, ladies bring a special aspect to tennis, don't they?
-No self-respecting male would pick up that racket
to choose to play with.
I love this. Is this some sort of cleaner or washer, or something?
This is a ball cleaner.
Balls were more difficult to make than rackets.
-As you can see, this is an old tennis ball.
You would keep them clean by placing it like this
and then giving a quick turn and scrub.
Now it's time for a knock-about.
But, when it comes to sport, ex-PE teacher Philip
has got a really competitive streak.
I think I've got an advantage here, cos what Bob doesn't realise is
that I've stuffed him up with some old racket and I've got a new one.
So, hopefully, I'm going to win it.
Oh, hi, Bob. All right?
Yes, fine. I've got some balls.
Oh, excellent stuff.
Right, off we go then. Ha-ha-ha!
This isn't working out too well, really, is it?
-Less of this spin stuff.
It looks like Philip is channelling
the spirit of Harry Gem for this game.
-Get in there!
-There we go, Bob. Excellent stuff.
But I've got to go and buy antiques.
-Thank you very, much indeed.
-Not at all.
It's been absolutely fantastic and, I have to say, as courts go,
that's a real GEM.
-Thank you very much.
Meanwhile, Catherine has travelled
to the Warwickshire village of Middleton.
Catherine's second shop today
is in Meadowview Antiques and she has £102 left to spend.
-Who might you be?
You've got a lot of stuff in here.
He surely does. Anything strike a chord?
Look at that. I love it!
I just remember my mum having exactly the same vacuum cleaner.
That is just the best.
It would make no money at auction, but that's just...fantastic.
Look at that.
Blimey. It must be some sort of advertising thing.
I do like to come in somewhere like this,
where you haven't got run-of-the-mill.
Can I ask you about this tennis racket?
I love this.
Harrods themselves used to have so many tickets for Wimbledon,
which they used to give to their best customers.
Best clients, right.
They used to make up a bag
and give them one of those tennis rackets as well.
So we're talking, what...?
We're talking the '60s, '70s?
Mike, what can this be?
We've got 58 on it, but...
I'll do it for 30.
Can you do 25 on it?
Go on, I'll let you have it for 25.
-I really like that.
And do you know what will be even better?
Seeing the look on Phil's face when I turn up with this.
He is going to be so jealous.
I think Phillip's probably had enough of tennis for one day.
Right, I want to spend more. What do I want to buy?
Well, this golden mother-of-pearl magnifier
with a bull's-eye lens looks nice..
It's very strong glass. You can read the hallmarks on it.
I'll give you a ring, so you can see for yourself.
Sometimes they are not particularly good, are they?
No, they're not very powerful.
So, you should get pretty good magnification.
Yep, you can read that perfectly.
You've got 65 on this. What...?
-I can do you for 40.
I'm just thinking whether I should...step back a bit.
That should make a lot more than £40 in auction.
-Go on, then.
-You're going to go for that?
-I am, I'm going to shake your hand.
Catherine's been busy. That's £65 for two more items.
-Well, thank you very much.
-Yes, thank you.
And that's shopping for the day complete.
And what a day it's been!
Time for a little old rest, though. Nighty-night.
Morning, all. Another day on our road trip.
Today, the experts are starting off in the village of Wootton Wawen,
located in Warwickshire.
Phil hops out at his first shopping stop with £160 to spend.
-Hi. How are you? Phil.
-Good to see you.
And you. This is Phil, my business partner.
Phil, how are you doing? Good to see you.
-What can we do for you today?
-Well, you can find me something
that's got a profit in it, that's what you can do.
This is interesting. I'll tell you what it's for.
You put that on a piece of flesh, or skin, and you press that,
which is now perished, and when it expands,
it sucks the skin up if you've got some sort of
nasty carbuncle or something.
I think that's designed to get it off.
Not a pretty sight.
Let's just leave that out - that might be a possibility.
Let's go and have a look outside.
See, that's ideal. That's a nice thing.
-A butter churn, isn't it?
-Yeah, a butter churn.
A lot of these were made in Chippenham, in Wiltshire.
-Were they really?
-Yes, very often you'd lose the stand.
-I do like this.
-It's really quite ornate, isn't it?
Put your back into it, Philip.
Yeah, it's a good-looking thing, but for me to make a profit,
I'm going to have to bid you really, really low on that.
-We're not shy.
-Well, I'm looking at 60 quid.
How shy are you now?
-We're quite embarrassed.
Careful, Philip, he's a big lad.
Maybe we should take a look at the cabinets for a while.
I used to love that book as a kid.
I used to read it for hours and hours and hours.
"Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing." I like that.
Look at this. His son was Peter.
Peter used to go fishing with Mr Crabtree.
I love that. I absolutely love that.
I need to have a ruminate here,
because I really like your butter churn.
It's what you can do it for.
And just for old memories for me, I like Mr Crabtree.
Yes. 80 would do the two for you.
So you're saying Mr Crabtree and that at 80 squid?
Yeah, go on, £80 the two. You have been very, very kind to me
and this is really sad, but I'm more excited about this.
Philip pays £75 for the butter churn and £5 for the book.
-Two, four, six, eight.
You've been really kind. Thank you very, very much.
-Lovely to see you.
Elsewhere, Catherine's heading south
She already has a fistful of items
but only £37 left to play with.
So, let's just get things straight. I don't really need to buy anything.
Don't speak too soon.
Oh, now, this is cool.
Deal of the month.
This is fantastic! £95. How much have I got left?
I just said, £37.
Maybe I'll just buy...just one.
-SHE PLAYS DRUMS
That is fantastic.
All right, I'm going to walk away, cos I can't buy it.
-Philip Serrell was here. With all best wishes.
Did he seriously write on this wall?
That's terrible! What a vandal!
Graffiti from a previous road trip, the scamp!
It seems like Catherine's all shopped out. You never know, though.
I think I'm probably going to quit and call it a day.
And I suppose, if you can't beat him...
So, with Catherine all shopped out for the leg,
Philip has made his way to Fladbury,
where his final shop is run by an old business chum.
-Mr Humphries, how are you?
-Mr Serrell, I'm very well.
All I would say to you is, I know you come to my sales regularly,
I do not want to buy anything that I've sold you,
cos that would be really embarrassing.
You've got a lot of stock, haven't you?
I tell you what, Phil, I like to keep it well stocked,
but I turn it over well, as well.
-Is that dear?
-It depends what you call dear.
-Well, I can tell you how much money I've got.
-Go on, then.
-I've got 80 quid left.
-That's dear, then.
-Is it? That out of my range?
Oh, I like those, as well.
They're weathering nicely, aren't they?
-I know how they feel.
-You and me both, Philip.
Ticketed at £275, they're still out of Philip's budget.
Is Ian feeling kind?
-You might be able to buy those, actually.
-Are they hollow?
-No, they're solid.
-And they're concrete, aren't they?
-Oh, Lord above!
Can we get one outside?
Do you mind? Look at that, there's a quick rupture.
It's a poor job that won't stand a good foreman.
(I'm the foreman.)
Try telling Catherine that.
-He's nice, isn't he?
-You've got to buy it now.
Down, boy. They come as a pair.
They're just weathering down nicely.
They're going to go one way now, aren't they?
Yeah, they're going to go south, that's where they're going to go.
They're going to go down to Salisbury. You're a star.
-Fantastic. Good man.
-I'd better pay you, my friend.
That last buy has Philip all spent up.
Sit down, Rover!
I'm just trying to train them. Just trying to train them. Sit!
Good dog, good dog.
And the dogs are added to Philip's other buys -
the stoneware barrel, a steel cabinet,
a butter churner and a book on fishing.
He spent £200 on the nail.
Catherine spent £163 on some amber beads,
a miniature tennis racket,
a gold magnifier,
a miniature set of dominoes and a pair of compacts.
So, what do they make of each other's buys?
I think Catherine's done a really, really good job.
I just love that little tennis racket she's bought.
The rusty shelves, £20.
I would walk straight past them a million times.
£200, all in.
After setting off from Coleshill,
our experts are now headed for
auction in the city of Salisbury.
Do you know what I think my cheapest buy was?
-Oh, that shelf...
-I bought a rusting tin thing.
Why did you buy that?
I think that's bang-on trend. You are looking at me now.
-I am bang-on trend.
I am up there with the kids. You've got no vision, Catherine.
No vision at all. It worries me about you sometimes.
Welcome to the Netherhampton Salerooms.
It's looking busy.
What does auctioneer Ian Souter make of our lot?
My favourite is definitely the butter churn.
Love it, always loved them.
If I had a house big enough to put one in, I'd have one.
Don't know what I'd do with it.
The mini dominoes - very cute, very good size.
I think one or two people spotted them earlier,
so hopefully they'll do well.
We've got a full house, so quiet, please.
First up, it's Philip's fishing book.
-Why did you buy that?
-It's part of my childhood.
Is it? Oh, so it's really old.
Right, who's got 50 or 60?
30 or 40 or 20? Who wants it?
Fiver, thank you. £5.
£6. £8. £10. £12.
-They all want it!
They all remember it from their childhood.
Happy days, isn't it? Happy days.
-They went fishing with me.
-They all took the bait, didn't they?
A bittersweet result, as Philip says goodbye to Mr Crabtree for a profit.
Next up, Catherine's amber beads.
OK, so we've got 30, 40.
Who got 20? £10?
Some lovely beads. A tenner. £10?
Someone say something. Fiver. Five I have. £5.
-A long way to go.
15 on my left, 15 I have.
No. These need to be about 60.
18, £20. 22. 25.
25. Over here at 25.
-Don't go shy. 25.
-Amber. Real amber.
Bad luck, first loss of the day.
But there's plenty of time to make it up.
Next up, Philip's stoneware barrel.
-Here to be sold, 30 or 40.
-He's picking it up.
-What a man.
-Nobody want it?
Five bid. £5. £6.
£8. £10. £12.
15, 18, £20.
-Don't mind been nice to you.
Anybody else? 20. Being sold this, then, at £20.
Phil's going to be drowning his sorrows.
That's a loss after auction fees are deducted.
It's Catherine's miniature dominoes set next.
50 or 60? 40 or 30?
Who wants them? 20. I've got 20.
Thank you, you like them. £20. £20 I have. £20, £20, £20.
22, 22, 22...
Another loss. Bad luck, Catherine.
And your compacts are up next.
Ten I have, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25...
-With me, 28.
£30. £30 in the hat.
-Don't stop at 30. Come on.
What a shame. At 32.
32 I have. 35. That's the spirit. 35.
Last chance to stop. 38. 38. Being sold this time, then, at £38.
So near yet so far!
A run of bad luck, Catherine. They were nice, too.
Philip's little cabinet is next.
Various interest. Going to start the bidding at £10.
£10 I have. £10, £10, £10 with me.
£10. £12. 15. 18. £20 with me.
He's got a commission on that.
22. 25. 25 with me.
At 25. 28. 30.
-32. 35. 38. £40.
-Bang-on trend, you see.
-How did you do that?
Look at that, get in. Dip your bread.
Blimey, he's just doubled his money.
Next, can Catherine's miniature magnifier be as successful?
-£50, somebody. 50 or 40.
Who's got 30?
Who's got 20? Tenner if we have to.
-Can I put my hand up?
-Can I bid?
-Come on, it's nine-carat gold.
-Can I bid?
22. 25. 28. £30.
-£30 I have.
-I know it's cheap.
-32, 35, 38.
£40. At £40.
55. 60. 60 in the back, £60.
Keep going, it's nine-carat.
Anyone else? Being sold this time at £60.
-Yours, sir. Thank you.
-I love you!
Well done, Catherine. A nice profit.
Philip's butter churn is next to go under the gavel.
OK, I've got various interest. I'm going to go straight in at £50.
-He's got interest.
65. 70. 75. 80.
Oh, Phil. You've walked it.
85. 90. 95. 100.
-100 with me. 100.
Bid last if you want it, sir. 110. 115.
-I'm quite pleased with that, I must admit.
125. 130. 135.
He's still bidding, that man by the door.
At 135, last chance.
He had a big commission bid on that.
That's all right, isn't it?
Philip's on a roll.
Can Catherine serve up a profit with her last lot?
£50, somebody. 50 or 40.
-Who wants it? We've got ten. Thank you, ten I have.
£10, £10, £10. £12.
15. 18. 18 final time. £18. £18 I have. 18.
-18. Who else wants it? 18?
-Don't let it miss you at 18.
Last chance. Being sold at £20, thank you.
At £20. £20.
On my right, 20. Being sold this time, then, at £20.
-Not a lot of money.
-How did that happen?
Is that game, set and match to Philip, then?
Or will his dogs let him down?
Right, who's got £100? 70 or 80?
50 or 40. £30. 35, 40. 45, 50.
55, 60. 65. 65 on my left.
-You'll be fine.
85. 90. 95. 100.
100 at the back. At £100. I have 100.
-Last chance, 100.
Anybody else want to join in?
Being sold this time, then, at £100.
Well, that last lot made a profit, but where does that leave us?
Right, so we need to do some sums, don't we?
You've got loads of cash. That's all I know.
Come on, then.
Catherine started with £200.
After paying auction costs,
she made a loss of £27.70,
leaving her £172.30 to carry forward.
Phil started with £200.
After paying all fees, he made a profit of £59.94,
giving him £259.94.
Plenty to spend as we go head-long
into another day and the next stage of our trip.
This leg sees our experts start in Winchester and end up
at auction in the Dorset town of Christchurch.
Our experts are kicking off the day
with a spot of joint shopping. Uh-oh!
Come on! Right, what are you buying? I'll get it first.
Give the poor man a chance, Catherine!
-Are you Molly?
-Welcome to The Den. I am Molly.
-Lovely to see you, Molly.
-What's your real name?
Matt or Molly are either top dog or top bitch round here,
depending on how you look at it.
Right, I think I'm going to get lost.
I'm going to try, I'll see you later.
While she's gone, what I really want to find is just a profit.
-Are you the man to show me?
-We can find profit. We are good at that.
-Come on, then.
-You naughty boy, Philip!
That's nice, I like that.
-This is a good stool.
-Those are nice as well.
Are those separate, then, or are they all together?
No, it's for the set, 18 of them.
Look at that, Matt! 85 quid?
-I thought that was £8.50!
-Instant discount with that.
They look like 40 quid to me, Matt.
What do you reckon?
I do know him quite well,
so I'm sure we'll have room for manoeuvring.
What's this Phil's spied?
This is a Royal Navy's Officers of the Watch telescope
by Cooke of London.
And I would think this is 1940s or '50s.
There's no ships.
The telescope is also priced at £85.
I'm thinking, 40, 45 quid for the flags and 40 quid for that.
-I think you're a bit far away there, Phil.
-Hark at this!
£70 would be the best on that. And 60 for the flags. Bargain!
-That's a no, then, Philip.
-50 quid and I'll have the flags.
-I'll have to phone him up.
-Go phone him up.
-Shall I go and phone him up?
Go and phone him up, Matt!
Let's see what Catherine's up to.
I do like this.
So we've got a crane without, obviously, its original string.
We've got the name Triang on the top, which is great.
Cos that's a good English manufacturer
of tin plate and metal toys.
The problem is, there's something missing here.
I'm not quite sure what.
But it just doesn't feel complete.
It feels like there's a few bits missing.
But I just like it, it looks good, it looks the part. How much is that?
-If I could get that for about £10, there is something there.
Ah, Matt's back.
The bad news is, he's not answering the phone.
-Who's that bad news for, you or me?
-Both of us.
Make a decision on those. 50 quid.
-50 quid, I thought we were getting on so well.
-Go on, then, 50 quid.
You're a gentleman, thank you very much.
That's first blood to Philip.
He bags a collection of flags at a £35 discount and makes for the door.
Your turn, Catherine.
Now, this is the business.
That is just what I'm looking for.
We are talking mid-20th-century, French vintage croquet set.
And these are just lovely! The start and finish posts.
Right, ticket price is £55. Time to call on Molly. I mean, Matt.
This is what I like.
-The croquet set.
The thing is, it's got a few things wrong with it.
-I'm going to be mean because I'm in a bit of a position.
I'm going to offer you £20.
Because it has its faults.
I don't think he's going to accept that.
-But I can phone him up.
-Give me five minutes and I shall pop back.
-Can you work some magic?
-I shall do my male charm.
-Oh, good. I shall wait here.
-Thank you, Matt.
That sounded positive-ish.
He wasn't horrified when I said £20.
It was a cheeky offer, wasn't it?
"She's" back. That was quick!
OK. My male charm didn't work this time.
-Oh... What do you mean "this time"?
-£40. Normally does.
£40 is too much. Can it be 35?
-I'll tell you what, we'll do 38. How about 38?
The other thing that I saw was back this way,
there was a red crane, a Triang crane.
-You've probably seen it, because it's quite prominent.
And I think that's got about 20-something on it.
-And what would you bid on that?
Cor, you're a hard woman, Catherine Southon.
-Eight is probably too cheeky.
What if you said sort of 12 and I'll give her a call?
-You are wishing you'd never met me.
Right, let's go and make some phone calls, yeah?
-Shall I come with you?
-Time for some refreshments, then.
I thought you might need something a bit stiffer than that.
Matt and Molly are back with news on the Triang crane.
-So, the Triang, the crane.
-15 is your best?
-You want me to have that, don't you?
-I'm going to just go for it.
-What have I done? What have I done?
So, Catherine's bought the croquet set and the Triang crane for £53.
-Come on, then.
-Let's go and pick up my goodies.
Catherine's work for the day isn't over yet.
Oh, no, her next stop is the market town of Alton,
home to the aptly named Tiny Shop.
-Great shop. You are?
I'm Catherine. Wow!
It's not going to take me long, probably, to get round here.
That's right, Catherine. The clue's in the name, love.
Robert has been selling antiques here since 2008.
-Biscuits. Is it for biscuits?
-Yeah. From Scotland.
In the form of a suitcase, with all the little travel stickers on.
And another one?
See, this one's got the name more - Huntley and Palmers.
In the 19th century, biscuit makers started packaging their goods
in elaborately designed tins, making them very collectable today.
That is worse for wear, isn't it?
I actually like that one best.
-You wouldn't get many biscuits in there, though, would you?
So long as there's enough for me, eh?
What's on that?
I think the ticket's got 35 on that.
What is your best price on that?
I think probably 20.
Can I offer you £18 for it?
-Yeah, I think so.
-Is that all right?
-I'm going to shake your hand at £18.
Because I think it's very dinky.
I suppose I'd better pay you for it now, hadn't I?
I can't believe I'm walking out of the Tiny Shop with a tiny suitcase.
And a whopping £17 discount.
-Thank you. Bye-bye.
Catherine's had a busy day, and her third item
brings proceedings to a close.
Today, Catherine's in the driving seat,
and the weather gods are not smiling.
How can the weather be so glorious yesterday and so dreadful today?
I mean, this is seriously bad.
Today, Philip and Catherine are starting off in the Dorset
market town of Blandford Forum, don't you know?
Catherine's kindly dropping Philip at his first shop, the Corner Shop.
Come back penniless.
Now, now, Catherine, play nicely.
-Come back potless. Bye.
Well, you've got just under £210 to get through, Philip.
-Good morning. How are you?
-Tony, lovely to see you. Wow, goodness.
-How long have you been here?
18 years - getting the hang of it, then?
-Lots of things in here, haven't you?
-Bits and pieces.
Tony's got a lot of stock, and I can see he likes his pictures.
These are interesting things, Tony. Were these bought right?
-Yeah, I bought them at a car-boot sale.
-Really? For pence?
-A few quid each.
-Can I give you a few more quid each for them?
-I'm sure you could.
-These are basically school photographs.
This one is the Eton Rowing 8 from 1905.
And you look at these, and you know there's a lot of these young
men who, eight years later, were fighting in the First World War.
-Oh, now we're into my spot - cricket.
This is the Harrow XI and the Eton XI from 1900.
But I just think they're interesting.
Let's get down to the money side of it. What could you do those for?
-If I bought all of them...
-Eight of them.
How about if we said something like 70 quid for the eight?
No, that wouldn't sound at all good.
I'd like to give you three quid each for them.
That's what I'd like to do.
How about if we said, say, 40 quid for the lot?
-Can I meet you halfway and give you 30 quid for them?
-How about 35?
If you're happy with that.
Go on, I'll shake your hand, cos I like them.
Tony, I think that's me probably done. So, I'll pay for these.
There we are. You're a gentleman, sir. Lovely job.
Thank you very, very much indeed.
-Nice to have met you.
-Take care now.
Well, Philip seems happy with his collection of pictures.
Meanwhile, Catherine's on her way to the nearby army garrison,
home to the Royal Signals Museum.
Her mission is to find out about a group of exceptional women
from World War Two's Special Operations Executive.
Adam Forty is the collections manager. He doesn't look it, though.
So, Adam, who were the SOE?
They were formed in the 1940s by Churchill, and they were
really agents who were sent to liaise with resistance in different
countries and create any kind of subversive sabotage and information
gathering that they possibly could, and report that back to London.
The SOE itself was really begun with the realisation that people
would be working in foreign countries,
so they would seek out from all sorts of different military units,
including the WAAF and others, people who were
fluent in Norwegian, Spanish, French, any foreign language.
The female side generally were recruited from all sorts of
different organisations and were given training in espionage
skills, parachuting, explosives.
In all, there was something like 3,200 female operators.
Not all of those were agents who got sent abroad,
but they might be doing activities here.
These women must have been pretty tough characters.
I mean, to do this sort of thing.
Not just tough, but astonishingly brave.
There was just a characteristic, perhaps of all people,
but particularly the female agents who went to France,
who were just determined to go and fulfil their task,
and if they were caught, not to give any information away.
Communications were vital for SOE field operatives passing
information back and forth between resistance groups and London.
The standard piece of kit was the suitcase radio.
The first one you can see here, which is the Type 3 Mk I.
This would have been carried...?
By the female operators going to France.
Have a go and see how heavy this actually is.
Oh, my goodness me.
32lb in weight.
So you can imagine trying to get off incognito, keeping it quiet,
-Blending in and all with a 32lb case walking out.
Clearly, a terrifying prospect of carrying that around France.
Yes, back in London, radio operators like Jean Argyle carried out
a vital role supporting agents in the field.
She was just 18 when she was recruited into the SOE.
My main responsibility was to decipher messages received
during the night and also to encipher those
which we were sending out.
I found the most exciting thing was when you were given one of
these messages which hadn't worked out and nobody could work it out
and you were untangling it like a lot of wool,
almost like a game but you knew that it was more than a game.
Lives depended on getting it right.
If there was a crisis going on,
people were perhaps in danger of being caught by the Gestapo
and having to move and let us know where they were going.
The threat from the Germans was ever present
to SOE operatives in France.
They reckon that if you were transmitting any more than
about six to nine minutes,
the opportunity would give the Germans enough chance to actually
find you and potentially be knocking at your door shortly afterwards.
To drastically cut down transmitting time,
the SOE invented the squirt bar.
-So how do I do this, then?
-If we do something very simple like SOS.
Can you remember your Morse code at all?
Dot, dot, dot, dash, dash, dash.
So if we get three dots out.
You won't want to do this in a rush, would you?
I'm not sure I've done that right.
No, that's right - three dots. Then a space.
-This is a space because it's between two letters?
And now you start your dash, dash, dash.
The Type A Mk III has got a little probe and the idea is
that you very quickly start transmitting,
you would put your probe down that device
and that would send your transmission in a very quick time.
Even with this quick transmitting radio,
operatives were still at risk of capture.
The Germans, of course, were quite aware of this system going on.
There were agents all over the occupied countries.
A lot of people were captured as a result of this and they would
sometimes make them go on sending messages and they would try
to put some message inside it to convey that all was not well
and that they had been captured.
This was always rather frightening.
Several SOE women never made it back from Europe,
including George Cross winner, Violette Szabo.
Violette Szabo was a radio operator.
She went in slightly after D-Day and they got stopped at
a roadblock, they ran off, she jumped over a fence,
damaged her ankle and had a Sten gun and eight clips of ammunition,
so told her colleague that she was with to scarper and she then
ended up with a gunfight with the Gestapo
until all her bullets ran out and she was captured
and sadly tortured and murdered.
The women of the Special Operations Executive played a major role during
World War II, both behind enemy lines
and behind-the-scenes back in London.
We had all these very heroic people who were risking their lives and
it did depend, amongst others, on me,
to make sure that they came back.
It's still raining in Blandford and Philip, who's got just
over £174 left to spend has arrived at Milton Antiques.
-Hi, a voice from upstairs. Shall I can come on up?
-Yes, please do.
-They're quite steep, aren't they?
For a man of advanced years, they are.
It's OK, Philip, we've got plenty of time.
-Is it all right if I hang my brolly?
-Is it all right to have a look around?
-Have a look.
This has got some really good proper antiques in here.
This is a great place.
People today, they like decorative items and these ottomans with
this upholstered rising lid, concave sides,
that's 19th-century and this might be for me, actually.
Look at this - this has got a lift up lid that you put your linen in.
What is the most attractive for me is the potential price
because this has got £95 crossed out.
£60, crossed out. Now £40.
Just hoping it might be a little less in ten minutes' time.
Only time will tell, Philip.
What have you got your eye on now?
This is quite a nice little bijouterie table.
This is a table that you put your little silver collectables in
and other items that people used to search eagerly for
about 20 years ago.
That's sweet, isn't it?
Philip is obviously taken by the bijouterie table and the ottoman.
-Your ottoman stool on the bijouterie table.
What's the best you could do on each of those, please?
-On the bijouterie...
-You've got 135...
-On the ticket.
-We could go to 110 on that one.
-OK. And on the ottoman?
It's already been reduced. I think it's a fair price.
-So it's £150, the two?
Would £140, the two, buy them?
-Oh, hark at this!
-£140, the two. Would that be a deal?
-You're a star. Thank you, my love.
Thank very much indeed.
Now, as Philip heads for the sunset,
Catherine's made her way to Shaftesbury
for her final shopping stop of the leg.
She has just over £100 to spend
and dealer Debbie is on hand to help.
Oh, I love the rocker. That's cute, isn't it? This one rocker.
I've bought a toy already, I bought a tin plate crane.
-That's what I bought earlier.
-Oh, that'll be good.
So it'll be quite nice to buy another toy.
-A bit of a theme.
-What's on the rocker?
I don't know, though.
-Would a child be quite scared of that swan?
Anyway, what else is there, there?
Debbie, this is quite nice.
Bone letter opener. The thing is it's nibbled.
But I tell you what I like, I love the enamelled Union Jack there.
The problem is it has lost a bit of enamel and, I'm guessing,
hence the price.
And that's going to be the price, as well. I can't do anything on that.
-Nothing at all?
-I don't discount under £20.
Just when I thought I'd found something.
Honestly, Debbie, to be in with the chance,
I really need to get some sort of reduction.
-I'll see what I can do.
-I would be very, very grateful.
-I appreciate that.
-I'll go and give her a ring.
-This is a lovely thing.
Letter openers, we do see quite often.
Can you imagine what this was like when it was absolutely perfect?
Because the colours are bright, they're so good, but having
a little chip to the enamel is bad news because you can't repair that.
I can't get her on the phone, I'm afraid.
I will take a risk and say 15, but that's as good as I'm going
to be able to do, I'm afraid.
-OK, that's fine. I'll take that for 15.
-Thank you very much.
-I'll put it on the desk for you.
Well, who'd have thought it?
Now, Catherine is still taken with that swan and Debbie is speaking to its owner.
Hello, Simon, it's Debbie.
What's your best price on the swan rocking chair?
It's got £48 on it at the moment.
Can he do a little bit more?
-He won't go any more?
-Is that your limit, Simon? 30?
-Who is this?
-This could be interesting.
-Who is it?
What do you mean, "Who is it?" It's Catherine. For you, 25.
-Can I say thank you?
-Yeah, course you can.
Simon, that's really kind of you. Fantastic.
That's brilliant. Thank you so much.
So, Catherine has bagged the letter opener for £15
and the swan rocker for 25.
I owe you £40.
While Catherine is swanning off with her latest buys...
..Philip has come to the pretty village of Lytchett Minster
which is nestled on the Dorset coastline.
He's come to The Old Button Shop to try and bag one last bargain,
but he's running low on funds.
-Thelma, it's you.
-I've been here before, haven't I?
-Yes, you have.
-About two years ago, wasn't it? On a road trip.
-Couple of years ago.
-Now, the thing is, I've bought four items.
I've got a set amount of money to spend.
I won't tell you what that is just yet.
You're going to knock me down and jump on me.
Don't worry, Thelma, he's much better behaved these days.
Shall we have a look?
Thelma has got plenty of stock in here.
I quite like these glasses. Let me put them on the table by you.
They're really nice, those are.
They are 19th century, I think, aren't they?
So you've got those at £18 a pair and £17 pair.
That's £35 for the four. What could you do those for?
-Those are a possibility, aren't they?
-Are they a possibility?
They are a possibility but I haven't finished yet.
Got your eye on another glass, then, Phil?
Now those, Thelma, are they £4 each?
-What can you do those four for?
-Ten? You can do better than that. You're not trying.
You're still not trying. Hold on a minute. I haven't finished yet.
Little custard glass. I reckon I can do that for a fiver.
Let me tell you something.
We know that these are green glass,
probably little cordial glasses or whatever.
Now these, you've called them sherry glasses but I don't think they are.
These are illusion glasses.
They're called illusion glasses cos the bottom is so much thicker.
Basically, these don't hold as much so, whoever you were drinking with,
you could drink half as much as them and they all thought
you were drinking the same amount as them.
So I think these are really lovely. Right, Thelma.
One for the road.
You can have that for a fiver as well.
The combined ticket price on the glassware is £81.
-20, 30, 5.
-No, all of this is irrelevant, Thelma.
Because however much you want, I'm going to tell you how much I've got.
It's a good job you're sitting down.
I've got £29.94.
-Go on a bit, please.
-I'll have those.
Thelma, what a lady. You're a star. Thank you very much.
That last buy means Philip has spent every last penny.
He adds his 19th-century glassware to some vintage naval signal flags,
an Edwardian bijouterie table,
a Victorian ottoman and a set of historic sporting prints.
Catherine has spent £111.
Her haul includes a tin plate crane, a 1930s biscuit tin, a croquet set,
a bone letter opener and a child's swan rocker.
So, what do our experts make of each other's buys?
Well, Mr Serrell has done it again.
He has bought those fantastic signals for £50. How did he do that?
-I do not know.
-So you bought a plywood child's rocking swan?
But what I do like, that bone letter opener or page turner,
I think that's a lovely, lovely thing.
But the best thing of all by far is that bijouterie table and I
am jealous with a capital J.
That was super.
After setting off from Salisbury,
our experts are now heading for auction in the town of Christchurch.
Today's auction takes place at family run Bulstrodes Saleroom.
What does auctioneer Kate Howe think of our expert's lots?
The vintage signalling flags is a lot I particularly love.
You've got a good number, they are very,
very strong in the decorator's market at the moment and I think
they're going to do very well.
We've got a lot of interest in those already.
Anyway, experts, take your seats.
It's busy in here today and the auction house also accepts
First up, though, Philip's 19th-century glassware. All of it.
£20 for them. Start me at 20, surely.
£10 then. They've got to go.
-Thank you, ten.
-Might have helped if she'd mentioned the word "illusion."
Yes. 12 on the internet. 14 in the room. Any more from the internet?
Put the hammer down. Smash the lot. 18 in the room.
20? Thank you. £20. £22. Internet against. Yes, 24.
26 in the room. 28. 30. Now we go five.
35. Shakes her head.
Internet buyer will hold it, the room is out at £35.
-I don't know how that happened.
Don't break the champagne out just yet, Philip.
Next up is Catherine's bone letter opener.
£20, little bit of enamel there. Decoration. 20. Two. 24.
-You're off to the races.
-Bit more, bit more.
-26 on the internet.
Any more? We'll sell to the internet at £26.
-It's a profit.
-A little bit.
-A little profit is better than a big loss.
-Small acorns and all that.
Now, can Catherine keep her winning streak going with her next lot,
her vintage tin plate crane?
-£10 to start me, then. Come on, £10.
-Oh, come on.
-£10. Ten is bid.
-Thank you. 12, 14 is bid. right at the back.
-Sit still, woman.
-16. All is fair in love and war.
-Oh, yes. Keep going.
-At 16. Anyone else?
-At 16. We'll sell to the room.
-Never mind, Catherine.
There's still time to make a profit, girl.
You'd never catch me buying rusty stuff. I'm not into that type thing.
Really, Philip? Next up is your Eaton and Harrow sporting prints.
-£20, let's start then. Two, 24.
-He's bidding over there.
26, 28, 30, five,
40, five at the back,
50, five, 60, five,
-70, five, 80.
-It sort of helps.
-Internet is out. We sell to the room at 80.
-Wow, you hit that one in six, Philip.
Now it's time for Catherine's 1930s biscuit tin.
Start at £30.
£30, low estimate. 35 and 40, five,
-..five, 60, five, 70.
-At 70 and five is bid.
-80. Five. At £85 for this lot.
-So excited for you.
-We sell at £85.
That is a top buy, wasn't it?
Crikey, Catherine. That's a whopping profit.
Auctioneer Robin has taken over the hot seat from his
daughter just in time for Philip's Victorian ottoman.
£20 straight in, anyone. £20 bid.
22, the lady. 24, 26, 28, £30.
-Someone has your vision, Philip.
-New bidder. 45, I'm bid.
-At 45, selling it now.
-I'll settle for that.
A profit's a profit, Phil. Now, Catherine's swan rocker is next.
£20 to start me off. Ten then. £10. 12 in the front.
14, 16, 18, 20, £20 front row.
-22. 22 at the back of the room now.
-Always knew I liked it.
-All done then at 22.
-Too bad, Catherine.
No swansong with that lot.
Now we've got Philip's naval flags.
£50, anyone. Start me off then.
Ten for these, £10. 12, 14, 16, 18,
20, two, four, six, eight, 28. 30 here.
-Five, 40, five, 50, new bidder.
-There they go.
-She's got a bid over there, as well.
75. 75. £80 for the flags.
Blimey, someone's got a bargain.
How will Catherine's croquet set do?
-He wants that down the end, my new friend.
£60. 65. 70. 75. And again? Come on.
-Yes, come on, come on.
-Yes, well done.
-90 at the back.
-90 at the back, shush.
-Any more, then? Last time.
-Back in again.
-I think he's done this before.
-95, any more now?
-100 at the back.
-100 at the back!
Are you going to have another go for a fiver? 105 it is. At £105.
Do you know? I think she's pleased. Ha! So she should be.
Next up is Philip's last lot, the Edwardian bijouterie table.
£60 on this, straight in. 65,
70, five, 80, five, 90. It's jumped on the net. £90.
-100, it has gone too now. 120. 130.
-No problems with this.
140, internet bidder.
-150, waving the arm. 160, 170, 180.
-I told you, 200.
-200, yes, please.
-200 it is. £200. 210 on the internet.
-220. 230 on the net.
230 I'm bid.
-Internet holds it now at £230.
-That's a good find, Phil.
-That's all right, isn't it?
Blimey, that is a stonking profit for Philip.
It has been real swings and roundabouts.
-Or even ducks and bijouterie tables.
That's the second auction completed, so let's do the sums.
Catherine started off with £172.30.
After paying auction costs,
she made a profit of £97.28,
leaving her a total of £269.58 to spend next time.
Philip started off with £259.94.
After paying auction costs, he made a profit of £125.46.
Wow! Leaving him with the princely sum of £385.40 to spend next time.
-Well, good enough day, I think, for you to drive.
-Are you ready for this?
-Drive on, drive on.
-As I'll ever be.
Why are you closing your eyes? Yee-ha, we are on the way!
Cheerio, then. Next time on the Antiques Road Trip...
-Change gear, change gear.
-Catherine is on a roll.
-Could it be a bargain?
-Could be a bargain.
-And Philip is all at sea.
-I'm not sure who's done who here.
Philip Serrell and Catherine Southon are behind the wheel of a classic Citroen. From the Midlands, they are journeying for their first auction in Salisbury.
When they are not shopping, Phil discovers the roots of lawn tennis and Catherine unravels the story of a top secret unit of female spies who worked in occupied France in World War Two.
Their butter churns and biscuit tins go under the gavel at their second auction in Christchurch, Dorset.