Philip Serrell and Catherine Southon set off on a brand new road trip. They hunt for antiques in Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon before heading to an 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 have £200 in their pocket.
But, to make a profit at auction, they'll have to spend it tactically.
I wouldn't buy any sort of
too high-price risky items, I don't think.
-More safe? Play it safe.
-Is that what you're saying?
-Are you giving me top tips?
-Catherine, you can't play it safe.
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
-Oh, c'est bon!
-CATHERINE MIMICS FRENCH
We have gone from Birmingham to France in two seconds.
-I am with the great Catherine. Ha, ha, ha.
IN FRENCH ACCENT: Haw-haw-haw!
Famed for its smooth ride...
It's an absolute doddle.
Ah, told you so.
-What's this bit?
-That's the gear lever.
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.
If you were a car...
Yeah, I would not be a Citroen.
Would you be something sleek and classic,
or would you be an old banger?
I'd probably be an old banger, wouldn't I?
-I think you probably would, actually.
-That's not very nice.
The Warwickshire market town of Coleshill
was first settled during the Iron Age.
It's home to the parish church of St Peter and St Paul,
one of the finest in the county.
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, the childhood home
of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien.
His first opportunity to shop is here, The Moseley Emporium,
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.
-Aren't we all?
-That's what I'm looking for.
-I sort of, kind of, know what I want.
I'll leave you to it then.
You have a wander and I'm here, if you need me.
I like your flags.
You've got some more here. All your flags for sale?
The flags are all part of the decor.
That'll be a no, then.
Yeah, irreplaceable, aren't they, really?
And they cover bad patches up.
# 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.
I tell you what, that F Plan diet's a winner, innit?
What's the food like then, mate?
-He doesn't say much, does he?
How much is he, Maurice? I like him.
Again, what have you done?
You've picked the piece that's a part of the shop.
Bad luck, Philip. But what's in here, then?
Now that is just ridiculous, isn't it? Utterly ridiculous.
What's up, Philip?
It come out of a garage, I would imagine.
-Out of a factory, yes.
-Out of a factory.
And it had tools and all the rest of it in it.
And now 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...
..I'm thinking that they're probably part of the shop?
-No, you're lucky.
You've actually picked something that I can sell you.
-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.
Toys, lots of toys.
Yes, that is my speciality, toys.
Especially dolls and teddies.
And do you knit them little cardigans and things?
I have been known to.
Oh! Little matching woolly hats!
Oh, that's nice.
That sounds like a sheep or a cow.
That does not sound like a teddy bear,
which is what it's supposed to sound like.
That's not a good sound.
I'm going to have that in my head all day long now.
Mm, she's easily distracted at times.
-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. 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.
Some people say get a basin of water,
drop them in, they will sink.
And then if you put salt in, or something, they will float.
But 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.
But, as you know, they're not the most collectable colour.
It's more that butterscotch that is more desirable.
And I think, also,
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!
See, what you really want is buy one...get one free.
That's the ideal deal here.
Maurice is too canny for that.
So, 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.
You see this often with little upholstered tops put on here.
It converts them into a stool.
I think it would dress or decorate an old kitchen, that type of thing.
It's a bit old-school, but I quite like it.
-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 about? 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!
-Right, let's see if we can find something else.
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, though, doesn't it, really?
If you want to spend a day-and-a-half putting it right.
So, I'm guessing that most of your value in these is labour?
Absolutely. A lot of labour goes into it.
-A lot of labour.
-And people don't realise that.
So, if there's no labour gone into it,
-that could be really cheap.
-Ooh, you naughty boy!
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.
I thought maybe the price was a little bit high for what they are.
-I know that sounds mean.
But I thought, "Mm, maybe not."
And I'm...I was just not sure.
But you're kind of convincing me.
You're good at this.
You're obviously a very good saleswoman.
I do try. I do try.
-Can we have a little...chatette about these pieces?
I thought what I might do is perhaps buy those compacts
and put those together as one lot.
Oh, dear, we've lost the tag. What a shame!
Kim's not going to fall for that old chestnut.
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.
-Only because of their condition.
-How low is low?
How low is low? Erm...
Well, you tell me. What do you think?
-All right, OK.
-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.
Can I go and have a look at your knitting now?
-Can I have a look at all the wool?
I've been dying to do that!
-Forget the antiques, let's go and look at the wool.
Let's leave the lady in the hat
and find out where the fella in the scarf has got to.
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 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.
It's the home of the Middleton Lakes Nature Reserve,
which boasts over 100 different species of birds.
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.
Have you got any space in here?
Only the ceiling.
This is absolutely rammed, isn't it?
What I like is that everything looks very different.
We don't buy the run-of-the-mill things.
You don't buy run-of-the-mill.
We are very choosy in what we have in the shop.
She's impressive, old Marilyn there.
Yep, that came from up north.
It's 1957, The Seven Year Itch.
-And what is it?
-It's...it's fibreglass with...
a concrete bottom.
You used to have them in the foyers of the cinemas.
Well, if you could come down to 100, I'll have it.
Cheeky! MIKE LAUGHS
I'm worried that I may not have enough money left,
cos I've already bought a few of things.
I'm sure Mike has something hidden away that is within your budget.
-OK, I shall be back.
(Up her knickers.)
Looking up her skirt.
Leave Marilyn alone.
Look at this! This is the most...
..gorgeous, gorgeous thing.
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.
Like a box of matches, an oversized box of matches
and a vacuum cleaner for a child.
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?
I would say '70s. '70s. Yeah.
Yeah, probably looks more '70s, doesn't it?
And it's in immaculate condition.
It's in lovely condition, isn't it?
Does this come with anything else?
-Does that come with a free Wimbledon ticket for me?
-It could do.
And strawberries and cream!
Mike, what could 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 bulls-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.
Would you? Do you think I've got a chance with that at 40?
I would say you've definitely got a chance,
because you've got to ask yourself, where would you buy another one?
Where have you seen another one?
I mean, you see magnifiers all the time.
But not like that.
-But A, not as miniature, like that.
And B, not with such a beautiful handle. And...
Why am I telling you all this,
because the price is going to go up again.
-This would be my fifth item.
I'm kind of really steaming along today
and buying lots of items.
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.
-That's a very soft shake.
-Let's have a real manly shake.
So, how much is it that I owe you, my friend?
"Only 65", he says.
There is your change.
Thank you. Thank you.
-Wonderful, thank you very much.
-Yes, thank you.
Well, Catherine's been busy.
She's bought five items to end the day's shopping.
For now, it's time to say night-night.
Ha! Catherine's in the driving seat today, so watch out.
There's some sort of petrol-y smell going on around here.
-It's just fine.
-Are you sure?
-This feels like I should be going into third now.
-Well, go on, then.
Up and away from you... Up.
Phil, put it in third for me!
-Foot on the clutch.
-Oh, yeah, I forgot about the clutch.
-That's why it wasn't...
-The armrest has come off in my arm.
Lordy... Let's have a catch-up on the shopping so far.
Catherine has been busy.
She's got five lots - the magnifier, the amber beads, the mini dominoes,
the pair of compacts and the mini tennis racket,
leaving her £37 to spend today.
Does it come with a free Wimbledon ticket for me?
As for Philip, he bought a stoneware barrel
and an industrial steel cabinet...
-That could be really cheap.
-Oh, you naughty boy!
..leaving him £165 to spend if his nerves can hold out.
You know when people talk about those near-death experiences...
-..when can just see the end of their life looming before them?
I never thought it would take the form a Citroen.
Today, our two experts are starting off in the village of Wootton Wawen,
located in the county of Warwickshire.
The most famous landmark around here is the cast-iron aqueduct that
carries the Stratford-upon-Avon canal across the village.
-Oh, that's a relief.
First stop of the day is at the aptly named Antiques Shop.
And with a moniker like that, I've high hopes for Philip.
-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.
We'll leave Philip negotiating. I wonder what Catherine's up to.
I have got all the time in the world,
cos I've got five rather nice objects.
She's headed into Stratford-upon-Avon,
Shakespeare's old stomping ground.
She's tamed the Citroen, look!
When there's no traffic,
it's actually quite lovely.
I want to show Phil how it's done.
Driving any type of car...
I shall show him how to drive a Citroen and drive it well.
Tres bon. Catherine has £37 left to spend here
in Henley Street Antiques Centre.
So, let's just get things straight. I don't really need to buy anything.
Don't speak too soon.
Oh, no, this is cool.
Deal of the month.
This is fantastic! £95. How much have I got left?
I just said £37.
Maybe I'd just buy...just one.
SHE PLAYS DRUM
That is fantastic.
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.
Well, I suppose if you can't beat him...
Back in Wootton Wawen, Philip's been browsing the cabinets.
-What's he found?
-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?
-You have been very, very generous to me
and I'm very appreciative of that.
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.
Catherine, meanwhile, has finished shopping,
so she's headed to Redditch to hear a little local history.
Incredibly, by the late 1800s,
90% of the world's needles were being made in the town.
Catherine is visiting the Forge Mill Needle Museum
and meeting curator Jo-Ann Gloger.
-Hello, Jo-Ann, lovely to meet you.
Where are we here? What are these buildings all about?
This is the only remaining water-powered needle scouring mill
left in the entire world.
Victorian Redditch was located close to manufacturers that
needed a constant supply of needles to help them make their products.
You've got a fantastic leather industry over at Walsall,
Kidderminster for carpets - very famous -
and then you have the gloving trade over at Worcester.
You've got Nottingham for lace.
So you've got all these industrial markets,
plus the domestic demand as well.
In 1859, the Redditch needle makers really hit the jackpot
when the railway came to town.
It meant that a lot of people could set up in business
in the Redditch area and by 1869,
we've got recorded 117 companies, big and small,
in the Redditch area, which is amazing.
At the height of needle making in Redditch,
the town was producing 100 million needles every week.
All needles start their life as large coils of wire.
You can see how thick it is. Just feel that. Yeah?
Now from here, it has to be drawn down.
That's making it thinner and longer.
Look at that. Look at the difference from there to there.
From here it gets cut and then the pointer will then point the wires.
The pointers used grindstones to sharpen the ends of the needles,
but it was not without risks.
It was a very, very dangerous job.
I mean, their life expectancy
wasn't much beyond the age of about 30, 35.
He's breathing in a lethal mixture of dust from the grindstone
and metal dust from the wire,
so it's all going down into his lungs
and within two or three years, he'll be coughing up blood.
It was pretty horrible.
If they knew these kind of conditions,
why did they do it?
For the money. They were very, very well paid,
because they knew it was such a dangerous job,
they were earning two and three guineas per week,
which, in Victorian times, was a great deal of money.
So how many needles could he point a day?
Something like 10,000 needles per hour.
-Right. Putting the eyes in.
Have you ever wondered how they put eyes in needles?
Well, I must admit, I haven't laid awake at night wondering about that,
but now you come to mention it...
You can see we have a punch here and it's got some impressions
of where the eyes are going to be made.
So the kick stamper, as his name was,
he would actually put the wire like that.
It comes down and...
..he's going to make the impression of where the eyes are going to go.
-So he's put his foot in a peddle...?
-He's put his foot in a stirrup
and he's letting the hammer come down
and he's making the impression.
50 kick stamps per minute on a 30lb drop hammer.
-There were over 30 separate stages,
including being heated in ovens, dipped in oil and left to dry.
The end of the process was to clean and polish the needles,
known as scouring.
As you can see, the needles up to this stage were very, very dirty.
-Just look at that.
-How did they get cleaned?
You would then put them into a long trough
with some sacking in it, with some powdered stone and some soft soap.
You would then put the set of needles
into the scouring beds and then the scouring beds press on top of it
and it's rubbed and rolled and the emery takes the grime away.
How long does that process take?
-Round about eight hours.
Then, all that was left to do was to sift the needles out.
By the middle of the 20th century, the industry was in steep decline
due to cheap imports and falling demand,
but Redditch will always be synonymous with needle making.
Meanwhile, Philip has made his way
to Fladbury in Worcestershire.
He's visiting his final shop,
which 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.
They're basically a pair of concrete dogs, aren't they?
-Greyhounds, aren't they?
-They're not going to win many races.
-But they're so heavy.
-Are they hollow?
-No, they're solid.
-And they're concrete, aren't they?
-Oh, Lord above!
-These might be 30, 40 years old.
-I think so.
And those might be a possibility?
-I just really like them.
-They are quite nice.
-The other reason why I like them is cos I had a lurcher.
Who was the absolute love of my life.
-Myrtle the lurcher.
-I loved her to bits.
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.
I knew it, I knew it, I knew it.
I knew Phil Serrell would buy a butter churn.
But for me, the real jewel in the crown are those beads.
Amber. I think they could be a three-figure lot
and she's paid next to nothing for them.
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.
They say like attracts like,
so the little pretty things are Catherine's
and the larger more ugly things are Phil's.
-Probably enough said.
-I think so, Ian.
We've got a full house, so quiet, please.
Are you excited? Our very first auction, isn't it?
I know, but look how many people are here.
-It's rammed, isn't it?
First up is 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.
And, actually, do you know what, that wasn't bang-on trend, was it?
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.
-I don't know that much about amber, do I?
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.
You said you knew this auction.
Yeah, I didn't say I was any good at it, though, did I?
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.
He looks like a man who plays dominant dominoes, doesn't he?
22, 22, 22...
Another loss. Bad luck, Catherine.
-They were lovely. They were lovely.
-It's not my night tonight.
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.
What's next, though? Oh! Bang-on trend.
-Oh, is it your rust?
-What do you mean, rust?
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 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 big?
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!
Hoo-hoo-hoo! Well done, Catherine. A nice profit.
Philip's butter churn is next to go under the gavel.
What would people do with that now, though?
Shove it in the garden. Shove it in the big farmhouse kitchen.
Churn butter with it. I don't know.
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?
Two vintage life-size stone greyhounds.
Could Rocket hold them up, please? Hold them up, Rocket!
He'll be sold whether Rocket holds them up or not.
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.
After commission, it's breaking even.
Should have held them higher, Rocket.
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.
Well done! Leaving him £259.94 to spend next time.
You are a bit of a star, Phil,
and I have to take my hat off to you.
Where's the next auction? Salisbury?
No, we're in Salisbury.
Next time on the Antiques Road Trip...
-Are we in Hampshire?
-..Philip plays rough...
Look at that.
-Instant discount with that.
-..and Catherine's in heaven.
I am the queen of rust.
Philip Serrell and Catherine Southon set off from the midlands in a 1970 Citroen DS20 on a brand new road trip. They hunt for antiques in Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon before heading to an auction in Salisbury.
Phil spends a lot of his cash on a 19th-century butter churn, whereas Catherine finds two attractive 1940s compacts.
When they are not shopping, Phil discovers the roots of lawn tennis, and Catherine uncovers the story of how a third of the world's needles once came from Redditch.