Antiques experts compete to make the most money at auction. Thomas Plant and Mark Hales go shopping in Ironbridge before ending up at auctions in Froncysyllte and Llandeilo.
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The nation's favourite antiques experts,
£200 each and one big challenge.
Well, duck, do I buy you or don't I?
Who can make the most money buying and selling antiques, as they scour the UK?
Look at the colour.
The aim is trade up and hope that each antique turns a profit.
But it's not as easy as it looks and dreams of glory can end in tatters.
So will it be the fast lane to success or the slow road to bankruptcy?
Bad luck for Thomas, £50 down.
This is the Antiques Road Trip.
All this week, we're out on the road with the cheeky boys,
Thomas Plant and Mark Hales.
It's not the winning or losing, it's all about the taking part.
It's all about the taking part and Mark winning.
Oh, yes. Thomas Plant is a veteran road tripper
who seems to be feeling a tad threatened by Mark.
Don't buy too well.
Thomas, are you rattled?
No need to be rattled.
From his original £200,
Thomas is racing ahead with a whopping £507.84...
While Mark has only made a small profit
and now has £278.15 in his pocket.
The boys are whizzing about in this delightful 1967 Sunbeam Alpine,
as they visit antique and curio shops across the British Isles.
Thomas and Mark's journey will take them from Portrush, Northern Ireland,
all the way to the beautiful village
of Pontrilas, in South Herefordshire,
notching up a whopping 460 miles along the way.
On this leg of the trip, they're making their way
towards an auction in Froncysyllte, North Wales.
However, they need to find things to sell and first stop is Ironbridge, Shropshire.
Ironbridge takes its name from the mighty bridge
built in the heart of the town in 1779.
It was the first of its kind
and symbolises the dawn of the industrial age.
So what will the boys get up to this time around?
Mark and Thomas are in high spirits,
as they approach their first shop of the day.
-Are you excited?
-I'm up for this, Thomas.
Hang on, why don't you wait here?
Just give me 20 minutes.
No, that ain't going to happen.
I can never get out of this car.
Come on, Thomas.
Mark, I need to go to the back, and you can stay in the front.
We're sharing this shop, so none...
-All right, Thomas.
-..of you being naughty. I'm going down the back.
-No bumping into me, all right?
The boys have been let loose in Curio Antiques.
It's a family business owned by Simon Willcock.
Mark's been in the business for 34 years and he's a ceramics specialist.
As usual, Mark's raring to go,
and before you know it, he's called on the assistance of shop owner Simon.
-Yeah, lovely, aren't they?
-Here we are, sir.
They are very nice.
I don't believe there's any damage or restoration,
they all seem to be in good order.
These are very, very, very Mark.
He's talking about himself, you know.
These are what Mark's known for.
These are Staffordshire pottery dogs.
This particular pair are very clean, nicely modelled,
lovely gilt collars, soft English gilding.
Circa 1850, and...
what's nice is that these dogs came in six different sizes
and these are size number five.
Size number five is harder to find than size number one.
I wonder how much they could be, Simon?
You're probably looking at around... 75 quid
would be the best price on them.
I have to be in with a chance, they just have to be very cheap.
-That's fair enough.
-Have you got a little book you can look at?
-Just a little book.
-Let me have a quick look for you.
I'll see the reference number.
I know what it's like when things come in sometimes,
-and sometimes, they come in and they can be moved along.
Have a look for me. I'd be really grateful.
-I'll have a quick look for you.
-Thank you, Simon.
Fingers crossed, indeed. He really likes this little pair.
Mark, the best price on these would be 55.
-There's profit in that, there's got to be.
-You'd think so, wouldn't you?
-I'm being very, very cautious. 45.
-I'd have a chance, wouldn't I?
-Mark, I like you.
-I'd take them, if I could.
-You can have them for 45.
-You can have them for 45, as a deal.
-Thank you, mate, good for you.
-Would you like me to take them out for you?
Ah, he was after them all along.
That's the first buy of the day.
Meanwhile, what's that naughty Thomas Plant getting up to?
He really loves getting into all those nooks and crannies.
He's on his hands and knees, look.
Brace yourselves, I think he's found something.
What it is, it's Victorian opaque glass
and it's in a Chinoiserie style.
It's about 1860s, 1870s.
It's in marvellous condition.
Personally, I think it's worth £30. I'll ask.
-Simon, is this one of yours?
-It's not mine, no, it's my mum's.
The best price, to you, would be 55.
55 is a bit rich for me, I was going to offer you 40.
I think you should take 40, it's a good price.
I could do 50.
No, 40 is what I've got, what I'd like to offer.
-Go on then.
-Thank you very much.
I'd better give you some money.
This always hurts, this.
Thank you very much.
I'm going to leave it there, I'll be back to pick it up. Wish me the best.
-All the best.
-Great stuff, Tom, all the best.
-Thank you, bye-bye.
Thomas, where have you been?
-Well, you know.
-You're smiling, Thomas.
-In the loo.
-Yes, that's what I said.
It's funny, I said that earlier. In the loo.
Did you lose some cash?
-A little bit of cash, I lost.
-Not too much.
A bit cautious?
Erm, no, not really.
So where are we going now?
Ah, it's pretty good, I've started.
Lots of things I could have bought, but £5 or £10 profit.
I'm looking for more, Thomas.
I'm looking for more, Thomas, whilst you drive happily over...
I think it was an old lady, actually, Thomas.
A plant pot.
Oh, dear, Thomas.
Perhaps Mark needs to drop you off at the nearest optician,
or garden centre!
-Is it all right?
-It's fine. Thank you... Sorry.
He can't drive anything.
He was brought up on a farm.
He's only good in tractors.
You were talking to me, that was the problem.
-You were talking to me.
-Are you trying to infer that I talk too much, Thomas?
-We are going to buy some more antiques.
Now, come on, Thomas, easy does it there.
Less arguing and keep your eyes on the road.
And the Road Trip moves swiftly on.
Plant pot safely removed from the back wheel.
Anyway, next stop is Broseley,
just a couple of miles down the road.
Thomas is going to visit the town's clay pipe museum.
Clay tobacco pipe museum. You treat her well.
-Treat her well.
This handbrake's not too good.
Don't buy too well. You promise me?
-Thomas, are you rattled?
-No, I'm not rattled.
You did spend a long time in that shop, just a little bit rattled?
-I spent a long time because you were faffing on, asking about different things.
-Get in, before I slam this door on your leg.
Five, four, three, two... Oh, there you are, look.
-My poor baby, what have you done to her?
What have you done to her?
Stop your carrying on, boys.
It looks like it's a good idea they're having a breather from one another.
Call it a trial separation.
Now, Broseley was a major centre
for clay pipe making for several hundred years.
They were making pipes here as far back as 1613,
and in the mid-Victorian era, the three pipe factories in Broseley
were producing as many as six million clay pipes a year.
-Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
-Hello, I'm Thomas.
Pleased to meet you, Thomas, I'm Rex, Rex Key.
Welcome to Broseley Pipeworks Museum.
It's the only Victorian pipeworks there is left in the country.
Rex has lived in Broseley for over 40 years
and is something of a clay pipe enthusiast.
This factory was set up in the 1880s,
and in use up until the late 1950s,
when clay pipe smoking went out of fashion
and cigarettes took over.
And who was working in the factory?
At its peak, in the 1880s, 1890s, between 30 and 35 people
would be working here.
30 and 35?
They'd all be women, women and young girls.
Girls from the age of about 12 would work here in the factory.
Women and young girls. Why no men?
The men would be employed in the heavy industry,
in the iron foundries in the area.
In the coal mines and on the river.
What about the guys sorting this stuff?
They did have two or three men at the factory here,
but most of them were women.
The life of a clay pipe would be about ten days,
and it could be said that they were the start of the throwaway disposable culture
that we know and hate today.
The workers here would make up to 600 or 700 pipes a day.
That works out at roughly one every 54 seconds.
In the 1870s, a clay pipe would cost you a farthing.
The art of pipe smoking is the oldest method of tobacco consumption
and was regarded as a sophisticated form of smoking.
Time to have a go at clay pipemaking, Thomas.
Come on in, Thomas, we'll make a clay pipemaker of you.
Oh, very exciting.
So we have Thomas Plant from Bristol.
Special talents include looking for antiques and reversing cars into plant pots.
The idea is to make one of those,
-a half church warden.
You need to break off a lump of clay
and roll it into roughly the shape of a pipe,
with a lump at the one end that's going to form the bowl.
Keep on rolling.
Longer and longer stem.
You're getting off to a good start.
-Thread this wire down the stem to make the hole.
-Yes, that's right.
-How do you make it true?
That's the skill, that's the practice.
Take your time now.
I've already done it on a slope already. Oh, no.
And again, there.
Put the clay into the one half of the mould.
Like that, yeah?
Yes, indeed. Put the two halves
of the mould together.
-Now, squeeze the two halves
of the mould together in the device.
-Yes, turn the handle
to squeeze the two halves together.
Keep squeezing, keep squeezing.
Oil this stopper with some more oil.
Don't forget, these ladies did this in 54 seconds.
Yeah, all right, all right. All right, Rex.
Don't make me feel any worse than I do already.
Bring down the gin press,
so that the stopper forms the bowl
at the end of the pipe.
Push the gin press away now.
Get your knife and trim off the excess clay, in that knife slot.
Now, you carefully push the wire the last little bit,
so the wire goes fully into the mould,
just long enough to break through into the bowl,
so you've got your hole all the way through,
which is vital, of course.
-Now you can carefully remove the wire.
Oh God, this is so difficult.
It is quite tricky.
I'm going to break the pipe.
Oh, my God, it's going to break.
-Oh, no, what a shame!
Just shows how tricky it can be.
God, it is tricky, isn't it?
So you're ready now to make your next pipe,
-and when you've made another 699...
-I can go home?
-You can go home.
What do you think about marks out of ten?
Well, Thomas, as you are a newcomer to it, you've made an effort,
-I think you showed promise, I'll be generous and give you three out of ten.
-Is that all I get?
-For a first attempt, it's a valiant effort.
Right, we'll leave Thomas to make the rest of his daily 699 batch
and catch up with Mark.
He's back behind the wheel of his beloved Sunbeam Alpine.
What could be nicer on a day like this,
to sit in a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine and just soak up the view,
purring along the country lanes?
Mark's travelling just under 17 miles
to the historic market town of Shrewsbury,
set amidst glorious countryside and near to the Welsh border.
Mark's next shop on the list is Manser's Antiques.
The shop now is owned by Mark Manser
and the business was established, in the mid-'40s, by his dad
Gordon Manser, who I knew very, very well in the old days.
Can I just ask you, could I possibly have a look at the blue jasper jugs?
-They look rather nice.
Carefully, carefully. That's it.
-I think one's slightly bigger than the other.
-Ah. Oh, yes.
-They're not sort of a matched pair.
We've got two single... It does say a pair here.
Ooh, maybe I could adjust the price a little bit, then?
We could do something.
You've got £40 on those.
I'm not into all this big, silly, hard haggle nonsense...
What are you going to say?
You think of a number and I'll see if it works for me.
They are two single jugs, they're not a pair, are they?
They're not a pair, no.
Shall we say...
-£20, for the two?
-For the two.
-I'm not going to argue with that. That's a tenner each, isn't it?
What are they going to fetch in the rooms?
Oh, they are nice quality, those, I think that...
-I might double up?
-I think so.
In Wales, do they want blue jasper in Wales?
Do they not want blue jasper in Wales?
-I think you're just about to find out.
-That's a really good deal.
-Thank you for that. No, I'll take them.
-For that sort of money, I'll always have a go.
Thank you very much indeed.
Let me shake your hand on that, then, it seals the deal.
0K, thank you very much.
Nice little bargain there, Mark, but tell us more about them.
I'm rather pleased with these, they're good, clean examples.
Blue jasperware with white applied figures,
classical subjects, but they're not a pair.
They're different sizes.
So it's more likely they were two of a graduated set
of three different sizes.
They're very good examples.
They're not going to set the world alight, but I'm very pleased anyway.
I think they're a jolly good buy for the money.
Mark and Thomas have met up and are back on the road,
travelling the 40 miles
to delightful Leominster in Herefordshire.
Leominster is a bustling market town, dating back to the 7th century,
and boasts some delightful architecture.
We're starting off with Thomas in Minster House Antiques Centre.
-Hello, what's your name?
-Jeremy, very nice to meet you.
-This looks nice.
-We've got five floors and the garden, so please look around.
Oh, I will, I'll have a good look.
Thomas is rather a rich man at the moment.
He's got a large wad weighing down his wallet.
Just think of all the lovely things he could buy.
What a bit of kitsch. I think this is absolutely ghastly.
I mean, it is just something which is, it's so lustrous,
it's so in-your-face, but people love fishing.
It's probably 1930s, that's what I think.
I think it's hilarious. It's a good thing
and I'm trying to sell to the right market.
So what will he get for this little beauty?
-It's a love or hate job.
Now, Jeremy, £39 is on it
and there's a little nick on the tail, just there.
-What do you reckon?
-Well, I mean, usually, we're guided by ten percent.
I know, I know.
But £28, I'm afraid.
-Yeah, definitely, I'm going to go for it. It's worth it.
-It's worth every penny.
-Yeah, I think so too.
-Because it is so...
-It's so horrid that it will probably do really well.
It's so horrid!
It's so horrid, but it's lovely.
Well, there's one deal hooked.
But he's not finished yet.
He's happened upon a rather lovely lady.
Wow. I can't not look at her, can I?
An interesting carved figure in wood,
of a naked female.
-That's rather nice.
I like it. Well, that's a definite ask.
Let's have a look at this. It's nice.
I've been dreaming about a musical box. Push button for three seconds.
This looks like Sorrento ware, which is
inlaid tessellated little cubes to make this beautiful pattern on the top
in olive wood.
It's probably dateline
late 19th, early 20th century.
It's marked Swiss there, the clockwork movement is Swiss.
I mean, yeah, it's in a good, original condition.
and this sweet thing here.
-The lady, you've got 32 on.
-This, the music box, you've got 88 on.
I could offer you...
Go on, Jeremy, give me 70.
I can't, I can't.
75, go on, then.
I love those two.
Mark, meanwhile, is just a hop, skip and a jump away
in Leominster Antiques Market.
-Good morning. I'm Gavin.
-How do you do, Gavin?
Mark's off to explore and hopefully, bag a bargain to sell at a profit.
This is rather nice. I do like bowls.
It's spirally fluted all the way round.
What I like is the fact that we have a date here of 1857.
People love porcelain with a date on.
I like porcelain with a date on.
It becomes a reference piece. Now, here comes the good part.
It says no trade here. No trade.
Not even a pound off, nothing,
but we don't mind, do we?
Because it's £9.
So we're going to go and see Gavin and we're going to buy this.
So no trade means no haggling.
-Hi, look, I've found this, it's absolutely lovely.
-I really like this.
Quite a bit of damage, quite a lot of stress cracks.
-Is that NT, is that no trade?
-It means no trade.
Absolutely no, I can't squeeze a pound off it, or something?
-Do you know who it belongs to?
-It belongs to a lady called Judith.
I don't like to be mean, but...
-Every penny counts, doesn't it?
-Do you think she'd knock a pound off?
I'll give her a ring and ask her.
Let me get this right, Mark, we're phoning the owner
to try and get £1 off?
The call will cost more than a quid.
Judith, you have a large bowl here,
you have £9 on it, what would be your very best on it?
I'm sure that will be fine. Thanks, bye-bye.
-Lovely. Even better, that's really nice.
You know, I'd love that at home for £7.
-It's nice, isn't it?
-It really is nice. Thank you very much, Gavin.
Crikey, a whole £2 off.
Last of the big spenders, eh, Mark?!
Meanwhile, Thomas has travelled north
to the ancient town of Welshpool,
He's visiting Lamp Lite Antiques, owned by Heather.
-Pleased to meet you, Thomas.
And as usual, he's getting his hands on everything.
What's this he's found now?
They're from a hotel. The C&A would stand for a hotel, I would have thought.
They're good things, they're 1930s.
Very art deco in style.
They're for ice cream.
The reason why they are called hotel plate is because they're very thick, thick copper and plated,
in a heavy silver plate.
They are quite sweet and are very decorative.
The ticket price is £10.
-Go on. Yes, £5.
-Thank you very much.
And as quick as a flash, he's spent a whole £5.
He's certainly hanging on to his big wad of cash.
Shopping's done. Let's recap on what our experts have bought.
Mark started out with £278.15
and spent a paltry £72 on just three auction lots.
He bought a duo of Staffordshire dogs,
a porcelain pedestal bowl
and a fine pair of jugs.
Thomas, bless him, began with £507.84 and has spent £148 on five lots, consisting
of the Victorian glass vase,
the musical box,
the Art Deco bowls,
the 1930s lady carving
and the pottery pike.
But what do our chaps think of each other's purchases?
I don't think Mark really rates my fish.
I think Mark, if he was doing this now, Mark would say,
"Thomas's fish is extraordinary, why did he buy it?
"Why did he buy it?" But again,
I am so disappointed in his very cautious buying.
72 quid, wow, what's that all about?
Thomas bought some very interesting things, actually.
Some very, very interesting things.
Actually, I liked all of them.
I can see why he bought them.
I do like them, although the fish,
I think the fish cost too much money.
It's been an interesting leg,
with the boys battling it out
from Ironbridge, Shropshire,
via Broseley, Shrewsbury,
the village of Froncysyllte,
Froncysyllte is a pretty village in Wrexham
and stands on the banks of the River Dee at the Llangollen Canal.
Cooper Barrington is an antiques and fine art auction house,
located in a former chapel,
and has been established since the middle of 2010.
-Come on, then.
-You are, honestly.
-Thomas, today, I am going to win.
-Are you now?
-Yes, I am.
-You've only spent £72.
-You won't let that go, will you?
-No, I won't let that go.
Let the auction commence!
First up, Thomas is hoping for a profit
with the Victorian glass vase.
We have £20 and away, £20 to start me.
20, ten and off.
Ten, five, six, eight... £8, £10.
£10, 12, 14, 16 anywhere now?
Even though you are a competitor, I have to say, that was a travesty.
-It's life, isn't it?
-I suppose so.
That's the spirit, Thomas, keep positive.
It's Mark's jugs next.
Best not to think about them.
He bought them for a song, but will they be fruitful?
£20, I'm bid.
20, 22, five, 28, 30 now.
At 30, any more?
At £30, the hammer will fall now at £30.
-I hate to say it, Thomas, but I told you so.
-Well, I said so.
-I'm happy, I didn't lose.
-You didn't lose.
-I said so.
Let's be thankful for small mercies, Mark. Move on, quickly.
Next up is Thomas's delightful little musical box.
Go on, Pandora, open it.
20 I'm bid, at 20, and five, and 30,
and five, and 40, and five,
45, 50, and five, and again,
at 50 and five, 55, you're just in time.
At 55, any more now at £55?
It wasn't even my lot and I'm disappointed, Thomas.
It's a profit now, but it won't be after deducting auction costs.
Next, it's another pair from Mark,
this time, his Staffordshire dogs.
Was he taking a chance here?
20, I'm bid.
I'll take five, five, 25, 30, 30.
-35, 40, 40,
-For nothing at this price, they should be this each.
-Did you hear the auctioneer? They're for nothing.
-Any more now?
He's right, they're for nothing.
I wrote down £55
as what they'd sell for,
and they sold for £10 less,
which I think, for you, was jolly lucky, because they started at 20.
Well, they didn't make you a juicy profit, Mark.
Let's hope things get better.
It's Thomas's set of art deco bowls next.
Just cross your fingers.
Five I've got, £6.
£6, £8, £10, £10. The lady's bid.
At £10, any more at £10?
That doubled its money, and I knew it would double its money.
I knew they would.
Yes, keep telling yourself that, Thomas,
if it makes you feel any better.
It's Thomas again.
Maybe his 1930s lady carving
will bring him some much-needed profit.
£20 to start, 20, ten, ten I've got.
£12, 14, at 14, 16, 16, 18, 18,
20 now, at 18, any more?
-That's another loss. Well done, me.
-Another day, another loss.
Oh, dear, it's not Thomas's day today. Nor hers.
It's Mark's turn next, with his porcelain pedestal bowl.
£20 I'm bid, 22, 24,
at 24, 24, at £24,
is there any more now? 24.
-£24 for a broken bowl.
-I wanted more, just a little bit more.
Not much more.
Don't moan, Mark, it's your best effort yet.
Finally, it's Thomas's very large
and, ahem, interesting pottery pike.
Right, where are we with him? £20, £20 straight in.
£20 I'm bid. At £20.
-Go on, more.
More, more, more.
£20, any more now? 20.
£20, ludicrous, isn't it, when you think a dated English porcelain...
-Will you shut up?
-..bowl can only fetch £24?
And a bit of 20th-century tat...
-Will you please shut up?
They're a right pair of bickering moaning Minnies, these two.
Despite playing it safe, the underdog won the auction.
Thomas Plant started with £507.84
and made a wounding loss after auction costs of £52.06.
Thomas is today's loser,
but still has a tremendous £455.78. Cheer up!
Mark Hales began with £278.15
and vanquished his foe.
After auction costs, Mark made a petite profit of just £9.18,
and now has a respectable £287.33
to fight on with.
-Bad luck for Thomas, £50 down.
-Not a lot, Thomas.
Still just over £400 in the kitty.
And the score is 2-1!
Thomas and Mark's journey will take them from Portrush, Northern Ireland
all the way to the beautiful village of Pontrilas in South Herefordshire,
notching up a whopping 460 miles along the way.
On this leg of the trip, they began in Newport, Pembrokeshire,
and motor the 48 miles to an auction in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire.
-See, we're coming into... The sign there, Newport.
-There we are.
This Newport, not to be confused with the other,
bigger Newport in South Wales,
sits on the south-west Pembrokeshire coast
and is known for its great beaches.
Sadly, though, beaches are not on the schedule today.
Life's a beach, you know? At least, it can be.
-Right, here we are, Mark.
-Look at that.
Right, we are going shopping.
They're heading for the Carningli Centre - unfortunate name -
a shop specialising in lots and lots of railwayana.
So, which one of our intrepid antique hunters
will bag the first bargain? Mark, have you found something?
These are rather nice.
Ah! At last!
GWR, Great Western Railway. Buttons.
Very, very collectable.
Indeed they are.
These coat buttons date from the 1930s
and would have been worn by staff of the Great Western Railway,
which linked Wales and south-west England to London.
-Hello, Anne, I'm Mark.
-How do you do?
-Anne, there's no price on these.
-Just £10 for the set.
-Aren't they lovely?
I wonder. Yes.
They're very tempting. Very tempting.
I wonder, can we do a little bit with the price?
Could they be £7 for the six?
£7 for the six... Can we go for eight?
-Anne, they're lovely.
-And £8 is fine.
-I'd like those, please.
-Thank you very much.
-I'll have those.
Meanwhile, Thomas has found a police truncheon.
I saw SWR. Here it says South Wales Railway.
I quite like that. We're in South Wales.
This is a real bit of Welsh history.
These truncheons, the painted ones, are widely collected.
The SWR was built in 1845 to transport coal
from the Welsh valleys to London,
but only lasted 17 years before merging
with the Great Western Railway.
This railway police truncheon dates from around 1850
and is priced at £100.
-Would you do it 80?
-Can you meet me halfway? 90?
HE LAUGHS LOUDLY
-Go on. It has got a bit of damage.
-Do you know what I mean?
-I'll do you 80, and it's a deal.
-Go on, then.
You're a star.
It's full steam ahead
with this antique shopping spree, and the chaps hit the road again.
So, it's goodbye to Newport
and hello to Pen-ffynnon, near Llangeler,
in the neighbouring county of Carmarthenshire.
Apologies for any mispronunciation.
Mark wants to go back to school,
and the bell's just rung at the West Wales Museum of Childhood.
-Hello, Mark. I'm Hilary. Croeso.
Welcome to West Wales Museum of Childhood.
-Let me show you around.
-Thank you very much.
This museum is packed with childhood memorabilia.
In fact, there are some 10,000 artefacts crammed in here,
much of it the personal collection of Hilary and her husband Paul,
who've had a passion for these things for much of their lives.
As well as the toys,
there's also a mock-up of an old classroom
from the first half of the 20th century, with its wooden desks,
chalk boards and milk bottles
that hark back to 1946 and the first free school milk for all.
There are also gruesome reminders of the tough side to school life.
In fact, when classes come, we actually put them in here.
We actually get the children writing on the slates
and we show them the canes.
-Look at that.
-And the sound of it, I mean.
You just whoosh it through the air and they can imagine it.
And for the really sadistic teacher, a knobbly one, look at that one.
-What about this one?
-Now, what is that?
-What on earth is all that about?
-That's a backboard.
-If you're slouching in class,
if you put this bit behind your back,
in front of your arms,
you've got to stand in the corner for 20 minutes like that, that teaches you deportment.
Oh, really? Keeps your back upright.
Yes, so 20 minutes of that, you'd remember not to slouch.
This isn't familiar to me, but I think I might know what it is.
I'm just wondering....
I'm trying to catch up Thomas Plant at the moment.
He's been doing terribly well. I'm still there.
Do you think you might have to wear one of these at the end?
I'm just wondering, if I haven't caught him by the end of the week,
do you think maybe I should stand in the corner with that on?
-Looking very solemn.
Oh, dear. This museum
also has an impressive collection of Welsh-produced toys.
The country was a magnet for big-name toy manufacturers,
like Louis Marx,
Triang and Mettoy, producers of Corgi toys.
They originally came to Wales for war work,
liked the place and stayed.
And in the 1950s, they brought in Corgi cars.
They wanted a name that was small, cute, and very Welsh.
And you've got a relatively new Queen on the throne at that point, so, Corgi.
-Welsh corgi, wonderful.
And they were huge.
I mean, there was 5,000 people working there at one time.
-Not many toys are made in Wales any more, but this one is.
This is a firm called Timber Kits.
They're up in North Wales and if you turn...
-There you are.
-So, toys still produced in Wales.
-He's rather lovely, isn't he?
-He's great fun.
Another toy that marks the end of a great manufacturing era
is this, the Silver Racer,
one of the last mechanically driven toys before the advent of batteries.
If you'd like to...
-I like that.
-Isn't that lovely?
-I've had lots of motorbikes. Tinplate?
-It is tinplate.
It's German. It's Tipco.
And this is in good order. Isn't that nice? Can I have a go?
-Yes, go on. Have a go.
-It'll be fun, won't it?
Right, I don't know how we're going to get on this floor
but let's see what happens.
Time to return to the world of grown-ups.
Thomas is on his way to Newcastle Emlyn,
a town perched on the banks of the River Teifi,
the second longest river in Wales. He's meeting Steve Furness,
the owner of the Emlyn Antiques Centre.
-Nice to meet you, Thomas. I'm Steve.
It's all right. Has it got age? I'm no great one on furniture.
I'm not great on furniture.
Don't know what I'm doing looking at it?
For heavens' sake, then, put it down! Huh.
-What's this then?
-Dough bin, oh, yeah.
Dough bins were used for mixing bread dough and allowing it to rise.
Fairly obvious, really.
This one's priced at a lot of dough - £220.
It's got a nice patina to it.
KNOCK ON WOOD
Got a bit of worm, but I think that's not kicking out.
I think it's Victorian. Would've been in a pantry.
A real country cottage farming thing, probably.
Its uses now in the home are for towels,
so to speak, outside a bathroom or on a landing.
I don't know what they're worth, I've never sold one.
Look, what can it be?
-The best on that is 150.
Can I offer you 100 for it?
Oh, go on.
-What do people use them for round here? Blankets?
-Blankets and plants.
-Take the top off and put plants in them.
What, for 110 quid, because you'd sell it to me for 110, wouldn't you?
Yeah, I'll sell it to you for 110.
Thomas is now feeling smug enough to pile some pressure
on his less experienced Antiques Road Tripper.
-You've got to start buying, Mark.
-I know, I know.
You've been very badly behaved recently, spending very little money.
-No, I don't think it is, it's boring!
Quite right! So, what can Mark pull out of the bag
when the boys hit Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire,
a town dominated by a castle,
where Mark plans to offload his outspoken opponent.
-She's all yours.
-Wonderful, I can't wait.
-I can't wait!
-Well, don't break her.
-Don't break her!
-Don't break her!
-Now...spend some money!
Well, is that "Mark's got his orders,"
or is that fighting talk from Thomas?
Mark gets stuck in and immerses himself in furniture -
and more furniture - at Tree House Antiques.
Donna is on standby to lend a hand,
and with just one item in the bag, Mark's really feeling the pressure.
Bit of a rush, because I've only got today - got to find something today.
Must find something TO-DAY.
Yes, TO-DAY, not...next week.
Can I ask you about a box over here?
-Little bit of damage around the keyhole, as there often is.
That could have an insert or something - it's just very pretty.
-How much is that, can you find out for me?
-Yes, I can.
I mean, is it a tenner, something like that?
-Oh, I think it would be a bit more than that?
-Would it? Lots more?
-Could you find out for me?
-Just in case - it's very pretty.
That's right. With not a ticket price in sight,
time for Donna to play "middle man" and nip round the back
to consult the camera-shy owner on getting a deal.
# Hopin' you'll come back
# I just can't seem to get you off my mi-ind... #
Is my luck in, Donna? How much is it?
Well, he wanted £20 for it, really, but we can come down a little bit.
-What would you...?
-It's a pretty little box, not rare or anything,
I just...have to buy something today. If he'll do it for 15,
I'll have it - because I've got room, then, haven't I?
-Yes. That's fair enough, you can have that for 15.
-Wonderful, I've made a purchase!
-That's good, we're all happy!
-You've got the day started.
A box - not exactly the big spend we were hoping for,
but at least Mark's moved into double figures.
Oh, and there's more...
-Was it this one in the corner?
-Right in the corner, Donna, please.
I rather like that. It's got to be a good price, though, Donna, honestly.
-How much is it?
-Well... It's £50.
It's 50, is it? Let's have a look.
That's not expensive.
It's decorative, it's nice, people like a sun dial.
A little bit of paint...
Oh, dear, though, I don't want to pay £50, I really don't, honestly.
I'll tell you what, Donna, I won't mess you about -
you can either do it or you can't.
If it were 40, I'd buy it. £40, I'd buy it.
-Well, seeing as it's you!
-And to seal the deal...
-Thank you, £40.
-# Je t'aime
# Je t'aime Oui, je t'aime... #
So, our new boy is finally motoring.
With the wind in his hair, he's heading 31 miles east
and seems ready to take on the world - well, Thomas, anyway.
Must buy two more items...TO-DAY.
I think I'll just let Thomas carry on with his psychological warfare,
and let it go in one ear and out of the other. I'll do things my way,
and I'll get the result I need my way.
Oh! That's fighting talk!
Carmarthen claims to be the oldest town in Wales.
The Mount Antique Centre, where Mark is heading,
hasn't been around that long, but judging from the amount of stuff,
you'd think it had. Cor, look at that!
I'm looking for something with a decent profit in, obviously.
I don't care what it is any more - I've thrown all that to the wind.
Oh, hark at him! Watch out, Thomas!
-Gone, gone, gone...
-I like it here, interesting things.
Oop! Let's see what we have here.
That's really nice. Not very good quality, minor factory -
I think it's Scottish, Portobello factory, north of Edinburgh.
In fact, it began life in Staffordshire
and was sent to Edinburgh for decorating.
It dates from the 1920s, and with that rare Charlie Chaplin figure,
it's sure to appeal to movie buffs.
This is great fun, great fun!
That's really nice. Erm,
I'm a ceramics man, so, immediately, got a nasty old crack there,
bit of restoration there...
I really do like it, but... but it's all in the price.
Erm, have you any idea? I mean, can it be considerably less?
-I've got to ask.
-I can try and get hold of one of the traders there,
-that's the best way to get the best price.
-I will come back and let you know what they say.
-Tell them I love it.
I really don't want to pay £52. I don't really want to pay £42.
But whatever I can get it for, (I've got to have it, I must buy it)
(it must be worth a go, it could be a sleeper in any sale anywhere.)
It could be the sleeper.
Mmm! The word "sleeper" is often used
to describe an antique that's been undervalued.
So, could Mark be onto something?
It's all down to that phone call to the dealer.
Mark, I got hold of the traders, and they said the lowest they could do
would be £40, and that's the absolute rock bottom.
-No point in offering them 35 or anything, seriously?
They wouldn't take it, I'm afraid, £40 is the absolute rock bottom.
-I think we've got to have that, then.
Mark's here. I hope he hasn't nicked all the bargains.
Well, you'd better chop, chop, then, Thomas.
Upstairs, Mark's finally thinking big,
and it's £95.
-Lovely pine bench, I really like that.
-I can tell you,
the very best she will go down to on that
-is £70, and that's her absolute best.
-That's her bottom line?
Those attractive Gothic ends suggest this bench came from a chapel,
and Mark's hoping for some divine intervention on the price.
Do you think she'd do it for 60?
I'll give her another ring, and just...
-Tell her what I'm going to do with it.
-I will do.
-It's going in a local sale and deserves to find a good home.
Mark - she said she'd meet you in the middle at 65,
but that really is the absolute lowest - no more room to move.
-You know, I think that's enough money, but I'll say yes.
So, with one more item in the bag - ha! -
and another in the back of a car, Mark heads off,
leaving his rival, Thomas, in danger of disturbing the peace.
THOMAS BLOWS ON EUPHONIUM
Oh, dear. Maybe he should stick to the day job.
I think I could have found my third purchase.
With vintage cars short on space,
these trunks would have been the answer - packed with clothes
and strapped to the boot or roof.
Now, they're popular with interior designers,
doubling as blanket boxes and even pieces of furniture.
It's another coffee table.
It's another coffee table, isn't it?
It's a... Just cleaned up, waxed up.
Shame it's not leather, but... I'm going to take it away.
If I was a porter in a railway station,
I don't know if I'd make a good one,
but I'm going to find out how much I can get it for.
Well, with a price tag of £49 and made of canvas and leather,
it's certainly worth a gamble,
unless there's something else, Thomas, that takes your fancy.
I quite like it, it's probably like a...
It says here, "Victorian hop or grain scoops."
It's Victorian, and you can imagine a big vat of grain or hops,
and scoop in and out it comes, you know?
Some big guy scooping the grain in and out.
It would make something great for your kitchen.
At 65, though, it's more rusty than rustic.
That's tetanus Central.
Maybe that's part of my bargaining. Tetanus Central.
Maybe Thomas is hoping this grain scoop
can scoop up a huge profit. Ha!
-I quite like it.
It's a good plant pot, good for your kitchen, BUT...
-These are really dangerous.
-They are quite sharp.
-What are you thinking?
-20 quid, cos of that damage.
20 quid, I think, should be fine.
-I shall give him a ring, just in case.
-I can't believe that.
Quite sharp edges on it, so would you accept a £20 offer?
It's your lucky day, he said 20's fine.
-20's fine for that?
-Yep, 20's fine for that.
-That's all right. And the trunk...
I'd like to offer 30. So, 50 for the two.
Aye, that should be fine. Go on then, yeah. Yeah.
-You think so?
-Yeah, well it should be fine for 30 for that,
-cos it's been here a while.
Oh, well, that's a good sign, isn't it?
So, at £50 for the two,
could these items secure Thomas's lead in this competition?
Thank you very much.
It's time to find out, but first, let's recap what our experts are taking to auction.
Mark started this leg of the road trip with £287.33
and has spent £168 on five auction lots,
buying the sundial, the pretty little box,
the Great Western Railway buttons,
the Chaplin jug and the pine bench.
Thomas, on the other hand, started streets ahead, on £455.78,
but has gambled £240 on four auction lots,
made up of the vintage trunk, the police truncheon,
the grain scoop and the dough bin. So, pleased with their purchases,
what do our experts think of each other's auction items?
Again, has he been buying safe? Yes. Has he bought bold?
-Not really. He's bought safe. It's a bot of a yawn-fest.
His truncheon? Well, extremely rare.
If I'd have seen that before him, undoubtedly, I'd have bought that.
Overall, I think Thomas did very well, actually.
So, with no further ado, it's off to the auction.
Thomas and Mark started this road trip in Newport, Pembrokeshire,
and after a number of pit stops, they're heading for Lladeilo,
in Carmarthenshire, Their rendezvous with destiny,
auctioneers, Jones & Llewelwyn.
-Do you know, I always feel excited at this point.
-I feel extremely nervous.
-This is catch-up day for me.
-I think I'm not going to do very well.
So, can Mark make up lost ground? Let's get going.
Oh, you might think this auctioneer was more used to selling livestock,
the way he speeds through the lots, so better pay attention, folks.
Right. Here comes Mark's sundial.
HE CHANTS AT SPEED
What a beauty.
25, 30 here.
Lovely one there. 35.
35. Yes, you did. 35, 159.
-So, what was that?
-I don't know. What did it fetch?
-I think it was £35.
-I made a loss anyway, Thomas.
Mm. But hardly anything to worry about at this stage, Mark.
Now, anyone fancy a vintage trunk for the car?
HE CHANTS AT SPEED
30, I've got 30 out the way.
-HE CHANTS AT SPEED
Last call at £32. 32.
-Eh, got away with that.
-Got away with that.
Only just, Thomas. Only just.
But now, Thomas thought this box was a Plain Jane,
but will the bidders agree?
At five, I'm bid. Five, I've got.
HE CHANTS AT SPEED
£10, I've got 10.
And again, 15, 15, 15.
-HE CHANTS AT SPEED
-Open the gate, £20 I'm bid. And two now.
One, one more.
Come on, one more.
27, then. 27.
One more? 27, he goes, there,
last call, last time at £27. 27.
-He's done well. Well done.
-It did me proud.
Oh, Mark is nudging ahead, look.
But now it's Thomas's rare secret weapon.
Will Mark's fragile lead take a beating?
I've got £35 I'm bid.
At 35. 35.
£40. I've got 40 here, as well.
45 for you. 45. 47.
47. £50. 50 bid.
Last call, last time out. £50.
Unlucky, Thomas. Genuinely unlucky.
Ridiculous. Should have been £150.
Mm, I bet you're glad it wasn't, Mark.
Right. You're back in the dock.
Let's pray that there are some train buffs in the crowd,
or at least button collectors.
HE CHANTS AT SPEED
Five. Five I'm bid, then. £5 I'm bid. Selling at £5.
A fiver. You lost a bit of money on those, but not much,
because you only paid £8 for them.
Mm. Well, someone's got a good deal there, and it's not Mark.
Thomas's grain scoop is up next.
He made a packet on a grain measure recently,
so can he do it with the scoop? I bet not.
£28, I'm bid. At 28.
28, I'm bid.
At 28, this is a disappointing price, here.
Last call, last time at £28.
-It all adds up, Thomas.
-It all adds up.
Well, that's one way of looking at it.
Now, Mark's Chaplin jug.
Is this the sleeper he predicted?
And I've got three bids on the phone
can I come straight in at £115, I'm bid.
-Go, go, go.
I'm selling at £115.
-I've got 120 here.
-You've got to go more, sir.
I've got 120 here, as well.
130? I'm out, you're in. At 130.
I'm selling at £130.
PEN TAPS God, well done you. £90 profit. Come on, you must...
I'm pleased. Of course I'm pleased.
Well, he doesn't sound it or look it.
Still, that profit, before costs,
puts our new boy firmly in the lead today.
So, can Thomas's dough bin make some real bread?
A lovely item here now, then.
50. Five. 60. £60, I'm bid.
70, at the back. £70, I'm bid. At 70. At 70.
80. 90. 90.
£100, I'm bid.
-I'm selling at 100.
-Could be worse.
-I have lost £30.
It's not a lot of money to lose.
Well, you say that, Mark, but you're not trailing really badly.
And not even a disaster with the pine bench
will knock him off the winner's podium now.
£55, I'm bid.
At 55. At £55, I'm bid.
Come along, now. Go on, then. Good man.
At 60. £60, he owes, and at £60.
PEN TAPS You've had a loss.
I can afford a very small loss.
Oh, you can afford a small loss. Look at you.
You tell him, Thomas.
-3-1 up. 3-1 up to you.
-I'm on schedule.
You're on schedule to overtake me next week.
-Clawing it back.
-Unless I do something amazing.
-Which you probably will.
Under pressure, that's when you pull it out the hat.
So, with the results in, it's Mark who claims victory.
Thomas started this leg of the road trip with a huge £455.78,
but lost £67.80 after auction costs,
leaving him with £387.98.
So, it just shows how unpredictable this game can be.
Mark, however, began with £287.33
and made a profit of £42.74 after auction costs,
leaving him with £330.07. He looks happy. Which is nice.
For a change.
-Yeuch! Yeuch! My bottom is wet!
-Come on, then.
I hope the car's leaking - and not Mark. Yeuch, indeed.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Thomas Plant and Mark Hales go shopping in Ironbridge before ending up at auctions in Froncysyllte in North Wales and Llandeilo in Camarthenshire.