Episode 26 Antiques Road Trip


Episode 26

Antiques experts travel across the UK searching for treasures. Charlie Ross and Catherine Southon begin their road trip in Corsham in the heart of Wiltshire.


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Transcript


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It's the nation's favourite antiques experts,

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with £200 each, a classic car and a goal -

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to scour Britain for antiques.

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That hurts.

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-I'm going to go for it, Joe.

-The aim?

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To make the biggest profit at auction, but it's no mean feat.

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There'll be worthy winners and valiant losers.

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Goodness gracious me!

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So, will it be the high road to glory

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or a slow road to disaster?

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It's not nice to gloat, there we are.

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This is the Antiques Road Trip!

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Yeah!

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It's a brand new week

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and we're splashing through puddles with a right couple of charmers.

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Antiques experts Charlie Ross

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and Catherine Southon.

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OK, Charlie, let the fun begin!

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I've got the girl of my dreams by my side,

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the car of my dreams in front of me.

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Life is fantastic, except it's raining.

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Charlie is a seasoned Road-Tripper

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with a penchant for furniture. He ran his own auction house

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for over 25 years, so, as such, always knows exactly what he wants.

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-I want that.

-I told you!

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And while Catherine is a relative newbie to the Road Trip,

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only a fool would underestimate her considerable knowledge

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of maritime art and scientific instruments.

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Oh ho! Yes. And her legendary powers of persuasion...

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-Can I give you £20 for it?

-No!

-Oh, come on!

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Our cosy couple begin their adventure with £200

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and a classic 1966 Austin Healey,

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affectionately known as a Frogeyed Sprite.

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The problem is the car doesn't have a hood.

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-Cuddle up to me!

-Cosy up to me!

-That's the way!

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Cosy!

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Maybe the weather was better back in 1966.

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HE SHIVERS

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Catherine and Charlie will be travelling over 200 miles

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from the heart of the Wiltshire countryside

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wending their way eastwards along the sunny South Coast

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before finishing up in Rye, East Sussex.

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Today, we're starting our journey in the village of Corsham,

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straddling Somerset and finishing up with an auction showdown in Devizes.

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The big question is, let's hope our devilish duo hit it off.

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I think, by the end of this trip,

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-I could be in love with you.

-In love, Charlie?

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-I thought we already WERE in love.

-Yeah?

-Steady on, you too!

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While Catherine heads into her first shop in Corsham...

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Hello! Hi, Lee, hi.

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Beautiful shop and fantastic surroundings as well.

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Yeah. Charlie's off to find his

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in the village of Kington St Michael.

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That's if he can get out of the car, that is, poor old boy.

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-Steady.

-Samantha, it's Charlie.

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-Lovely to see you.

-And it's not long

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before Charlie spots something he's always drawn to.

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Samantha, your lady's quite interesting, what's she made of?

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-She's stoneware.

-Oh, is she!

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Very shapely. I can't go wrong here!

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Do you do rooms as well? I could stay!

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Steady! There's plenty here to feast the eye on, though.

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Could these light up Charlie's life?

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Quite a sweet little pair of candlesticks there.

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-They're Birmingham, aren't they? Have you dated them for me?

-Yes.

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Yeah, 1935 and they are in super condition.

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I see you've got them priced at £45,

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which is sort of the top end of where I would see them at auction.

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Can you do something really sexy with these for me?

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You tell me what you would like to pay and I will see what I can do.

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If I could buy those for £20

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I would snap them out of your hands and take them out of your shop

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because I think they are lovely.

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-£20 is a little bit low.

-Yeah.

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If you were to offer me £25, I could let you have them

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-at what I paid for them...

-Are you sure that would...?

-Yeah.

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Well, I think they're really sweet.

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Deal number one! Do you know,

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-that's my first buy on the trip?

-Fantastic.

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So, every time I think of this trip, Samantha, I shall think of you.

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Yeah, they all say that! You're terribly accommodating though, Samantha,

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and Charlie's off to a good start.

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Not quite so much luck for Catherine.

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Harley Antiques is stuffed with beautiful things,

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with price tags to match.

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£260. That's the absolute.

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That's beyond my limit, sadly.

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Far too expensive for me, I think.

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(I'm thinking that the prices are very, very high.

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(I'm a bit worried that everything I'm seeing

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(is slightly out of my price range!)

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(Don't panic Catherine! It's only the first day's shopping, darling.)

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(I will find something, I will dig deep and I will find it.)

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That's the spirit, girl!

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Charlie and Samantha are having a great time on the other hand.

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You've got a sense of humour, too. I like this hand coming out of this bucket.

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-Is that what happens if you don't buy something?

-Previous customer.

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Lordy!

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I've just seen a biscuit barrel, here,

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which has got a silver-plated top,

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cut-glass body, not pressed glass, which is nice,

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a particularly nice swing handle.

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Forerunners of our modern-day cookie jars, biscuit barrels

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have been popular for over 200 years. This one was made

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by the Sheffield silversmiths William Hutton and Sons

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in the early 20th century and it's cut-glass

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with a silver-plated lid. Perfect for preventing

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your custard creams from drying out. If you like custard creams.

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The great thing is that Samantha doesn't have a price on this,

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which leads me to believe that this is free with every purchase.

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-You tell me what you would like to pay...

-Oh no!

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-You'd smack me!

-I could...

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Do something really saucy on that?

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£10, and it's yours.

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HE BLOWS A RASPBERRY

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Blimey! You're making an old man's glasses steam up here!

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-Can you really do that for a tenner?

-I can.

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Samantha! Let me kiss you again!

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This is the most golden day of my life!

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You'll be wearing her hand out!

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Down the road, though, Catherine still has her entire £200 to spend,

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which leaves one problem.

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It's got £245 on it.

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Someone's got expensive taste!

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(That's so nice!)

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It's £395.

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I want to cry, because there are some beautiful things here!

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She is right!

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This intricate piece of shellwork

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is a fine example of what are called sailor's valentines.

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They date from the 19th century and usually come from Barbados

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where they were sold to sailors who brought them home for loved ones.

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But it's too much for you, love!

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I know I'm looking at everything that's nice and expensive!

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No such problems, though, for Charlie boy!

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Oh, I like one of your street signs.

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I'd quite like a little ride up Nunnery Lane!

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Nunnery Lane.

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It's a nice thing to have in your house, really.

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That's fun.

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I forget how much money's on Nunnery Lane.

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-I think it's £35, something like that.

-I could do that for £25.

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Are you able to satisfy my quirky sense of humour on Nunnery Lane

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-at 20 quid or is that...

-It's pushing it a bit.

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I don't want to push you, I don't want to push you, darling.

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-It's a bit too much.

-Yeah.

-£25.

-£25 is the death, as they say.

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-Would £22 make any difference?

-I'll do it for £22.

-Are you sure?

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-Anything for the cause.

-Anything for the cause. The Rosco cause!

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-Can I give you a proper kiss? Mwah! Mwah!

-Thank you.

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That's so kind of you. I've got three things!

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I don't believe this!

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In record time, Charlie's snaffled up a pair of candlesticks,

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a biscuit barrel and a Nunnery Lane sign,

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all for £57. Wow!

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And if I wasn't in a competition, darling, I'd say keep the change.

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But you are.

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So you will. Keep the change, that is.

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-Thank you very much.

-Thank you, take care.

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Cor! She must be exhausted!

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While Charlie can afford to put his feet up,

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Catherine's struggling to spot a bargain

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within this treasure trove of a shop.

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I'm trying, I'm trying very, very hard.

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I can see lots of beautiful things,

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-but they're just out of my price range.

-Come on, Catherine! Buck up!

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Not everything in this shop has a three digit price tag on it,

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A juice strainer. The good thing about this

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is the Asprey stamp on the back.

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So, it's a good retailer in London, the top retailer in London.

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I'm guessing, a bit like a tea strainer,

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this is going to go on the top of the glass

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and squeeze your orange or your grapefruit or whatever you desire

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around here and I'm guessing these little spirally bits

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are going to pick out the pips. It's got £78 on it,

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so I'm guessing he'll go down to about £55.

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Ha! You'll be lucky!

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-£40.

-Oh, come on!

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Some people are never happy.

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-Could you do any more?

-£35.

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-And that is...

-£30 and I will take it from you.

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-Shall we? Shall we?

-Yeah.

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Thank you very much indeed.

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A lot of kissing on this show.

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It's been a moist day in all senses of the word for Catherine

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but now she has a treat in store.

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She's travelling ten miles south-west

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to Somerset's jewel in the crown, the city of Bath.

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Bath was originally established as a spa town by the Romans,

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thanks to its unique hot springs.

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It evolved into a resort city for wealthy Elizabethans

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and then later, the Georgians, who designed much

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of the iconic architecture we see today.

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Built in that beautiful, honey-coloured stone.

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Feast your eyes.

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Catherine's come to a place we're all familiar with,

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the Post Office, but she's not here to post a letter, no, no.

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She's come to find out how the postal system we all know today originally came about.

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-Hello.

-Oh, hello! Catherine Southon.

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-Hello, are you Audrey?

-I am indeed.

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Audrey, it's lovely to meet you.

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Audrey Swindells is going to show Catherine around.

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-First of all, who are all these?

-Who are these.

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Well these people are the raison d'etre,

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the reason that we're here at all.

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Ralph Allen, this chap, he ran all the mail

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that didn't go to London, previously everything went to London.

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If you sent a letter from here to Bristol, it went to London and back

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-Right...

-and you had to pay a mileage.

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So, it's expensive, right.

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Ralph Allen was given contracts

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to make the transportation of letters more efficient across the country

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and the museum is lucky enough to have one,

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which is over 280 years old.

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This is the original and the only one that exists.

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One of Allen's responsibilities was to open post

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from anyone who posed a danger to the established monarchy.

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It is known that General Wade

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financed him, because...

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he had uncovered a Jacobite plot

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which he had revealed to Wade and to the government, presumably.

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Postmasters were not only in a position to do this,

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they were actually TOLD to do this

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to open letters from various people.

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Delivering mail in the early 19th century was a dodgy business.

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The countryside was teeming with highwaymen,

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so mailguards were armed.

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After the introduction of the guard being armed,

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they only had two attacks by highwayman,

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whereas before that, of course,

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-the stagecoaches were constantly being...

-Attacked.

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Before the invention of stamps, postage was calculated per page.

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So, writers didn't let any paper go to waste.

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You used every scrap of it, as you can see there,

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you'd write horizontally and then diagonally

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and when I transcribed that, which took me a couple of weeks

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I was inclined to wonder whether...

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I know, the recipient, that's exactly what I was thinking!

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The first ever stamp was the Penny Black,

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introduced over 170 years ago and it was sent from here in Bath.

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This one went out on May 2, 1840.

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-So, where is this original stamp now?

-In the Far East.

-Oh, is it?

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Yes. It sold for £55,000 in 1990

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and it's considered if it came on the market again now

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-it would be worth a million.

-Wow!

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A million pounds, eh? The Penny Black

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brought letter-writing to the masses and soon post offices

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were springing up all over the country.

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This is the model of a Victorian post office,

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they just had a similar system everywhere.

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-So, why is the cat there?

-Because the cat was on the payroll.

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It was actually listed for the money for feeding it

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because it kept down the mice and the rats,

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-which, of course, could eat the mail.

-Chew the post.

-Chew the mail.

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What a good pussy!

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CAT MEOWS

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Well, it's time for Catherine to bid

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the Postal Museum and beautiful Bath farewell.

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It's the end of the day and our experts

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deserve a good old snooze themselves.

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Ha! Night night!

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It's a beautiful new day for our couple of antiques gurus.

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The sun is out, at last, and love is in the air.

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-Charlie, are you always this happy?

-Yeah.

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-Are you?

-Yeah.

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I think this is going to be an exhausting trip.

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I knew it would never last.

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So far, Catherine has only spent a teeny tiny

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£30 on one Asprey silver-plated juice jobby.

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Leaving her with a chunky £170 still to spend.

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-Wish me luck with this.

-Good luck.

-I think I might need this.

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Charlie, meanwhile, splashed his cash on three items.

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A pair of silver candlesticks, a cut-glass biscuit barrel

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and a street sign of Nunnery Lane, all for £57.

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This is the most golden day of my life!

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That leaves him with £143 to play with.

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-Thank you very much.

-Thank you, take care.

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Catherine and Charlie are heading south-west

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towards the village of Wedmore in Somerset.

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Now, Wedmore may not look like an island to you and I,

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but this village sits on a small hill

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in the middle of the Somerset Levels

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and back in Saxon times was surrounded by water.

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Since then, it's been known as the Isle of Wedmore

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and still is today.

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Time to drop your anchor, we've arrived at our next shop.

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I'm going to be equally naughty here!

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-Wait for me! I've got to change my shoes!

-I'm sorry, Miss Southon,

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by the time you've changed your shoes, I'll have bought my antiques!

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Charlie!

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Ha! Lemon Tree Antiques is stuffed to the gunnels with goodies,

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so Charlie wastes no time. Let's hope he doesn't kiss owner, Les...

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Well, good morning, sir.

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-How are you, Rosco?

-I'm very well indeed!

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-I've heard plenty about you.

-Have you? Is it all good?

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Um, marginal!

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-Charlie!

-Here comes Miss Southon.

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-She's changed her shoes especially for you.

-Yes I have.

-Good morning, young lady.

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-I've got my high heels on. Hello.

-What a pleasure to meet you.

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-Move out of the way, Charlie, I'm moving in!

-I can see! All right!

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Look out, Charlie! I think you've just been outmanoeuvred!

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I'm Catherine, lovely to meet you.

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Les is now going to give me none of his time whatsoever.

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It's all about Southon.

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-Bye-bye Charlie, we've made friends.

-I can see you and Les

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are going to have a cracking time!

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Now, while Charlie has a little browse about,

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Catherine has already spotted something she likes.

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-I like your Georgian pipe box.

-Yes,

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-how much do we have written on that?

-Quite a lot.

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-Too much.

-Well, have you ever seen another one?

-No.

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-Then it isn't too much money.

-£220.

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That's obviously a misprint, I expect he meant to put £150 on it,

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-don't you think?

-Well, I would hope even less than that.

-Oh!

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I tell you what, final offer, there you are,

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because I like you and I want you to beat that old rascal chap in there,

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130 quid and it's yours, there you are.

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Now, how can I do any better than that?

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-Any chance of tucking it under £100?

-Final offer, £120.

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-No, we said that earlier, didn't we?

-No, that was £130.

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I'm very tempted at £100.

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That's one for Catherine to mull over.

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Les's shop is full of exceptional pieces of antique furniture,

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right up Charlie's street, so I'm sure he'll find something

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classy, any minute now...

0:17:270:17:30

That is cool!

0:17:300:17:33

I know cigarettes aren't really in,

0:17:330:17:36

but there's a real Smith's Deco advertising clock.

0:17:360:17:41

This clock actually dates from the 1950s and was made by clockmakers

0:17:410:17:45

Smith when tobacco advertising was still very popular.

0:17:450:17:50

Well, I think it says £150.

0:17:500:17:53

I'd buy that off Les for a little bit less.

0:17:540:17:57

But how much less is Les willing to go?

0:17:570:18:00

-I'd give you 50 quid for it.

-You wouldn't, would you?

-It's cracked at the top...

0:18:000:18:03

I guess you won't be taking it, then.

0:18:030:18:05

If you want to give me £80, you can have it at cost all day long.

0:18:050:18:09

That's a fantastically generous offer.

0:18:090:18:11

If I can't find anything I like more, and I really like that,

0:18:110:18:15

I'll buy that, so you've got a certain sale.

0:18:150:18:16

We shall eat tonight, dear, we shall eat!

0:18:160:18:20

While Charlie has a think, Catherine's seen something tasty

0:18:200:18:23

-and it's not Les...

-These would have been used years ago,

0:18:230:18:26

by workers in the field. Full of cider.

0:18:260:18:30

-It's a big stoneware...

-Yes, indeed.

0:18:300:18:33

-..bottle inside.

-Yeah. There's another one, actually, there is two.

0:18:330:18:37

-They're quite nice, actually.

-They're quite nice, I think they're marked 50 or 60 quid.

0:18:370:18:41

-Yeah, 50 quid.

-Is that for the two of them, 50 quid?

0:18:410:18:44

No, they're £50 each. If you wanted the two,

0:18:440:18:48

give me 50 quid for one and I'll give you the other one.

0:18:480:18:53

-So, it's sort of buy one, get one free.

-It is indeed.

0:18:530:18:56

-Can I give you 30 quid for the two?

-No, you can't, sweetie pie,

0:18:560:18:59

-you can give me 50 quid and I'll give you one for nothing.

-Yeah.

0:18:590:19:02

I'll tell you what, seeing as you're such a willing young lady,

0:19:020:19:06

-(£40, but don't tell that rascal.)

-(No, I won't!)

0:19:060:19:10

Cor! Blatant favouritism!

0:19:100:19:12

But no sale yet, Catherine's having a smashing time...

0:19:120:19:15

Oh, crikey! I'm breaking glass!

0:19:150:19:19

That's a Stanhope.

0:19:210:19:23

A Stanhope is when you've got this little, almost like a lens

0:19:230:19:26

right at the top and you look through it

0:19:260:19:28

and there was lots of different...

0:19:280:19:32

scenes that you could see.

0:19:320:19:34

I say that, I can't actually see anything in there.

0:19:350:19:39

But what I have seen is that this is also a tape measure.

0:19:390:19:43

Stanhopes are novelty collectables and souvenirs

0:19:430:19:47

produced in the mid-19th century.

0:19:470:19:49

This one is partly ivory, but because it was made before 1947,

0:19:490:19:54

it's legal to trade. It has £85 on the ticket

0:19:540:19:58

and Catherine won't want to pay that!

0:19:580:20:00

Leslie!

0:20:000:20:02

-Les?

-Yep.

0:20:020:20:04

-I picked this up cos I thought it was a Stanhope.

-It is.

0:20:040:20:08

It's just got no pictures in it.

0:20:080:20:10

They are there, my love, honestly, I'm sure they are.

0:20:100:20:13

Really? Who does it belong to? Oh, they are! They are!

0:20:130:20:16

You've been having me on all along, you rascal!

0:20:160:20:19

-They are! I can see Crystal Palace.

-The price has doubled!

0:20:190:20:21

-No, I can see Crystal Palace.

-The prices has doubled!

-Darling.

0:20:210:20:24

Yes, sweetie pie. What?

0:20:240:20:27

I like the little tape measure idea in it,

0:20:270:20:30

how unusual is it to have a tape measure on a Stanhope?

0:20:300:20:33

-Immensely unusual.

-You're saying that because you want to flog it.

0:20:330:20:36

-Do I?

-Yeah.

-I'm a collector at heart, you know.

0:20:360:20:39

-50 quid, there you are.

-Oh no, come on!

0:20:390:20:42

How much do you want to give me?

0:20:420:20:44

-Can I give you £20 for it?

-No!

-Oh, come on!

0:20:440:20:47

-(30 quid, how about that?)

-(30 quid.)

-(How about that?)

0:20:470:20:50

You've got to say yes, that's the best offer you've had today.

0:20:500:20:54

-Is it?

-Despite Les's best efforts,

0:20:540:20:56

Catherine's still not biting.

0:20:560:21:00

There's plenty to get excited about in here, but neither expert

0:21:000:21:03

has actually bought anything yet!

0:21:030:21:06

Look at this!

0:21:060:21:09

Oh, wonderful! Wonderful!

0:21:090:21:13

Block puzzle from, oh I don't know,

0:21:130:21:17

1890? Certainly Victorian.

0:21:170:21:19

And I think in the bottom,

0:21:190:21:22

you've got all the different pictures there.

0:21:220:21:25

There are six different pictures.

0:21:250:21:27

Great thing for a child to do,

0:21:270:21:30

I would love to buy this.

0:21:300:21:33

Not sure I can leave these premises, really,

0:21:330:21:35

I'd just carry on buying for the rest of my life here.

0:21:350:21:38

Now, the puzzle hasn't got a ticket on it,

0:21:390:21:41

so Charlie's hoping for a deal.

0:21:410:21:43

-Lovely Les?

-Rosco, sir.

0:21:430:21:46

-Come and melt into my arms. This is fantastic!

-Oh yes,

0:21:460:21:49

-it's the best puzzle you'll find.

-Oh!

0:21:490:21:51

Keeps old men active, doesn't it? Gives them summat to do.

0:21:510:21:55

What if I looked at you and said it's going to cost you

0:21:550:21:57

-50 nicker, what would you say to that?

-50 nicker?

0:21:570:22:00

I'd say that was very nice to meet you, Les.

0:22:000:22:02

-I tell you what, I tell you what.

-Yeah.

0:22:020:22:06

20 quid, you wouldn't be able to resist it.

0:22:060:22:08

But I'm not saying 20 quid!

0:22:080:22:10

THEY LAUGH

0:22:100:22:12

But I will.

0:22:120:22:14

-Les! That's fabulous.

-How about that?

0:22:140:22:17

Les! You're giving them away now!

0:22:170:22:20

So, the deal is done,

0:22:200:22:22

£20 for the puzzle and 80 smackers for the cigarette clock.

0:22:220:22:26

And Charlie's free to head off.

0:22:260:22:28

That just leaves Catherine to, well, find something else she likes the look of.

0:22:280:22:32

I'm just wondering about Mr Punch doorstop.

0:22:320:22:36

£80, now he looks like he's been there a long time.

0:22:360:22:40

It's really nicely modelled,

0:22:400:22:42

a lot of attention to detail, surely...

0:22:420:22:45

a nice little deal could be done on him. Les,

0:22:450:22:50

-What can he be?

-15 quid.

0:22:500:22:52

-Can he?

-Yeah, he can be.

-Can he really?

-Aye.

0:22:520:22:55

How about that? Now, that's an offer you can't possibly refuse.

0:22:550:22:59

-There you are. We've cracked it, kid!

-Really good.

-Put it there!

0:22:590:23:04

You can kiss my hand.

0:23:040:23:05

That'll do, don't get carried away.

0:23:050:23:08

-Right, so I'm having... I think I'm going to have your pipe box.

-Yes.

0:23:080:23:11

-I think I'm going to have your Punch.

-Yes.

0:23:110:23:14

-Well, we've agreed on the Punch, no going back.

-We have.

0:23:140:23:16

-Your baskets.

-Yes. I'll tell you what I'll do.

0:23:160:23:21

No, listen to an old fool, I'll tell you what I'll do,

0:23:210:23:24

-I'll make you a deal, you can't refuse.

-Oh, go on then!

0:23:240:23:26

90 quid. Yeah, for the box,

0:23:260:23:28

-15.

-For the Punch.

0:23:280:23:30

35 and I'll tell you what, I'll throw in the Stanhope

0:23:300:23:33

for you for £25.

0:23:330:23:35

-That's wonderful.

-There you are. How about that?

-That's lovely.

0:23:350:23:38

-You are completely gorgeous.

-Oh, sweetie pie! I wouldn't go that far!

0:23:380:23:42

Nor would I. After a discount of £320, though, perhaps I might!

0:23:420:23:47

Catherine's gone wild and spent £165

0:23:470:23:50

on four items, concluding her shopping.

0:23:500:23:53

-I've got no money left.

-I know,

0:23:530:23:55

-but Charlie's a decent enough chap, isn't he?

-He won't give me any!

0:23:550:23:58

Speaking of Charlie, he still has £43 to spend and is hoping

0:23:580:24:04

to hoover up one final bargain at the Old Bank Centre, Bath.

0:24:040:24:08

-This shop goes on forever!

-It's a gigantic antiques emporium, with room after room

0:24:090:24:14

of gorgeous collectables, but is there anything

0:24:140:24:17

to attract an impoverished old geezer like Charlie?

0:24:170:24:20

Most things seem to be well into three figures

0:24:200:24:24

and probably four figures.

0:24:240:24:26

475.

0:24:260:24:28

HE PRETENDS TO CRY

0:24:280:24:30

Don't despair, Charlie!

0:24:300:24:31

Hello, what's this?

0:24:310:24:33

It's a miniature barrel, but it's pure Arts and Crafts,

0:24:330:24:36

it's about 1900 in date,

0:24:360:24:38

silver-plated banding is good,

0:24:380:24:41

the tap is a nice shape

0:24:410:24:43

and a great thing for dispensing brandy or sherry...

0:24:430:24:47

..even whiskey or port, it's a nice thing.

0:24:480:24:52

It's £80, I can't insult the man too much.

0:24:520:24:55

No, you really can't.

0:24:550:24:57

It's probably not worth asking, but I will,

0:24:570:24:59

there is a barrel on a sort of cross stretcher

0:24:590:25:03

which is 80 quid, and I've got, like, 40 quid left in my coffer

0:25:030:25:08

-and that's probably...

-OK.

-Are you sure?

0:25:080:25:11

-That's really kind. I shall go and get it.

-OK.

0:25:110:25:13

-Brilliant, thank you.

-It's been a day of most accommodating dealers.

0:25:130:25:17

-There we go, £40.

-OK.

-That's really kind of you. Thank you very much.

0:25:170:25:22

With all his shopping finished, Charlie's heading 34 miles eastwards

0:25:230:25:27

from Bath to Swindon.

0:25:270:25:30

He's here to be shown some extraordinary photographs

0:25:300:25:34

at the English Heritage Archives

0:25:340:25:36

-by chief archivist Mike Evans.

-Hi, Charlie.

0:25:360:25:40

-Welcome to the English Heritage Archive.

-Thanks for letting us in.

0:25:400:25:44

Wonderful mahogany balustrade.

0:25:440:25:45

Much of the archive is made up of photographs of buildings,

0:25:450:25:49

landmarks and key geographical locations,

0:25:490:25:52

dating back to the late 19th century

0:25:520:25:55

and continuing right up to the present.

0:25:550:25:57

It is turned into an enormous thorough record

0:25:570:26:01

of Britain's changing landscape through the decades.

0:26:010:26:03

Well, it really started in the Second World War...

0:26:040:26:07

-Because of the bombing?

-Because of the bombing,

0:26:070:26:10

because people saw much of the architecture around was at risk,

0:26:100:26:14

so architects and architectural historians got together

0:26:140:26:17

to create the record in the beginning of 1941,

0:26:170:26:20

to start amassing photographs and records,

0:26:200:26:23

describing what was there now, in some cases

0:26:230:26:27

what had already been destroyed, so there was a record for the future.

0:26:270:26:31

All the original archives were collected

0:26:320:26:34

in over 6,000 of these red boxes. The photographs

0:26:340:26:38

provide a valuable memory of what has been before, but they can also

0:26:380:26:43

-be used to rebuild.

-Here's a nice example from Exeter.

-Yes.

0:26:430:26:49

It's Southernhay, just after bombing,

0:26:490:26:52

showing the Georgian front is all

0:26:520:26:55

that survived and that was knocked down shortly after that.

0:26:550:26:57

Here, we've got a before and after, if you like.

0:26:570:27:02

These are 1930s photographs of St Bride's Church

0:27:020:27:05

-in Fleet Street.

-Fleet Street, yeah.

0:27:050:27:07

This set of photographs here,

0:27:070:27:09

shows what happened to it during the Blitz.

0:27:090:27:12

Not far from St Paul's, is it?

0:27:120:27:14

Not far from St Paul's, indeed.

0:27:140:27:17

Then, these photographs here, gives some idea of how

0:27:170:27:20

they were able to restore it, using photographs like those,

0:27:200:27:24

-photographs from fans...

-Of course!

0:27:240:27:26

-Otherwise it just would have been a memory of people.

-Exactly.

0:27:260:27:30

The boxes contain archives of virtually everywhere in England,

0:27:300:27:34

including Charlie's hometown of Bicester and we're not talking gravy here...

0:27:340:27:38

-Ah, Bicester! May I take it out?

-You may.

0:27:390:27:43

I think I have found Bicester churches,

0:27:460:27:49

well I have to confess to singing, it's one of my hobbies,

0:27:490:27:52

so I've certainly sung in St Edburg's, Bicester.

0:27:520:27:56

That's where I used to have my car MOT'd!

0:27:560:27:58

It's never-ending, isn't it?

0:28:000:28:02

The archives soon outgrew the old red boxes,

0:28:040:28:07

so now most of this vast collection of 12 million images

0:28:070:28:11

is stored in climate-controlled vaults and there's a massive

0:28:110:28:15

ongoing process transferring them to digital.

0:28:150:28:18

Photographs are of some of the most fragile archival materials,

0:28:190:28:23

much more so than what we think of as older materials like parchment

0:28:230:28:27

or even handmade paper and if we are to preserve photographs,

0:28:270:28:30

we have to keep them as cold and dry as possible.

0:28:300:28:33

The £4.6 million facility

0:28:330:28:37

with its 14 kilometres of shelving

0:28:370:28:40

is kept at a steady eight degrees in order to preserve the photographs

0:28:400:28:45

and there are safety concerns, too.

0:28:450:28:47

Some of the negatives are acetate film

0:28:470:28:50

and some are nitrate film

0:28:500:28:53

and nitrate film has a particularly bad reputation

0:28:530:28:57

and in the wrong conditions it can spontaneously combust.

0:28:570:29:02

But thanks to the cool temperatures in the vault,

0:29:020:29:05

that's not likely to happen here. This wonderful archive

0:29:050:29:08

is available for everyone to access, both at the archives

0:29:080:29:11

and increasingly online.

0:29:110:29:14

-It's been absolutely wonderful, thank you so much.

-You're welcome.

0:29:160:29:19

Yes Charlie, it's time to leave the past behind,

0:29:190:29:22

because it's the moment of truth when our experts

0:29:220:29:25

reveal all to each other.

0:29:250:29:27

-Should we have...

-I'm going to have a look at yours. Show me yours, ladies first.

0:29:270:29:30

-OK, are you ready for this?

-Yeah, whip your top off!

-One,

0:29:300:29:33

two, three...

0:29:330:29:35

-Ta-da!

-Oh, look!

-I don't know about you,

0:29:350:29:39

but something tells me Charlie likes Catherine's pipe rack.

0:29:390:29:43

-Now THAT is gorgeous.

-It's fantastic.

0:29:430:29:47

-It's stylish.

-It's Georgian.

0:29:470:29:49

-George III.

-Mahogany.

-Beautiful.

-Inlaid with satinwood.

0:29:490:29:53

-Looks like satinwood from here.

-I say boxwood, but is it satinwood?

0:29:530:29:56

I've never seen a pipe rack like that.

0:29:560:29:58

-What did it cost?

-£90.

0:29:580:30:00

That's very nice. What about the other objects?

0:30:000:30:02

The baskets are fun, but they didn't cost too much?

0:30:020:30:06

No, they didn't actually cost too much. They were £35 for the pair.

0:30:060:30:08

For the two? Fantastic. What is that thing?

0:30:080:30:12

It's the juicer that Catherine had a hard time extracting.

0:30:120:30:15

-Hang on, this is not 1950s, but a bit earlier.

-Yes, Charlie.

0:30:170:30:21

What is it?

0:30:210:30:22

Well, I thought you plunged your coffee with it but you can't.

0:30:220:30:25

-What do you do with it?

-It is a juice extractor.

-Ooh!

0:30:250:30:30

-Turn it over, Charlie, what is the name on the back?

-Oh, my goodness me!

0:30:300:30:33

Asprey! It is quality. Quality. Dreadful item, but quality.

0:30:330:30:37

Do you want to see my bits?

0:30:370:30:39

-Come on then, Charlie.

-Here are my bits!

-Oh, my God!

0:30:390:30:43

-I beg your pardon?!

-No, I didn't mean that.

0:30:430:30:46

Charlie's looking worried now.

0:30:460:30:49

-This...

-Do you like that?

0:30:490:30:50

It's very funky, I do like that, actually.

0:30:500:30:54

It's good advertising ware, we don't expect it to be heavy...

0:30:540:30:58

No, listen, it's decorative but it's not really great quality, is it?

0:30:580:31:02

Well, they weren't, were they?

0:31:020:31:03

It's decorative so I guess you paid like £40 or £50?

0:31:030:31:07

-£80, thank you very much. Next.

-Oh, dear!

0:31:070:31:12

-Um, this, I saw it. I saw that.

-That is fantastic.

0:31:120:31:17

It didn't have a price tag on so I just walked past it cos

0:31:170:31:20

I thought it was going to be about £80 or something.

0:31:200:31:22

-£20!

-£20! You paid £20 for that?

-And Charlie is bouncing back again!

0:31:220:31:27

That was good, wasn't it?

0:31:270:31:29

I'm actually incredibly jealous of your puzzle,

0:31:290:31:32

so I'd really like to do...

0:31:320:31:34

-No, no, no, no! No, put it back.

-I love that.

0:31:340:31:38

-I've bought a lot that reminds me of you.

-Oh.

0:31:380:31:42

A street sign.

0:31:440:31:46

Nunnery Lane! Oh, Charlie!

0:31:460:31:50

I thought if we put that in the sale, it might create a bit of a giggle.

0:31:500:31:53

I think it might create a bit of a giggle, but I'm not sure

0:31:530:31:56

if anyone is going to actually bid on it, Charlie. Which is what you want,

0:31:560:31:59

at the end of the day, don't you?

0:31:590:32:01

Oh, she packs a mean punch, this girl.

0:32:010:32:04

Cost me £22.

0:32:040:32:05

Come on, £22, that is nothing.

0:32:050:32:08

-It isn't, is it?

-No, you're fine.

-I didn't see the little ivory piece.

0:32:080:32:11

Can I show it to you, because I just want to get your opinion on it.

0:32:110:32:13

Is it a tape measure?

0:32:130:32:14

Well, it is a Stanhope at the top, so if you look through,

0:32:140:32:17

there is a picture of Crystal Palace.

0:32:170:32:19

That is quite nice. It is a tape measure?

0:32:190:32:21

-And it is a tape measure as well. I thought that the two combined is quite nice.

-Yes, it is quite nice.

0:32:210:32:25

-Did you pay less than £50 for that?

-£25 for that.

0:32:250:32:28

-I think that is all right, isn't it?

-Got good profits there.

0:32:280:32:31

-I think you quite like my things, don't you?

-I do like your things.

0:32:310:32:33

I think I like your things more than you like my things!

0:32:330:32:36

Go on then, Catherine,

0:32:360:32:37

-do you really like Charlie's things?

-He had a nice couple of bits

0:32:370:32:40

and pieces, but one in particular I am incredibly jealous of.

0:32:400:32:45

That puzzle, I saw that puzzle and I looked at it,

0:32:450:32:48

and I didn't even ask the price because I thought it was

0:32:480:32:51

going to be too much and I really regret that now.

0:32:510:32:53

The tape measure is nice, but I would prefer it if it was all ivory.

0:32:530:32:56

It is part bone, part ivory, and the bone bit,

0:32:560:32:58

the quality carving isn't as great, but again it was cheap. She has bought well, the girl!

0:32:580:33:04

It is going to be a really interesting contest

0:33:040:33:07

because I have got absolutely no idea who is going to win this one.

0:33:070:33:09

It will be a tight contest... but I shall when!

0:33:090:33:12

Well, we will have to see about that, won't we?

0:33:120:33:15

So, it has been a splendid first leg,

0:33:170:33:19

kicking off in Corsham, Wiltshire,

0:33:190:33:21

following a delightful loop through Somerset,

0:33:210:33:24

then back into Wiltshire and our auction venue du jour - Devizes.

0:33:240:33:28

Come on!

0:33:280:33:29

-I can't get out!

-do you want some help?

-Help an old man!

0:33:290:33:35

Today's showdown is taking place at Henry Aldridge & Sons,

0:33:350:33:40

purveyors of furniture, ceramics and terrifying dolls.

0:33:400:33:44

So, what does auctioneer Alan Aldridge make of our experts' choices?

0:33:440:33:48

I've looked at both experts' buys

0:33:480:33:51

and I don't think there's a lot between the two of them.

0:33:510:33:54

I think just maybe, the pipe tray might just faze it.

0:33:540:34:00

But it is touch and go,

0:34:000:34:01

I think they are both very close in what they have bought.

0:34:010:34:04

Our experts began this journey with £200 each, and over the last two days,

0:34:060:34:10

Charlie has spent nearly every penny, a total of £197 on six lots.

0:34:100:34:16

Catherine also went for it.

0:34:170:34:19

Of her £200 she spent a grand total of £195 on five auction lots.

0:34:190:34:23

Give us five!

0:34:250:34:27

Hold onto your hats, the auction is about to begin!

0:34:280:34:31

-If you make a profit I will feel good about it.

-Aww!

0:34:310:34:35

You are particularly lovely.

0:34:350:34:36

You deserve profits because you are so lovely.

0:34:360:34:39

Pass the sick bag, will you?

0:34:390:34:41

First up is Catherine's doorstop in the form of Mr Punch.

0:34:420:34:47

-£25.

-No, he is asking for 25.

-Oh.

0:34:470:34:50

Who will give me a tenner? 10 I've got, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20?

0:34:510:34:56

-At £18, 18...

-That's not very good, I need a bit more than that.

0:34:560:35:00

All going, and done.

0:35:000:35:02

Well, it could be worse.

0:35:030:35:05

I suppose so, but that is a loss after the auction house taken

0:35:050:35:09

it's well-earned commission.

0:35:090:35:11

Well, you nearly made a profit, lost a few pence I would say.

0:35:110:35:15

Charlie is up next with his own little favourite,

0:35:150:35:18

the Nunnery Lane street same.

0:35:180:35:19

BOTH: # We all live down Nunnery Lane! #

0:35:200:35:24

-25 quid?

-No.

-20? Come on, give me £20.

-10!

-10, thank you.

0:35:250:35:32

10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20? At £18,

0:35:320:35:38

at £18 I've got. 19, I have 18, 19?

0:35:380:35:42

-Anyone else? £18...

-Nunnery Lane!

-HE SOBS

0:35:420:35:48

Oh, dear, not looking good!

0:35:480:35:51

-Charlie, shall we give up?

-Never give up.

0:35:520:35:55

Wise words, Charlie.

0:35:550:35:57

There's always hope, and next up is Catherine's Stanhope.

0:35:570:36:01

-I'll start the bid at £40.

-That would be nice, £40. 40, come on.

-30?

0:36:030:36:06

25? 20 I have got. 25 anywhere? 25 on the latest bid. 25, quickly?

0:36:080:36:14

-At £20. £20 is bid.

-Come on!

-At £20?

-Oh, there is a bid.

0:36:140:36:21

-22, 24, 26.

-Yes.

0:36:210:36:25

At £26, 26. As their 28? At 26 all going...

0:36:250:36:32

A bit of movement there, that was almost exciting!

0:36:320:36:36

Now you're getting desperate.

0:36:360:36:38

Another loss I'm afraid, after commission.

0:36:380:36:42

Yes, you've lost another fiver but in my book that would be a triumph.

0:36:420:36:46

And Charlie is up next. It's his 1950s cigarette advertising clock.

0:36:460:36:52

-80 quid.

-Oh! He's asking 80.

0:36:520:36:55

-That's what he's asking because that's what it cost.

-£80 anywhere?

0:36:550:37:00

What about 20 quid then?

0:37:000:37:03

£25?

0:37:030:37:05

20 I've got. 20 I've got, 20 I've got. 25?

0:37:050:37:09

All done? At £20, sold.

0:37:090:37:12

£60 down the old drain. A disaster!

0:37:120:37:17

-That's very unfortunate.

-You have to give it up, Charlie.

0:37:170:37:21

This could be the comeback though.

0:37:210:37:24

It's Charlie again with his Victorian block puzzle.

0:37:240:37:29

£20? £20?

0:37:290:37:30

-I can't believe this.

-15? 15 I've got. I've got 17. 15, I've got 17.

0:37:300:37:38

I'll take 16 if anyone is quick. At 15, is there 16? At 15.

0:37:380:37:44

At £15, am I done?

0:37:440:37:46

BANGS GAVEL

0:37:460:37:47

You have been done, I am afraid, on that one.

0:37:470:37:50

Another loss, and Charlie has to pick up the pieces.

0:37:520:37:56

-I would give you £15 all day long.

-I'd have paid 50 quid for it!

0:37:560:38:01

Moving on, it is Catherine's Asprey juice jobby.

0:38:010:38:07

Can someone give me in the region of £30?

0:38:070:38:11

I love the way he said in the REGION of £30.

0:38:110:38:14

15, giving it away.

0:38:140:38:17

-What about £10 on it? 10 I've got, thank you. 12?

-Asprey!

0:38:170:38:24

-Here it goes, here it goes!

-16 anywhere else? £14, 14. All done?

0:38:240:38:31

The thing is, if you don't laugh, you're crying.

0:38:310:38:36

True. That's another loss.

0:38:360:38:39

£14, that's kind of insulting.

0:38:390:38:42

More silver next,

0:38:420:38:43

Charlie's miniature candlesticks, bought for £25.

0:38:430:38:46

22 to start me? 10, giving it away. 10 I've got. 10, 15.

0:38:460:38:54

£10, who will bid 15?

0:38:540:38:56

20, 25, 30, 35? What about 32.

0:38:560:39:01

-32, that's a profit, Charlie. Your first one.

-34.

-A profit!

0:39:010:39:07

# I'm in the money. #

0:39:070:39:12

# He's in the money! #

0:39:120:39:14

At last! a profit for Charlie.

0:39:140:39:18

I think I made about three quid there!

0:39:180:39:21

If you counteract that against everything else...

0:39:210:39:23

-Yes, it's still a loss of well over £100.

-It's not quite as bad as that, Charlie.

0:39:230:39:28

Now, will anyone be tempted by Catherine's cider jars in baskets?

0:39:280:39:34

15? A tenner? £10.

0:39:340:39:36

-She was going to bid at 15.

-Don't...

0:39:360:39:41

-He'll take the bid, hang on.

-16, 18, 20. What about 19?

0:39:430:39:48

-We were on a roll for a moment there.

-20?

0:39:480:39:50

Finished at the back at £20? At £20. At £20.

0:39:500:39:56

BANGS GAVEL

0:39:560:39:58

Oh, my gosh. It's painfully hard.

0:39:580:40:02

Gosh, it's turning into a tough auction for both experts,

0:40:020:40:06

but there are still three lots to go.

0:40:060:40:08

-Surely this one can't go wrong? Charlie's biscuit barrel.

-25.

0:40:080:40:14

-Everything starts at 25 and then rapidly drops down.

-20 I've got.

0:40:140:40:20

-He's got 20!

-£20, at £20 what about 22? At £20.

0:40:200:40:25

Come on, 22, someone!

0:40:250:40:28

-At £20, all going.

-Profit!

-Splendid!

0:40:300:40:35

Charlie is edging his way back into the competition.

0:40:350:40:39

-It's not nice to gloat.

-It's not nice to gloat, there we are.

0:40:390:40:44

Yes, it's just not polite.

0:40:440:40:46

Charlie's last lot now, will someone be tempted by his spirit barrel?

0:40:470:40:51

-22 start me.

-Or 12.

-15?

0:40:510:40:54

-15, there we are.

-15, 17? At 15, 15, 15.

0:40:540:40:58

15, hammer down.

0:40:580:41:00

£15, what about 17? Is there anyone anywhere else?

0:41:000:41:06

-I don't think there is. 15, I told you, didn't I?

-15, done.

0:41:060:41:09

And once again, Charlie, you have been.

0:41:090:41:13

Poor Charlie, a rather limp finish to his lots.

0:41:130:41:18

I shouldn't laugh because it's all going to go downhill for me now.

0:41:180:41:22

It's a long wait, 61 years, to have the worst day of your life.

0:41:220:41:27

It's all come down to the last lot of the day

0:41:270:41:30

but that pipe tray could go either way.

0:41:300:41:34

I shall be really, really upset, I mean seriously upset,

0:41:340:41:37

if it doesn't make more than £50 or £60.

0:41:370:41:40

It's not going to go for anywhere...

0:41:400:41:42

And, let me start at a modest...

0:41:420:41:45

-No, we don't want modest.

-180.

0:41:450:41:48

-How much?

-180.

-150?

0:41:480:41:54

-£100?

-Oh, come on!

0:41:540:41:56

60, 70, 80, 90,

0:41:560:42:00

100, 110, 120,

0:42:000:42:06

130, 140, 150, 160...

0:42:060:42:10

-There is hope in the world!

-170, 180? 180 at 180, at 180?

0:42:100:42:15

-Are we done here? Sold.

-Come here.

-Oh!

-That is brilliant.

0:42:150:42:23

-Yes! I love you!

-The trouble is, it was hers.

0:42:230:42:27

Yes, a splendid result for Catherine.

0:42:270:42:30

The pipe tray has done her good.

0:42:300:42:33

-You're over 200 quid.

-About 205.

0:42:330:42:36

-You made a profit!

-# I'm in the money! #

0:42:360:42:38

Both our experts started this leg with £200.

0:42:380:42:41

After paying auction costs, Charlie has made a loss,

0:42:410:42:44

poor old chap, of £96.96.

0:42:440:42:47

That leaves him with a rather paltry £103.04 to carry forward.

0:42:470:42:53

The lovely Catherine on the other hand is the winner today.

0:42:530:42:57

She has made a profit of £16.56 so that means

0:42:570:43:02

she takes forward £216.56 to spend next time.

0:43:020:43:06

-Come on, Miss Southon, I'll open the door.

-It's not looking great, is it?

0:43:060:43:10

The heavens are about to open!

0:43:100:43:12

-Right.

-Come on, Charlie. Onwards and upwards, dear.

0:43:120:43:19

-The battle is lost, the war is not over.

-Yee-ha!

0:43:190:43:23

Next time on the Antiques Road Trip,

0:43:250:43:26

Catherine cranks up the charm offensive.

0:43:260:43:29

You have got lovely eyes. Has anyone ever told you that?

0:43:290:43:31

-Thank you, I hope that's not been recorded.

-And, Charlie runs into trouble.

0:43:310:43:35

I've got a confession to make.

0:43:350:43:37

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:500:43:52

It's the turn of antiques experts Charlie Ross and Catherine Southon to hit the road in their classic car on a 200 mile journey to out buy each other and make the greatest profit at auction. They begin their road trip in Corsham in the heart of Wiltshire ending with an auction in Devizes.


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