Antiques experts travel the UK searching for treasures. James Braxton and Helen Hall start in Oswestry in Shropshire, before crossing the Welsh border towards Montgomery.
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-It's the nation's favourite antiques experts.
-All right, viewers?!
With £200 each, a classic car and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.
I'm on fire! Yes!
Sold! Going, going, gone.
The aim, to make the biggest profit at auction. But it's no mean feat.
-There'll be worthy winners and valiant losers.
Be a good profit.
So, will it be the high road to glory or the slow road to disaster?
This is the Antiques Road Trip.
ROCK 'N' ROLL MUSIC
Today sees the start of a brand-new road trip with a brand-new expert.
Helen Hall is the new recruit,
an auctioneer with a forte in rock'n'roll memorabilia
and an uncanny ability to sniff out a bargain.
Doesn't smell too bad either. Some of them are a bit stinky.
James Braxton is a Road Trip veteran.
And is getting into shape to take on his new challenger.
-It's got some weight.
-I can feel upper toning.
James is starting out in the driving seat today
as they set off with £200 each
to spend in a very rock'n'roll
1974 E-Type Jaguar convertible.
What's the best thing you've sold at one of your rock'n'roll auctions?
-The drum from the front cover of the Sergeant Pepper album.
That sold for about £540,000.
You might struggle to match that on the Road Trip, Helen!
But do aim high.
Our two experts will traverse over 500 miles from Oswestry
in Shropshire, through the Welsh valleys,
before heading eastward through southern England,
ending their trip in the county town of Lewes in East Sussex.
On this first leg of the trip,
they're starting in Oswestry in Shropshire,
before crossing the Welsh border
for auction in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire.
Oswestry was named after King Oswald of Northumbria who died there
in battle in 641 AD and was rather gruesomely nailed to a tree.
Let's hope the locals don't greet our experts in the same way, eh?
-Here we are.
-Here you are.
James is dropping Helen off at her first shop,
Cambrian House Emporium.
What's your one tip?
One tip, if you see the opportunity, buy, buy, buy.
Because you never know what your next shop's going to be like!
I'll bear that in mind. James says, "Just buy it." I'll blame you.
It's hard to work out if James is giving good advice or bad.
I wonder if Helen will take any notice anyway.
Nice to meet you. Darryl. And this is Kate.
Hi, Kate. Nice to meet you.
27 different dealers have goods on show here,
so plenty to choose from for our Road Trip rookie.
I first worked in an antiques shop another 16.
Every time I got a pay packet, I'd be handing some of it back.
"I'll have one of those. And that. And that."
My mum and dad were always like,
"What have you come back with this time?"
I bet you never brought anything like this home!
Darryl, what's this light?
That is an old German searchlight.
-On top of the search towers.
-From the Berlin Wall?
-From the Berlin Wall.
-Wow. That's amazing.
So, it would have been on top of the search tower and hand-operated,
so that whoever was guarding
could shine the light wherever they wanted.
-I wonder if you could get it working somehow.
-I would have thought so.
You know, mount it onto something.
I would have thought you could quite easily turn that into a nice lamp.
I mean, from a historical perspective, that's amazing.
I bet that's out of my budget, but I think it's amazing.
You're right on both counts.
This amazing item is £300, so way more than you could afford.
James said to me,
"Go for it here just in case there's nothing at the second place."
So what happens if I just spend all my money here?
Er, you'll be broke!
Unless it's the drum from the cover of a Beatles album,
which you can get for £200,
best find something more within your budget, eh?
Well, I'm a bit of a sucker for old leather suitcases.
But I like this one because it's a Harrods one.
This just says, "Harrods, makers, London, SW."
This has got a nice original interior as well,
which you don't often see.
Often the silk or the fabric inside is ripped or, you know, stained.
And this isn't bad, really.
Doesn't smell too bad, either. Some of them are a bit stinky.
Yuck! Must you smell the antiques?
They want 55 for it. But...
I wouldn't be able to get that in auction for it,
so we'll have to come down on one.
I think Darryl heard that!
Don't panic. He seems like a reasonable bloke.
It's one to consider, though, perhaps along with these.
Vintage tape measures.
Kind of his and hers versions. There you go.
That's better for the lady for the handbag.
One's metal, interestingly, and one's cloth.
And they're actually different makers, it looks like.
This one's made in Sheffield, so that's quite nice.
Being as that's where I live. Yeah, that's nice.
No centimetres, of course, cos they'll be before...
But I like these. I like the leather cases.
In our line of work,
you're always using a tape measure to measure covers...
Now I can't get back it in, can I?
Oh! There you go!
Look at that. That's great.
The bigger one is at 28 and the smaller one is at 34.
I like those.
OK, we'll see what we can do on those.
Two measuring tapes then and a trunk.
It's not rock'n'roll, but I like it.
But when will she start talking money, though?
What did James say about being assertive?
Speaking of whom,
he has headed southward, across the Welsh border,
to the town of Welshpool in Powys to start his shopping
at Lamplight Antiques.
-Really good to meet you.
Have you got any little treasures around that have newly come in?
What should I be looking at?
As ever, he's on the lookout for fresh goods.
I see a string box looking at me over there.
-Yes, you can have a look at that.
-Is that a tin?
Toleware are lacquered metal or tin objects
with a nice picture or design.
What have we got here?
"Toleware, string box, circa 1890." I don't disagree with that.
It's a nice Victorian look to it, isn't it?
Everything years ago was in brown paper, wasn't it?
-And strung up parcels.
-And that would cut your string.
And that would cut your string. Bing!
-How much have they got on that one?
-He's got 18 on it.
-18, the chancer!
-That could be 15.
£15, it's not very expensive, is it?
Really? So that might be a possibility.
Another item placed back on the shelf.
Both of our experts are being so indecisive.
And that's a sort of good country-housey piece, isn't it?
-"Your papers" up there. What's that?
Just a little...
A little bracket.
That goes on the wall and then you pop your newspapers in there.
Probably, I don't know, about '20s or '30s.
Yeah. Yeah. I think so.
Sort of Arts and Crafts. Possibly slightly earlier than that.
Probably 1890, something like that.
But, interestingly, you'd expect that period to be made of oak,
a good sort of national wood.
But this one looks as though it could still be a walnut.
I think it could be walnut or a mahogany.
So how much is this?
That's got 45 on it.
-That could be 35.
A tenner swiftly knocked off the asking price, but no agreements.
Don't worry, I'm sure he'll buy something eventually.
I did like your elm table outside.
It's not terribly old, is it?
It's not terribly old. It really nice, isn't it?
It's a lovely piece of wood, isn't it?
This unusually-shaped table has a ticket price of £75.
-But I suspect James won't want to pay that.
I like to buy it as cheaply as possible, Heather. I'd love...
55. 20 off.
20 off? God, there's no end to your generosity.
The old charmer!
-Yeah, that's nice, isn't it?
-Come on, James!
-Heather's in a generous mood. Buy something.
-What did we say?
55, the table.
What did I say for this? 35.
I've got to stick at 35 on that, but the table I'll go 50.
-And I like your string box as well.
-That's sweet, yeah.
-15, I've said for that.
-You've said 15 on that, which is very nice.
It's a pretty... It's just got a great shape to it.
I'll take the elm table at 50, I'll take this at 15
and I'm slightly agonising
whether I should part with more money here, Heather.
-Go on, 30 then. 30, that's it.
You've got a kindly face. £30 it is.
-Look at that. Easy shopping. Thank you very much indeed.
-Thank you, Heather. Really kind.
Cor, I didn't expect he'd buy all of them!
But James can't resist the bargain.
£95 on the string box, newspaper rack and coffee table.
It's alive! Wood never dies.
He seems happy.
So James has made his first purchases of the road trip,
but Helen still doesn't seem ready to.
This will look great in the back of the E-type.
We can put it in the boot, go off for a little picnic. Very nice.
-You do know you have got to sell these items, right?
And I do... You know, you can pick them up for half that at auction.
So it's got to be a good bargain on that one, really.
His-and-hers flasks, as well. That's quite nice.
That's great, I love it. I like the colour, too. Perfect.
You've been browsing a while, Helen.
It's time to make your mind up.
The suitcase is priced at £55.
-Shall I tell you what I'd like to pay first?
-I'd like to pay £30 on the Harrods case.
-OK. 30, that's fine.
All right, brilliant.
Result! Helen's made her first purchase on the road trip.
OK. Thank you.
The dealers who own the tape measures and hamper are nearby.
Can she get as good a deal from them, too?
I love your tape measures.
-So that is 62 in total that they're at.
I'm going to be totally cheeky and say would you take 30 for them?
-Couldn't go quite as low as that.
-No. That is quite cheeky.
-It is quite cheeky.
-I forgive you.
-It is. What would you do on them?
-Ooh, I think about 40 is the lowest I would go on those.
-It's a deal.
-OK, there we go.
Three items purchased with her head
but her heart seemed to be with the picnic camper.
It's owned by dealer Jo.
So you're asking 65 for it.
I mean, I've seen a lot of these go at auction around the £30 mark,
something like that. So I feel like I want to offer about 30.
-30 is quite low.
-What would you like for it? Let's start there.
-I would like to get 50 for it.
-Yeah, I just don't know if I can go to 50.
I just don't know if I'll make on it.
Would you meet in the middle at 40?
-Yeah, go on.
-Would you? Brilliant, thank you.
-Thank you very much.
-All right. £40 it is.
-Sorry about that.
No, that's OK.
Ah, how polite of Helen to apologise but I'm sure she's more than happy.
Her first shop on the road trip is complete
and she's stockpiled an impressive first haul,
spending £108 on three lots.
-I hope to see you again one day.
-Have a great day.
James, meanwhile, is off to hear about
a little bit of India in Wales.
He's meeting William Brown from the National Trust.
Cor, that looks impressive!
The house, not James.
-Lovely to meet you. William. Welcome to Powys.
Powys Castle was home to Edward Clive, the first Earl of Powys.
Between 1798 and 1803,
he led a distinguished career as Governor of Madras,
playing a key role in expanding the British rule of India.
The family's wealth meant Clive could afford to buy things
from all over the world and bring them back to Powys.
-So here we are. The Long Gallery.
-So this is where you would exercise, isn't it?
And play cricket or something, these days.
Perfect, isn't it, the perfect nets.
The floor and the ceiling are both original. 1580s.
-And I notice some fabulous sculptures all over the place.
Caligula. He has got a great head, hasn't he? Is that antique?
It was delivered here in 1704.
They believe it to be made at the late end of the 1600s.
It's from Rome. It's Carrara marble and Jasper.
And, in fact, a visitor asked not long ago,
"Is that of human proportions?"
And I was thinking, "Gosh, that's a big individual if that was!"
No, it isn't!
Clive was involved in the war between the British
and Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the southern Indian kingdom of Mysore.
The British were victorious
and Clive brought some of the spoils back to Powys.
And here, all plunder and all the bling and all the gold
from the adventures in India.
This is just a small fraction of some of the stuff they brought back.
-So what do we have here? This is splendid.
-Well, this here is...
This is a wonderful small, little tiger's head.
A tiger finial.
It actually sat on the throne of Tipu Sultan himself.
There used to be eight of them but only two now survive.
And one of the last stands of the large tiger stands,
and the Queen has that down in Windsor.
It's made of diamonds and rubies and emeralds
and it's got a covering of gold. It's got a wooden core.
So here we are, James, it is the image of the Tipu's throne.
But you can see here dotted around, tiger heads.
So that's what we saw. And the whole wooden throne covered in sheet gold?
-Covered in gold, yeah.
-Yeah. They didn't do half measures!
It's fantastic, I'd love a throne like that!
Tipu Sultan bitterly
and effectively opposed British rule in southern India.
It took almost 40 years before Mysore was added
to the areas of British-ruled India.
-So bright, still, isn't it?
This is the campaign tent,
or the summer tent of the Sultan of Mysore, the Tipu Sultan.
-Made in around 1725, would you believe?
What you see here is only a small section, a tiny section.
-It's so massive it fills the entire courtyard outside.
It's huge. Absolutely huge.
Powys Castle remained in the family until 1952 when George Herbert,
the great-grandson of Edward Clive and 4th Earl of Powys,
gave the castle to the nation.
William, thank you very much indeed.
I feel enlightened. It's a lovely journey, isn't it?
We came from a Welsh castle on top of a hill
and then into the most beautiful interiors after the antiques
-and now we are here in very exotic India.
-All in mid-Wales.
-All in mid-Wales.
Whilst James enjoys some real antiques,
Helen is off to find some of her own in the town of Montgomery in Powys.
She's checking out a shop
called the Old Stores Antiques and Interiors.
-Hi, I'm Helen.
-Hi, Helen. I'm Keith.
Hi, Keith. Lovely to meet you. Thank you for having us.
-So, do you mind if I just have a browse?
Oh, you're so polite, Helen. I'm sure he won't mind.
Especially if you buy something.
Hello, she's at it again.
I like you. "Doris Dietrich, 1925."
At least that gives us a clue as to the exact age of it, doesn't it?
I think she's getting the hang of this lark, you know.
Nice old bit of wood, there, isn't it? I'll try and lift it up.
-"Answered." It's like an old inbox.
Yeah, from the days before e-mail.
Whereas these days we have plastic trays.
It's a lot nicer to have this sitting on your desk.
This place has lots of pretty things from France.
But also the odd thing from closer to home.
Oh, wow! It is a butter pat. Lovely wooden butter pat.
So the dairy farmers would have these.
They'd make their butter and then, before they're sent off,
they would stamp each pat
with the mark that was peculiar to their farm.
So it's a really nice piece, that. I like it.
And decorative, too.
I think Helen's quite keen on this one.
But is it nice enough for its £25 ticket price?
Would you go...
Would you go as low as 12 on it?
-Is that a really cheeky offer?
-I'll do 15.
-Would you do 15?
Right. I kind of like the social history aspect of it.
Um... You know, it is not something
you're going to see any more being used.
And the fact that it's, you know, an historical piece like that
is what I like about it.
It's a bit of a gamble but I like it,
-so it would be nice to have something local.
-So, yeah. 15.
-Go on, then. Deal.
£15 spent on a sycamore butter pat.
Let's hope for Helen's sake, it makes an impression - hah! -
on the local buyers at the auction.
Thank you very much. A pleasure doing business with you.
As the shops close on day one, we bid our duo good night.
It's day two for new kid on the block Helen
and veteran Roadtripper James.
So, how did you get on, yesterday?
Yeah, I've been trying not to go mad with my spending.
My husband will be very surprised!
He'll be expecting me to blow it all on the first day.
You know, I thought you might, too,
because yesterday Helen started her first road trip gallantly
by spending £123 on the picnic hamper, tape measures,
suitcase and the butter pat, leaving her £77.
-Sorry about that.
-No, that's OK.
James, however, was somewhat more cautious.
Spending just £95 on the newspaper rack,
string box and the coffee table, leaving him £105 for today.
Look at that. Easy shopping. Thank you very much indeed.
Our delightful duo have made their way
from Welshpool to the town of Machynlleth in Powys.
Helen has dropped James off near the Machynlleth market.
It dates back to 1291 when Edward I granted its Royal Charter.
James has spotted a big sign saying "antiques", so he's straight for it.
There is no messing about for our James, you know!
-Angela. Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, Angela.
Are there some good bargains? Something that owes you very little?
I think they're all bargains in here!
I thought she might say that.
What on earth is this, Angela?
-It's, I suppose, an early calculator.
-Isn't that good!
You wouldn't want to carry that around in your satchel!
No, no, this is very desk-bound, isn't it? We have got some good...
-Beautifully made. It's got some weight.
-It is, it's heavy, yes.
Now, do you know how to work it?
My 11-year-old grandson worked it out when he was here at the weekend.
Oh, dear God.
An 11-year-old, eh?
Oh, the pressure's now on, James.
-You manually do the things here.
And then you get your reading along here.
-An interesting object, isn't it?
-I quite like that.
But, at £45, will it add up to a profit, James?
I just wouldn't mind having a quick look around the market
and then coming back...to see...
But you might sell it...
-I might sell it.
-..in between, mightn't you? There's the jeopardy.
What could you do on that? Something sensational.
-I'm not a 10% man.
-35. You see, that's quite tempting, isn't it?
A sort of mad device.
Could I squeeze you a little more?
-Could you do it for 30? I'd be happy to buy it for 30.
-To save you going around the market, I'll do it.
With the deal done,
it's time to head to another shop to find something else.
What about these?
All pants to me!
Earlier, James visited a castle rich in history.
Today, Helen is visiting somewhere that looks to the future
for its inspiration.
She is off to hear about a young idealist who, 40 years ago,
set out to prove something that's widely adopted today.
She's meeting Paul Allen, who's showing her around.
Hi. Croeso i Ganolfan y Dechnoleg Amgen.
Welcome to the Centre for Alternative Technology.
I was about to say, same to you.
For generations, the Welsh mines helped fuel British industry.
But with the mines' decline,
a group of environmentalists began to explore another use for them.
Led by entrepreneur Gerard Morgan Grenville,
they took control of a disused slate quarry
and began a series of experiments
into the viability of renewable energy.
Why did he decide to come here, exactly?
Well, Llwyngwern Quarry has closed as a slate quarry in 1950,
so first of all was a space that nobody wanted.
It had a good solar aspect, had a good wind at the top
and there was a reservoir at the back.
So it had all the ingredients Gerard needed for the experiments.
Former entrepreneur Gerard Morgan Grenville was determined
that the centre should function as a self-sustaining community.
Like-minded individuals travelled from far and wide
to live and study on site.
After the first five years of experimenting,
word spread of the ground-breaking work taking place there.
In the mid-70s, they open their doors to the public.
Public access was difficult,
so, of course, they found a sustainable way
to get people up to the centre.
What will happen is, we will get in the carriage then
the carriage will be weighed by looking at the tension in the wire.
And then they'll work out how much water to put in the top carriage
to make it heavier than this carriage plus me and you.
This carriage is lifted
by the natural flow of water from the quarry.
Oh, we're going up. Hold on tight.
Here we go.
The water fills the large tank underneath the top carriage
and, once it's heavier than the bottom carriage,
gravity pulls it down and the other carriage begins to slowly rise.
-So here we are at the top.
-Lovely, look at the view.
-The fabulous view of Tarren y Gesail.
Right across the beautiful Welsh landscape.
There's a ridge that runs right the way across
and then, round here, we have the main site.
The wind pavilion offers a history of wind power.
This turbine is one of the first to be explored at the centre.
It could generate up to 25 watts of power,
but the sails would need to be manually adjusted
according to the strength of the wind.
And behind you is the next iteration in the story.
This is a British design. This would be about 25 watts.
This is 250,000 watts.
And this is an automated wind turbine
from the beginning of onshore wind in the '90s.
So 250,000 watts, what could we do with that?
-We could run a small village with that.
Wind turbines are getting more efficient and bigger all the time.
We have one over here that's half a million watts.
The centre is still a living laboratory and today
delivers a range of courses in this impressive lecture hall
which builds on the work started by Gerard Morgan Grenville.
In the 1970s, his ideas may have seemed like a pipe dream.
But visitors today can see how his vision has become a reality.
Thank you very much for having us. It's been wonderful.
-I have learned a lot, so I'm pleased.
I hope to come back one day.
-It's been a pleasure showing you.
-Thank you so much.
When it comes to being green,
antiques can be a perfect way to recycle.
Speaking of which, James has popped into another shop in Machynlleth
and it looks like he has found something he likes straight away.
What attracts me to this item
is that it has got this lovely oval section body.
It has got a nice lid to it. There is a lot of damage to it, though.
And then you have got this sort of Cantonese
sort of Famille rose decoration.
So this is the English imitating the very popular Chinese porcelain.
This is a soft paste porcelain. It's got some problems.
We have got a thumping great crack here.
And you'll probably find there's a lot of impurities like bone ash
or something within the body. But it's got some merit.
It's got some charm. It's sound. The spout is actually sound.
The most vulnerable item of all is good. It's interesting.
Could there be a deal brewing? Time to call over shopkeeper Charlie.
Would you take 15 for it, Charlie?
That you told, then.
-I like it.
-You like it? I semi-like it.
-You semi-like it up to £20, and it's yours.
-Yeah. We've got a deal, Charlie. Thank you.
Cheers, thank you.
He seems chuffed to bits about that teapot.
This has been used by somebody probably for the last 200 years.
That is amazing.
With James having completed his shopping,
and no doubt off for a cup of tea,
Helen is still hoping to pick up a bargain
at the Machynlleth Antique Emporium.
This is my last chance to buy something, really.
And I feel like I've got get one more piece, really.
Um... And I was hoping just to get some small little item
so I wouldn't spend all my money.
Luckily, this place is stacked with curious collectables.
So something is bound to catch her eye.
There is a little bit of Clarice Cliff in here.
Which I have always loved.
And the colours are great.
They just sum up the jazz era, some of the patterns.
And some of the styles are very Art Deco. I have always liked them.
Clarice Cliff was a ceramic artist most active in the 1920s and 1930s.
Her Art Deco styling was ground-breaking at the time
and is keenly collected today.
So this is like a sugar sifter.
And the pattern is called "My Garden".
By Clarice Cliff.
So I don't know what date this pattern is, but I suspect it is
more '40s than '30s, judging by the shape and the design.
They want £85 for it, though.
I don't know what that would do at auction. But...
I'd have to drive a hard bargain on it.
But how hard?
Clarice Cliff can be highly sought after.
Will shopkeeper Ian go much lower?
I mean, they have got £85 on it, but obviously
-if I'm going to take this to auction, I need to...
..drive a bit of a hard bargain.
-Um... I mean, I want to offer...
-I want to offer 40 on it.
Would you go and see what they'd take for it?
40? That is less than half price!
I hope Ian gets the dealer in a good mood.
I'm being a bit mean, aren't I?
But I've got to think about the auction.
And if I'm going to make any kind of profit.
The dealers need to make a profit, too, love!
Let's get the verdict from Ian.
-Well, I have spoken to Sue, she has come back with a figure of 55.
-OK. Is that her very lowest?
-Well, at the risk of incurring her wrath, I'll say 50.
That's a bit of a big decision, that one.
What to do? OK.
Would you go back to her and ask her if she'll take 45?
-I already have.
-And I'm afraid not, no.
-She's sticking at 50?
-She's getting her money back at £50.
So I have to make a decision at 50, don't I?
I think I'm too far down the emotional road with it to turn back.
-So, yeah, 50 it is. Yeah. Thank you very much.
I hope you do all right.
An impassioned purchase.
£50 spent on the Clarice Cliff sugar sifter.
Shopping over, it is time for our friendly foes to reveal their wares.
-Here we are.
-I can't wait, Helen.
-Be gentle with me, James.
-No, I'm fascinated.
-Remember, I'm a newbie. Be gentle.
Get on with it, then!
Right... Here we go.
-This is great with the car, I'm thinking.
-Very good, very good.
-Put it in the back of the car.
-Yep. Look at that!
You know, I just loved it because it's totally complete.
And looks like it's hardly been used.
-And how much did you pay for that, Helen?
-40 quid for it.
-40 quid. Well, as you say, it's totally complete.
-It looks great, love the orange.
Looks fabulous. Looks fabulous.
And then you've got some measures here.
What is this interesting fellow, here?
-Yes. This, this is a butter pat.
-So your farm...
I kind of envisage it is the farmer's wife doing it,
I don't know why. Maybe it is the farmer.
-Make the butter, pop that on the top
and then this is the stamp that would kind of brand their farm.
That is their farm that would have this design. There you go.
-So that, 15 quid.
And my emotional purchase was the Clarice Cliff.
I mean, I know it is later period Clarice Cliff
-but the condition is great.
-Yes, it looks very stylish.
-And I have always wanted a bit of Clarice Cliff.
-How much did you have to pay for that?
-I paid 50.
-I think that's good!
I see a theme - a nice hot orange coming through here.
Your picnic, your Clarice...
-Leather and orange!
-It's very good, yes. Lovely.
Thumbs up for Helen, then. I think she might have James worried, here.
I must say, Helen,
one thing is, your ceramics are in slightly better condition than mine.
That is a New Hall teapot. From the New Hall factory.
It has got its patent number, 245, which corresponds to 1800.
But the lovely thing about it, I think it's been used.
-It certainly has.
-For 210 years.
-It's had a life.
-How much was your teapot? I'm intrigued.
-Teapot was £20.
Was it? Nice.
A mad sort of early calculator.
I've got a small grasp of how it actually works.
-You move things here and then you take a reading from there.
-Elm. I like wood.
-It's a lovely burr wood, isn't it?
I do know how coffee tables...
It's hard to get a coffee table right, isn't it?
Whether that's right or wrong, I haven't a clue. But it's lovely elm.
-I like it.
-As we both know, as auctioneers, it's
-a lot of rough-and-tumble out there.
-Yes. The proof is in the pudding.
-The proof is in the... And I paid £50 for that.
That's a nice bit of wood, that, isn't it?
-Helen, it's been a pleasure.
-Good luck to you, too.
See what happens at the auction.
-Well, let's go get a cup of tea, shall we?
-Yes, or a glass of wine!
Before you go though, tell us what you really think.
He paid £50 for the table,
which he admits himself he wanted to pay less for it,
so that might be a bit of an overpay.
But everything else he's paid fair prices for, so...
You know, I think he'll do well.
The Harrods's suitcase I think was well priced - £20.
It's beautifully made.
It's got a very thin profile, almost like a motoring case.
It's a nice item.
Everybody likes a luxury good and the reassurance of a label.
I'm feeling confident, definitely.
I think I'll be all right.
It's time for our experts to travel through the lovely Welsh countryside
en route to their first auction of the trip in Carmarthen
Local legend has it that Merlin was born
in a cave just outside Carmarthen.
Our chastened cohorts have just arrived
and are set to work their magic, and hopefully bring in a profit.
-What a glorious day, isn't it?
-It's gorgeous. Perfect for this car.
Hopefully half our buyers won't be on the beach.
Peter Francis Auctioneers has a company history
dating back over 100 years.
At the podium today is Nigel Hodson,
who's ready to give us his thoughts on James and Helen's items.
Well, it's a real mixed bag that we've got here today.
I was quite interested in one or two of the items.
I was rather dismayed at one or two of the others.
There's a good piece of Clarice Cliff,
which is always a useful seller in our sale rooms...
as it is across the whole country.
I put 80-120 on it... so that should do OK.
The New Hall tea pot is of a type that used to perform really,
really well at auctions over the years,
but New Hall seems to have fallen off a cliff,
like some other things in recent times.
And I just hope they haven't paid too much
for that teapot, nice as it is.
James began his Roadtrip with £200
and has gone on to spend £145 on five auction lots.
Thank you very much indeed and thanks a lot.
Helen also started with £200 and has parted with £173 for her five lots.
Thank you very much. It was a pleasure doing business with you.
The bidders have arrived, so let the first auction begin.
-A little for my first lot. Be gentle with me.
-It's nothing to do with me.
-New kid on the block.
First up, it's Helen's leather suitcase.
What are you saying about £30?
30 on the suitcase. There it is. 10 only.
12, may I say? Add ten on the suitcase.
-Only at £10.
12 on my right.
15, the lady's bid.
18, that's better.
Oh, lady on the left.
Selling at £22.
Don't worry. Don't worry. It's only the first.
That's not good for the first one, is it?
Her first item on the Roadtrip has sadly made Helen a loss.
Welcome to the world of the Antiques Roadtrip.
You have to hang on to small triumphs, OK? Just keep smiling.
Can she do better with her 1960s picnic hamper?
£30 for the picnic set.
-Surely? 20 to get on.
-Oh, there we go.
At 20. 22 against you. At 20. 22, the lady...
I don't know why... Oh, here you are.
26. 26, the lady's bid on the back row
against you on the front. At 26, the lady in the back.
We'll be selling. All done at £26.
Oh, Helen, that seems unjust that.
Oh, dear. That's Helen's second loss.
Ah, never mind.
Next up, is the writing on the wall for James' newspaper rack?
Two commissioned bidders on the books with me at 30.
£35 bid on the book.
35. 40, may I say?
35, 38, 40.
-That's a profit.
That's a bit of a profit, isn't it?
A tidy £10 profit.
He's off to a good start.
Nice. That'll do. That's all you need.
Next up, it's James' porcelain teapot.
£50 on the teapot there.
30. There it is, 28.
Oh, here we go.
At 20. Only 22.
25 both together here.
28 on the round.
30, 32 behind.
All done. £38.
-A new home for the teapot.
-A new home for the teapot.
-At £38 I would continue to use that.
Another good profit for James. That's how it's done.
You're definitely in profit. I definitely am not.
Can Helen's sugar sifter deliver her first profit?
-I'm feeling the pressure on this one now.
This is your trump card.
-50 for it, the sugar sifter.
He's got 50 - good.
Who's got 55 now?
At 50 on the sifter.
55 standing. 60.
Go on. Up it goes. Up, up, up, up.
80. £80, just on my right here.
Anyone? £80. Yes, sir.
That's fine. That's good profit.
That's more like it, Helen.
First profit secured.
Auctioneers Charles Hampshire has taken over the podium
and James' string box is next.
£20 straight in for it.
Got to be worth that, the string box. 10 away at 10 only.
£10. 12 do I see?
Come on. Here we go.
We like this buyer to the left of us here.
Lost you both at the back now. 20 is bid. 22.
-Not giving up.
And one more, sir? No.
£28 front row. All sure?
Final call at 28.
-Well done. 28.
That's a nice little working profit.
Another good result for James.
So you are totally and utterly in profit.
I think you're fairly safe.
Can Helen find some more profit with her sycamore butter pat?
£10 to start me.
-Thank you, Mr Man.
Come on, give the lady a nudge.
32, 35, 38, 40...
-One more, sir? £45 nearest me.
Final call at 45.
Are we all sure and done?
Well done you, Helen.
Now that is a goodie.
A tremendous result for Helen, actually,
more than doubling her money.
I'm fine about that.
-I'd be very pleased with that.
-I'll take a 30 quid profit.
Next up is James' 1920 calculator.
-Oh, there you go. That'll do.
45, 48, 50, 55...
58 in the room now waving. Is there 60?
£58 right at the back of the room.
Don't worry about the 60. I'm very happy with the 58.
Well done. Hey, there we are.
His calculations were right.
That adds up to a nice £28 profit.
You just don't know what people are going to be interested in, do you?
James' last lot is the elm coffee table.
We start off at 38.
40, 42, 45.
-I can start at £45.
45, 48, 50... Five in the room now.
Standing bid at 55.
-60 fresh bidding.
-Up it goes.
£75 on the cabinet then. Any more? Final call.
All sure at 75.
Yay. Well done. Brilliant.
That is you most definitely in profit.
Me in profit - amazing.
The coffee table has stood James in good stead,
adding a nice £25 profit.
This is a rare situation for me actually, to make profit.
So far, Helen is doing remarkably well against James,
but she's still slightly behind.
Can she push back in front with her final lot,
the leather tape measures? Here they come.
£20 for the two. Ten if you like that.
Eight if you like that.
-OK, someone's bidding. It's all right.
I think he's got a bid on the book as well.
15, do I see? For the two, all sure.
Finished with them, on the second row at 12.
-You don't need that.
Ah, bit of a disaster there for Helen.
She's lost £26 on those.
Don't worry, Helen,
I know you will be a very worthy adversary. You are just warming up.
-Yeah. Might take long to warm up.
First auction over then. Time to tally it up.
Rookie Helen started her first road trip with £200,
but after auction costs made a loss of £21.30,
which means she now only has £178.70.
Better luck next time.
James also started with £200,
but after costs our Roadtrip veteran made a profit of £50.98,
storming into the lead with an impressive £250.98
and winning this first leg of the Roadtrip.
Well...not too terrible for my first foray.
-I think you did very well.
How much in the end?
Erm, I think I was about a fiver down.
Actually, more like £21, but let's not quibble, eh?
-BOTH: Off we go.
-She's done pretty well,
and I've got a feeling she's going to do even better next time.
Next on Antiques Roadtrip,
-James is spoiled for choice...
-It's one big maze.
..and Helen ferrets out a bargain.
I daren't put that on. Oh...
Antiques experts travel the UK searching for treasures.
On the first leg of their trip James Braxton and Helen Hall start in Oswestry in Shropshire, before crossing the Welsh border towards Montgomery and Machynlleth in Powys then heading for auction in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire.