Episode 8 Antiques Road Trip


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Episode 8

Antiques experts Anita Manning and James Braxton travel through Essex on the third leg of their road trip. James is feeling flush, but will Anita beat him at auction?


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It's the nation's favourite antiques experts with £200 each,

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a classic car, and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.

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Going, going, gone.

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-Yes!

-It's a bit like fishing.

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The aim? 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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What have I done?

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So, will it be the high road to glory, or the slow road to disaster?

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I'd better look out!

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This is the Antiques Road Trip!

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Yeah!

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On this road trip, two esteemed auctioneers

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vie for the gaudy hearts of Essex.

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Anita Manning is a canny Scotswoman with a keen eye for tiny treasures.

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I'm awful tempted with Napoleon.

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SHE LAUGHS

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I think a lot of women were.

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Hey! While James Braxton might seem the apogee of southern affability,

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don't let that fool you.

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For all my smiles, David,

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I'm still a hard man underneath it all.

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Ha, ha! After a fabulous success on the last leg with a very profitable

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silver stamp box...

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Yes! Oh, James, that was great!

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..James is riding high, but anything can happen in this game.

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Both our pair started this road trip with £200

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and fortune has flourished!

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Anita has seen her coppers swell to a respectable...

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£324.14.

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But James puts all else in the shade having accumulated

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an absolutely ripping...

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£465.40.

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Anybody want to know that?

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£465 and 40p!

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That's just what I said.

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You, you've got loads of money.

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You're in Essex with loads of money...

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-Wads of money.

-Wads of cash.

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Oh, do pipe down. It's so vulgar.

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Today, our duo of duelling wheeler-dealers are driving

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a devastating little French number,

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the 1986 Citroen 2CV6 Special.

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Ooh, la la!

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This whole epic road trip sees them journey from

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Stamford in Lincolnshire through the byways of

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eastern England into the borough of Greenwich

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in our nation's fine capital.

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Today, they begin in Saffron Walden in Essex, their beady eyes

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set on their auction in Stansted Mountfitchet

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in that same celebrated county.

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-What a glorious day, isn't it?

-Oh, it's lovely!

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We're in Essex and we must top up our tans, mustn't we?

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THEY LAUGH

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Look, this isn't that sort of show, James.

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The poetically named town of Saffron Walden boasts

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attractive historic buildings and a busy market.

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A delightful place for James and Anita to begin their day.

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-Here we are, James.

-Well done.

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This looks so exciting!

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Do calm down. They're splitting up now

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to begin the day's shop.

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-Lovely.

-Yeah.

-Lovely and sunny.

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A beautiful market town and where are you going, Anita?

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-I'm going that way and you're going that way.

-Off we go. Good luck.

-Bye!

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Anita is strolling off through the town's sunny Market Square.

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Good morning.

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And she's off shopping at Arts Decoratifs where she's meeting

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dealers Ann and Brenda.

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Stand by.

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-Hello, ladies! How are you?

-How are you?

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Nice to meet you.

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-Lovely to meet you.

-Thank you.

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There are all manner of baubles inside,

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but Anita's already spied something in the window display.

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The mah jong set looks interesting.

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-It is and that's quite new in, actually.

-Is it?

-Yeah.

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-Would it be possible to see the mah jong set out?

-Yeah, sure.

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-It is quite fun. It's a game, we're playing a game.

-Indeed we are.

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Mah jong is a game which originates from China

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and is fabled to have been created by the philosopher Confucius,

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he say, more than two millennia ago. On the other hand,

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it may have emerged in its modern form as late as the 19th century.

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Gameplay is similar in some ways to the card game rummy.

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I like the look of it with all these different chequers

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and the symbols on it.

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"Directions of playing Chinese Game of Four Winds."

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-Do you know anything about the game?

-There's up to four players.

-Uh-huh.

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-Three or four players.

-And is it complete?

-Yeah.

-It's all here.

-Right.

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-It's a bit like a card game...

-I'm not a card player. I can play snap.

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Yeah, me too!

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Snap!

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My imagination has been captured by this.

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The leather case isn't nice and I like...

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-Is it a leather case?

-Yeah.

-It is.

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-But that's not in the best of condition.

-No.

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-It's probably from about the 1940s, would you say?

-Yes.

-Uh-huh.

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Taking all these things into consideration,

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I'd be estimating it round about £20.

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-Hmm.

-Is it possible to buy it anywhere near that figure, ladies?

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We've got 48 on that at the moment.

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We don't usually do that sort of discount,

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but, I think, as it's you...

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-Aw! Thank you very much.

-Go on, we'll do 20.

-20, that's great.

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Lovely. Thank you both, ladies, thank you.

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With a bold bit of bargaining, Anita wins that round

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and the mah jong set is hers.

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Now, James isn't far away in his first shop of the morning,

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-Antique Attic, where he'll be helped by dealer Sam.

-Nice to see you.

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-Hello, James.

-Sam, nice to meet you.

-Hello, Sam, very nice to meet you.

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Sam will show James around the substantial antiques centre

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which houses items belonging to many dealers.

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Very eclectic mix here.

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-Yeah.

-All sorts, really. Unusual.

-Yeah.

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First impressions is there's some nice pictures.

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Um, and I think there's a lot of lovely silver here that

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probably can be bought reasonably.

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Don't pull that face at me!

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He hasn't spotted any silver,

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but he has seen something he hopes might post a profit.

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# Wait! Oh, yes Wait a minute, Mr Postman... #

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There might be interest in those.

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They're books of old British stamps, unused.

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There's no ticket price on them.

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-Oh, look.

-Oh, I see.

-You can still use them.

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3p...that'd get you down the road, wouldn't it?!

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Yeah, 4d.

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The stamps date from the late '60s and early '70s from both just

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before and after the decimalisation of UK currency in 1971.

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-These have sort of slight integrity, they have a sort of...

-Yeah.

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-Do you think she might do them for a fiver?

-Yeah, I'm sure she would.

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Great, thank you.

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-First purchase here!

-Lovely.

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That deal has stuck, but, shortly, he's alighted on something else.

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You see, this is quite nice, 1960s, '70s.

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It's got a very good look to it, um...

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It's got bright colours, it's a nice boating scene.

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It's rather a nice package and it's not a lot of money, this.

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That's £55.

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It's an oil painting by artist Peter Wallborn depicting

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Stalham Boatyard in Norfolk. Ticket price is £55.

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It's owned by Julie, a dealer who isn't here today.

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-Sam will call her to see what deal can be struck.

-Hello, Julie.

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It was a picture of the boatyard. Would you accept 35 for it?

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How much is on it?

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Oh, you've got 55.

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No, I can't do 35. I'll go 40.

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OK, you'll go to 40.

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So...55, 40...

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-OK, yeah, I'll take it.

-OK, all right.

-Thanks a lot. Bye.

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-That's really kind.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

-Lovely.

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So, James has the oil painting and the vintage stamps for £45 in total

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and he's sailing off.

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Anita's back in her first shop where some of

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Ann and Brenda's pretty trinkets have caught her eye.

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I quite like these agate brooches. It's very Scottish.

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It's two brooches fashioned from the gemstone agate

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and they're in a style particular to bonnie Scotland

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and I think they're making Anita homesick!

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Can I take these outside to have

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-a look at them in the light?

-Of course, yeah, yeah, do, do.

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Now, I love agates.

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Agates came from the burns and the seashores of Scotland.

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They were collected by amateurs, really, sent down to

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Edinburgh and then polished and made into these lovely brooches.

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Queen Victoria loved agates and it became very

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fashionable in Victorian times to wear this type of item.

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Now, these are a wee bit later than that,

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but they're still lovely agates.

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Anita's thinking of assembling a job lot of the brooches.

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They're priced up at £7.50 each.

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Would it be possible...? It's 15 for the two. Could I buy them for 10?

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-I should think so, yes.

-Is 10 all right?

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-Yeah, that will be fine.

-Thank you very much! That's great!

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-I'm trying to buy cannily. I'm trying not to get carried away.

-Oh.

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But soon our canny Scottish lass has spotted another

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couple of brooches hailing from her homeland.

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-I thought I could have a wee theme going there.

-Yes.

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Um, these remind me of the wonderful, brooches of Alexander Ritchie...

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-Uh-huh.

-..who worked on the island of Iona.

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Renowned silversmith and designer Alexander Ritchie

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worked from the turn of the 20th century until around World War II.

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His Arts and Crafts designs were deeply influenced by

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ancient Celtic and Nordic carvings.

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These are not by him. They're not signed by him.

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Um...but, they're...they have the same sort of feel about them.

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Do you know, she's thinking of adding these to her job lot.

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On these, what's the very best, eh...?

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If I could get the two for 15,

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it's in that region that I would be looking for.

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-OK, OK.

-If you want to have a wee think about that.

-Yes, OK.

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-I think that would be fine.

-Uh-huh, that's absolutely great.

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And with that, Anita's got a very patriotic lot.

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Hoots, ma lassie!

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Which I'm sure they will adore...

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..in Stansted!

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Ha, ha! Well, let's hope so.

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So, Anita's now got the mah jong set

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and the four brooches for a total of £45.

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OK, thank you very much.

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-Maybe see you again. Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

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Now, James has driven 13 miles onwards to

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the village of Little Easton.

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Lovely day to be out and about, isn't it?

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Absolutely delightful, James.

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Satisfied with his morning's haul,

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he's on his way to assignation in an empty field.

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Hmm...

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James is meeting Warwick Newbury,

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the vice chairman of Little Easton Parochial Church Council.

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He's going to fill James in on the fascinating role this

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little village played during the dark days of World War II.

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I say, nice car, Warwick. It quite puts the 2CV to shame.

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Is this Top Gear?

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-Hello, James.

-Hello, I'm Warwick.

-Isn't that beautiful?! Can we swap?

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Certainly not!

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-Why are we meeting here, Warwick?

-Well, it's quite extraordinary,

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but this rural area that you see today was once a thriving airfield

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during the last war, with the Americans coming in,

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in September '43, transforming this area.

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Indeed. This field once contained the airbase of the United States

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Air Force's 386th bombardment group, the unit which flew

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dangerous bombing missions over Europe during World War II.

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When the Americans first arrived in 1943,

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this land was a heavily wooded deer park, hardly a suitable airstrip,

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so the first thing they had to do was to clear the land of trees.

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And would you believe, there were 10,000 oaks on this site?

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-I wouldn't, no.

-JAMES LAUGHS

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How did they get rid of them?

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Well, actually, they literally blew them up.

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I mean, I suppose in wartime you do anything and you do it quickly and

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they were all blown up and tons of concrete were laid,

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so it was a very busy runway,

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but a big success and played a very important part of the war effort.

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That's fabulous, but I'm sure there's more to the story, Warwick, isn't there?

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-There's a lot more to the story.

-Lead on, lead on.

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Shall we? OK. Follow me.

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Warwick's taking James on to Little Easton Parish Church where

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tribute is paid to the American soldiers who

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served at the airbase during the war.

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Warwick, how many airmen were here?

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Well, there was just under 3,000 - 2,888 I'm told, at one point.

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And did they all live on the airfield?

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-Yes, there was a big base up there.

-Big base.

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But they came to the church occasionally.

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They also had services up on the airfield,

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but they came to the church for special services.

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And what are the uniforms we have here?

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Well, thanks to the Dunmow Museum who've kindly lent us

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these for the day, we have the pilot's uniform

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and then his flying kit in the middle and that was

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the ground crew engineer's support and, of course,

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-there were a lot of those.

-But handsome fellows.

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Well, you can imagine a little country village

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of probably 300 or 400 people,

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no more, suddenly being invaded by, well, 2,800-odd Americans.

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The airmen based here were bringing much needed American troops

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and resources to the Allied war effort in Europe

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and the village certainly made them at home.

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We needed the Americans to help us in our great war effort

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and, you know, they were welcomed and integrated.

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-There were clearly dances and social occasions.

-Yeah, fabulous.

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You can imagine they were partying as much as they could.

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They were well paid and they had much better provisions, obviously,

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than were available in the UK at the time

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and they were indeed very welcome.

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But the social life the young airmen enjoyed here was only

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a welcome distraction from the seriousness

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and danger of their missions over occupied Europe.

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So, these were all young men away from home and, you know,

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going off on these trips. What was their success rate?

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-Were there enormous casualties?

-I'm afraid there were.

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I think they flew something like 263 missions, um,

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and just under 200 were killed, so that's a lot of casualties.

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Really?

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The tragic sacrifice of the servicemen who died

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is commemorated in a memorial here at the church.

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So, James, this is the board

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with the names of the nearly 200 airmen who died.

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In the 1990s, the then-vicar, the Reverend Jack Philby

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led an initiative to create an appropriate modern tribute to

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the fallen US servicemen to ensure their legacy is not forgotten.

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These beautiful stained glass windows are the result.

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They were designed by an American artist called Phillips.

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There's an American and a UK shaking hands at the bottom,

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-the two different flags.

-It is.

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It's a very nice space and very nice that it was carved

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out as a memorial some, you know, 40 years later, isn't it?

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Yes, in fact, we still get a lot of visitors who, if you

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look in our visitors' book, a lot of visitors from the States who clearly

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come over to see where their father possibly flew their last mission.

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Warwick, I wouldn't have known it was here in this

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very beautiful part of Essex.

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We've carved out this little bit of America here.

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It's absolutely fascinating and...

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It's lovely to be able to share it to you, James.

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..you know, really lovely.

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Having paid his respects, James is moving onwards.

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Anita, meanwhile,

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has travelled on to Sawbridgeworth where she's aiming for

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Cromwell's Antique Centre and meeting

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charming young dealer Elspeth.

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-Hello, I'm Anita.

-Hello, I'm Elspeth, nice to meet you.

-Lovely to be here.

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This looks absolutely wonderful.

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Time for a rummage.

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There's lots of lovely things here, but what I want to do is to

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dig into the corners and see if there are any surprises.

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Go dig away, then.

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An old petrol can.

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Is she a good-looking bird?

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She's a bit bony if you ask me!

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My, Anita, you're taking your time this afternoon.

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You must have looked at every atom in this shop.

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I'm sorry about this.

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You're forgiven, love.

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-A dentist kit?

-Yeah.

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Well, this is a bit like pulling teeth. Ah!

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Finally, she seems to have settled on something.

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What I'm looking at, at the moment, is a Portmeirion part coffee set.

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Portmeirion's marvellous, it's from the 1960s.

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This sort of stuff is so fashionable just now, I just love it to pieces.

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Portmeirion Pottery Manufacturer was founded in 1960

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by the iconic designer Susan Williams-Ellis.

0:17:490:17:53

There's £30 on the ticket. What sort of a deal can Anita strike?

0:17:530:17:57

If that could be bought for 20 that would be great,

0:17:570:18:00

-if you could maybe do that.

-Yeah, that's fine.

0:18:000:18:02

Elspeth will call the dealer who owns it.

0:18:020:18:05

In the main, if these are going to get any money at all,

0:18:050:18:09

they have to be complete.

0:18:090:18:10

We're missing two cups and saucers and we're missing a cream,

0:18:100:18:15

but we've still got a lot of stuff there for £30

0:18:150:18:20

and if I can get that, say, round about 20, I think it might not be a bad buy.

0:18:200:18:24

Ah! Elspeth's back.

0:18:240:18:27

How are we getting on?

0:18:270:18:28

Success, he's very happy to take 20 for that.

0:18:280:18:31

£20, OK, that's absolutely fine.

0:18:310:18:34

So, Anita's last buy of the day in the bag

0:18:340:18:36

and she's off for a cuppa to celebrate.

0:18:360:18:38

And, with that, Anita and James are back in the car

0:18:420:18:45

and headed for a well-deserved kip.

0:18:450:18:48

Nighty-night, chaps.

0:18:480:18:49

But, a balmy morning finds them back in the old 2CV

0:18:520:18:55

and enjoying the southern sunshine.

0:18:550:18:59

-Again, a lovely, glorious day, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:18:590:19:01

Is it always like this down here, James?

0:19:010:19:03

-Yes.

-Wonderful. Wonderful.

0:19:030:19:06

That's a bit of an exaggeration, James.

0:19:060:19:09

But the sun shines on the blessed country of Scotland, doesn't it?

0:19:090:19:13

Of course, it's always a Mediterranean climate in Glasgow!

0:19:130:19:17

And that's a downright fib, Anita!

0:19:170:19:19

Thus far, Anita's spent £65 exactly on three lots...the mah jong set,

0:19:230:19:27

the job lot of Scottish brooches,

0:19:270:19:29

and the incomplete Portmeirion coffee service.

0:19:290:19:32

While "Loads-of-Money" James has only spent £45 on two lots...

0:19:340:19:39

the vintage stamps,

0:19:390:19:40

and the oil painting.

0:19:400:19:42

Well, at least Anita seems to be enjoying herself this morning.

0:19:420:19:46

-This is it. We're on an adventure.

-Yeah...

0:19:460:19:50

-in our trusty 2CV...

-Our little chevaux.

0:19:500:19:54

Absolument.

0:19:540:19:56

Next, they're coming into Clare in Suffolk.

0:19:560:20:00

The Augustinian priory at Clare was founded in the year 1248,

0:20:010:20:06

but was later suppressed during the dissolution of the monasteries

0:20:060:20:09

in 1538.

0:20:090:20:11

After a 400-year absence, the same Augustinian order repurchased

0:20:110:20:16

the land in 1953 and still operates it today.

0:20:160:20:19

How extraordinary.

0:20:190:20:21

Glorious.

0:20:210:20:23

-OK.

-Very good. Well driven.

0:20:230:20:26

-ANITA LAUGHS

-We're here.

0:20:260:20:27

We're here in Clare.

0:20:270:20:29

The disembarkation of the guard. Oof!

0:20:290:20:33

What a struggle.

0:20:330:20:34

With their usual fleet-footed grace, they're splitting up to go shopping.

0:20:340:20:39

-Good luck.

-Good luck, James.

0:20:390:20:41

Anita's aiming for Market Hill Antiques

0:20:440:20:47

where dealer Robin's ready to greet her.

0:20:470:20:50

-Hi! I'm Anita, how are you?

-I'm Robin.

0:20:500:20:54

-Pleased to meet you.

-Lovely to meet you, lovely to meet you.

0:20:540:20:56

You know, Robin, when I walked in here, I thought,

0:20:560:21:00

"Here's a man after my own heart!"

0:21:000:21:02

Indeed!

0:21:020:21:03

Robin stocks a lot of the quality 20th century glass

0:21:030:21:07

and porcelain that really floats Anita's boat.

0:21:070:21:10

Let me have a look around because my eyes are

0:21:100:21:13

greedy for all these beautiful things.

0:21:130:21:16

This is a...it's a sort of futuristic cat painted by Louis Wain,

0:21:200:21:26

but you can always tell Louis Wain's stuff in the expressions on

0:21:260:21:31

his cats' faces.

0:21:310:21:32

They always look totally mad. What sort of price is that?

0:21:320:21:36

-The ticket price is 3,000.

-Oh, right.

-Um...

0:21:360:21:40

-We wouldn't let it go for less than 2,500, though.

-Yeah.

0:21:400:21:43

-I think it's a bit dear for me.

-Yeah, by just a whisker.

0:21:430:21:46

Don't drop it now!

0:21:460:21:48

These are pretty here,

0:21:480:21:49

bohemian glass...from about the 1920s, would you say?

0:21:490:21:54

I'd personally put those circa 1900.

0:21:540:21:55

That's where I'd put them. Round about, yeah.

0:21:550:21:58

They have an Art Nouveau look about them and that style that I like.

0:21:580:22:03

The botanically inspired Art Nouveau style

0:22:030:22:06

flourished around the turn of the 20th century.

0:22:060:22:09

This pair of hand-decorated vases are priced up at £75.

0:22:090:22:13

Can they be bought for around about 20 quid?

0:22:130:22:16

I'd like to see more than that, but I think they probably can be, yeah.

0:22:170:22:21

She likes them,

0:22:210:22:22

so she's putting them to one side and fishing for another item.

0:22:220:22:26

I want to buy two items in this shop.

0:22:280:22:30

Better find something else then. Ha!

0:22:300:22:32

And what about this?

0:22:320:22:34

I think that might be slightly out of your price range.

0:22:340:22:37

Yeah, I know, I know. That sort of thing.

0:22:370:22:39

BALL BEARING CLICKS

0:22:390:22:40

Hard luck! Never mind!

0:22:400:22:42

THEY LAUGH

0:22:420:22:43

Hey! Enough of this messing about. We need some strong leadership!

0:22:430:22:47

Ah-ha!

0:22:470:22:49

I, in Scotland, have

0:22:490:22:51

so many collectors of anything that has anything to do with Napoleon.

0:22:510:22:55

-We have him here. That's why he's in here.

-Is that why he's here, yes?

0:22:550:22:58

We might get one walking through the door.

0:22:580:23:01

It's a cast brass figure of French emperor Napoleon.

0:23:010:23:04

The ticket price is a regal £155, but, as Anita and Robin

0:23:040:23:10

are getting on so well, what could he do for trade?

0:23:100:23:14

-I could do that for about 75.

-Mm-hm.

0:23:160:23:18

It's kind of tempting at that, isn't it? It's well-made...

0:23:190:23:22

It's not a modern piece.

0:23:220:23:24

I'm awful tempted with Napoleon.

0:23:240:23:26

I think a lot of women were. It's quite a nice thing.

0:23:280:23:31

And it's a quality thing.

0:23:320:23:35

SHE SPEAKS FRENCH

0:23:350:23:37

SHE LAUGHS

0:23:380:23:40

Could you do me a deal on...

0:23:400:23:43

..those two? Could you do those two for 70?

0:23:460:23:48

HE SIGHS

0:23:520:23:54

-Yeah, I'll do that for you.

-Ah!

0:23:560:23:57

OK, thank you very, very, very much. That's great.

0:23:570:24:01

Sacrebleu!

0:24:010:24:02

Anita gets the glass and brass for an incredible £160 off

0:24:020:24:07

and she's striding away with a very imperial air.

0:24:070:24:11

James is nearby and strolling off into his first shop of the day,

0:24:160:24:20

-F D Salter Antiques, where he's meeting owner David.

-Hello? James.

0:24:200:24:25

-Hello. David.

-Hello, very nice to meet you. Come on.

0:24:250:24:28

Give me a guided tour.

0:24:280:24:30

James is chomping at the bit for bargains this morning.

0:24:300:24:34

-So, cheap, fresh stuff, that's what I want, David.

-Yep.

0:24:340:24:38

-Fresh to market. That's a nice bit of enamel there.

-It is, yes.

0:24:380:24:42

There's something here, I know it.

0:24:430:24:45

But something by the window's got him seeing red.

0:24:470:24:50

I quite like these cranberry glasses. Very pretty.

0:24:500:24:54

They always look nice. It's got a couple of nibbles out of here.

0:24:540:24:59

Lovely polished bases.

0:24:590:25:00

Distinctively hued cranberry glass pieces like these reached the

0:25:030:25:07

height of their popularity during the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

0:25:070:25:11

These date from around 1900.

0:25:110:25:13

Ticket price is £35.

0:25:140:25:17

They just look so attractive, don't they?

0:25:170:25:19

Could I squeeze you a bit, David? Could you do them for 20?

0:25:190:25:22

-Yes, go on, yes.

-20? I'll take those.

-Right, lovely.

0:25:240:25:27

So, deal done very decisively, but he's still on the hunt.

0:25:270:25:31

I'm quite tempted by this.

0:25:310:25:33

It's a chamber stick, but a very utilitarian fellow, isn't it?

0:25:330:25:37

-It is, isn't it? Yes.

-So, you could have gone up to bed with that.

0:25:370:25:41

It's a brass chamber stick for bearing your candle to

0:25:410:25:44

the bed chamber made in the rustic turn of the century

0:25:440:25:47

Arts and Crafts style.

0:25:470:25:49

There are lovely cottages in this county,

0:25:490:25:51

-aren't there?

-There are, yes.

0:25:510:25:53

This would really work well with a lovely timbered,

0:25:530:25:55

-jettied cottage, wouldn't it?

-It would do, yes. It would look lovely.

0:25:550:25:58

He may have a heart of pastoral loveliness,

0:25:580:26:00

but James still has the bargaining instinct of a city slicker.

0:26:000:26:05

For all my smiles, David, I'm still a hard man underneath it all.

0:26:050:26:09

-Could you help me out? Could you do it for 18?

-I can't, I'm afraid.

0:26:090:26:13

-20 is really the rock bottom on that one.

-OK, 20's the rock bottom.

0:26:130:26:17

Not even 19?

0:26:170:26:19

-Sorry.

-Oh, he's as hard as me, that David, isn't he?

0:26:190:26:22

20. I'm still going to take the gamble though.

0:26:220:26:25

-Thank you very much indeed.

-Thank you.

0:26:250:26:27

-Right, I think I owe you some money, don't I?

-You do, yes.

-Thank you.

0:26:270:26:31

Do pay the man then, James.

0:26:310:26:33

He takes the cranberry glasses and the candlestick for a total of £40.

0:26:330:26:38

-Bye.

-Right, goodbye.

0:26:380:26:40

Anita, meanwhile has travelled on to Finchingfield in Essex.

0:26:440:26:47

She's got all her lots for auction.

0:26:510:26:53

She's going to spend the afternoon at local pile Spains Hall

0:26:530:26:58

where she's keen to hear a story about a bit of a rum do

0:26:580:27:01

in the house's ancient past.

0:27:010:27:03

She's meeting the owner Sir Timothy Ruggles-Brise. That's quite a name!

0:27:030:27:08

-Hello, I'm Anita.

-Hi, lovely to see you.

0:27:110:27:13

-Welcome to Spains Hall.

-Yeah.

0:27:130:27:15

What a wonderful, wonderful room.

0:27:150:27:18

Timothy is the current descendant of a line of Ruggles-Brises who

0:27:200:27:25

have owned and lived in Spains Hall since the 1760s.

0:27:250:27:30

Even more remarkably,

0:27:350:27:36

his is only the third family to have owned the estate in a history

0:27:360:27:40

that stretches back to the Norman conquests of the 11th century.

0:27:400:27:44

Today, it's a strange story about the second family to own it,

0:27:440:27:48

the Kemps, which Anita's here to learn about.

0:27:480:27:50

It all takes place in Shakespeare's time

0:27:500:27:52

and it's a tale almost worthy of the bard himself.

0:27:520:27:56

Now, William Kemp, who lived here in the early 17th century

0:27:580:28:03

accused his wife of being unfaithful.

0:28:030:28:07

He discovered that she had not been unfaithful and consequently

0:28:080:28:12

was so ashamed that he took a vow of silence.

0:28:120:28:15

The local mystic known as the Raven warned William Kemp

0:28:150:28:19

that his vow of silence would bring nothing but disaster and misery,

0:28:190:28:23

but still he persisted with it.

0:28:230:28:25

I think I know where this story is going.

0:28:250:28:28

First of all, William Kemp decided to mark

0:28:280:28:31

the passing of each of the seven years by digging a pond which

0:28:310:28:35

can still be seen and, during that period, unfortunately,

0:28:350:28:39

his wife died and then, on another occasion, he and his groom

0:28:390:28:43

were visiting a neighbouring village and it was a very stormy night.

0:28:430:28:46

They took shelter in a local hostelry and William Kemp

0:28:460:28:51

overheard a band of ruffians plotting to rob Spains Hall.

0:28:510:28:55

Away from home and still unwilling to break his vow by talking,

0:28:570:29:02

Kemp instead wrote a note for his servant to take back to

0:29:020:29:05

warn his staff of the impending robbery.

0:29:050:29:08

Um, the trouble was, that by the time the groom has swum the river

0:29:080:29:13

and reached Spains Hall, the note was illegible

0:29:130:29:16

and the staff thought, "The squire must be in dire trouble.

0:29:160:29:19

"We'll all go off and try and rescue him from

0:29:190:29:24

"whatever the predicament was."

0:29:240:29:26

They left a young ten-year-old boy, which was

0:29:260:29:28

a relation of the Kemp family, here in the house.

0:29:280:29:32

Whilst they were away, the robbers came,

0:29:320:29:34

they broke in, they robbed the house, they took everything of

0:29:340:29:39

value in the house with them, they murdered the ten-year-old boy...

0:29:390:29:43

This is a catalogue of disasters indeed!

0:29:430:29:46

He shouldn't have taken that vow of silence.

0:29:460:29:49

I'll say! The murderous brigands who stole all the loot from Spains Hall

0:29:490:29:54

on that rainy night, soon encountered trouble of their own.

0:29:540:29:57

They murdered the young lad

0:29:570:29:59

and took their spoil down towards the village,

0:29:590:30:02

but it was so heavy, the ground was absolutely sodden,

0:30:020:30:05

so they off-loaded all the heavy stuff including the porcelain,

0:30:050:30:08

the plates, into the lake,

0:30:080:30:11

never to be seen again...well, not quite never to be seen again.

0:30:110:30:15

When my great-great grandfather dredged the lake in 1904...

0:30:150:30:20

the plates were all found in perfect condition,

0:30:200:30:23

they'd been in the lake, in the silt for hundreds of years

0:30:230:30:27

and these plates have now returned to their rightful home.

0:30:270:30:31

Incredible!

0:30:310:30:33

Timothy's taking Anita upstairs to get a better view

0:30:330:30:36

of the plate-laden lake as it is today.

0:30:360:30:39

And is that the actual lake that these wonderful plates were found in?

0:30:390:30:43

-Yes, yes.

-That must have been a very exciting moment.

0:30:430:30:47

-Well, it was 1904, a bit before my time.

-Yes!

0:30:470:30:51

I may not look it, but it was!

0:30:510:30:52

My late uncle, Sir John, he was born in 1908.

0:30:540:30:57

So, he just missed it.

0:30:570:30:58

-He just missed it as well, but it must have been very exciting.

-Yeah.

0:30:580:31:01

And, so, this remarkable ancient story has

0:31:030:31:05

a conclusion in the 20th century.

0:31:050:31:07

But it's time for Anita to be heading onward.

0:31:080:31:11

It's been fascinating. I have absolutely loved this house.

0:31:120:31:16

With the auction fast approaching, she's got enough on her...

0:31:160:31:20

ha, ha...plate!

0:31:200:31:21

James, on the other hand, has motored on to Sudbury in Suffolk.

0:31:250:31:30

Sudbury was once famous for its artistic residents, the legendary

0:31:300:31:34

18th century painter Thomas Gainsborough hailed from the town.

0:31:340:31:37

Let's hope some of that aesthetic dash

0:31:370:31:39

rubs off on James as he heads for

0:31:390:31:42

his last shop of the day at Mary's Antiques,

0:31:420:31:45

presided over by the proprietor who is, oddly enough, called Mary.

0:31:450:31:49

-Hello, James.

-Hello.

0:31:490:31:52

-I'm Mary.

-Hello. Nice to meet you, Mary.

0:31:520:31:55

-Cor, how long have you been here?

-33 years.

-33 years!

0:31:550:31:59

-Yeah.

-Oh, it looks wonderful. A lovely old building.

0:31:590:32:03

-Yes, it's quite a nice old place.

-Well, I'll have a squizz round.

0:32:030:32:06

-Yeah, you have a look round, by all means.

-Thank you.

0:32:060:32:09

This is a sort of coal bin.

0:32:160:32:18

Quite a nice piece of brass, isn't it?

0:32:200:32:22

-Yeah. This is... I don't know...

-CLATTER

0:32:240:32:26

-Oh, mind your head!

-Getting attacked!

0:32:260:32:29

By a lampshade. Terrifying!

0:32:290:32:32

Just a lidded fellow.

0:32:320:32:33

I don't think it's terribly old, but it's not a bad weight.

0:32:330:32:37

It sort of feels as though it should be Edwardian.

0:32:370:32:39

-That's quite nice, that one.

-So, 1900, 1910.

0:32:390:32:42

How much on this, Mary?

0:32:420:32:44

-20, you can have it.

-20. It is nice.

0:32:440:32:46

Yeah, it is nice.

0:32:460:32:48

-And you want £20 for that?

-Yeah.

0:32:480:32:50

-And I'll give you £20 for that.

-Thank you very much.

0:32:500:32:53

That's very kind of you. Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.

0:32:530:32:56

And a very civilised deal to end on, James.

0:32:560:33:00

And now they've both got all their lots for auction.

0:33:000:33:02

So, they're now going to meet up in Sudbury and it's time for

0:33:040:33:08

our excellent experts to reveal their purchases to each other.

0:33:080:33:13

I'm dying to show you what I've bought. Can I go first?

0:33:130:33:16

-Yes, go on. Go first.

-OK. I'll have to do this quite gingerly.

0:33:160:33:21

-Hey! Something from the homeland.

-Oh, yes, some Scottish brooches.

0:33:210:33:25

Two little agate ones, polished agate, and two little Iona ones.

0:33:250:33:30

And I had to buy this monsieur

0:33:300:33:34

because we are in a little... "Deux CV".

0:33:340:33:38

-Oh, yes!

-It's Napoleon.

0:33:380:33:40

-And do you know something, James?

-The little man himself.

0:33:400:33:42

He reminds me of you.

0:33:420:33:44

Heh, heh! I'm not sure I see the resemblance.

0:33:440:33:47

-Who's this made by? Is this Portmeirion?

-Portmeirion.

0:33:470:33:50

-20 quid on that.

-Cor!

0:33:500:33:52

-20 quid on these.

-Cheap!

0:33:520:33:54

And 20 quid on this.

0:33:540:33:57

I'm sensing a theme here. Now, what about James' haul?

0:33:570:34:01

Very nice, James.

0:34:020:34:03

-Nice Arts and Crafts candleholder.

-Guess the price.

0:34:030:34:08

-£20?

-Well done.

0:34:080:34:09

What about this guy here?

0:34:110:34:13

-Uh, yeah, £20.

-£20. OK.

0:34:130:34:16

Bits of cranberry glass?

0:34:160:34:18

-£20. And then my mad little buy...I just bought some old...

-Stamps!

0:34:180:34:24

Not a hit, I fancy.

0:34:240:34:27

-I bought them for £5.

-OK.

-Let's go!

0:34:270:34:30

Let's!

0:34:300:34:32

They're the best of friends when they're face to face,

0:34:330:34:35

but what do they have to say behind closed doors, one wonders?

0:34:350:34:38

It's a bit spooky. We both seem to buy units in £20 sums.

0:34:390:34:44

The mah jong set, rather nice in its leather case,

0:34:440:34:47

and her lovely statue of Napoleon. I think that's a nice item.

0:34:470:34:51

I could do well, or I could just lick my chops.

0:34:510:34:55

Well, right.

0:34:550:34:57

I was hoping that, because James had a lot of money,

0:34:570:35:00

that he'd be tempted to spend loads of dosh,

0:35:000:35:04

but he hasn't done that, he's been very, very canny.

0:35:040:35:08

Now, the coal box, these things aren't as popular as they were,

0:35:080:35:12

but that one's rather nice, and those daft stamps,

0:35:120:35:15

a moment of madness, James!

0:35:150:35:18

Or genius.

0:35:180:35:20

We shall see, as they head to

0:35:200:35:21

the village of Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex.

0:35:210:35:24

Ancient Stansted Mountfitchet is a pretty little parish

0:35:260:35:29

and an ideal place for them to auction their wares.

0:35:290:35:32

-Here we are, James. Do you think we're fine here?

-Isn't this lovely?

0:35:330:35:37

Oh! Here we are.

0:35:380:35:40

The morning struggle out of the vehicle.

0:35:400:35:43

-Feeling confident, darling?

-I'm feeling semi-confident.

-Uh-huh.

0:35:440:35:49

And so to battle!

0:35:490:35:52

Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers was established back in 1782.

0:35:520:35:58

Today, it's a general sale

0:35:580:35:59

and auctioneer Frank Barnett will be presiding over proceedings.

0:35:590:36:03

But, before the off, what does he make of James' and Anita's buys?

0:36:050:36:10

There's old favourites such as Portmeirion ware,

0:36:100:36:12

although quite stylish and retro, which is very popular at present,

0:36:120:36:15

it's the sort of thing that doesn't particularly set the world alight.

0:36:150:36:19

We have six cranberry glass beakers which, 20 years ago,

0:36:190:36:21

would have flown out the room and found many bidders. It won't make

0:36:210:36:24

what they made 20 years ago, but there'll still be somebody out there

0:36:240:36:27

who would like those.

0:36:270:36:28

Hmm. A cautious estimation.

0:36:280:36:30

Anita started this leg with £324.14.

0:36:320:36:35

She spent £135 on five lots.

0:36:350:36:38

While James began with £465.40.

0:36:400:36:44

He played it very safe,

0:36:440:36:46

spending on £105 and also has five lots in today's sale.

0:36:460:36:50

And now the sale's about to begin.

0:36:520:36:54

This is us, James!

0:36:540:36:57

First up, Anita's job lot of Caledonian brooches.

0:36:570:37:00

Can they pin her a decent price?

0:37:000:37:03

30. £30 is bid. I'll take 5...

0:37:030:37:05

-35 bid. 40.

-45. 50.

0:37:050:37:09

5, 60, 5...

0:37:090:37:12

-Yes!

-£65, bid at £65. 70, anyone else? Selling at £65.

0:37:120:37:17

It's a patriotic winner for our lively lassie.

0:37:180:37:22

-That's fabulous.

-It's a good start, isn't it?

0:37:220:37:24

It's a great start.

0:37:240:37:26

Now James' stamp books from the '60s and '70s.

0:37:260:37:29

Please, Mr Postman, a profit for him!

0:37:290:37:33

10. £10 for them.

0:37:330:37:36

Anybody want the stamps for £10?

0:37:360:37:39

-Come on, now, at 10...

-Oh, dear, this doesn't bode well!

0:37:390:37:42

That's £5.

0:37:420:37:43

Anybody want them at £5?

0:37:450:37:47

No? Pass.

0:37:470:37:48

More like return to sender! Ha!

0:37:480:37:50

No-one bids in this saleroom,

0:37:500:37:52

so he'll have to carry them on to the next leg.

0:37:520:37:55

Well, now I know why I've never seen books of stamps for an auction...

0:37:550:38:00

cos nobody buys them!

0:38:000:38:02

Ha, ha!

0:38:030:38:04

How unfortunate,

0:38:040:38:06

but Anita has another try now with her pretty Art Nouveau glass vases.

0:38:060:38:10

Who'll start? £20 for them.

0:38:110:38:13

-£30.

-30, 5, 40...

0:38:130:38:16

5, 50, 5...

0:38:160:38:19

-£55...

-£55!

0:38:190:38:22

Selling at £55. All finished at 55?

0:38:220:38:25

A smashing profit again.

0:38:250:38:28

My friend is on fire!

0:38:280:38:29

-You are on fire!

-I didn't expect them to go that far.

-That is great!

0:38:290:38:34

Next, it's James' Arts and Crafts chamber candlestick.

0:38:340:38:38

Will it attract the punters' brass?

0:38:380:38:40

£10? £10 is bid. I'll take 15.

0:38:400:38:43

-Oh, well done.

-20. We've got 25.

0:38:430:38:46

The lady's bid at £25.

0:38:460:38:48

This is exciting!

0:38:480:38:49

Selling at £25. All done at 25.

0:38:490:38:53

A modest profit there, but he won't see much return on that after

0:38:530:38:56

auction costs have been deducted.

0:38:560:38:58

I'm thankful for anything!

0:38:590:39:01

All the way from China, it's Anita's mah jong set.

0:39:020:39:05

-£20 is bid. I see 5 now.

-25.

0:39:050:39:08

30, 5, 40, 5...

0:39:080:39:11

-50, sir? 50.

-Yes!

0:39:110:39:13

£50 is bid. Selling at £50. All done.

0:39:130:39:16

And the game certainly seems to be in Anita's favour today.

0:39:170:39:21

-Well done, you!

-Yes! Yes!

-Another...oh!

-Oh!

0:39:210:39:25

Unassailable!

0:39:250:39:27

On a roll!

0:39:280:39:30

Another one for the ascendant Anita now,

0:39:300:39:33

as her incomplete Portmeirion coffee set is up.

0:39:330:39:36

£10 then. £10 is bid. I'll take 15 now.

0:39:360:39:39

I've £10 bid. I'll take 15.

0:39:390:39:41

Selling it at £10 before she changes her mind at 10...

0:39:410:39:45

Well, it doesn't look as if it was the crowd's cup of, huh, coffee, eh?

0:39:450:39:50

I tell you, James, I deserved that one.

0:39:500:39:52

-Did you...? Slightly, you felt that, didn't you?

-Yeah.

0:39:520:39:54

James was rather taken with this set of cranberry glasses,

0:39:550:39:58

but was it a rose-tinted buy?

0:39:580:40:01

£10 is bid. Do I see 15? I've 15.

0:40:010:40:03

15. We're away.

0:40:030:40:04

Do I see 20 anywhere? 20?

0:40:040:40:07

25? 25.

0:40:070:40:09

The lady's bid at £25. £30 anywhere? This is for a set of six.

0:40:090:40:13

Selling then at £25.

0:40:130:40:15

Again, a modest profit.

0:40:160:40:17

-God, really...

-That was...

-..it's down to the coal bin

0:40:190:40:21

and the picture, because I have limped around, really,

0:40:210:40:24

I've done nothing.

0:40:240:40:26

James' fate indeed hangs on his last two lots

0:40:260:40:29

and it's his Edwardian coal bin next.

0:40:290:40:32

£20. £20 is bid. Do I see 5 anywhere? 25.

0:40:320:40:36

30, sir? 30.

0:40:360:40:38

£30 is bid then. It goes. All finished here at £30. At 30...

0:40:380:40:42

Well, it doesn't set the room alight,

0:40:430:40:45

but it's a welcome profit nevertheless.

0:40:450:40:48

-Dear, oh, dear...

-Well, a wee bit of profit, James...

-A wee bit, wee...

0:40:480:40:52

-But nothing running away.

-It's all down to my picture.

0:40:520:40:56

But, before that, it's Anita's last lot,

0:40:570:41:00

her brass figure of Napoleon.

0:41:000:41:02

Will it conquer all?

0:41:020:41:03

-Bonne chance.

-Bonne chance.

0:41:030:41:06

£20 I'm bid. Do I see 5 in the room now? It's a figure of Napoleon. 25.

0:41:060:41:09

30. 5. Will you go 38? 40 is bid.

0:41:090:41:13

-40's bid.

-Do I see 5 anywhere else now?

0:41:130:41:16

And 40 all done?

0:41:160:41:17

It's her very own personal Waterloo.

0:41:180:41:22

I'll tell you, James, it could have been a lot worse.

0:41:220:41:24

-Yeah. Were you relieved with that?

-Yeah. 40 quid.

0:41:240:41:26

You're a brave soldier, Anita.

0:41:260:41:29

The very last lot of the sale now,

0:41:290:41:31

James' attractive oil of a Norfolk boatyard.

0:41:310:41:34

20 then? £20 is bid. At £20 I'm bid, do I see 5 anywhere now?

0:41:350:41:39

At £20 is bid. 5 anywhere else now?

0:41:390:41:42

Are we all finished then at the maiden bid of 20? All done?

0:41:420:41:45

5 anybody? No.

0:41:450:41:48

And, with that, he's sunk.

0:41:480:41:50

-It's a bit of a disaster, that.

-I think that was bad luck.

-Yeah.

0:41:500:41:53

Bad luck on that one.

0:41:530:41:55

-It's a combination of errors, I think, that one.

-Yeah.

-Let's go.

0:41:550:41:58

So, a disappointing sale for James means Anita wins this leg

0:41:590:42:04

and is nipping at his heels.

0:42:040:42:06

James started this leg with £465.40.

0:42:070:42:11

After paying auction costs, he made a loss of

0:42:110:42:13

£23 and now has £442.40 to carry forward.

0:42:130:42:18

While Anita began with £324.14,

0:42:210:42:25

after auction costs are deducted,

0:42:250:42:28

she made a profit of £45.40

0:42:280:42:31

and now has £369.54.

0:42:310:42:34

THEY LAUGH

0:42:380:42:39

No words, please.

0:42:390:42:41

-Well, James, you won't mind if I have a wee gloat?

-Course I won't.

0:42:410:42:45

-Well, we both played it safe.

-Yeah.

-And safe wasn't good for you, James.

0:42:450:42:51

-I think I'm looking forward to seeing you as a wild man!

-I'll have to be!

0:42:510:42:56

Safe did not work for me today.

0:42:560:43:00

Unleash the beast!

0:43:000:43:02

Well, we'll look forward to that. To the next leg and away.

0:43:020:43:05

On the next Antiques Road Trip,

0:43:070:43:10

Anita's playing lead.

0:43:100:43:11

Rock'n'roll, man!

0:43:110:43:13

And even James is getting on down.

0:43:140:43:17

Anyway, I'd better get down and get dirty.

0:43:170:43:19