Episode 13 Antiques Road Trip


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Episode 13

Antiques experts Thomas Plant and Anita Manning embark on the third leg of their road trip. Thomas leads the charge after his success in the last auction, but can Anita catch up?


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It's the nation's favourite antiques experts,

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with £200 each, a classic car...

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We're going round!

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..and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.

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I want to spend lots of money.

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The aim, to make the biggest profit at auction, but it's no mean feat.

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Oh, no!

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-There'll be worthy winners...

-Yes!

-We've done it.

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-..And valiant losers.

-You are kidding me on.

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So, will it be the high road to glory

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or the slow road to disaster?

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-What am I doing?

-You've got a deal?

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This is the Antiques Road Trip!

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Yeah!

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Today we're driving through the Arthurian West Country

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with Anita Manning and local boy Thomas Plant.

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-Wasn't this where King Arthur and Guinevere...?

-Yeah.

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The thought is that Glastonbury is where he based his Camelot.

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And this was God's Own Country.

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And look, there is Glastonbury Tor. Now, that is a view.

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-Oh, wow.

-That is Camelot, look at that!

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Oh, I'm going to search for a round table today.

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The round table, the Holy Grail.

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Well, there's nothing like setting the bar high, eh?

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Our Knight of the Round Table, Thomas Plant,

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is an antiques expert who has no problems blowing his own trumpet.

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HONKS

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Lady Anita Manning is an experienced auctioneer

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and a bit of an old romantic.

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It reminds me a bit of one of my old boyfriends.

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Oh, Thomas, do you think I might find my own wee Sir Galahad?

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-He'd be in a suit of armour...

-Yeah?

-..on a white stallion...

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Yes! That's my type of guy!

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Crikey!

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Both Thomas and Anita started the trip with £200

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but, after a couple of auctions,

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Thomas is still in the lead with £211.

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Whilst poor Anita has seen her pot dwindle to £180.96.

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And what about the Holy Grail?

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The ancient cup of the Antiques Road Trip.

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The ancient cup of profit!

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Which has so far eluded us.

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It has eluded us, it has.

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Our duo are headed out on their quest for profit

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in a yellow 1968 Lotus Elan.

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Thomas and Anita are travelling over 550 miles

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from the village of Redbourn in Hertfordshire

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all the way to the town of Maidstone in Kent.

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Today they start in Somerton, in Somerset,

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before finishing at auction nearly 50 miles away in Wimborne in Dorset.

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Ah, here we are! Look at the reception committee.

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Oh, look, it's wee pals for our yellow Lotus.

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Are these rival road trippers? No, it's a vintage car meet.

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But, sadly, the pressures of shopping mean that there's no time

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to check these charming charabancs out.

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-Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

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Thomas is off on his first shop of the day,

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Market Cross Antiques, run by Andy and Pete.

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Hello.

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-Thomas, nice to meet you.

-Hi.

-I'm Andrew.

-Andrew.

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Welcome to Market Cross Antiques.

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-Thank you very much.

-This is Peter.

-Hello, Peter.

-Nice to meet you.

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-Nice to meet you, Peter.

-Nice to meet you.

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It looks good in that.

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Is that Teddy huge or is Thomas just tiny?

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The quest, like the Knights of the Round Table,

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is to find that something special, that elusive profit.

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That could be a rather battered Holy Grail.

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This is a British jardiniere, in copper.

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TINGING

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But it's by a maker, so it's got the maker's mark just there.

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And I think that's for Benson, WAS Benson.

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WAS Benson was a leading light in the Arts and Crafts movement,

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who incorporated mechanical production and hand craftsmanship.

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This is British Art Nouveau,

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1900s, 1910.

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It's...

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I like the fact that it's beaten up, I like the fact it's been uncleaned.

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There's discovery there.

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Cos this could look like this if it was cleaned.

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But I kind of like the fact that it's not been cleaned.

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Um, so I think it's quite a cool, stylish thing.

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And then I see this -

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Art Nouveau continental candlestick.

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Quite stylish. I can't really figure the age out.

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It's in pewter, this one.

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£12.

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Hang on.

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£38.

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-50 quid for the two.

-Not bad.

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-It's quite good.

-I mean, quite good.

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Let's see how he gets on.

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Do you think we could do a super, super, super deal?

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I should think we could do a super, super deal.

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About 40, how does that sound?

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30 quid for the two?

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We could do this one for 30, and then 35 if you want that one.

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-Are you sure you can't do 30 for the two?

-No, I'm absolutely positive.

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-Absolutely positive?

-Yeah.

-That's fine, that's fine.

-Yep.

-OK.

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-Going to go for that?

-Going to go for it. Thank you very much.

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Thank you, Thomas.

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Ah, cabinets full of curiosities.

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Any idea of a strategy here, Thomas?

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Little bit of a magpie.

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Little bit of a lot builder.

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There's a few bits of silver I find quite attractive in here.

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That's a nice little scent...

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Oh, dear, the top's broken, but still.

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These are Georgian sugar tongs.

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And this is what we call bright cut design.

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Little miniature silver...

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pepper.

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Quite like that. This is fun, look at this.

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So, this is your average tobacco box, right?

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How do you open this up?

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You don't... There's no lip, there's no hinge. Watch.

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-BOX CLATTERS ON FLOOR

-Then I break it, I drop it.

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Whoops! That was spotted,

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and that's a dent.

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Let's try again, shall we?

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There you are. It's brilliant, that, isn't it?

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It's quite cool. Really cool.

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Time to find Andy, with armloads of silver bits.

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Please don't drop anything else, Tom.

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So, I-I've got to buy that off you, cos I dropped it.

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PETER LAUGHS

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That's my morals, I've got to.

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I'm sorry about dropping it, but I've got to.

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-And I really like this one here.

-That's really sweet.

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This sweet thing is a Bristol Blue Glass scent bottle.

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But I also like these tongs, which are lovely.

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-They're nice, and...

-They're clean.

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And they're a good price.

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-So let's see, how much are those, could you do those for?

-Right.

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Instead of...

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So I'll leave, I'll park all of those on the other side.

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Right, 115 for those, Tom.

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-Right, now, this is really cheeky.

-It's going to be very cheeky.

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It IS going to be cheeky.

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-115 is very kind.

-Yeah.

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-Do I need to sit down?

-No, no, you don't need to sit down.

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But, um...

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could we look at two figures, rather than three?

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And don't say 99.

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Er...

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We can look at three figures, 100.

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THOMAS SIGHS That is my very...

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-Is that your very best?

-That is my very best, yeah.

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Because I did...

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-I know, I know.

-Yeah.

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(100 quid.)

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You can have that one there, as well. For 100.

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That's the silver pepper or sugar shaker he's added.

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-£100 for all of that?

-£100.

-All right, £100.

-Thank you, Thomas.

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-You're very, very kind, thank you very much.

-You're welcome.

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Giddy-up, Silver.

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He's made the deal, a ticket price of £303,

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but Thomas paid £100 for a great little lot of antique silver.

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Something else in the shop is sending out a signal to Tom, too.

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Quite like these flags.

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Signalling flags.

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I come from this from a point of view of,

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in jewellery sometimes you get flags on enamel bracelets

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and they spell out a word.

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You know, like they spell out, you know, "I love you".

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But these are World War II ones.

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Flags are quite popular.

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These flags would fly on ships to communicate messages

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to nearby vessels.

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The red diamond in the white flag, for example,

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can mean the letter F or that the ship is disabled.

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They're quite fun, actually.

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I'll definitely speak about those,

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cos they're really decorative, aren't they?

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They've got a real look to them.

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Ah, they're great, the World War II flags, aren't they?

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-Yeah, they're really interesting.

-Really nice. Yeah.

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Really interesting. They're good, fun things.

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I can do you a good deal on those.

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-Can you?

-Yep, I've got them at sort of 15 to 20 quid apiece

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-but if you wanted to take the lot, and a nice little job lot...

-I do.

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Well, I mean, I could do you the five for 40 quid?

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-Perfect.

-All right?

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-I can't say fairer than that, really.

-Fantastic.

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That's a brilliant deal. Thank you very much.

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-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

-You'll do well with those, I think.

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-I think they're really good.

-Yeah.

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That was nearly all Thomas's cash gone in the first shop.

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£40 for the flags, £100 for the silver,

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and £35 for the Art Nouveau lot makes £175 in total.

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And, thankfully, he didn't drop anything else.

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Anita, meanwhile, has headed nine miles north

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to the mystical heart of the West Country, Glastonbury.

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She's come to Glastonbury Reclamation.

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Helping Anita today is Simon.

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-Hello.

-Hi, hi.

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-I'm Anita.

-Hi, Anita, pleased to meet you, I'm Simon.

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There's a lot of great items here,

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cleared from sold or demolished old buildings.

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After a bit of walking about,

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at last Anita finds something of interest.

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I keep being drawn to things which are associated with shoes!

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And what we have here is a nice little set of...

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I suppose these would be moulds that were used by shoemakers.

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There moulds are called "lasts", and date from the late 19th century.

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They're a nice decorative thing,

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a little conversation piece to have in your house.

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You could even use them as a paperweight.

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To me, they're aesthetically pleasing.

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-Simon!

-Yeah?

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-Something has caught my eye here.

-OK.

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SHE CHUCKLES

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-I'm crazy about shoes.

-OK.

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These are shoe lasts from Clarks shoes,

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who are in the next town over.

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That's where their headquarters are.

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So these are old shoe lasts, made of beech I think, all handmade.

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Would it be for specific customers?

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These would be a more general, factory-made shoe,

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but they did do specific ones for...

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I think they did Princess Diana's shoes for her wedding.

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So somewhere there's a shoe last for Diana.

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-Could be that be Princess Diana's?

-Possibly.

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15 quid, maybe not.

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Now, I wasn't sure if it was 15 for the lot.

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No, it's not, they're £15 each.

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But I can maybe do a little bit of a deal for you.

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-A wee bit of a deal?

-Yeah.

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Can you give me the lot for 15?

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No. No, I can't, no.

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SHE LAUGHS

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-I was thinking I'd do them at a tenner each, maybe.

-A tenner each?

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-I'd lose money.

-OK, what shall we do then?

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Could you go to 20?

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Go on, then. We'll shake on 20.

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OK, thanks very much, Simon, that's absolutely great.

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With four shoe lasts bought for £20, Anita steps outside.

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I think this type of thing's quite good fun.

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It's not old, er...

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recently made,

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but I quite like the detail on these things,

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and I think that it reminds me a bit of one of my old boyfriends.

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He's only £15, that's not dear, I'm going to have a go at that.

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Is there any movement on the price of it?

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We can do a little bit on that one..

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It's just whatever you think, Simon.

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I'm going to go for him, and I'm going to call him wee Jimmy.

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Wee Jimmy! OK, you can have wee Jimmy for a tenner.

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-OK, that's lovely, thank you very much, Simon.

-That's OK.

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That was a bit quicker than the last sale, the LASTS sale.

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Anyway, that's Anita's first shop done.

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She's picked up the shoe lasts for £20 and wee Jimmy for a tenner.

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Thomas meanwhile, has made the trip

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16 miles north to the beautiful little village of Blackford.

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He's only got £36 left, so what will he spend

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in the lovely old building that houses Lemon Tree Antiques?

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If he can ever get in, that is.

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Ah.

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-Ah, hello!

-Ah, Thomas!

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Ha! And to help him is an old friend - Les.

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Gosh, you look longer, as well.

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Les, you know that's not true - I look fatter.

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I was trying to be complimentary, Thomas.

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THEY LAUGH

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That's how you get in.

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Now, he's finally in - what treasures can Thomas find?

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-ECHOING:

-Hello, hello?

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Hello, hello, yourself.

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-It's a glass sword.

-It's Excalibur!

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Very difficult to restore, these, VERY difficult to restore.

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Well, maybe not then.

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-Whoops.

-Don't drop it.

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You've got some lovely things.

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-Thank you, Thomas.

-I'm going to be honest,

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I have £36 left.

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I'd like to spend it all with you.

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Your parents blessed you with too much generosity, young man.

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Having commandeered Thomas's hat,

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Les knows what he might want to spend the last of his money on.

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This is a good piece, Thomas, very, very desirable.

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I think I need something a bit more country. How about this?

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Nice, sort of...more country stool.

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It's Arts and Crafts!

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Well, it is a bit, I quite like the revealed design to it, etc.

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Why would you want to give for a thing like that, Thomas?

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Well, how much have you got on it?

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-Oh, I don't know, about 40 quid.

-THOMAS SIGHS

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-Cheap, isn't it?

-Cheap? I was thinking about 20.

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God, do you know, his generosity is surpassed only by his beauty.

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Oh, you are so kind.

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I think I better escort you around.

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Come with me, I'll look after that little wallet of yours.

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That little empty wallet.

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I bet he will! What else has he got in store for Tom?

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-Quite a nice pill box.

-How much is on that?

-Porcelain.

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This lovely little 19th century porcelain pill box

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has a ticket price of £23, but what can Thomas get it for?

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Do you think I could relieve you

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of this and the stool for all my spondoolies?

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-36 quid the two.

-36 quid the two.

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Well, that all seemed a bit too easy.

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-I'm nicking your hat.

-You're not.

-I am, that's it, deal's done.

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-That hat's a fortune!

-Tough, deal's done.

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You can't nick my hat!

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I'm sure he's joking.

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He is, surely, isn't he?

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Without the hat in the deal, Thomas got the stool for £25

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and the pill box for £11.

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Meaning he's spent the lot and it's only day one.

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At least he's got his hat back.

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But where's he going? A cash machine, perhaps.

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Anita has made her way 18.5 miles

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northwest from Glastonbury to the stunning Cheddar Gorge

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to find out more about the people who used to live here

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and one of the country's most amazing archaeological finds.

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Here to meet here is a rather wet John.

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-John.

-Anita, hi.

-Hi.

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Welcome to Cheddar Gorge.

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-Well, it's lovely to be here.

-Sorry about the weather.

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I have just driven through

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some of the most spectacular rock formations

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-that I've ever seen in my life.

-It's fantastic, isn't it?

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The Gorge was formed during the ice age,

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when underground rivers in the caves froze.

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When the ice melted,

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the sheer volume of water coming through the valley split

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the limestone and formed more caves and the Gorge itself.

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As the ice retreated about 30,000 years ago,

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people began to live in the caves.

0:16:490:16:51

The caves were inhabited until Victorian times

0:16:510:16:54

when local entrepreneur Richard Gough decided

0:16:540:16:57

to put Cheddar on the burgeoning tourist trail.

0:16:570:17:00

In 1890, he opened the spectacular Gough's Cave.

0:17:000:17:04

You know, John, this is pretty vast.

0:17:040:17:08

I imagined it to be, I suppose, a wee cave.

0:17:080:17:12

There's no squeezes in here, it's all wide open.

0:17:120:17:15

This is Gough's Cave and this is Richard Gough.

0:17:150:17:18

Tell me a bit about him and why it's his cave.

0:17:180:17:21

Purportedly, he was a retired sea captain from Bristol.

0:17:210:17:24

He had family in Cheddar so he moved to the area

0:17:240:17:26

and he saw that caves were a viable business proposition.

0:17:260:17:30

It was blocked by mud, boulders, debris,

0:17:300:17:33

so he and his six sons began excavating that

0:17:330:17:36

to see what was beyond.

0:17:360:17:37

I'd like to say for the benefit of science and good and mankind

0:17:370:17:40

but I'd be a liar if I said that.

0:17:400:17:42

He saw it as a tourist attraction, a money-making scheme.

0:17:420:17:47

He did, he did, very much so.

0:17:470:17:49

Oh, this is amazing, these rock formations are just astonishing.

0:17:490:17:55

It's amazing what nature can do left to its own devices.

0:17:550:17:58

The unique rock formations drew the crowds in

0:17:580:18:02

and, by 1903, Gough, ever the businessman,

0:18:020:18:05

decided to drain part of the cave to fit more tourists in.

0:18:050:18:08

It was a decision motivated by money but it resulted

0:18:080:18:11

in one of Britain's greatest ever discoveries - the Cheddar Man.

0:18:110:18:15

-OK, I've got something to show you just in here.

-Ah!

0:18:150:18:19

-Don't worry, it's not real.

-Is it real?

-It's a replica.

0:18:200:18:24

But it's laid out as it was discovered in 1903.

0:18:240:18:28

-Is that the exact position that it was in?

-It is, yeah.

0:18:280:18:32

This is Cheddar Man, the oldest complete skeleton

0:18:320:18:34

found in this country.

0:18:340:18:36

It's over 9,000 years old.

0:18:360:18:38

-9,000 years old?

-Yeah.

0:18:380:18:41

And it was in its entirety?

0:18:410:18:43

The only one found in its entirety, yeah.

0:18:430:18:46

-Where is the real one?

-The real one's now in the Natural History Museum.

0:18:460:18:50

Far too valuable an artefact to leave lying around in a damp cave.

0:18:500:18:54

-Really priceless.

-Yep.

0:18:540:18:56

How did these bones get here?

0:18:560:18:58

We don't know. It's all guesswork.

0:18:580:19:00

But we do know what killed him.

0:19:000:19:02

He received a nasty blow to the head at some point

0:19:020:19:04

but it didn't kill him, we can see it recalcified.

0:19:040:19:07

But a tiny fraction of the bone got caught in his sinuses,

0:19:070:19:10

caused a massive infection and, ultimately, his demise.

0:19:100:19:13

Whether that blow to the head changed his behaviour,

0:19:130:19:16

made him act strangely and they thought

0:19:160:19:17

maybe he was possessed by evil spirits

0:19:170:19:19

or something, so when he died they put him away in a cave

0:19:190:19:22

maybe to try and stop him coming back and haunting them...

0:19:220:19:26

Who knows? We can only guess.

0:19:260:19:27

Archaeologists also found some other rather macabre human remains

0:19:270:19:32

mixed up in an ancient rubbish tip.

0:19:320:19:34

There was a lot of conjecture for a long time

0:19:340:19:36

but they seem fairly certain now these human bones were treated

0:19:360:19:41

exactly the same way as the animal bones.

0:19:410:19:43

The soft tissue was taken out, there are cut marks where the tongue

0:19:430:19:47

and the eyes were removed, they were smashed to remove the marrow.

0:19:470:19:50

There was cannibalism going on.

0:19:500:19:52

This was at a different time period.

0:19:540:19:56

Cheddar Man is 9,000 years old,

0:19:560:19:58

these bones were from about 14,700 years ago.

0:19:580:20:01

One man's desire to get money out of Victorian tourists

0:20:010:20:06

had inadvertently left us with not only Britain's oldest skeleton

0:20:060:20:10

but a fascinating insight

0:20:100:20:12

into the darker side of our prehistoric ancestors.

0:20:120:20:15

Thank you so much for that.

0:20:150:20:17

But, looking up at this at the moment,

0:20:170:20:20

it's giving me a wee bit of vertigo, upside down,

0:20:200:20:25

so I think what I might do is thank you very much

0:20:250:20:29

and make my way out now.

0:20:290:20:31

-Thank you.

-Thank you again, John.

0:20:310:20:33

Eh, Anita.

0:20:350:20:37

Anita, it's this way.

0:20:390:20:41

This way!

0:20:410:20:43

So, Anita said she wanted rescuing by a knight on white stallion.

0:20:450:20:50

Instead, she got Thomas in a yellow sports car. Ah, well.

0:20:500:20:54

That brings us to the end of day one.

0:20:540:20:56

The quest for the Holy Grail continues tomorrow.

0:20:560:20:58

Nighty night, you two.

0:20:580:21:00

It's back on the road again for Anita and Thomas

0:21:030:21:06

but what is he wearing?

0:21:060:21:08

-Thomas, what's the straw bunnet all about?

-And the tie?

0:21:090:21:15

This is a trip down memory lane, I am regressing!

0:21:150:21:20

We've just touched in to the county of Devon

0:21:200:21:23

and I spent five informative years here at school.

0:21:230:21:28

-And that is the daft bunnet you wore?

-The daft bunnet we wore.

0:21:280:21:32

Did your mammy and daddy no' want you?

0:21:320:21:35

THEY LAUGH

0:21:350:21:36

Let's just see how they both did yesterday, shall we?

0:21:360:21:39

Thomas had a hectic day.

0:21:390:21:41

He spent his entire £211 on five lots -

0:21:410:21:45

the assorted silver set,

0:21:450:21:48

the maritime flags,

0:21:480:21:50

the Art Nouveau lot,

0:21:500:21:51

the pillbox and the stool.

0:21:510:21:54

Anita paced herself and only spent £30 on the shoe lasts

0:21:540:21:59

and the garden ornament.

0:21:590:22:00

That leaves her with £150.96 for the day ahead.

0:22:000:22:04

But, before we do any shopping, our duo are taking a little trip

0:22:050:22:09

down memory lane for Thomas in Tiverton in Devon.

0:22:090:22:12

-It's home to his old school, Blundell's.

-Here we are, Anita.

0:22:130:22:17

You can see the school, Blundell's, it's beautiful, isn't it?

0:22:170:22:21

The clocktower.

0:22:210:22:22

And because I was a school monitor, I could walk across the grass.

0:22:220:22:26

-Oh, look, you're rubbing your hands in glee.

-I am.

0:22:260:22:28

-You want to go back to school, don't you?

-No, never.

0:22:280:22:31

You want to go back to school.

0:22:310:22:33

-I'd like you to be my school-ma'am.

-Oh!

0:22:330:22:36

Moving swiftly on from that detour, our intrepid duo double back

0:22:370:22:42

20 miles east to Taunton in the heart of cider country.

0:22:420:22:47

Thomas is off on a stroll around the town in his boater

0:22:470:22:49

to reflect on whether he was rash to blow all his cash.

0:22:490:22:53

However, next stop for Anita is Cider Press Antiques.

0:22:530:22:57

Here to help her out is Norman.

0:22:570:22:58

That's him in front of the bear there.

0:22:580:23:00

-Hello, I'm Anita.

-Hello, Anita, Norman Clarke.

0:23:000:23:04

It's lovely to be in Taunton.

0:23:040:23:06

I always find jewellery cabinets irresistible.

0:23:170:23:21

And Norman can't resist a customer.

0:23:240:23:27

I was looking at this little pendant here,

0:23:270:23:32

the little citrine one.

0:23:320:23:34

Citrine is a yellow-coloured gemstone

0:23:340:23:36

that takes its name from citron,

0:23:360:23:39

the French word for a car - I mean, lemon.

0:23:390:23:41

For me, it has the look.

0:23:410:23:44

Now, do you have a chain that would suit that?

0:23:440:23:48

I'll see if we've got one in the corner here.

0:23:480:23:51

For the pendant and chain, the ticket price is £22.

0:23:530:23:58

-See that? It has a lovely, simple look about it.

-Yes.

0:23:580:24:02

It's not gold but...well.

0:24:020:24:04

What's the best that you could do on that for me?

0:24:070:24:10

Well, you're really coming today

0:24:100:24:12

when we're starting our sale today so you can have a half-price...

0:24:120:24:16

-Start of the sale?

-Yes.

-Excellent!

0:24:160:24:18

Well, that's terrific.

0:24:180:24:20

So, for you, that would be £11 but we'll call it around £10.

0:24:200:24:25

It's a deal. It's a wonderful deal.

0:24:250:24:28

She's on a roll now

0:24:280:24:30

and eagle-eyed Anita spots something lurking in the background.

0:24:300:24:34

I've seen a little panel here which I really do like.

0:24:340:24:38

It's a lacquer panel with gilt figures.

0:24:380:24:44

It's an oriental panel.

0:24:440:24:47

I think it has been the panel for a cabinet at one point

0:24:480:24:53

which has been dissembled and I think it's quite a nice thing.

0:24:530:24:56

There's only one thing that's worrying me about this.

0:24:580:25:01

I think there's a wee bit of damage here which has been filled.

0:25:010:25:06

And...that potentially might...put the buyers off.

0:25:060:25:12

So, with a bit of damage and a half-price sale,

0:25:120:25:16

what can Anita get it for?

0:25:160:25:18

Well, I know it was originally up for £55

0:25:180:25:20

so that was the original price.

0:25:200:25:22

So, well, £27.50, that's a pretty good price.

0:25:220:25:26

And if I said to you £20, just as it's you?

0:25:260:25:31

Can't knock it back for £20. Can't knock it back, it's a nice thing.

0:25:310:25:35

So, that's a deal on the screen for £20 and the chain

0:25:360:25:39

and citrine pendant for £10.

0:25:390:25:41

Not a bad bit of business for low-spending Anita.

0:25:410:25:44

He was at his school earlier

0:25:450:25:47

but now it's time for some further education for Thomas.

0:25:470:25:50

He's travelling 32 miles southeast to the Meteorological

0:25:500:25:54

or Met Office in Exeter and, thankfully, it's sunny.

0:25:540:25:57

He's meeting Helen Chivers to hear the remarkable story

0:26:010:26:04

of an unsung Victorian hero who saved millions of lives

0:26:040:26:08

worldwide by starting the weather forecast.

0:26:080:26:11

-What a lovely day.

-I know, isn't it?

0:26:110:26:13

-We turned the sunshine on just for you.

-Do you do that here?

0:26:130:26:17

Well, you know, most people like to think that we can but the Met Office

0:26:170:26:20

can do many things - controlling the weather is not one of them.

0:26:200:26:22

-I'm sure it will be invented one day.

-It probably will.

0:26:220:26:26

The Met Office dates back to the 19th century

0:26:260:26:29

when understanding the weather at sea was vital to maintain

0:26:290:26:32

Britain's military and financial supremacy.

0:26:320:26:35

It's now housed in this magnificent purpose-built centre

0:26:350:26:38

but its beginnings start with this man -

0:26:380:26:41

Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy who had already played a leading role

0:26:410:26:45

in one of the major scientific discoveries of the age.

0:26:450:26:49

FitzRoy had been a long-standing sea captain,

0:26:490:26:52

he had a really illustrious career. He'd been the captain on the Beagle.

0:26:520:26:57

-Oh, really? Darwin's ship?

-Yes, Darwin's ship.

0:26:570:27:00

-So, he went to the Galapagos Islands?

-Yes.

0:27:000:27:02

He went all around the world captaining that ship for Darwin

0:27:020:27:05

and the scientific experiments that they did.

0:27:050:27:08

Thanks to his experience of both science and seafaring,

0:27:080:27:11

FitzRoy was offered a job in 1854 as the chief of a new government

0:27:110:27:16

department to deal with the collection of weather data at sea.

0:27:160:27:20

It was the birth of what we now know as the Met Office.

0:27:200:27:23

-I suppose before that it was a lot of finger-in-the-wind.

-Yes.

0:27:230:27:27

-Wing and a prayer.

-Yeah, exactly.

0:27:270:27:29

It's amazing that people actually survived.

0:27:290:27:32

Well, in a lot of ways, it was cos you didn't know what was coming.

0:27:320:27:35

So, what he wanted to do was try and chart it,

0:27:350:27:38

he wanted to put down the observations on to a map

0:27:380:27:40

so you could actually see everything at the same time,

0:27:400:27:44

and from that start point you can then try

0:27:440:27:47

and work out what's going to happen in the future.

0:27:470:27:51

Using remote weather stations, ships at sea

0:27:510:27:53

and the nascent telegraph technology,

0:27:530:27:56

FitzRoy meticulously recorded

0:27:560:27:58

and studied the weather looking for patterns.

0:27:580:28:01

The thing that really drove him on into trying to develop proper

0:28:010:28:05

scientific forecasts was a big storm that hit in October, 1859

0:28:050:28:11

and that saw the sinking of the ship The Royal Charter.

0:28:110:28:15

And it was that loss of life that really drove FitzRoy on

0:28:150:28:19

to think we've got to be able to forecast this

0:28:190:28:21

and we've got to be able to warn people about it.

0:28:210:28:23

He began to publish the world's first storm warnings

0:28:230:28:27

or forecasts in The Times in 1861.

0:28:270:28:30

They saved countless lives

0:28:300:28:32

but became deeply unpopular with his sceptical bosses and fishing

0:28:320:28:36

fleet owners who lost money when boats stayed in harbour.

0:28:360:28:38

People went, "Ah, you can't forecast the weather,

0:28:380:28:41

"you're always wrong," and the same thing happens today.

0:28:410:28:46

-We get those sorts of things all the time.

-No!

0:28:460:28:48

I mean you're so correct now.

0:28:480:28:50

-What you say is going to happen.

-Exactly.

0:28:500:28:53

If a storm's going to come in, we're all told and it does.

0:28:530:28:57

But the criticism really, really hurt him.

0:28:570:28:59

He invested most of his money

0:28:590:29:01

in trying to develop this forecasting service,

0:29:010:29:04

-and in the end he committed suicide.

-No.

0:29:040:29:07

Yeah, and some people think that may well have been due to the

0:29:070:29:09

criticism that he got about the forecasts that he was developing.

0:29:090:29:13

And he invested all his time into...

0:29:130:29:14

-All his time and his passion and his life.

-How disappointing.

-Terrible.

0:29:140:29:18

-It's terribly tragic.

-Yeah, it is.

0:29:180:29:20

FitzRoy died a broken man in 1865 at the age of 59.

0:29:200:29:24

His hard work and personal wealth had gone to waste.

0:29:240:29:28

His wife and daughter faced destitution

0:29:280:29:30

and the fleet owners managed to have his forecasts stopped.

0:29:300:29:34

But, after his death,

0:29:340:29:35

his family was saved thanks to help from Charles Darwin

0:29:350:29:39

and Queen Victoria, amongst others.

0:29:390:29:41

And, due to pressure from ordinary fishermen -

0:29:410:29:43

to whom he was a hero -

0:29:430:29:44

his storm warnings were reinstated in 1874,

0:29:440:29:47

which later became the Shipping Forecast.

0:29:470:29:50

In a final honour in 2002, the shipping area of Finisterre

0:29:500:29:54

was renamed FitzRoy after this remarkable Victorian hero.

0:29:540:29:59

From the very simple things that he did and his passion for weather

0:29:590:30:03

and seafaring, you know, comes a world-leading Met Office.

0:30:030:30:08

-Thank you.

-It's a pleasure.

0:30:080:30:10

It's been lovely and I better go

0:30:100:30:12

and put my antiques into the auction now.

0:30:120:30:15

-Yeah, good luck.

-Thank you, I need it.

0:30:150:30:18

Ah, yes, the auction.

0:30:220:30:24

Well, Anita's had some good weather of her own

0:30:240:30:26

and has travelled 19 miles south to Cullompton.

0:30:260:30:31

Unlike Thomas, she's been buying carefully

0:30:310:30:33

and Cullompton Antiques is her last shop of the day.

0:30:330:30:36

-Ready to part her from her cash is Richard. Hello, Richard.

-Hi, Anita.

0:30:360:30:41

-Hello, I'm Anita.

-Nice to meet you.

-Oh, it's lovely to be here.

0:30:410:30:44

I was drawn again to this piece of pottery, this lovely bowl,

0:30:570:31:01

which looks so nice against the pine furniture.

0:31:010:31:06

Now, this is a commemorative plaque

0:31:060:31:10

and it's commemorating the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

0:31:100:31:16

This bowl, or charger to give its correct title,

0:31:160:31:19

doesn't carry a maker's name.

0:31:190:31:21

The ticket price is £50 but what will Richard let it go for?

0:31:210:31:24

Time to play the Thomas card.

0:31:240:31:27

-Thomas is ahead of me at the moment.

-Right.

0:31:270:31:30

I would like you to beat Thomas.

0:31:300:31:31

I know, I love Thomas, he's absolutely wonderful.

0:31:310:31:34

-And he's not that far ahead of me.

-But Thomas isn't here.

0:31:340:31:37

But he isn't here.

0:31:370:31:38

ANITA LAUGHS

0:31:380:31:40

-Would £20 do it for you?

-£20 would be absolutely wonderful.

0:31:400:31:45

Less than half price! Well done, Anita.

0:31:450:31:48

Slow and steady might just win the day or even put you in the lead.

0:31:480:31:52

Right, let's remind ourselves what they've both bought.

0:31:520:31:56

Thomas went on a sprint of spending yesterday buying five lots -

0:31:570:32:01

the naval signal flags,

0:32:010:32:03

the silver set,

0:32:030:32:05

the Art Nouveau lot,

0:32:050:32:06

the pillbox

0:32:060:32:08

and the milking stool.

0:32:080:32:09

Is he going to regret spending all his £211?

0:32:090:32:13

Anita has spent carefully on five lots - the shoe lasts,

0:32:130:32:17

the garden ornament,

0:32:170:32:19

the pendant and chain,

0:32:190:32:20

the lacquered panel

0:32:200:32:21

and the pottery charger.

0:32:210:32:23

That collection cost her a modest £80.

0:32:230:32:26

Let's hear what they think of one another's purchases.

0:32:260:32:30

My favourite lot of Anita's is the studio pottery charger

0:32:300:32:34

for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

0:32:340:32:37

And £20? Well done, Anita.

0:32:370:32:39

Although I love those wee vintage lasts, I think

0:32:390:32:43

I would swap them any day of the week for those fabulous flags.

0:32:430:32:48

And I would pay the extra £20 on them.

0:32:480:32:51

If there was a magic wand and I could wave it,

0:32:510:32:54

I'd wave away the Arts and Crafts stool.

0:32:540:32:56

He's been a bit sort of...

0:32:560:32:59

flibbertigibbet this time.

0:32:590:33:02

I might be able to get in front of him after the next auction.

0:33:020:33:07

It's the cavalier and complacent Thomas

0:33:070:33:09

versus the prudent and patient Anita.

0:33:090:33:12

So, off to auction in the lovely Dorset town of Wimborne.

0:33:120:33:15

Well done. How are you feeling?

0:33:170:33:19

Fine, it's a beautiful morning

0:33:190:33:21

and I'm sure this auction will be packed to the gunnels.

0:33:210:33:25

I'm, I have to say, Anita, extremely nervous.

0:33:250:33:29

I'm more nervous than I've ever been.

0:33:290:33:32

Our auction today is at Elliotts who have been serving the Dorset

0:33:330:33:37

area since 2005. Wielding the hammer is Richard Clarke.

0:33:370:33:41

What does he think of the duo's deals?

0:33:410:33:44

Well, I actually quite like the panel.

0:33:450:33:47

Lacquer work, chinoiserie is in the style of Chinese,

0:33:470:33:50

so could be quite a good piece.

0:33:500:33:52

It'll look good on the internet, it'll look good on the photo

0:33:520:33:54

on the screens so fingers crossed that should do quite well.

0:33:540:33:57

I think the stool will probably be the one we struggle with.

0:33:570:34:00

Obviously, with the extra livestock, I think people will see

0:34:000:34:03

the holes and just think I'm not putting that in my house.

0:34:030:34:06

The room is packed

0:34:060:34:08

and our internet bidders are poised by their keyboards.

0:34:080:34:11

Let's start this auction.

0:34:110:34:13

-Do you regret buying anything now?

-Yeah, all of it.

0:34:130:34:18

First to go is Thomas's silver lot including that bashed tobacco box.

0:34:190:34:24

-Let's hope that it was a lucky drop.

-Well, let's hope.

0:34:240:34:29

-Interesting with me, I'm straight in at 50.

-50, well, half.

-At £50.

0:34:290:34:34

Five on the internet, 55. 60 still with me.

0:34:340:34:38

At £60, five, 70.

0:34:380:34:40

-Good, we're getting there.

-£70 here with me. At £70 here with me.

0:34:400:34:44

Oh, I thought it was going to be a lot worse.

0:34:440:34:47

Ouch! The silver hasn't bashed out a profit for Thomas.

0:34:480:34:51

-You've also dropped a profit into the bargain.

-Drop, double drop.

0:34:520:34:59

-Next, it's another of Thomas' items - the porcelain pillbox.

-£20.

0:35:000:35:05

Nice little pillbox. 10?

0:35:050:35:07

-Ten away there...

-We're good.

-14, 16, 18, 20.

0:35:070:35:10

22, 25, 28, 30.

0:35:100:35:14

32, 35, 38.

0:35:140:35:18

-38 in the middle.

-38.

0:35:180:35:20

-40 right at the back.

-£40?

0:35:200:35:23

-Get in there.

-Are we all done at £40?

0:35:230:35:26

-42, she's back.

-Go on!

0:35:260:35:28

THEY LAUGH

0:35:280:35:30

I need to make up a few losses from the last lot.

0:35:300:35:33

Can you do that on all the lots? At £42 there in the middle.

0:35:340:35:38

Just what the doctor ordered - a nice, healthy profit.

0:35:400:35:43

-Well, that made up for your first failure.

-All right!

0:35:430:35:49

It's Anita's first item - the oriental lacquered panel.

0:35:500:35:54

Will you hold my hand, Thomas?

0:35:540:35:56

Nice chinoiserie panel there, what shall we say on that? 30?

0:35:570:36:00

Yes, somebody's got to say 30, it's Anita's.

0:36:000:36:03

LAUGHTER

0:36:030:36:05

-I want her to win.

-Awww.

-30 we've got on the internet.

-Yes!

0:36:050:36:10

£30 on the internet. At 30. Two anywhere? Two at the back.

0:36:100:36:14

There we are, 32 at the back.

0:36:140:36:16

-That was short-lived. 35?

-Oh, look, the lady's bidding here.

0:36:160:36:21

38 at the back. 40. 42.

0:36:210:36:25

42 at the back. 45? 48.

0:36:260:36:29

-Go on, make it 50.

-50. 55.

0:36:300:36:33

-And there we are. That's cool waving.

-60. £60?

0:36:330:36:39

He'll sign it for you, that will make it more valuable.

0:36:390:36:41

At £60 down here in front, on the internet at 60. 65, she's back.

0:36:410:36:46

-Oh, Anita! You can stop now.

-70.

0:36:460:36:50

We're still on the internet, £70 now. At £70, all done at £70.

0:36:500:36:56

-Yes.

-Yes!

0:36:560:36:58

THEY CHUCKLE

0:36:580:36:59

It might have been a bit damaged but the profit is perfect for Anita.

0:37:000:37:05

-Can I borrow some money?

-I could refuse you nothing, darling.

0:37:050:37:08

Now, it's Thomas's flags. Will this signal a change in his fortunes?

0:37:110:37:16

-Loads of them there. 20 somewhere, surely?

-Go on.

-Yes.

0:37:160:37:20

-Tenner?

-Oh, no.

-Ten with the hand, at ten.

0:37:200:37:24

We've got a bid, we've got a bid.

0:37:240:37:26

-16, 18...

-It's away.

0:37:260:37:29

25, 25 up close now.

0:37:290:37:32

-At £25.

-25.

0:37:320:37:35

At £25...

0:37:350:37:37

-There we are.

-Well, it didn't flag up a profit.

0:37:370:37:40

-Didn't flag a profit, but still...

-Awww, what a shame.

0:37:400:37:43

Oh! It's another loss for Thomas.

0:37:450:37:47

What's the sign for "my ship is sinking"?

0:37:470:37:49

It's Anita's Silver Jubilee commemorative pottery charger next.

0:37:520:37:56

On that one there - £20?

0:37:560:37:58

-(Come on!)

-Tenner? £10 there. 12 anywhere now?

0:37:580:38:02

-At 10, 12 on the internet.

-12, it's off, Anita.

0:38:020:38:05

14.

0:38:050:38:07

16.

0:38:070:38:09

18.

0:38:090:38:11

20.

0:38:110:38:12

22. 22 in the room.

0:38:140:38:16

25? 25.

0:38:160:38:19

At £25 now. On the internet at £25.

0:38:190:38:24

-Well, there you are.

-It's licked its face.

0:38:250:38:29

That's still a profit, though, and they all count.

0:38:290:38:33

It's not going to take us to the Bahamas.

0:38:330:38:35

-No, it's not, might be an ice cream.

-An ice cream, ah!

0:38:350:38:39

It's the Arts and Crafts oak stool. Let's see if it can milk a profit.

0:38:400:38:45

Tenner, let's get it moving. Ten away there, at ten, we've got.

0:38:450:38:48

-At ten. 12 anywhere now?

-Come on, come on.

-I'm selling it at a tenner.

0:38:480:38:54

-139.

-Put your head on my shoulder, sweets.

0:38:550:39:00

That's another loss for Tom.

0:39:010:39:03

Next, it's Anita's citrine pendant with chain.

0:39:050:39:08

-Only a tenner to buy but what can it make?

-Nice, little citrine...

0:39:080:39:13

-Yep, 20 away there.

-20 away.

0:39:130:39:17

At 20 on the right, 22. 25.

0:39:170:39:21

28, 30. No?

0:39:210:39:25

At 30, 32 on the internet.

0:39:250:39:27

35. 38,

0:39:270:39:29

-40. 42.

-(Yeah.)

0:39:290:39:33

All done at 42?

0:39:330:39:36

-Yes!

-How did you do that?

-Cos I'm brilliant.

-You are!

0:39:360:39:40

And that profit, Anita, proves you are dead brilliant.

0:39:430:39:47

Thomas really needs a profit now on his Art Nouveau lot.

0:39:490:39:53

-40?

-Come on.

-Go on.

0:39:530:39:56

30? Away at 30. 32 anywhere now?

0:39:560:39:58

At £30 only on this.

0:39:580:40:01

32, 35, 38, 40, 42.

0:40:010:40:04

On the stairs. £42 now.

0:40:040:40:07

-On the steps.

-All done at £42.

-One more!

0:40:070:40:10

-Agh.

-42.

-Profit.

0:40:120:40:15

Profit, profit. Well done, darling, well done.

0:40:150:40:19

That's a bit better but is it too little, too late?

0:40:190:40:22

Calm down, Anita.

0:40:230:40:25

For the second-last lot, we have Anita's lot of shoe lasts.

0:40:270:40:32

-They're already getting some interest online.

-I have two bids...

0:40:320:40:35

-No!

-I don't believe it.

0:40:350:40:37

-..of £25.

-Yes!

0:40:370:40:40

LAUGHTER

0:40:400:40:41

-There's no justice.

-Yes!

0:40:410:40:43

-There is none.

-There is no justice.

0:40:430:40:45

28 at the back. They're both gone.

0:40:450:40:48

At £28 now. Right at the back of the room at £28.

0:40:480:40:52

-30.

-Oh, yes!

0:40:530:40:55

£30 on the left now.

0:40:550:40:58

At £30, all done at £30.

0:40:580:41:01

Yes!

0:41:020:41:03

THEY LAUGH

0:41:030:41:05

Superb.

0:41:050:41:07

The lot of lasts haven't made a lot

0:41:070:41:10

but they have kept Anita one step ahead of Thomas.

0:41:100:41:13

-Tell me how much that was again, Thomas.

-£30.

-Three-zero.

0:41:130:41:17

I'm definitely having an ice cream off you this time.

0:41:170:41:21

Finally, it's wee Jimmy, the garden gargoyle.

0:41:210:41:24

He's not the bonniest but he might still make a healthy profit.

0:41:240:41:28

Tenner start me.

0:41:280:41:29

-Ten.

-12, 14, 16, 18...

0:41:290:41:35

There's no justice.

0:41:350:41:38

In the room now at 20, 22.

0:41:380:41:39

THEY LAUGH

0:41:390:41:41

No!

0:41:410:41:43

At 22.

0:41:430:41:44

-Right, that's it.

-You see, looks do count.

0:41:450:41:49

Jimmy has made more than 100% profit. Well done, wee man.

0:41:510:41:56

-Well done, Anita.

-Oh, thank you.

-A thoroughly good thrashing.

0:41:560:42:01

-Right, let's go. Come on.

-OK.

-I want my ice cream.

0:42:010:42:04

Thomas has conceded defeat but let's just check, shall we?

0:42:040:42:08

After paying auction costs, Thomas racked up a loss of £56.02

0:42:080:42:13

and starts next time with £154.98.

0:42:130:42:18

But, after starting the day well behind,

0:42:180:42:20

Anita has not only won the day with a fabulous profit of £74.98

0:42:200:42:25

but has also stormed up

0:42:250:42:27

and into the overall lead with a running total of £255.94.

0:42:270:42:32

What happened, Anita? You've beaten me. You've given me a thrashing.

0:42:340:42:39

Ahh. A bit of a bloodbath but never mind.

0:42:390:42:41

I've got a wee consolation prize for you.

0:42:410:42:44

-Anita, we spoke about ice creams.

-It's melting a little bit.

0:42:440:42:48

It is, it's slightly dripping, but thank you very much.

0:42:480:42:51

-You're welcome, darling. Let's go.

-Are you going to give me both?

0:42:510:42:54

Anita!

0:42:540:42:56

Don't drip on the upholstery.

0:42:560:42:58

Next time on the Antiques Road Trip,

0:43:030:43:05

Thomas shows us how to be a bull in a china shop...

0:43:050:43:08

HE CHUCKLES

0:43:100:43:12

..and Anita gets a big surprise.

0:43:120:43:15

DINOSAUR ROARS

0:43:150:43:17