Episode 19 Antiques Road Trip


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Episode 19

Beginning in Kingsley, Cheshire, antiques experts Phil Serrell and James Braxton head towards an auction in Liverpool on the penultimate leg of their road trip.


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

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Oh, no!

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-They'll be worthy winners...

-Yes!

-We've done it!

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..and valiant losers.

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You are kidding me, oh!

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So, will it be the high road to glory

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or were the slow road to disaster?

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-What am I doing?

-Got a deal.

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This is the Antiques Road Trip.

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Yeah!

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This week's crusade sees two authorities in auctioneering

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wrangling for Road Trip supremacy.

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We're on the homeward run now of our road trip.

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-I'm going to miss your company.

-Oh, Philip!

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-Isn't that emotional?

-Yeah. No, no.

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I too you.

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Former geography teacher, now seasoned salesman,

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Philip Serrell has discovered the sympathy-card tactic.

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I'm £100 behind at the minute.

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Ah!

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James Braxton's an expert in tracking down treasure,

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-but that doesn't stop him scouting for bargains.

-50p?

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It's a king's ransom, isn't it?

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Our two connoisseurs of all things curio started with £200.

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On the fourth stretch, there's still over £100 separating them,

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but the tables have turned.

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Over the course of the last three auctions,

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James now has £335.50 to spend.

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But Philip's still in the lead, and has £463.30 to put to use today.

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This being opportune moment just to say that I'm slightly ahead of you?

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-I think that might verge on gloating.

-I wouldn't do that.

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Both the chaps me to step it up a gear

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as they manoeuvre this magnificent 1955 Austin-Healey

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towards their fourth auction.

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So, what's your plan, James? Are you going to go all in?

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I think, the old, old adage, "the better you buy,

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"the better you sell."

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You got to be tough.

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You can't...you can't be all smiles in this game.

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You know, grannies, small children, clear a path.

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Brutal, Mr Braxton.

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The fellas walloping 920-mile quest sees them

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careering from central Scotland through the borders

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to the lakes, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside

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and culminates in Newport, Shropshire.

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The fourth push is a tour of the Northwest,

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starting in Frodsham, Cheshire, and ending in Liverpool.

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-Do you like this car?

-I love this car!

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I think it's a bit racy, isn't it? I like the louvered bonnet.

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Yeah, and a leather belt. It's a fabulous car!

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For centuries, Frodsham has been a part of the Cheshire salt district,

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using the river Weaver to export the salt,

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but Frodsham's most famous export

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is Take That's singer-songwriter, Gary Barlow.

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We've got the weather of the southeast in the northwest.

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-Absolutely!

-And that's what we do for the place, you know?

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On our road trip, we bring out the sunshine.

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First stop is the 15,000-square-foot Lady Heyes' Crafts

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And Antiques Centre.

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That's if James can get out of the car. Ooh!

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THEY LAUGH

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Anyway. All right. Seamlessly done. I think this...

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HE LAUGHS

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Oh, dear!

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Graceful certainly doesn't spring to mind.

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James's first port of call is the Antiques Emporium.

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Based in the Edwardian room, there's a huge collection of antiques

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and collectibles, vintage toys and jewellery.

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Always look up in these places. Look up and look down.

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Now, there's a powerful image.

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Barrie A F Clark. A fabulous Spitfire.

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It seems like looking up has paid off.

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On a bit of ply.

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It's obviously a print, but what a...

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What a strong piece of work.

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And the nice thing about this particular print

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is it's framed as one. So, it's a total package

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and it's nice and big.

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That would look stunning in a contemporary flat.

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I can see it's had a couple of bashes. What's he got on it?

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45.

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I might take it down and see if there's any more damage.

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One, two, three.

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Careful.

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No. I'm going to need something...

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Are you quite sure?

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Don't do this at home, but it's all right.

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I do yoga, so I've got a good balance.

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Famous last words.

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Yoga or Yogi?

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-HE GRUNTS

-It's resistant.

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It's not as bad as I originally thought there.

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It's a nice bit, that.

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And at least it's not Arts and Crafts

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like he's bought for the last two auctions.

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Now, James just need to get a good price

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from one of the shop's dealers, Anthony Goodband, known as Larry.

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-It's a good-looking item, isn't it?

-It is.

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In a modern interior, it's going to be a nice feature piece, isn't it?

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Yeah. The boys are going to love it.

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The girls are probably not going to see that as the great addition

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that you and I might think into the interior.

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That's right. It depends on how big the garage the boy has to put it in.

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Could you do something like 28 on it?

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-We could come down to that, yes, yeah.

-28?

-Yeah, yeah.

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Larry, you've gone and got yourself a deal. That's fabulous!

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And James's first item for auction is done and dusted.

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Here you are. 28. Lovely. Thank you. Bye now.

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And James has even managed to charm antiques restorer Patrick Young

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into giving the Spitfire print's scuffed corner

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a little spit and polish.

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Well, a bit of teak wood stain, actually.

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Well, Patrick's done a fabulous job with that.

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Great start for James, then.

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Meanwhile, Philip is heading southeast, staying in Cheshire,

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but bound for the small town of Sanbach.

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The historic market town is known for its Saxon crosses at its heart.

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These likely ninth-century sandstones

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are elaborately carved with animals and biblical scenes,

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forming one of the finest Saxon monuments in Britain.

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This is just a really, really pretty place, isn't it?

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Facing the crosses, is the appropriately named

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Saxon Cross Antiques, run by John Jones.

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-Hi. Philip.

-Hi. John.

-John, good to see you.

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John's been in the business for 25 years,

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following in the footsteps of both his parents and grandparents.

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So, he should know a good thing or two about antiques.

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We're going to go to a sale room in Liverpool.

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And so, I'm thinking

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Liverpool - maritime.

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I've got exactly what you're looking for.

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John's got a fine collection of model boats.

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How old is that?

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I would put it at the turn of the century, 1900, 1910.

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-It is scratch-built.

-And what's your ticket price?

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Ticket price on that is 50, but I can do you a good deal on that.

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How much is a good deal?

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20 quid. All the bits are there, but it's had cat damage.

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-But if you look inside...

-So, it really is scratch-built.

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Scratch building is making a scale model from raw materials

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rather than from a kit.

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But Philip's not committing to it just yet.

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I quite like this, actually. Look at that.

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That one's the old Pony Express.

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And I think it's MOBO.

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And how much is that?

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Erm, I've got 75 on that.

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It's nice that it's not been painted or restored.

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-When was that made, John?

-Early '50s.

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We think this one was just called The Pony Express,

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which you've got there with the traditional guns.

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MOBO, standing for mobile toys,

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were made by British toy manufacturer

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D Sebel & Co between 1947 and 1972.

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They specialised in sturdy, steel ride-on toys.

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So, could you do...could you do 40 for the boat and The Pony Express?

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I will to 50,

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and you've got me right down.

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-Give me five minutes while I just have a think to myself.

-Yeah, sure.

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Philip has over £450 to spend.

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John's already given him a £75 reduction,

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but Philip's playing hard to get.

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I think £50 is too much money for the two. I really do.

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Would 40... I mean, let me just do this. Look. Let me just...

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I put that there and I put that there.

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I think that might act as an encouraging enticement, wouldn't it?

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40 couldn't do.

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Can you help me out at 45 for the two?

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-You're a gentleman. Thank you very much.

-45.

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Thank you very, very much, indeed.

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Better get some more money out, hadn't I?

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So, that's 30 for MOBO ride-on horse and 15 for the model ship,

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and Philip's got his first two items for auction.

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Meanwhile, back at The Antique Centre,

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James is still making his way around the units.

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-Hello. James.

-Rose.

-Hello, Rose. Very nice to meet you.

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Along with her business partner, Rose Bryant has been running

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the attic here for six years looking after three different rooms.

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What do you have in here, then, Rose?

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I'm going to Liverpool, so that's on the Mersey, isn't it?

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Famous for its shipping, its connection with New York

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and all that.

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Oh! Hold on. Erm...

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-Some boxes here.

-Boxes?

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-That might be interesting, that one.

-That's a very unusual box, isn't it?

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Captain. Captain Corbet. What does that say? RN, is it?

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Or RI?

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What's...?

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-RN, Royal Navy.

-Oh, right.

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That's quite nice, isn't it? Nice bit of oak.

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Unusual shape, isn't it? So...

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Navy, oblong, erm, charts, isn't it? Do think it's a chart box?

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It could be. I thought telescopes, but probably, yeah.

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I think, Rose, you might have the day.

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I think it could be a telescope.

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What could you do on this, Rose? I'm going to be hard on this one.

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-Oh, dear.

-It's a sort of take... It's a take it or leave it.

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-65.

-That's what you originally thought.

-Yeah.

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-What are you offering?

-What I...

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I'd love to buy it for 28.

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He seems to have a thing for £28.

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I do like it, yeah.

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-38.

-38?

-Yeah, that's it.

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What about we meet in the middle? 32, Rose.

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-Go on, then.

-32!

-Go on, then.

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That's really kind.

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James did say he was going to be ruthless today,

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and he's got himself his second item, a 19th-century oak box

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with an engraved brass plaque, for £32.

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That's the three, Rose. There's the ten and there's the 20.

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-Lovely.

-Thank you very much, indeed.

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I think he's miscounted and overpaid.

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We'll call it £33 then, James. Hmph!

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Meanwhile, Philip's been heading north to Altrincham

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to visit Dunham Massey Hall,

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a Grade 1 listed Georgian house that belonged to the Grey family,

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also known as the Earls of Stamford since 1736.

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Philip's here to learn about a very unique period

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in this stately home's history.

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Really is just glorious!

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In 1914, Britain was in the throes

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of the biggest military conflict in its history.

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The First World War saw millions of British servicemen

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return home from battle injured.

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By 1915, there was a real shortage of hospitals

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to care for the wounded.

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The solution was to convert over 3,000 houses across the country

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into private military hospitals including Dunham Massey.

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Today, the Hall is owned by the National Trust

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and housing collections manager

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Katie Taylor looks after its contents.

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-Nice to meet you.

-What a fantastic property, isn't it?

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Yeah, it's beautiful.

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This auxiliary hospital, named the Stamford Hospital,

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was part funded by the Red Cross and part by the Grey family.

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This private contribution was a common commitment

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made by wealthy families for their part in the war effort.

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At the outbreak of the First World War,

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there were only 7,000 hospital beds in the country,

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so there was a massive shortage.

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The hospital was in operation from April, 1917, to January, 1919,

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taking 282 patients overall.

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Each room was given a separate role,

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some of which have been recreated as part of an exhibition

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to mark the centenary of the war.

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This room became the recreation room.

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And this is where the soldiers,

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those who could get out of bed, would come and eat their meals.

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-They would play games...

-They would've eaten there?

-Yep.

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That's quite humbling, isn't it?

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Men were brought from France and Belgium for treatment

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in the makeshift ward here.

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The Stamford Hospital was for the lowest ranking soldiers,

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known as Tommies, a generic term for a common British private.

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And these come from a home where there's no running water,

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no electricity, outside lavatory, no bath...

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And then you've got all this around you.

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-An 18th-century mansion house.

-Yeah.

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This place must have been a real change for them, a real surprise.

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There would have been 25 patients in the former drawing room.

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Now, each of these beds tells the story of a soldier that came here

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for common, wartime illnesses or injuries.

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Despite horrific circumstances,

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war forces medical advancement, like the Thomas splint,

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introduced in 1916 by orthopaedic surgeon Hugh Owen Thomas.

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Says here, "Leg was in a Thomas splint on admission,

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"wound very septic and penetrating."

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Well, he had a compound fracture, so the wound was open.

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80% of people who had a compound fracture

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before this Thomas splint was invented

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died from shock, which is fluid loss, blood loss basically.

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This reduced the mortality rate to just to 7%.

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Blimey!

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So, in a way, the war gave us the Thomas splint,

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-which saved people's lives.

-Every war produces different weapons.

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It produced different injuries...

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Means that medical science is always evolving because of conflicts.

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One of the most seriously injured soldiers treated at this hospital

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was Private William Johnston.

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He arrived with two pieces of shrapnel in his brain,

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so they needed somewhere the doctors could operate,

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which has been recreated again today.

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So, this is a stairwell that's become an operating theatre.

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Yeah, it was primarily because there was a sink

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as part of a loo just outside there,

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which would have been a great spot for people to rinse out bandages.

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Not only did the family give up their home,

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but Lady Jane Grey, the sister of the Earl at the time,

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also trained as a voluntary nurse.

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She assisted during Private Johnston's operation,

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holding a torch for the doctor whilst he extracted the shrapnel.

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The world of nursing was a far cry from the society life

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she would have led if there hadn't been a war.

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She remembered being very frustrated because she didn't realise

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when she was boiling a pan of milk that it would boil over.

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There were so many life-skills she had to learn

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in order to the fulfil this role

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that lower class girls would have just...would have just known.

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So, as much it was a different world for the Tommies,

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it was an entirely different world for women like Jane.

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The hospital closed in January, 1919,

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and the Hall was once more a family home.

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This has been a really, really memorable trip for me.

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-And it's a special place. Thanks very much. Thank you.

-Thank you.

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While Philip finishes soaking up the house's impressive stories,

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James is still in shopping mode, edging his way east to Romiley.

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Set within the borough of Stockport,

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the village of Romiley borders the Peak District.

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It's named comes from an Anglo-Saxon word

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meaning spacious woodland clearing,

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as up until the 19th century, it was predominantly an agricultural area.

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James is here to meet Peter Green, who's owned Romiley Antiques

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and Jewellery for 30 years.

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-Hello!

-Hi.

-James.

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-Peter. How are you?

-Peter, very nice to meet you.

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The pressure's mounting on James now that he's over £100 down,

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after being £100 ahead.

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So, Peter's giving James some potential pointers.

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-There's a pram here.

-No, not for me.

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-Picnic basket.

-Not for me.

-No?

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Erm... This barometer... It's quite nice.

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It's not for me that fellow. Nope.

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But finally, James's found something himself.

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Peter, I think this...this is more me.

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It's got a bit of colour and we got a bit of sea.

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The interesting thing with this charger is... Unfortunately,

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you know, it's old,

0:16:380:16:39

it's suffered, you know, temperature changes and it's crazed,

0:16:390:16:43

but it's quite well done and, from afar, that looks quite good.

0:16:430:16:47

We got marine interest.

0:16:470:16:49

We're going to Liverpool. It's famous for its maritime history.

0:16:490:16:54

It's actually a Dutch wall plaque, as referenced on the reverse.

0:16:540:16:58

It's of Texel Island, off Northern Holland.

0:16:580:17:01

It has a ticket price of £30.

0:17:010:17:03

-What can we do it for? Can that be cheap?

-I don't know.

0:17:030:17:06

-What would you like to pay for it?

-I'd like to pay 15 for it.

0:17:060:17:09

Can we do it at 15?

0:17:100:17:11

You can have it for £15.

0:17:110:17:13

-Peter, I'll take it for £15.

-That's a deal.

-Thank you very much, indeed.

0:17:130:17:17

And that's James's third item for auction.

0:17:170:17:19

-Thank you very much, indeed, Peter. I'm pleased with that.

-Very good.

0:17:190:17:23

Now our gents are done for the day. So, sweet dreams, fellas.

0:17:230:17:27

Wakey, wakey, then.

0:17:300:17:31

The sun doesn't have his hat on this morning,

0:17:310:17:34

so the roof's certainly up on the Austin-Healey,

0:17:340:17:36

as are two antiques professionals step on the gas again.

0:17:360:17:40

I'm beginning to f...know exactly how sardines feel.

0:17:400:17:43

Yeah. I hear... A little bird told me

0:17:430:17:47

that you got in and then they put the roof over you.

0:17:470:17:50

I couldn't possibly comment on that.

0:17:500:17:52

Good luck getting out then, fellas.

0:17:520:17:55

But they've got a lot to do today.

0:17:550:17:56

Philip has spent just 45 of his £463.30

0:17:560:18:01

on a ride-on horse and model ship.

0:18:010:18:04

James has over £250 still to spend

0:18:040:18:07

after picking up a Spitfire print, Dutch wall plaque

0:18:070:18:10

and an oak box for £76.

0:18:100:18:12

So, they've got a busy shopping day ahead.

0:18:120:18:14

Nice that they've got the weather for it, though.

0:18:140:18:17

Talk me through your leaks there.

0:18:170:18:19

-Well, I think I've got one here...

-Yeah.

0:18:190:18:21

-..that's dribbling down on my right thigh.

-Excellent.

0:18:210:18:24

-I've got one here that's dribbling on my left knee.

-Good.

0:18:240:18:28

And the one in the middle...

0:18:280:18:29

-I don't want to tell you where that's going.

-No.

0:18:290:18:31

Yeah, please, don't.

0:18:310:18:33

Our soggy sardines began their jaunt in Frodsham

0:18:330:18:36

and are looping round the northwest.

0:18:360:18:38

Next stop is Sale, in Greater Manchester.

0:18:380:18:41

The commuter town of Sale has been dated to prehistoric times

0:18:430:18:47

after a flint arrowhead was discovered by the Victorians.

0:18:470:18:51

Philip's here to target Manchester Antiques Centre... Ha!

0:18:510:18:55

..for some auction spoils. But you can lead a horse to water...

0:18:550:18:58

Hello, horsey. How are you?

0:18:580:19:01

..with Philip you never know.

0:19:010:19:03

-John, good morning.

-Good morning to you, sir.

-How are you? All right?

0:19:030:19:06

-Exited?

-Looking forward to this.

-Oh, no!

0:19:060:19:07

John Long, the second John of the trip so far,

0:19:070:19:10

specialises in antique furniture.

0:19:100:19:11

Blimey! You've got some stockers, haven't you?

0:19:110:19:14

It's quite a nice thing, isn't it,

0:19:180:19:20

but it's got a bit of a tectonic shift in plates

0:19:200:19:22

right around the top of South Africa... South America.

0:19:220:19:26

South Africa? I used to teach geography!

0:19:260:19:28

Thankfully, you did give up your day job, then.

0:19:280:19:31

That's a bit of a fun one, isn't it?

0:19:340:19:36

It's probably an old Blackthorn stick.

0:19:360:19:37

They've got a really sweet, little duck or a goose's head on it.

0:19:370:19:41

Quack, quack.

0:19:410:19:43

Uh-oh! I think he's gone quackers.

0:19:430:19:46

And there's no price on it. I'm going to take that down

0:19:460:19:49

and just ask John...

0:19:490:19:51

how much that is.

0:19:510:19:53

-That's lovely, isn't it?

-Collectors' item.

-It is. How much is that?

0:19:530:19:56

£270.

0:19:560:19:58

-Look at the eyes.

-Oh, yeah!

0:19:580:19:59

They've got tears running down them now, John. I think they've got tears.

0:19:590:20:02

I think I made a mistake.

0:20:020:20:04

I think I should have asked you what the cheapest thing in the place.

0:20:040:20:07

-One Bechstein piano.

-How much is this?

-Make an offer.

0:20:070:20:10

Under £10.

0:20:100:20:12

Make an offer.

0:20:120:20:13

-I'll give you a fiver for it.

-You can have it.

0:20:130:20:15

The German company Bechstein is one of the top piano makers

0:20:150:20:19

and brand-new, upright pianos can cost several thousand pounds.

0:20:190:20:24

Second-hand ones, though, are a different market.

0:20:240:20:27

I can't sell them anymore.

0:20:270:20:29

-You'll sell that for a fiver?

-I will.

0:20:290:20:32

I'm warming to you.

0:20:320:20:33

The two best makers in the world

0:20:330:20:35

surely are Bechstein and Steinway, are they?

0:20:350:20:37

-Correct. You can sell a Steinway.

-Really?

0:20:370:20:40

-Very easy.

-I'm hoping you can sell a Bechstein.

0:20:400:20:42

Well, it's yours now.

0:20:420:20:44

Ha-ha! Methinks John could be having the last laugh here.

0:20:440:20:47

Come on, Phil, I've got something more in your price range.

0:20:470:20:50

-So, how old's that one do you think?

-I'm guessing from the '30s.

0:20:500:20:54

And has it got any history or...?

0:20:550:20:57

Well, actually, it's funny you should ask that.

0:20:570:21:00

-That came out of my mother's garden.

-Really?

0:21:000:21:02

-So, I know where it's been for the past 50 years.

-Do you know what?

0:21:020:21:06

-That in good order...

-Yes.

0:21:060:21:07

..would have been hundreds of pounds, wouldn't it?

0:21:070:21:10

It would. Yeah, I agree. £280.

0:21:100:21:12

It's glazed stoneware, so that might be a little steep for Philip.

0:21:120:21:17

-No. No, I can't do that.

-Well, where are you on this, then?

0:21:170:21:20

I've got to try to buy that for somewhere between 40 and 50 quid.

0:21:200:21:25

What do you reckon? Would 40, 50 quid buy it, do you think?

0:21:250:21:27

-Not really, no.

-OK.

0:21:270:21:29

Come on, Phil! It was his mother's birdbath.

0:21:290:21:33

Right. £90. Under 100. You can't fail. You can't.

0:21:330:21:36

No. I can! I can fail. I'll give you my best.

0:21:360:21:39

-60 quid, and that's me finished.

-Very difficult.

0:21:390:21:42

-That'd be OK.

-You done?

-Done.

0:21:420:21:44

That's a staggering £220 off the asking price.

0:21:440:21:48

And a piano for a fiver. £65 for the two.

0:21:480:21:51

Philip's been even cleverer,

0:21:510:21:54

removing the broken part of the pedestal,

0:21:540:21:56

in the hope that it makes it more saleable.

0:21:560:21:58

So, I bought a piano. I bought a water feature.

0:21:580:22:01

What do you think of that? Not much, eh?

0:22:010:22:04

Neigh!

0:22:040:22:05

Did someone mention hay?

0:22:070:22:09

Meanwhile, James is navigating his

0:22:090:22:11

way north to the city of Salford.

0:22:110:22:13

Since the closure of the Manchester Docks in 1982,

0:22:130:22:16

there's been a huge regeneration of Salford Quays.

0:22:160:22:19

Manchester's unique waterfront is now an arts and culture hub.

0:22:190:22:24

The award-winning Imperial War Museum North

0:22:240:22:26

was designed by internationally acclaimed architect

0:22:260:22:30

Daniel Libeskind, who's also responsible for the master plan

0:22:300:22:35

for the Ground Zero site in New York.

0:22:350:22:37

Today, James is meeting the museum director, Graham Boxer.

0:22:370:22:41

-Good morning, James. Nice to meet you.

-Good morning.

0:22:410:22:43

-What a very impressive building.

-Oh, it's an amazing building.

0:22:430:22:46

It's sort of three parts that you can see.

0:22:460:22:48

It's the earth shard, which slopes away here,

0:22:480:22:51

the air shard, which rises up into the sky,

0:22:510:22:54

and also on the other side of the building, near the canal,

0:22:540:22:56

the water shard. Three shards of the globe fractured by war and conflict.

0:22:560:23:01

The museum specialises in showing how war shapes lives

0:23:020:23:06

by telling personal stories,

0:23:060:23:08

no more harrowing than those of the millions of people

0:23:080:23:11

sent to prisoner of work camps around the world

0:23:110:23:14

during the Second World War.

0:23:140:23:16

Young Army Captain Ronnie Horner was posted to Singapore

0:23:160:23:20

in January, 1942, to defend the British colony against the Japanese.

0:23:200:23:25

Within a few weeks, the British Army were defeated

0:23:250:23:28

and Ronnie was captured.

0:23:280:23:29

So, Graham what have we got here?

0:23:290:23:32

This is the suitcase that belonged to Ronnie Horner,

0:23:320:23:35

and we can see his initials on here - RMH.

0:23:350:23:38

And this would have contained all the items

0:23:380:23:41

that he took out to Singapore with him. And he kept it with him

0:23:410:23:44

when he was in the prison of war camp.

0:23:440:23:46

In May, 1943, when he was moved from the prison of war camp in Changi

0:23:460:23:51

to work on the Thailand-Burma railway line,

0:23:510:23:55

he took this with him.

0:23:550:23:57

The infamous Burma Railway is also known as the Death Railway

0:23:570:24:00

and made famous by the film Bridge Over The River Kwai.

0:24:000:24:04

Around 100,000 died during its creation.

0:24:040:24:08

It wasn't just the heat and humidity,

0:24:080:24:10

or the backbreaking labour,

0:24:100:24:12

but also the poor living conditions and lack of food.

0:24:120:24:15

Two of Ronnie's belts.

0:24:150:24:16

-This is the one that he was wearing when he went to Changi.

-Yeah.

0:24:160:24:23

And you can see the width, the circumference of his waist.

0:24:230:24:26

And this one here is what he was like

0:24:260:24:28

when he came out six months later.

0:24:280:24:30

God... It's a child's, isn't it?

0:24:300:24:32

You wonder how they survived

0:24:320:24:33

and how they actually were able to do any work at all.

0:24:330:24:35

Despite the huge risk, Ronnie kept a diary for three years,

0:24:370:24:41

hidden behind a panel in his suitcase,

0:24:410:24:43

to remember his experiences during the camp.

0:24:430:24:46

"I find that as the day goes by, thoughts crop up,

0:24:460:24:51

"memories are revived

0:24:510:24:53

"and instances occur that quite obviously will be forgotten

0:24:530:24:58

"if not noted down."

0:24:580:25:00

Ronnie survived the appalling conditions at Changi Camp

0:25:000:25:03

and sailed back to Britain

0:25:030:25:04

after Japan surrendered in August, 1945.

0:25:040:25:07

But some prisoners didn't wait for the end of the war to escape.

0:25:070:25:11

Germany's infamous prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III

0:25:110:25:15

had not one, but two escapes.

0:25:150:25:17

The Great Escape film tells the story of one, but just before that,

0:25:170:25:21

three different prisoners successfully fled the camp

0:25:210:25:25

using entertainment as a decoy.

0:25:250:25:27

So, these items, Graham, what's their link?

0:25:270:25:30

Well, these items belong to Oliver Philpot.

0:25:300:25:33

He was an RAF pilot that was shot down.

0:25:330:25:35

Philpot was sent to the high-security camp.

0:25:370:25:40

Along with two other prisoners, he planned his escape meticulously.

0:25:400:25:44

Philpot knew that if he actually managed to get out,

0:25:440:25:47

he would need a cover story to help him reach neutral territory.

0:25:470:25:50

He decided that he would take on the role of a travelling salesman,

0:25:500:25:54

so he needed to look the part.

0:25:540:25:56

He took his military service tie, which is what we see here,

0:25:580:26:02

and he made it look less military, as you can tell,

0:26:020:26:06

by putting this sort of white stitching

0:26:060:26:09

into the tie all the way along.

0:26:090:26:11

It's very cleverly done.

0:26:110:26:13

He asked a friend of his, a fellow prisoner of war in the camp,

0:26:130:26:18

to actually make this compass for him.

0:26:180:26:21

And the person who made it took parts of a gramophone player

0:26:210:26:27

and converted them into the compass.

0:26:270:26:29

The key to the escape was a strategically placed wooden box.

0:26:290:26:33

Philpot and his co-conspirators dug a tunnel

0:26:330:26:36

whilst hiding in the bottomless box near to the barbed wire.

0:26:360:26:41

After 114 days of digging, on the 29th of October, 1943,

0:26:410:26:45

the three men escaped.

0:26:450:26:47

He eventually managed to smuggle himself onto a vessel

0:26:470:26:51

bound for Sweden, then it was easy for him to get back to England.

0:26:510:26:54

What a great story. So, two objects that aided his flight.

0:26:540:26:58

-Absolutely.

-Thank you, Graham.

-Thank you for coming. Fully enjoyed it.

0:26:580:27:02

After returning home, Oliver Philpot went on to have two sons

0:27:020:27:06

and three daughters, and died aged 80, in 1993.

0:27:060:27:11

They're just two of the many incredible stories

0:27:110:27:13

of the brave men and women affected by war

0:27:130:27:16

that you can find at the museum.

0:27:160:27:19

With one or two items each still to buy,

0:27:200:27:23

James is joining Philip back on the road to Ramsbottom, Lancashire.

0:27:230:27:27

The skyline of this picturesque market town

0:27:280:27:31

is dominated by the Peel Tower commemorating Sir Robert Peel,

0:27:310:27:35

former Prime Minister and founder of the police force, who was born here.

0:27:350:27:39

So, where is Ramsbottom, James?

0:27:410:27:43

Erm, Ramsbottom is down there, lad.

0:27:430:27:45

-We're both in the same shop, are we?

-There'll be lots of competition,

0:27:450:27:49

-running around.

-Really? I don't think much about that.

0:27:490:27:52

I can't see them running for anything.

0:27:540:27:56

They've got to sort the car out first.

0:27:560:27:58

This is a bit floppy, mate.

0:27:580:28:00

-It goes sort of like that.

-Let's just leave it be.

-Go on. Go on.

0:28:000:28:03

Never mind.

0:28:030:28:05

Memories Antiques Centre has two floors of antiques,

0:28:050:28:08

collectibles and vintage items.

0:28:080:28:09

So, knock yourselves out, fellas!

0:28:090:28:13

For once, can I be the upstairs man and you be the downstairs man?

0:28:130:28:17

-JAMES LAUGHS

-OK, go on. Go on.

0:28:170:28:19

-Don't be too lucky there.

-I won't. I'll try hard.

0:28:190:28:22

James still has over £250 to spend

0:28:220:28:25

and he's hoping dealer Mavis Newton can help him spend it.

0:28:250:28:29

-Have you got any fresh goods?

-Nice things over there in that cabinet.

0:28:310:28:35

-What? In this one?

-Yeah, that one there.

0:28:350:28:36

The sticking-out-one, as I call it.

0:28:360:28:38

Meanwhile, upstairs, Philip is with his third John of the trip,

0:28:390:28:43

dealer John Roberts.

0:28:430:28:45

John, without getting it out,

0:28:450:28:47

what might that truncheon be?

0:28:470:28:50

Erm, 60.

0:28:500:28:52

Let's have a look, then.

0:28:520:28:53

Now, a lot of these were ceremonial, weren't they?

0:28:560:28:58

I think there is some writing on it somewhere.

0:28:580:29:01

Holborn, that's London?

0:29:010:29:02

-Yeah. Yeah, that's right.

-It's a bit rubbed, isn't it?

0:29:020:29:05

It is a bit worn, well used.

0:29:050:29:07

See, see, that's a preparatory statement just to try

0:29:070:29:10

to get the price down a little bit more. It's...

0:29:100:29:13

So, you agree it's quite well used and rubbed?

0:29:130:29:15

It's... Well, it's 100 years old.

0:29:150:29:18

Not sure your plan's working, Philip.

0:29:180:29:20

Back with Mavis, will James carry out his plan to be tough

0:29:200:29:23

with everyone from kids to grannies?

0:29:230:29:25

-Can I look at this medal group here?

-Yeah.

0:29:260:29:29

So, 3945, the Italy Star, the Africa Star,

0:29:290:29:33

the Atlantic Star and the 45.

0:29:330:29:37

It's a very nice group.

0:29:370:29:39

They're marked at 55.

0:29:390:29:41

-55.

-Can I squeeze you, Mavis?

0:29:410:29:44

Could you do it for 30?

0:29:440:29:46

-That'll be fine, yes.

-Would that be all right?

-Yeah.

-You got...

0:29:460:29:49

You've gone and got yourself a bargain.

0:29:490:29:52

Surely, it's the other way around.

0:29:520:29:55

Upstairs, Philip still rummaging through John's wares.

0:29:550:29:58

John, well, I'll just have a look at that book -

0:29:580:30:01

The Short History Of The Lancashire Fusiliers.

0:30:010:30:03

Oh, yeah, I just got that recently. Yeah, it's quite in.

0:30:030:30:05

-That's quite cheap.

-Oh, I like it this.

0:30:050:30:07

-Can I have a look at it, please?

-Yeah, sure.

0:30:070:30:09

It is a little book... Well, it is the shortest...

0:30:090:30:11

It does what it says on the tin. It's a short history

0:30:110:30:13

of the Lancashire fusiliers.

0:30:130:30:15

I just think that's quite a nice little thing.

0:30:150:30:17

And this is a record of their...just their various actions, isn't it?

0:30:170:30:20

-That's right, yeah.

-Well, what I'm thinking is...

0:30:200:30:24

I'm wondering if I could do a package of that and the truncheon.

0:30:240:30:28

There's a good market for both military

0:30:280:30:30

and antique police memorabilia,

0:30:300:30:32

so if Philip gets them for a good price, he could do well at auction.

0:30:320:30:36

See, I think that's going to make, again, £50 to £80,

0:30:370:30:40

which means I've got to try to pitch it...

0:30:400:30:42

try and buy it at 40 quid, realistically.

0:30:420:30:45

Is that going to be any good?

0:30:450:30:46

-60 for the two.

-I really don't think I could do it.

0:30:460:30:50

I'll tell you what, 50 for the two.

0:30:500:30:53

-That is the best.

-And that's it finished?

0:30:530:30:56

-That's it finished.

-OK, you're a gentleman.

0:30:560:30:58

-I'm going to have the pair of them.

-Right. OK.

0:30:580:31:00

Thank you very much, indeed.

0:31:000:31:02

So, that's £50 for Philip's fifth and final lot,

0:31:020:31:05

and that's him finished for the day.

0:31:050:31:07

James, meanwhile, is still being ably assisted by Mavis.

0:31:070:31:11

Mavis, the only reason I've asked you to open this cabinet

0:31:120:31:15

is I like big, sculptural objects

0:31:150:31:18

and this rather cute doggie is quite big,

0:31:180:31:21

as pottery figures go, isn't he?

0:31:210:31:23

-He's gorgeous, actually.

-Do you know who the maker is?

-SylvaC.

0:31:230:31:27

Got a sort of cutey look, tongue hanging out, isn't he?

0:31:270:31:31

-Is it all right, Mavis? Is it damaged at all?

-No, it's perfect.

0:31:310:31:34

Condition is key for SylaC figures as damage will devalue them.

0:31:340:31:38

They were produced from the late 1920s

0:31:380:31:41

by Staffordshire ceramics company Shaw and Copestake.

0:31:410:31:45

Larger figures are generally worth more.

0:31:450:31:48

That's nice because it's large and normally, they're only usually

0:31:480:31:51

about that big and they're not glazed.

0:31:510:31:52

-They're only small, aren't they?

-Mm. That lovely.

-Could this be cheap?

0:31:520:31:55

Gina, how much can the dog be? £65.

0:31:550:31:59

-£30.

-Can you do it for 30?

0:31:590:32:01

-Yes.

-I'll take it for 30.

0:32:010:32:03

That's 30 for the SylvaC dog, another 30 for the medals,

0:32:030:32:07

and James's shopping is done.

0:32:070:32:09

So, let's remind ourselves what they bought.

0:32:090:32:12

Along with his last two items, James has a Dutch wall plaque,

0:32:120:32:15

a Spitfire print, an oak box ready for auction

0:32:150:32:20

and he spent just £136 on his five items,

0:32:200:32:24

just over a third of his budget again.

0:32:240:32:27

Philip also has five lots -

0:32:270:32:28

a birdbath, a ride-on pony, a piano, a model ship,

0:32:280:32:32

a truncheon and a military book. And he's only spent £160.

0:32:320:32:37

Just a third of his budget, too.

0:32:370:32:40

They may have been playing it safe,

0:32:400:32:42

but what do the chaps think of each other's objects?

0:32:420:32:45

Phil, the canny fox, has bought well again, hasn't he?

0:32:450:32:49

I do like his boat, which he's paid little money for. £15.

0:32:490:32:55

An upright piano...a fiver? Seems cheap to me.

0:32:550:32:57

I think I bought good items on this one. Let's hope this leg is mine.

0:32:570:33:02

I think James has been really, really clever with what he's bought.

0:33:020:33:05

We're going to Merseyside, the waterfront.

0:33:050:33:07

He's bought that really good Delft plaque with a shipping scene on it.

0:33:070:33:13

He's bought that lovely box with Captain whatever-his-name-was,

0:33:130:33:15

with RN, Royal Navy.

0:33:150:33:18

That's going to do well. But the real but is the dog.

0:33:180:33:21

I think the dog is a dog.

0:33:210:33:24

If you say so, Philip.

0:33:240:33:25

After a 136-mile loop of the Northwest,

0:33:270:33:30

our experts' fourth journey is drawing to a close

0:33:300:33:33

at auction in Liverpool.

0:33:330:33:35

I think it's fantastic here. Yeah, look at that!

0:33:360:33:39

That's the Liver bird, isn't it?

0:33:390:33:41

Has a great New York feel about it, doesn't it?

0:33:410:33:43

Liverpool's had strong links with America

0:33:430:33:46

since the growth of the cotton trade in the 19th century.

0:33:460:33:49

Now, the boys are on their way to do some trade of their own.

0:33:490:33:52

Now, is there anything of yours, James,

0:33:520:33:54

that you've got just that little bit of a wavering on?

0:33:540:33:58

Do you know, Philip, I'm feeling very smug here, but no.

0:33:580:34:01

That's great. That's made me feel really good. Thanks a bunch, mate.

0:34:010:34:04

-Bang on trend with prints and sentimental dogs.

-Oh, yeah...

0:34:040:34:08

It's the way forward.

0:34:080:34:10

I'm not so sure,

0:34:100:34:11

but we'll soon see as the boys arrive at Cato Crane Auctioneers.

0:34:110:34:15

That's if they make it inside in time.

0:34:170:34:19

THEY LAUGH

0:34:220:34:25

Holy shmoly! Well, James, here we are.

0:34:250:34:29

Doesn't get any easier, that.

0:34:290:34:30

And it's over to the fourth and final John of the journey,

0:34:300:34:33

-auctioneer John Crane.

-Ten pounds is... Sorry. Too slow.

0:34:330:34:38

# Big, bad John... #

0:34:380:34:40

With over 35 years' experience in the business,

0:34:400:34:43

John's cast an eye over Philip and James's picks.

0:34:430:34:47

One interesting item is the truncheon.

0:34:470:34:49

Depends on who's on the internet

0:34:490:34:51

and if we picked up a specialist buyer.

0:34:510:34:53

One item which might cause a bit of problems is the piano forte.

0:34:530:34:57

Problem with pianos -

0:34:570:34:58

restoration costs must be taken into consideration.

0:34:580:35:02

I'll be very surprised if we sell it.

0:35:020:35:04

So, it could be an interesting auction for Philip.

0:35:040:35:07

How's that piano of yours?

0:35:070:35:08

Well, rather fortuitously, the rubbish van has just arrived.

0:35:080:35:12

We'll have to wait and see for that one.

0:35:120:35:14

As first under the hammer is Philip's ride-on pony.

0:35:150:35:18

Sh! Concentrate because my horse is coming up.

0:35:180:35:21

-The Pony Express.

-The Pony Express.

-Yes. MOBO Pony Express.

0:35:210:35:24

£20 is bid straight in on the internet.

0:35:240:35:26

It is an internet sort of lot, isn't it, Phil?

0:35:260:35:29

25, the gent there.

0:35:290:35:30

30 on the internet. 35 is bid now in the room, standing.

0:35:300:35:34

All done at £35, your bid, sir.

0:35:340:35:37

Just breaking even. Washes its face, that one.

0:35:380:35:41

Just a fiver profit for Philip's first item.

0:35:410:35:44

Let's see if James's first lot, the Dutch wall plaque,

0:35:440:35:47

can do any better.

0:35:470:35:49

£20 to start me off. Commission bid of 20. £20 is bid.

0:35:490:35:53

-Commission bid, James.

-20? Is that the best we can do? £20.

0:35:530:35:55

It's a nice thing. £20. Make it 22 somebody.

0:35:550:35:58

22? 22. 24?

0:35:580:36:01

£26 is bid. I'm going to sell. I'd like a little more, really.

0:36:010:36:05

-For £26...

-So would I...if you put it that way.

0:36:050:36:09

There's no reserve.

0:36:090:36:10

Do you know what, that's a bit of a relief to me

0:36:100:36:12

cos I thought that was going to make £50 to £80.

0:36:120:36:15

Did you?

0:36:150:36:16

Shut him up, didn't it?

0:36:180:36:19

But £11 profit is a good start to closing in on Philip's lead.

0:36:190:36:24

Next, it's Philip's model ship.

0:36:240:36:26

-I'll take 25 to start you off.

-What?

-25 is bid. 30 over there.

0:36:260:36:30

The lady's bid over there at £30. I'm going to sell at £30 now.

0:36:300:36:34

All done at 30. It's your bid, madam.

0:36:340:36:37

£30. That's not bad, is it?

0:36:370:36:39

Take what you can get, fellas.

0:36:390:36:41

-We're not going to walk out of here with bulging pockets, are we?

-No.

0:36:410:36:45

-Bulging what?

-Pockets.

-No. No.

0:36:450:36:47

But James's Second World War medals

0:36:470:36:49

could entice a specialist militaria buyer.

0:36:490:36:53

What do you think you might get?

0:36:530:36:54

I don't know. £50, £60.

0:36:540:36:56

£20 for these.

0:36:560:36:58

20 is bid over there. 20.

0:36:580:37:00

25. Thank you, I'll get internet in a second. 25. 30, sir.

0:37:000:37:04

35 with you, sir. 35. 40 at the back.

0:37:040:37:07

Internet now is £45.

0:37:070:37:09

45 on the internet. Any further bid in the room, now?

0:37:090:37:12

50 is bid in again. Thank you, sir. £50 is bid.

0:37:120:37:14

£50, your bid, sir. Make no mistake...

0:37:140:37:16

£50. £50.

0:37:160:37:19

James was right at £50,

0:37:190:37:21

and that's £20 profit to help inch closer to Philip.

0:37:210:37:25

Next, it's Philip's birdbath.

0:37:260:37:28

He's taken a gamble by removing the broken base.

0:37:280:37:32

I heard somebody over there talking, and they said,

0:37:320:37:35

"If that had had the base,

0:37:350:37:36

"then I would have been all over that like a rash."

0:37:360:37:38

You're really bitter this morning, aren't you? Very, very bitter.

0:37:380:37:42

I can start the bidding at 30, and 30 is bid.

0:37:420:37:44

£30 is bid.

0:37:440:37:46

-35 on the internet.

-35 on the internet.

-40 on the internet.

0:37:460:37:49

-We've got two bidders on the internet now.

-Two bidders.

0:37:490:37:51

That's useful.

0:37:510:37:53

-45 on the internet now.

-Do they know it's not going to go in an envelope?

0:37:530:37:57

All done at £50.

0:37:570:37:58

That's enough I think, isn't it?

0:37:580:38:01

-Terrible, you are.

-Sold at 50.

0:38:010:38:04

Oops! Philip's gamble hasn't paid off.

0:38:040:38:07

He's ended up with a ten pound loss.

0:38:070:38:10

-That's a relief, that is.

-It could've been a lot worse.

0:38:100:38:12

James is up next with his SylvaC dog figurine.

0:38:120:38:16

Look at that. This is lovely.

0:38:160:38:19

Start me at ten pounds on the SylvaC terrier.

0:38:190:38:21

Ten is bid over there. Ten. 12, the gentleman here. 14. 16.

0:38:210:38:26

18. 20. 22, sir.

0:38:260:38:28

24. 26. 28. 30.

0:38:280:38:31

First bit of bidding I've seen in the room.

0:38:310:38:33

-34, sir.

-36. Oh, profit, James.

0:38:330:38:36

38. 40.

0:38:360:38:38

40. This is remarkable!

0:38:380:38:41

-This is bidding in the room.

-£44, right in front of me here.

0:38:410:38:46

I can feel you creeping up behind me.

0:38:460:38:48

And another profit for James. Watch out, Philip!

0:38:480:38:52

Next, it's auctioneer John's pick,

0:38:520:38:55

the antique truncheon and military book.

0:38:550:38:58

-When we say on it? £20 to start me out.

-Oh, ouch!

0:38:580:39:00

20 is bid. 25. 30.

0:39:000:39:03

-35. Worth a bit more than that, I think, isn't it?

-No.

0:39:030:39:06

40 on the internet now.

0:39:060:39:08

-40 on the internet.

-42. 44 on the internet.

0:39:080:39:12

I'm getting worried now, Philip. Well done. Well done.

0:39:120:39:15

-46 is bid in the room. 48 on the internet.

-Oh, dear.

-48.

0:39:150:39:19

Do you want to round it up to 50, madam? 48 on the internet.

0:39:190:39:22

I'm selling now.

0:39:220:39:24

It could've been worse, couldn't it?

0:39:240:39:26

-That could have been like Armageddon.

-Yeah.

0:39:260:39:28

Philip could be losing his grip. It's his second loss today.

0:39:280:39:32

Now, it's over to James's beloved Spitfire print.

0:39:320:39:35

God, I do love my Spitfire. What do you think?

0:39:350:39:39

-God, do you know? I'd buy that.

-You did.

0:39:410:39:43

What's it worth, gents?

0:39:430:39:45

-A lot of money.

-£20 to start me off, come on. Anybody?

0:39:450:39:47

20 it's a nice thing. £20 is bid.

0:39:470:39:50

Anybody else? 25, Mr Berry.

0:39:500:39:52

-26, sir.

-Oh, you're off to the races.

-27.

0:39:520:39:54

£28 with you. 29 now.

0:39:540:39:58

-30 with you.

-30.

-£30. 31 will do another one. £32.

0:39:580:40:03

Why waste the bids? Take it up in fives, chief.

0:40:030:40:05

You happy with that now, Mr Berry? £32 then. We're going, Berry.

0:40:050:40:10

And that's another profit for James.

0:40:100:40:12

He's now got one last chance to try and get the edge on Philip.

0:40:120:40:16

The maritime theme of his final item, the Royal Navy oak box,

0:40:160:40:20

could do well in the port of Liverpool.

0:40:200:40:23

-This is it.

-You can give up.

-If this makes 100 quid, I'm in trouble.

0:40:230:40:28

-It won't make £100.

-What do we say?

-£20.

0:40:280:40:31

What about, erm, £20 to start me off.

0:40:310:40:34

-I told you.

-£20 is bid. 20.

0:40:340:40:36

25? 25. 30 with you, sir. 30? £30.

0:40:360:40:41

-All done at £30?

-No, keep going at £30.

0:40:410:40:44

All done and finished, ladies and gentlemen. £30.

0:40:440:40:47

What a crying shame to sell something like that for £30.

0:40:470:40:50

-I got out of jail there, didn't I?

-£30! I know!

0:40:500:40:54

No-one likes a poor loser, and that's James's first loss today,

0:40:540:40:58

but Philip's final item, the piano, is a potential winner.

0:40:580:41:02

Brand-new Bechstein pianos can cost thousands,

0:41:020:41:05

but as Philip's got his so cheaply, he could seal a win

0:41:050:41:09

if it makes good money.

0:41:090:41:11

If that Joanna makes 100 quid, I'm stuffed.

0:41:110:41:14

Who would have thought be able to buy a Bechstein at five pounds?

0:41:140:41:16

-That's bonkers.

-It is bonkers.

0:41:160:41:18

And then be worried that you might not make a profit on it.

0:41:180:41:21

-Amazing.

-That's the real bonkers bit, and I might not.

0:41:210:41:23

Who will give me £50 for it? It's worth it, ladies and gentlemen,

0:41:230:41:27

just a bit of money spent on it

0:41:270:41:28

and you'll have a very, very fine instrument.

0:41:280:41:31

Come on. £50. £20 if you like.

0:41:310:41:33

-I'll give you ten, Mr Crane.

-How much?

-Ten.

0:41:330:41:36

-Ten pounds your way. That's profit, chief.

-Ten pounds is bid.

0:41:360:41:39

It's worth a lot more than that, I think. Ten.

0:41:390:41:41

-It needs a lot of restoration.

-Can you give me 20 for it?

0:41:410:41:45

-15.

-15... Is that your best bid?

0:41:450:41:47

And I'm doing you a favour.

0:41:470:41:50

-The man's clearly an expert, isn't he?

-Is that the best you can do?

0:41:500:41:53

-Yeah.

-Any further bid anywhere else? All done?

0:41:530:41:57

I think you're the proud owner of a Bechstein piano, sir.

0:41:570:42:00

That's not bad. At least you've a bit of profit there, chief.

0:42:000:42:03

Who would have thought it? An upright piano for a fiver

0:42:030:42:06

making a tenner profit?

0:42:060:42:08

I'm not complaining because I think that, you know,

0:42:080:42:11

-it was a real gamble taking it on, wasn't it?

-Yeah. Yeah.

0:42:110:42:15

Philip's lost today's leg.

0:42:160:42:18

Setting off with £463.30, and after auction costs,

0:42:180:42:23

he's lost £14.04,

0:42:230:42:25

leaving him with £449.26 for next time.

0:42:250:42:30

James started today with 335.50, and after auction costs,

0:42:300:42:35

he's up by £13.24,

0:42:350:42:38

bumping his budget to £348.74.

0:42:380:42:43

But Philip's retained the lead.

0:42:430:42:44

So, it's all to play for in the final leg.

0:42:440:42:47

Dear me, James.

0:42:470:42:49

Start the car. Well, you've narrowed the gap.

0:42:490:42:52

I have narrowed the gap, but I expected to do more narrowing.

0:42:520:42:55

-Are you driving?

-I'll drive. Go on, good man.

0:42:550:42:58

Cheerio till next time, fellas.

0:43:010:43:03

Next time, it's all getting very sentimental on the final leg.

0:43:040:43:08

-And you've been my little ray of sunshine.

-I have.

0:43:080:43:10

Philip tries to squeeze a profit...

0:43:100:43:12

I think I'm going to put that down.

0:43:120:43:13

..while James finds himself in a tight spot.

0:43:130:43:15

Do you want a lift out?

0:43:150:43:16

Well, I haven't had any breakfast,

0:43:160:43:18

so I got no sort of core strength.

0:43:180:43:20

Beginning in Kingsley, Cheshire, antiques experts Phil Serrell and James Braxton head towards an auction in Liverpool on the penultimate leg of their road trip. Phil has a commanding lead, but can James find a way back into the competition before the experts enter their fifth and final leg?