Episode 9 Antiques Road Trip


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Episode 9

Antiques experts Paul Laidlaw and Margie Cooper make their way across the country for a penultimate auction showdown in Llandeilo.


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

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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 -

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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.

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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 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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Welcome to the glorious dawn of our fourth leg,

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with auctioneer Paul Laidlaw and dealer Margie Cooper,

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newly arrived in Wales.

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Look at that, come on! Is this the Bristol Channel, or is this...?

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-It is the Bristol Channel.

-This is as good as Cornwall.

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Which was where their vintage Alfa Romeo set out from,

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hundreds of miles ago.

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They've since had plenty of fun but precious few profits -

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until the last auction, that is.

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Fantastic!

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When Margie's shrewd acquisition of some Scottish brooches

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rather eclipsed Paul's trademark militaria, for once.

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If I see another brooch... MARGIE CHUCKLES

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-..in your grubby mitts.

-Excuse me!

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-I'm being bombarded with boring old military bits.

-Oh!

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That fetch tons of money!

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I get enough of boring military when I'm at home, thanks very much.

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I'll be blowed if I'm having it in this car, Margie.

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They both set out with £200 and Margie

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so far increased that to a very respectable £333.78.

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While Paul amassed a lead of over £100

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with £451.64 to his name.

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Perhaps a semblance of home advantage, eh?

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You are in the car on a road trip with a Celt.

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Right...

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So we've got Celts in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, Ireland...

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-Cheshire.

-Oh, no, not in Cheshire. We don't have Celts in Cheshire.

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Our trip starts close to England's most westerly point at St Buryan

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and heads both north and east.

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We then take a roundabout trip through Wales

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before arriving at Newent in Gloucestershire.

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Today we begin just outside Cardiff, at Penarth,

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and end up at a Carmarthenshire auction at Llandeilo.

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Just around the corner from Cardiff Bay, Penarth was a popular

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Victorian resort known as The Garden By The Sea.

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Its fine pier dates from 1895 and, just two years later,

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the British impressionist Alfred Sisley honeymooned here

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after tying the knot at a Cardiff registry office.

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He painted half a dozen oils during his stay, too.

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Margie Cooper...

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-So you're off to your shop.

-I'm off to make my fortune.

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-Wish me luck.

-No.

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Bye!

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-Good morning, how are you?

-Very well, good to see you. I'm Paul.

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-I'm Gitty.

-Gitty, it is a pleasure.

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Gitty that!

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This little island of antiques is just the sort of shop to

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get our Paul excited and mischievous.

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I would love to buy a brooch and make money in the next auction,

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given Margie's great success in the last with such.

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But rest assured, she's out there looking for militaria,

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no two ways about it.

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Eh, I don't think so, Paul.

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Just like that Ruskin brooch is not for you. This is more like it.

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We've got this illuminated, hand-painted document

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and we have various scrolls and legends.

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"Dominica Heroes," it says at the top and at the bottom another scroll,

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"Presented by HRH The Prince Of Wales November 1887."

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Poignant stuff. Fantastic history.

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What on earth was going on in Dominica?

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Dominica 1805

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refers to the principal battle honour of the 46th South Devonshire,

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which was merged into the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry in 1881.

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What do you know about your Duke Of Cornwall's...

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I don't know much about it at all. It came out of a local house.

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It's a pretty thing - is it dear? Have you got high hopes for it?

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-Or is it reasonably priced?

-It's 85.

-Oh, yeah...

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He's clearly intrigued, but for £85 not yet convinced.

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The rummage goes on.

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-Dare I ask what's in the basement, then?

-Everything and anything.

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There is furniture, pictures, pottery, porcelain...

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You name it, it's down there.

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What red-blooded antiques expert could ever resist a trip to a dark cellar, eh?

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Holy Moses, yeah!

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It could be where the treasure's buried, after all.

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I've only got so long to spend here.

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WHISPERS: If this is anything to judge by,

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the last guy was here a very long time.

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I hope it was worth his while.

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Paul Laidlaw, antique hunter - a bit like Indiana Jones in tweed.

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Well, well, well...

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Is it made up by a wood turner with no great talent?

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Is it someone's O-level woodwork gone horribly wrong?

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Or is it something out of Africa?

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I need it to be old, and not just tourist fodder.

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20th-century tourist fodder. What am I looking for?

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That's a shrinkage crack.

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A hallmark of some age.

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Patina - it's certainly treacly,

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but I've got a killer for you, here.

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Look at that.

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That's old baize cloth.

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Yeah? Not modern felt, old baize.

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I postulate this was taken home in the late Victorian era,

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or early 20th century, and someone thought,

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"I don't want it scratching my polished wooden floors"

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and they tacked on some green baize.

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I assure you, that's not modern.

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That'll be 100-year-old.

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Bingo!

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It's period ethnographica.

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Now we're in business.

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Well, it was worth all the cobwebs, then.

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He's not finished yet.

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1950s, Susie Cooper.

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A coffee service.

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What's not to like. Sweet!

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Burslem-born Susie Cooper OBE

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was one of the most important women in British pottery.

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Her motto was "elegance combined with utility".

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I see a price tag. I do, don't I?

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Is this going to be cheap? It's £125.

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She's got 1930s, do you think it is prewar? I'd like it to be.

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It's too much money. Oh, hopes built up and dashed.

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I think it's worth £40 to £80 at auction.

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All I can do is ask the question.

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-Are you still alive down there?

-PAUL LAUGHS

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Time to emerge, blinking, into the daylight to talk to Gitty.

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Can I ask you about this? I thought I'd found something.

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I thought, surely if it's down here it's incomplete, or it's broken,

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but you've got a Susie Cooper complete coffee for six there.

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I can't find the coffee pot, at the moment.

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A coffee set with no pot! That's why it was down there, then.

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-You think that's prewar?

-Oh, yes, it is because, I mean,

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-it's got a prewar number.

-Yeah.

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-They were all hand-painted.

-You see, Gitty, you're selling it to me.

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-I know.

-You're a bad woman.

-What's the price on it?

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-125.

-125.

-PAUL CLEARS HIS THROAT

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Well, how about if I let you have the lot for 60?

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It's a hell of a discount.

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-Well...

-But I'm going to say can you make me 30?

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Sorry. That's pushing, pushing your luck a bit.

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Forgive me that.

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That's all right.

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How about 45?

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-How's about this?

-Mm.

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-40, which is the compromise, but there's a "but" here.

-But...

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-You see this mystery wooden African stool, whatever it is...

-Yeah.

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-Throw that in with it.

-Why not?

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Basement prices, eh?

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He's got the ethnographica for next to nought.

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But what about the mysterious militaria?

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You have got to buy my picture.

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You're not going out without that!

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PAUL LAUGHS

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In theory, it is dead easy to sell me that.

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But, at the end of the day, unless you get

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the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry collector,

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no-one else is going to care.

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Down in Cornwall, it's a flyer.

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Anywhere else...

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Yeah, Llandeilo, in this case.

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It's a strange thing to sell in South Wales.

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-I'd pay 20 quid for that.

-No, I can't do 20 on that.

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-I'll do 40 but I won't do 20.

-Yeah.

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Hang on, this isn't over yet. We're only having a ceasefire.

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-You know you've got me, don't you?

-Yeah.

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-I'm like a little fish, a little hook in there.

-I'm reeling you in.

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I will gamble on it at 30 quid, if you can sell it for that.

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-That's fine. I'll sell it for 30.

-Gitty, we've bought three things.

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Marvellous, that's what I like to see!

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I told you I'd thin this place out.

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That's £70 for three auction lots.

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While Paul was doing his bit of cellar-clearing,

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Margie's headed north.

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Manoeuvring her motor from Penarth to Tongwynlais...

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..and a fantasy castle in the woods.

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Croeso Castell Coch.

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-What does that mean?

-Welcome to Castell Coch.

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Thank you, I wish I could respond. But I can't.

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-My word! What a place!

-It is.

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Castell Coch, with its three great towers,

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topped by conical roofs,

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was created by the fabulously wealthy John Crichton-Stuart,

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3rd Marquess of Bute, and his architect William Burges.

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The Marquess's father helped turn nearby Cardiff into a major port,

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exporting iron and coal, but by 1871, his son was dreaming

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of Britain's pre-industrial past.

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How old is it?

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-Many people think this is a sort of Victorian fantasy.

-Yeah.

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But there's the substantial ruins of an important medieval castle,

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and, if you look at the tower behind us, the Well Tower,

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you can see there is a distinct change in colour in the stonework.

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What's below is from the 12th/13th century

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-and what's above is from the middle of the 19th century.

-Right.

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The whole castle is based around a motte-and-bailey

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and towers were added through the 12/13th centuries.

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It was an important little castle in the Lordship of Glamorgan.

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What's that red thing there?

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That's what they call a brattish

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and it's part of the Victorian recreation.

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It's following the Middle Ages and it's a structure to allow people

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to drop missiles on anyone trying to get through the drawbridge.

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The Marquess of Bute and William Burges, they loved this sort of thing.

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They loved playing at the Middle Ages.

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This whole castle is a bit of fun.

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The castle was to be an occasional country retreat

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but no expense was spared as both patron

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and architect set about creating a sort of medieval utopia.

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The Marquess had a scholarly fascination with the period

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and Burges, like his contemporary, William Morris,

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favoured traditional craftsmanship over mass production.

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We're in the banqueting hall.

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-This is the main eating room, the table's in front of us.

-Yeah.

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And this is the only room that was completed

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while William Burges was alive. He died in 1881.

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Oh, so he never saw it finished.

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He never saw all the building finished,

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but he saw this room finished.

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And it's in his favourite Victorian Gothic revival style.

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And it draws upon influences from France or the work that Pugin

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had been doing in the Houses of Parliament, for example.

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This is intended to be 13th-century

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Gothic architecture and decoration.

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And despite Burges's death, the work at the castle

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continued for another ten years,

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with Lady Bute's bedroom amongst the most fabulous interiors.

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But most agree that the octagonal drawing-room

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is the castle's masterpiece.

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Oh, my goodness me!

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So many different styles and...

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Oh, it's beautiful!

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It's a sort of allegory of the world.

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We are standing on the green grass of the field,

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we are surrounded by the flowers of the field in this nice panelling.

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And then we can see the animals, these are Aesop's Fables.

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And then you look higher and you see the birds of the air

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and then the stars in the firmament

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and finally the sun in the top of the room.

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-But as we look this way towards the fireplace...

-Yes.

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..we begin to recognise our own role in the firmament

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because these are the three Fates.

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You've got childhood, the prime of life and old age.

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And the three Fates are spinning the thread of life.

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And ultimately, the one on the right cuts that thread and our life ends.

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Not only did Burges fail to see his work completed,

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but sadly, the Marquess also passed away just a few years later in 1900.

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From the early 20th century, it was hardly used at all, if ever.

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And during the war, it was requisitioned,

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so the Army were living here.

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-I'm told they used to have dances in this room.

-Oh, no!

-In the war.

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And then, just after the war,

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the Marquess's son had to pay... There had to be death duties paid

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and he sold up his estates, most of his estates here in South Wales.

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Thankfully, Castell Coch is now owned by the Welsh people.

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So we can all appreciate what was once the Marquess's country retreat.

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But if you prefer a fantasy des-res in the heart of the city,

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then back in Cardiff you can visit another Bute castle,

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also given the Victorian high Gothic treatment by William Burges.

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Or, like Paul, you can just pop into the antique centre.

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Ha-ha!

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Folks. Margie after a bad auction.

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Margie trying to solve her problems.

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Margie now, after a good result.

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Well, there's something concrete for you.

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-Hello there.

-Hello, good afternoon.

-You look in charge behind there.

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-I certainly am.

-Are you Sue?

-I am Sue, yes. Hi.

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Lovely to see you, I'm Paul.

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-Nice to meet you.

-Are you all right?

-Fine, thank you.

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Welcome to the Pumping Station. Amazing, isn't it?

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A structure, astonishing!

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It looks like you've managed to fill it.

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Oh, yes, we're very full.

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Yes, this grade-II listed piece of Victorian industrial architecture

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seems really quite replete.

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Paul can afford to take his time and be choosy here.

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He's had a good morning, after all.

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God, that is cheap. I don't know if I want it, but it's cheap.

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RAF souvenir.

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Some guy serving in occupied Germany

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in 1948, with the RAF.

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How's that? 15 quid.

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It's a gift.

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But it's not for me.

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Margie's arrived and she may feel a little differently.

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She's never been a fan of the giant antique centre.

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She prefers the personal touch.

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I do hate it when the dealers aren't here.

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It's very difficult.

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And it's a bit late in the day too.

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So just getting her hands on some of the stock could be a problem.

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You always want to go places you can't go, don't you?

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Breathe, Margie. Something will turn up. Just don't worry about Paul.

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He's in here somewhere, isn't he?

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-WHIP CRACKS

-Yeah!

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Lordy! He certainly is. And he seems to be interested in something.

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We have a clock garniture here. A figural clock garniture.

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We have the clock surmounted by this figure here...

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in chains. And what's he doing?

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Surely he's trying to break his chains.

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Precisely the same figure is one of

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the flanking elements of the garniture.

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The other one, this chap here, lost his chains.

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Looks like he's launching a brick.

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Is he breaking down the walls that make him captive?

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Surely they represent liberty from slavery.

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The origin, I think, is German.

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I think it's under the influence of the Jugendstil movement,

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the "youth style" movement,

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that comes about in Austria in the very late 19th century.

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Jugendstil was the artistic equivalent of Art Nouveau

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in German-speaking and Scandinavian countries.

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It's unusual and I like unusual. It's complete and the condition is good.

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Is it treasure? No, because it's a bit black, it's a bit unsettling,

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-the whole slavery thing.

-And the clock doesn't work.

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Price?

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What do we have here? The trio, £97.

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If you want it, it's no money.

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If you want to sell it at auction, it's way too much money.

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Margie, meanwhile, is also looking into something.

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It's just an attractive gilt mirror, isn't it?

0:17:310:17:34

With that nice bit of hand-painting there.

0:17:340:17:37

Gilded gadrooning, bet it's early 20th century.

0:17:370:17:41

I think that's quite attractive.

0:17:410:17:43

-Not the price, though, is it?

-£75.

0:17:430:17:46

Right, let's put it back.

0:17:460:17:48

There's only one way to find out if it can be any cheaper, Margie.

0:17:480:17:52

I quite like that. I just thought it attracted me,

0:17:520:17:55

so maybe it would attract somebody else.

0:17:550:17:58

I will give the tenant a ring and see if I can do anything better.

0:17:580:18:02

-See how much they want.

-Normally, they do tell us 10% on it.

0:18:020:18:05

And no more.

0:18:050:18:07

I think Margie will be after

0:18:070:18:08

a slightly bigger reduction than that, Sue.

0:18:080:18:11

You've got it marked up for 75,

0:18:110:18:14

but the lady wondered whether you'd be able to move any more on it.

0:18:140:18:18

Back to Paul's clock. Adrian is trying to get him a deal on it.

0:18:180:18:23

I want to pay 40 quid for them. And I know that's brutal...

0:18:230:18:27

-55.

-Nah.

0:18:270:18:30

49 is the absolute best, is it?

0:18:300:18:34

49 is so close I can smell a deal.

0:18:340:18:37

45 and I'll buy them.

0:18:380:18:41

Say 45 and he'll buy them.

0:18:410:18:43

Yes, he'll do it.

0:18:430:18:45

-Tell him he's a good man.

-Tell him he's a good man.

0:18:450:18:48

Another deal for Paul. But no such luck with Margie's mirror.

0:18:500:18:54

The dealer's best price was £55

0:18:540:18:56

and that was still a little high for her.

0:18:560:18:59

It's very nice, but 55 is a gamble, isn't it?

0:18:590:19:02

I think I'm going to say no to that.

0:19:020:19:05

Time's up and Margie's funds remain untapped.

0:19:050:19:08

Not that she seems too bothered about that.

0:19:080:19:11

Do you like the country or the seaside?

0:19:110:19:14

Er...both, but the seaside first.

0:19:140:19:17

-Yourself?

-No, country.

-Really?

-Yes.

0:19:170:19:20

Isn't that funny?

0:19:200:19:22

Well, we never thought they were like peas in a pod, did we?

0:19:220:19:25

Sweet dreams.

0:19:250:19:27

Next day, Margie's feeling curious

0:19:280:19:30

about what her fellow tripper has been up to.

0:19:300:19:33

-How's it going for you?

-Not bad.

0:19:330:19:36

I have bought a handful of things.

0:19:360:19:38

I'm still shopping, but I don't feel under pressure. Yourself?

0:19:380:19:42

Gulp! Margie didn't get a single thing yesterday.

0:19:420:19:45

It's my nervous whistle.

0:19:450:19:47

SHE WHISTLES

0:19:470:19:49

Which means she has lots to buy and £333.78p to buy it with.

0:19:490:19:55

Whilst Paul has set off at his usual storming pace

0:19:550:19:58

with this Susie Cooper coffee set,

0:19:580:20:01

the clock garniture

0:20:010:20:02

an African stool,

0:20:020:20:04

and a piece of militaria, all snapped up.

0:20:040:20:07

I'm reeling you in.

0:20:070:20:10

These cost £115,

0:20:100:20:11

leaving him with over £336 still in his wallet.

0:20:110:20:16

No wonder he's happy to be driving Miss Margie.

0:20:160:20:19

I've got this man, I think he's Pict or a Celt or something.

0:20:200:20:24

Don't understand a word he says, but he gets from A to B.

0:20:240:20:27

Later, they'll be landing up at an auction in Llandeilo.

0:20:270:20:31

But our next stop is in Carmarthen.

0:20:310:20:33

Now, many of you will no doubt recall that this road trip started

0:20:330:20:38

in Cornwall and visited Tintagel where some say King Arthur was born.

0:20:380:20:42

Well, Carmarthen was allegedly the birthplace of Merlin -

0:20:420:20:45

in a cave, of course.

0:20:450:20:48

-There you go, Margie.

-Right, have a great day.

0:20:480:20:50

Shop till you drop, Margie.

0:20:500:20:52

One legend on record as coming from Carmarthen though,

0:20:520:20:55

is Nicky Stevens,

0:20:550:20:56

singer in Eurovision winners Brotherhood of Man.

0:20:560:20:59

So, is Margie feeling under pressure to...

0:20:590:21:03

# Buy, buy, baby, buy, buy? #

0:21:030:21:06

I'm sort of getting an old hand now at this Road Trip.

0:21:060:21:09

But if I'd been in this position on my first Road Trip,

0:21:090:21:12

I think you'd probably have had to stretcher me in.

0:21:120:21:15

Sage words, Margie.

0:21:150:21:17

And this looks just the place to break that duck.

0:21:170:21:21

-Hiya.

-Hello.

0:21:210:21:22

-Good morning.

-Hello, good morning.

-Margie.

-Viv.

-Hi, Viv.

0:21:220:21:26

-So you're going to be my helper.

-I am indeed.

0:21:260:21:28

-Right, so what goes on in here?

-We've got 40 dealers altogether.

0:21:280:21:32

40? Right.

0:21:320:21:33

-So you've got jurisdiction to maybe deal a bit?

-We have indeed, yes.

0:21:330:21:37

Everything is negotiable. OK? Everything is negotiable.

0:21:370:21:41

Just what Margie needed to hear, I'm sure.

0:21:410:21:43

Sounds like those two are already in tune.

0:21:430:21:45

A conductor's baton.

0:21:470:21:49

Ah, teeny-weeny Worcester.

0:21:490:21:51

It's got three handles, which are sometimes called a tyg, T-Y-G.

0:21:520:21:55

Then you've got a little two-handled mug.

0:21:550:21:58

Sweet, hand-painted.

0:21:580:21:59

It's like a loving couple really.

0:21:590:22:02

£48 each.

0:22:020:22:04

First chance now for a bit of that promised negotiability.

0:22:040:22:07

-How much are the pair of those?

-I can do the pair for 40 for you.

0:22:070:22:11

-As good as her word.

-The pair for 40.

-Yes.

-Delightful.

0:22:110:22:15

-They are, they're immaculate.

-I've got to say yes to those.

-OK.

0:22:150:22:18

-Thanks very much, Viv.

-That's all right.

0:22:180:22:20

Off and running, Margie. Or should that be marching?

0:22:200:22:23

Oh, look at my soldier.

0:22:230:22:24

I've been with my soldier boy all week.

0:22:240:22:27

It's Paul Laidlaw, this, isn't it?

0:22:270:22:30

I'd just love to buy it for a laugh.

0:22:320:22:34

-Or a wind-up.

-He looks a bit younger than Paul, doesn't he?

0:22:340:22:39

Keeps better time, too.

0:22:390:22:41

Trouble is it's £95. Tinplate mechanical toy by Marx.

0:22:410:22:46

Marx was a very successful American toy manufacturer.

0:22:460:22:50

Founder Louis Marx was known as the Henry Ford of toys.

0:22:500:22:54

-How much could this be?

-£70.

0:22:540:22:57

70? Ugh!

0:22:570:23:00

This time, Viv needs to call the dealer.

0:23:000:23:02

70 is too expensive.

0:23:020:23:05

It needs to be cheaper.

0:23:050:23:06

Right, I've spoken to the dealer, 65 is his best on it.

0:23:100:23:13

-He's selling on behalf of someone else.

-I really fancy him.

0:23:130:23:17

I can't see me losing on that.

0:23:170:23:19

I think he approves.

0:23:190:23:20

I just think he's OK for 65, I really do.

0:23:200:23:24

Oh, yes, I've got to have him. Go on, I'll have you.

0:23:240:23:27

-I'll have him.

-Brilliant, lovely.

0:23:270:23:29

So, with Margie busy loosening the purse strings,

0:23:290:23:32

where's our other little soldier got to?

0:23:320:23:36

Driving from Carmarthen down to Tenby, that's where.

0:23:360:23:39

The town's Welsh name translates as "little fortress of the fish"

0:23:400:23:45

and Tenby's strategic position on Britain's western coast meant

0:23:450:23:49

it was an important settlement long before it became a seaside resort.

0:23:490:23:53

But Paul's in no position to pull up a deck chair just yet.

0:23:530:23:57

Not with shopping still to do.

0:23:570:23:59

-Mr Bull, I presume.

-How you do?

0:23:590:24:02

-I'm Paul.

-Hi, Paul.

0:24:020:24:03

Johnny to his friends, Paul. Nice shop too.

0:24:030:24:06

Worth your usual close inspection.

0:24:060:24:09

I've got my eye on you, Cooper.

0:24:090:24:12

Yesterday, there was no coffee pot. What is it today, I wonder?

0:24:120:24:16

We're missing the sugar basin, aren't we?

0:24:160:24:18

Maybe not. There's sure to be something else.

0:24:180:24:22

Perhaps another clock, Paul.

0:24:220:24:23

Certainly quite a bit bigger than the last one.

0:24:230:24:26

This is rather a smart grandmother clock, we'd call it.

0:24:260:24:30

Which is a short longcase clock.

0:24:300:24:33

Brass-faced with a silver chapter.

0:24:330:24:36

It's in the style of the mid 18th century.

0:24:360:24:41

However, I think it was probably made in the 1920s.

0:24:420:24:46

And it's priced at £150.

0:24:460:24:49

Very reasonable indeed.

0:24:490:24:51

However, the movement is faulty.

0:24:510:24:54

Just like yesterday's, then.

0:24:540:24:56

What on earth am I doing thinking about spending

0:24:560:24:59

so much money on a broken clock?

0:24:590:25:02

Johnny? Step into my office.

0:25:020:25:05

You'll have seen me play with your...

0:25:060:25:08

-With the clock, yes.

-What are you like with prices?

0:25:080:25:11

Are you a man I can haggle with?

0:25:110:25:13

-Well, you can haggle with me so far and then...

-Fair enough.

0:25:130:25:17

What have I got on the ticket on the clock?

0:25:170:25:19

-One-and-a-half on that.

-125.

0:25:190:25:22

125.

0:25:220:25:23

I need to pay...

0:25:230:25:25

100 for it.

0:25:250:25:27

I'll sell you the clock for 105.

0:25:270:25:30

Gosh, that's not bad!

0:25:300:25:32

Time to take five minutes. Not that our clock will be much use for that.

0:25:320:25:36

I want the clock. But it is a gamble.

0:25:360:25:39

If I'm right, I might be able to get it sort of working.

0:25:390:25:43

If I can, then not only will I buy it, I'll be happy about buying it.

0:25:430:25:46

Now, then.

0:25:540:25:55

What do you think of that, eh?

0:25:550:25:57

We've got a working timepiece.

0:25:590:26:02

Well, we have to hand it to you, Paul.

0:26:020:26:04

Let's hope the price doesn't go up again.

0:26:040:26:06

-She's a goer.

-I'm impressed.

-You've got a deal, so thank you very much.

0:26:060:26:10

Thank you very much.

0:26:100:26:12

So, Paul is the proud owner of a working clock for £105.

0:26:120:26:15

How about Carmarthen?

0:26:170:26:19

Has Margie continued her fine start to the day?

0:26:190:26:22

I've seen something in here if it could be reasonable.

0:26:220:26:26

-Sounds promising.

-Isn't that cute?

0:26:260:26:29

Yeah. A little Art Nouveau job.

0:26:290:26:31

You've got copper and brass,

0:26:310:26:34

a lovely, typical...1900?

0:26:340:26:37

Absolutely lovely.

0:26:370:26:38

It's just got a right feel about it.

0:26:380:26:40

For use with miniature cups, perhaps?

0:26:400:26:42

We think it's a calling card tray.

0:26:420:26:44

-Your butler would come along and introduce it on that.

-You could do.

0:26:440:26:48

-What's he up to?

-It's a woman, she supposed to be milking the cow,

0:26:480:26:51

the cow isn't coming up to her and he's just sneaking up behind.

0:26:510:26:54

What are we getting into here?

0:26:540:26:56

The ticket price is £32,

0:26:560:26:58

but I'm sure Margie will be keen on a reduction.

0:26:580:27:01

That's got to be cheap and cheerful.

0:27:010:27:03

I think Viv's got the message, Margie.

0:27:030:27:05

I can do 15.

0:27:050:27:06

-I was really thinking about 10 quid.

-Go on, then.

0:27:070:27:12

I know what I bought it for. You can have it for £10.

0:27:120:27:15

Oh, Viv, you're too good to me.

0:27:150:27:16

She certainly is.

0:27:160:27:18

But having splashed out over £100 on four items,

0:27:180:27:22

Margie's still on the hunt for more.

0:27:220:27:24

I like this. I think it's a pastel.

0:27:240:27:27

I think it says here 01. Could that be 1901?

0:27:270:27:31

That is a really good sketch of a horse.

0:27:310:27:34

And he's such a toff, look.

0:27:340:27:36

That guy's just got attitude.

0:27:360:27:39

He loves himself.

0:27:390:27:41

Looks in the style of Cecil Aldin,

0:27:410:27:43

a British illustrator who often worked in pastels

0:27:430:27:46

and was very fond of rural scenes.

0:27:460:27:48

Oh, crikey! It's over 100 quid.

0:27:480:27:52

I'm not risking that.

0:27:520:27:54

This could be Viv's greatest challenge yet.

0:27:540:27:57

-Have you got a minute, Viv, darling?

-Yes.

0:27:570:28:00

I've just spotted this.

0:28:000:28:02

Yes, lovely, there's a lot of interest in that. It's just come in.

0:28:020:28:05

-It's lovely.

-Has it just come in?

-Yes, not long.

-Oh, God!

0:28:050:28:08

-There is some room in that.

-Is there?

-We can go down quite a bit.

0:28:080:28:12

What are you thinking of? Where do you need to be?

0:28:120:28:15

Please don't ask her that.

0:28:150:28:17

-I can be round about 50.

-Yeah.

0:28:170:28:19

If you shake my hand at 40, I'll have it.

0:28:190:28:22

-Yeah, go on. Go on, go on, you've done well.

-I can't look.

0:28:240:28:27

No, 40, it's yours.

0:28:270:28:29

Wow, another whopping discount!

0:28:300:28:32

All they've got to do now is get it off the wall.

0:28:320:28:35

Ah, well done!

0:28:350:28:36

-Plan B, if you hold that.

-Yes.

-It should be. Hang on.

-Ah!

0:28:360:28:42

We've just got one problem here. You want to swap? There we go.

0:28:420:28:47

That was some shop, Margie. Five buys.

0:28:470:28:50

Now, time to pay up.

0:28:500:28:52

So, how much do I owe you?

0:28:520:28:54

I don't know. I don't know, I haven't got a clue.

0:28:550:28:59

I'm not surprised after that flurry of activity.

0:28:590:29:02

It was £155, actually.

0:29:020:29:04

But will her little haul get Margie back in the game?

0:29:040:29:07

It's all down to the auction now.

0:29:070:29:09

I'm not blaming me. Blame the auction.

0:29:090:29:12

Hey, what could possibly go wrong?

0:29:120:29:14

But in Tenby, Paul has also finished shopping.

0:29:180:29:21

You could say he's clocked off, in fact.

0:29:210:29:24

So he's headed to the Norman castle

0:29:240:29:26

and Wales's oldest independent museum to find out about

0:29:260:29:29

the inventor of a little something it's hard to imagine doing without.

0:29:290:29:33

-Hello, is it Sue?

-It is.

-Lovely to see you.

-Very nice to meet you.

0:29:330:29:37

Overlooking the Victorian fort on St Catherine's Island,

0:29:370:29:41

the castle is the best place to appreciate

0:29:410:29:44

what during the late Middle Ages was the biggest port in Wales.

0:29:440:29:48

Henry Tudor sheltered here during the Wars of the Roses,

0:29:480:29:51

but Tenby's cleverest offspring

0:29:510:29:53

was undoubtedly the mathematician Robert Recorde.

0:29:530:29:57

He was born in Tenby around 1510, 1512,

0:29:570:30:00

we can't be absolutely certain of the date. His father

0:30:000:30:03

was the mayor of Tenby and probably a merchant, so Robert would

0:30:030:30:08

have grown up with the transactions

0:30:080:30:10

-going on between different merchants.

-I see, yes.

0:30:100:30:13

That maybe is what sparked off his interest in mathematics.

0:30:130:30:16

Young Robert left for Oxford University to study mathematics

0:30:160:30:20

and medicine aged 15, and within a few years,

0:30:200:30:24

he was both a doctor and an author.

0:30:240:30:26

And then he wrote his first book about mathematics

0:30:260:30:30

in 1543.

0:30:300:30:33

-OK.

-He was the first person to write a book about mathematics

0:30:330:30:37

-in English.

-Really?

-Yes.

0:30:370:30:40

Up until then, books for learned people, mathematical books,

0:30:400:30:45

all those sorts of things had been written in either Greek or Latin.

0:30:450:30:49

That work, Arithmetic, or The Ground Of Arts, was so successful that it

0:30:490:30:55

remained in print for over 150 years and was reprinted about 45 times.

0:30:550:30:59

In this book, he explains in very simple terms

0:30:590:31:04

mathematics to a complete amateur.

0:31:040:31:08

Recorde had cleverly answered a great need,

0:31:080:31:11

because in the 16th century, whilst British trade was booming,

0:31:110:31:14

maths was known only to a fortunate few.

0:31:140:31:18

Presumably, the businessman buying this book and studying it

0:31:180:31:22

and learning it had an advantage over his competitors?

0:31:220:31:27

Absolutely right. And when you think that

0:31:270:31:29

different commodities had different measurements...

0:31:290:31:33

So beer came in a firkin,

0:31:330:31:35

a kilderk or a "barrell"

0:31:350:31:37

and it contains 9, 18 or 36 gallons.

0:31:370:31:41

Herrings... A butte, a barrell, a bar, a firkin, and so on and so on.

0:31:410:31:45

You had to be pretty good at maths to be able to deal with all of this

0:31:450:31:49

when you're trading, so this was a really important step forward.

0:31:490:31:54

But Recorde, who was to become controller of the Royal Mint,

0:31:540:31:58

didn't stop there,

0:31:580:31:59

introducing algebra into British mathematics and devising new ways

0:31:590:32:04

of using the square root, and in The Whetstone Of Wit, he made perhaps

0:32:040:32:09

his most lasting contribution - the equals sign.

0:32:090:32:12

Howbeit for easy alteration of equations

0:32:120:32:16

and to avoid the tedious repetition of these words, "is equal to".

0:32:160:32:22

You can tell how fed up he was!

0:32:220:32:25

"I will use a pair of parallels, thus: =

0:32:250:32:28

"Because no two things can be more equal.

0:32:280:32:32

"And now mark these numbers."

0:32:320:32:33

And that's the very first use of the equals sign.

0:32:330:32:36

-There you have it, longer than we use today...

-Yes, very long.

0:32:360:32:41

It wasn't universally adopted immediately, because other people

0:32:410:32:45

were writing, don't forget, and using other different symbols.

0:32:450:32:48

-Yeah.

-But it's such an easy thing and such a natural thing that it

0:32:480:32:52

became the universal symbol for equality.

0:32:520:32:55

Unfortunately, Tenby's brilliant mind didn't live to an old age,

0:32:550:33:00

because after being sued for defamation by a political enemy,

0:33:000:33:03

Robert Recorde died at a debtors' prison in 1558.

0:33:030:33:08

I did more than my fair share of maths at university.

0:33:080:33:11

But I had no idea that this Welshman,

0:33:110:33:14

this man of Tenby came up with the equals sign.

0:33:140:33:18

I'll tell you what, next time I'm doing some homework with the bairns,

0:33:180:33:22

I'll do my bit and spread his name.

0:33:220:33:25

Now, without too much complicated arithmetic,

0:33:250:33:27

let's see the sum of what our two have bought.

0:33:270:33:31

Paul has acquired an African stool,

0:33:310:33:34

a grandMOTHER clock,

0:33:340:33:36

some militaria, a coffee set

0:33:360:33:40

and a clock garniture for £220.

0:33:400:33:42

While Margie has a clockwork toy,

0:33:440:33:46

some miniature mugs,

0:33:460:33:48

a little tray

0:33:480:33:51

and a picture for £155.

0:33:510:33:54

Margie is looking good again, looking strong.

0:33:540:33:56

Two Worcester hand-enamelled miniatures.

0:33:560:34:00

Yesterday's news! Dull, but profitable.

0:34:000:34:03

He's bought a grandmother clock

0:34:030:34:05

and he's managed to get it working! That could be a bit of a worry.

0:34:050:34:10

The tray - nasty.

0:34:100:34:12

£10 paid, but if there's any justice in the world, that's a struggle.

0:34:120:34:16

He's £100 ahead, which is not that much, really.

0:34:160:34:20

But I think I'd put money on Paul Laidlaw!

0:34:200:34:23

Oh, Margie!

0:34:230:34:25

After starting out

0:34:250:34:27

in South Glamorgan at Penarth,

0:34:270:34:29

this leg of the road trip concludes at an auction

0:34:290:34:31

in Carmarthenshire, in Llandeilo.

0:34:310:34:34

-Can you hear that noise? Can you hear that?

-What?

0:34:340:34:38

Sounds like a clock ticking!

0:34:380:34:40

On the western edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Llandeilo

0:34:400:34:45

is named after St Teilo, who was a contemporary of St David.

0:34:450:34:51

For almost 800 years, they hosted an annual fair in the churchyard here.

0:34:510:34:55

-Another auction house.

-They say there's an amazing clock in the sale!

0:34:560:35:00

Hang on, your clock doesn't seem to have got the good people

0:35:020:35:05

at Jones and Llewelyn into too much of a lather just yet,

0:35:050:35:08

and the auction's not online, either!

0:35:080:35:11

Listen carefully to what auctioneer Michael Jones makes of it all.

0:35:110:35:15

I think the clock is a bit messy, it's been worked on.

0:35:150:35:18

It's in bits, actually!

0:35:180:35:20

-IN STRONG WELSH ACCENT

-Lovely cups I'd use myself.

0:35:200:35:23

Might get £20 for it if you're lucky. I wouldn't want in the room.

0:35:230:35:27

If they think they're going to make a profit, they'll be lucky.

0:35:270:35:29

Crikey(!)

0:35:290:35:31

What's more, they seem to be having a bit of difficulty with his accent.

0:35:310:35:34

When he's talking to the people who are bidding, he talks in Welsh.

0:35:340:35:37

-Have you sussed that?

-I thought it was all Welsh!

0:35:370:35:40

There's English in there as well?

0:35:400:35:43

Of course there is, Paul(!)

0:35:430:35:44

You just have to pay attention.

0:35:440:35:46

-What's up first?

-Drummer boy.

-Duh-duh-duuuh!

0:35:460:35:49

Margie's little soldier leads the charge.

0:35:520:35:55

I go straight in, a bid of £20, I've got, 20, I've got. £20, I've got.

0:35:550:35:58

Any advance on £20? 22, 24 now on my left.

0:35:580:36:01

24, 26 back here. 28.

0:36:010:36:03

-28 I've got. 30.

-I'm having a job to understand.

0:36:030:36:06

-Don't worry, Margie, it's all bad.

-Any advance on £30? 32.

0:36:060:36:11

Back in at the last second. 34 back here. Selling at £34, then.

0:36:110:36:16

A shocking start, but our two don't seem to have quite got it yet.

0:36:160:36:20

What did it make? Excuse me...

0:36:200:36:23

-Yes?

-What did Lot 170 make?

0:36:230:36:27

I bought it.

0:36:280:36:30

-YOU bought it? He BOUGHT it!

-For how much?

-34 quid!

0:36:300:36:34

Hopefully, they'll be a bit more on the ball from now on.

0:36:340:36:38

My tray is next.

0:36:380:36:40

Paul hates it, but that's no reason for it not to make a fine profit.

0:36:400:36:45

-£10 bid I've got.

-It's got a tenner straightaway.

-12 now, 14 is there.

0:36:450:36:50

14 you've got, 16, 18. Selling at £18, all done?

0:36:500:36:54

Cheap enough, selling at £18, all done. Sold.

0:36:540:36:58

-18 it is.

-You've got to be happy with that, holy Moses!

0:36:580:37:01

Goodness gracious, I'm sure she is!

0:37:010:37:04

Just wait till your lots come up!

0:37:040:37:06

I'm worried now. I'm the guy that went in heavy.

0:37:060:37:10

Paul's coffee set without the pot, there.

0:37:100:37:13

I've got a few bids here, 15, £20 I've got. 22 now, any advance on 22?

0:37:130:37:18

-No!

-All done?

-Too cheap.

-22 it is, then, selling at £22, 24.

0:37:180:37:24

26 back there. 26, I've got. Go for it, don't be daft!

0:37:240:37:28

Go for it, don't be daft!

0:37:280:37:29

28 it is.

0:37:290:37:30

Selling at £28, then.

0:37:300:37:32

Close, but no cigar!

0:37:320:37:35

No, a bigger loss after auction costs, though.

0:37:350:37:38

The lucky winner just needs a pot, now.

0:37:380:37:41

Time for Paul's bit of Jugendstil.

0:37:420:37:44

-Lovely man.

-It's standout.

0:37:440:37:46

Very handsome man.

0:37:460:37:47

I've got 35, 40, 45, I've got. 45 I'm bid.

0:37:470:37:51

Cheap enough.

0:37:510:37:53

Don't know about cheap enough. Too cheap.

0:37:530:37:55

55, here, that gentleman there. Any advance on 55?

0:37:550:37:59

It's cheap. Selling at £55, then - all done?

0:37:590:38:02

It's a profit, love. Chuck!

0:38:020:38:05

Barely, Margie.

0:38:050:38:07

Now, if you don't exactly fancy a full cup of tea,

0:38:080:38:11

Margie's Worcester tyg will do the trick.

0:38:110:38:13

You're going to make money on these, aren't you?

0:38:130:38:15

Did I say that with sufficient menace?

0:38:170:38:20

-£10 on it.

-Oh, God.

0:38:200:38:22

12 here, 14, 16 here. 18 I've got. 20?

0:38:220:38:26

Book is at £20.

0:38:260:38:28

22, 24, 26, I'm out. 26 I've got.

0:38:280:38:31

Any advance on £26? Selling at £26.

0:38:310:38:33

Another little disappointment.

0:38:360:38:38

-Can her loving cup do any better, though?

-I've got 10, £15 I've got.

0:38:380:38:43

15, 17, 19, 20. 22. 24 is there.

0:38:430:38:47

26. 26 is out. Any more?

0:38:470:38:50

Both gone for 26 quid!

0:38:500:38:53

-£26 then, 126.

-Oh, well.

0:38:530:38:56

Hey-ho!

0:38:560:38:57

So, neither of Margie's cups runneth over.

0:38:570:39:00

Just be grateful you didn't spend £105 on something!

0:39:000:39:05

Oh, dear.

0:39:050:39:07

If we were in Cornwall, or at least online,

0:39:070:39:09

I'd have high hopes for Paul's militaria.

0:39:090:39:12

-This is the best thing in the saleroom.

-Don't be cocky!

0:39:120:39:16

I'm desperate!

0:39:160:39:18

Nice little thing there.

0:39:180:39:20

£10 start it? Anyone £10.

0:39:200:39:23

What is happening?

0:39:230:39:26

12 here. 14 behind you. Nice one.

0:39:260:39:31

-You're loving it!

-I'm not! Honest!

0:39:310:39:34

All done, selling at £14? £16.

0:39:340:39:37

This is insane.

0:39:370:39:40

16 it is.

0:39:400:39:42

That's ridiculous.

0:39:420:39:45

A rare reverse for Paul's stock in trade.

0:39:450:39:48

But a bargain for someone!

0:39:480:39:51

We're taking a bit of a hammering here, aren't we?

0:39:510:39:54

That's preposterous.

0:39:540:39:55

Margie's picture.

0:39:550:39:58

Paul was a bit worried about this.

0:39:580:40:00

Straight in, I've got a bid of £40.

0:40:000:40:02

-Straight in.

-40, 45.

0:40:020:40:05

I've got 50 back here. 55, 60 here. 65, I'm out.

0:40:050:40:09

65 I've got. Any advance on 65?

0:40:090:40:11

-Go on!

-All done?

0:40:110:40:14

-That's pretty healthy.

-20 quid?

0:40:150:40:18

Don't knock it, Margie - it could be the profit of the day.

0:40:180:40:21

Margie, the leg's gone. It's off.

0:40:210:40:26

I'm not surprised, Paul.

0:40:260:40:27

Your clock suddenly looks like an even bigger gamble.

0:40:270:40:30

Where are we starting?

0:40:300:40:33

100 quid? 50, then? No. £20?

0:40:330:40:36

-Where do you want to start? £20, I've got.

-He's got 20 quid.

0:40:360:40:40

He's got 20 quid.

0:40:400:40:43

-Any advance on £20? No? £20 it is.

-No!

0:40:430:40:46

£20. 25. 30 now.

0:40:460:40:50

You're kidding me. It's the price of a mantel clock!

0:40:500:40:54

It's the price of a mantel clock!

0:40:540:40:57

£30, 35. 35 now.

0:40:570:41:00

40 now. £40 I've got.

0:41:000:41:03

You're getting there, you're getting there.

0:41:030:41:06

All done? £40. 45. 45 there.

0:41:060:41:08

Bid! Bid! Bid, people!

0:41:080:41:11

-What?

-I think you lost money there!

0:41:110:41:15

Calm down, Paul.

0:41:150:41:17

-You'll snap a mainspring.

-Aww, there's no justice there.

-Margie!

0:41:170:41:22

-Margie!

-You've gone a bit pink!

0:41:220:41:24

But that gigantic loss means Margie is firmly in the lead.

0:41:240:41:28

Margie, Margie, Margie, I'm losing it! I'm losing it!

0:41:280:41:33

Maybe your African stool might pull you out!

0:41:350:41:39

Yes, that can't fail, surely?

0:41:390:41:42

I've got five, £10 on that.

0:41:420:41:44

£10 bid I've got, 15 now. Selling at £15? All done. 20.

0:41:440:41:48

20 now. 25. 25 I've got.

0:41:480:41:52

Still cheap, but I'll take it.

0:41:520:41:54

Selling at £25 then, all done. Selling at 25, last chance. 27.

0:41:540:41:58

Just! 27, 29.

0:41:580:42:02

31. 33.

0:42:020:42:05

-Give it another hour, he could make 50 quid!

-£33 and all done.

0:42:050:42:09

Not exactly a big finish, but at least it's a profit for Paul.

0:42:090:42:12

-Not enough to beat Margie, who will be the winner today.

-Margie!

0:42:120:42:16

What?!

0:42:160:42:18

Paul began with £451.64

0:42:180:42:22

and after paying auction costs,

0:42:220:42:24

he made a loss of £74.86,

0:42:240:42:26

leaving him with £376.78 to spend next time.

0:42:260:42:31

Whilst Margie, who started out with £333.78,

0:42:340:42:39

made, after paying auction costs, a loss of £16.42.

0:42:390:42:43

She now has £317.36

0:42:430:42:46

and is less than £60 behind.

0:42:460:42:49

Congratulations are in order. Hang on, I'm going to put these on,

0:42:500:42:54

because I don't want others to see that I've been crying!

0:42:540:42:57

Have I won an auction? Have I?

0:42:570:43:00

Will you stop going on about winning this auction?!

0:43:000:43:02

I'm going through hell in here!

0:43:020:43:07

Next on the Antiques Road Trip...

0:43:070:43:08

how to make toast.

0:43:080:43:10

Look at this! I could do this all day, I'm in my element.

0:43:100:43:13

-Pun intended!

-And how not to make a bean.

0:43:130:43:17

-Crumbs!

-I've dropped it.

0:43:170:43:20

After a very successful auction, antiques experts Paul Laidlaw and Margie Cooper kick-off leg four of their road trip in south Wales, and make their way across the country for a penultimate auction showdown in Llandeilo.