John Foster helps to prop up historic houses by uncovering valuable heirlooms that the families can sell. The trustees left in charge of a decaying mansion need help.
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Even in Britain's grandest houses,
belts are tightening as the deepest recession since the war bites.
Some are battling for survival as decay takes hold,
threatening their future and our very history.
Morgan inherited the estate just as the credit crunch hit.
With heritage grants scarce, they're faced with a stark choice.
Break my heart to see those go.
To preserve these precious places,
will they sell the family silver to save their stately?
I've no intention on my watch of seeing this building deteriorate.
This is John Foster.
He's had 20 years as a fine arts and antiques specialist.
At the front row, all done at 15,000. All done.
He's bringing his expertise to try to throw
these treasured properties a lifeline.
Can he help this historic Scottish house and persuade the owners
to take the difficult decisions necessary to save it?
It's a bit like a bereavement.
This house will fall down unless we make money
to make sure it's maintained.
This is The Haining,
30 miles south of Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders.
It was once the Palladian playground of a Scottish dandy,
who even kept a cage menagerie of wolves and bears
to entertain famous guests like Sir Walter Scott.
But now, it's on the Buildings at Risk Register.
The last owner, Andrew Nimmo Smith,
died three years ago without an heir.
And in a move that shocked even his relatives,
he left The Haining to the people of Selkirkshire and the wider public
to use for architectural, cultural or historical benefit.
The massive task of delivering his vision for The Haining
was left to his close friend and lawyer, Susan Edington,
who set up The Haining Trust.
It is just a constant money pit.
We have to keep it wind and weather-tight, and it eats money.
You can see the corrosion on the walls here.
We were left money with the house. Mr Nimmo Smith was well aware
that it wasn't enough for us to do what he wanted.
Susan shares this responsibility with Mr Nimmo Smith's cousin,
Miss Jean Pringle-Pattison.
We were very close. I suppose we lived a bit in the past.
Miss Pringle-Pattison has very fond memories of The Haining.
This is where you came if you wanted to see your uncles
and your cousins and all the rest of them.
This was a great kind of meeting place for everybody.
I have to make the commercial decisions that
Miss Pringle-Pattison doesn't want to make.
They've called John in to help them sell antiques to raise the cash
they need to turn this historic house into a viable business.
I'm fascinated by the story of The Haining.
And now I'm actually going to see it.
I can't wait now to get inside.
And there it is.
Straightaway, you can see it's been pretty neglected.
The architect responsible for some of Scotland's finest castles,
remodelled The Haining in 1821 as a Palladian villa.
-We spotted you coming.
-You must be Susan.
-I am, yes.
Nice to meet you. And this is Miss Pringle-Pattison.
Hello, nice to meet you. John Foster. So, you're the ladies left in charge?
Yes, we are finding it quite daunting, but quite a challenge.
And how long have you known the house?
It belonged to my grandparents.
I first came here when I was between four and five.
I mean, this is where we came every year, mostly in the summer,
-and just spent our holidays here.
-I can't wait to get started.
That's a great room, isn't it?
There's lots to look at, which is a good start. There really is.
-And who's the piano player?
-My cousin, Andrew Nimmo Smith.
He enjoyed music and he bought the piano to play,
which he did until he got wounded in the Second World War and lost
the use of his right hand - but that didn't stop him listening to music.
Obviously, musical and well read, judging by the books.
-Yes, he enjoyed his books.
-I can see quite a run of Punch, there.
And then the law books, up at the top, are his books from his office -
he as a solicitor, so they're all there.
Andrew Nimmo Smith was descended from the Pringle clan.
Respected politicians, judges and army officers,
they served their country
for centuries and have lived on the Haining estate since 1701.
I mean, it's really not the typical Scottish house I was expecting.
It's so in the Palladian style. It's so full of light,
with that ceiling light up there.
The Palladian style is really worked out on a mathematical theory
of everything being perfect and symmetrical.
And these carved reliefs up here in marble of Roman emperors is just
another detail, and such beautiful quality.
There's a real mixture here of very ordinary furniture
and actually some really quite high quality.
I mean, this bust of Napoleon is about as fine as you get.
Can't see any signature on it.
But whoever carved this really knew their stuff.
That's Charles Oppenheimer. And he's a very good artist.
Oppenheimer's work was used
in the famous See Britain By Rail poster campaign.
And Mr Nimmo Smith collected other well-known Scottish artists, too.
Tom Scott is really good news when it comes to Scottish artists,
and I think Nimmo Smith must have been quite a fan,
because there's been quite a few of them around the house.
Mr Nimmo Smith liked fine antiques,
but he also bought large job lots at auction, which soon filled the house.
This really is a mess.
The overflowing contents of The Haining were left
to Miss Pringle-Pattison and her cousin in Mr Nimmo Smith's will.
It's understood they have gifted it all to the trust.
But first, Miss Pringle-Pattison wants to make sure that they save
any really important family items.
Goodness me. I think I knew he was a hoarder, but not to this extent.
You get the odd letter - well, there's a letter.
Actually, it's a letter to me. How funny.
This is all about cats.
He was very keen on cats. Mostly rescue cats.
You always think you're going to come up with a treasure,
but so far I haven't.
But John might have found a treasure.
You've got this lovely piece of
late 18th, early 19th-century Italian marble.
What I think has happened is that in the Victorian times,
the owner of the house has gone to his local Scottish cabinet maker
and said, "I need to make this hall table or this marble slab usable,"
and they form these, which are very Victorian,
and almost quite Scottish in style.
And it actually works.
This really is a good-looking clock.
But one thing that worries me is when a clockmaker of the quality of
Samuel Collier made a clock like this,
the case would fit exactly to the movement, and this one doesn't.
Mr Nimmo Smith, like his father, was with the Royal Scots Regiment.
He landed in France on the tenth day of the D-Day Landings
in World War II.
It's actually quite sad. You really get a feel for some of these houses,
and you can almost imagine when the last time that was put on there.
-How are you doing?
-I've just found all these albums.
-Can you take all those?
This looks like 1921-1925.
-Let's have a look at those.
-They start with that one.
This one is 1921. At The Haining.
-It's amazing to see the house, isn't it?
It's great when you see these old photographs,
it makes you want to go out and see exactly where
that little boy sat there on the step.
It seems a very social house in these photographs.
We were very close. All the cousins were quite close to each other,
because the previous lot had been very close.
-That's Andrew, isn't it?
Like me, he wasn't all that keen on people, but he loved this place,
and we looked through all the photograph albums
and went through them.
Yes, I suppose we lived a bit in the past.
That must have been after the war - you can see the damage to his hand.
What happened to his hand, then?
A piece of shrapnel went straight through there,
and straight into the next man, and killed that man.
-So, in a way, he was terribly, terribly lucky.
Miss Pringle-Pattison and Andrew Nimmo Smith were close
since childhood, and his decision to leave the house
in trust to the community really upset her.
I think, actually, I cried.
Was it just the realisation that it was all over, or...?
I suppose I didn't think that it would be the same,
it would be so changed, we'd have all these people poking around
and nosing around, that kind of thing.
So you wanted it still kept private?
Yes, I still do, but it can't be.
But you've got to come to terms with this.
It's still, as for myself and my cousins,
it's my grandparents' house.
I wished he could have talked about it before.
I don't know when he got the idea.
As painful as it is for Miss Pringle-Pattison, Susan must now
make business decisions to try to protect the house for the future.
The cost of running this property is probably in the region of
about 80,000 a year.
But we've also had drainage problems.
And I found out this week it's going to be £10,000 to fix it.
And whilst we're at it, we need to bring in a water main.
What we're looking at is being totally unable
to run this house for the future.
Susan thinks she can begin to save her old friend's house
by hiring it out for events.
But that will require investment.
This is the room that we're hoping to make into the catering kitchen.
At the moment, any event we have doesn't work as far as
the finances are concerned, because we're having to hire in kitchens.
And if you're spending over £1,000 to get in the necessary equipment,
you're really having to charge over the odds.
What you're saying is you want to maximise the profits
by re-doing this room to a commercial standard?
-Have you started getting quotes and things?
Yes, we have. To get a brand-new kitchen without the ventilation -
so that's not dealing with any kind of fabric work -
is going to be in excess of £25,000.
So, fingers crossed we can raise the money somehow to do it.
Because really, if we don't,
I don't know how we're going to make this house wash its face.
The catering kitchen is just a start.
The refurbishment required to upgrade the reception spaces
to pass muster for high-end functions takes
the total funds needed to £100,000.
I think best way forward with a house as grand as this is to have
an auction where it's devoted purely to the contents of the house.
Because not only does this place have a natural beauty -
it has an incredible history, and people really want a slice of this.
So, I need to go away and find an auction house which is capable
and enthusiastic to do the job,
because at the auction, we need to maximise every penny.
John needs to get the ball rolling.
He has decided to take the Napoleon bust to London...
Oh, he's heavier than he looks.
..because he thinks he can find a private buyer for it.
Susan has more than just the house to worry about.
Mr Nimmo Smith left some money to turn
this architecturally-important stable block into studios
for local craftspeople.
Although Susan has raised extra grant funding,
the money is running out.
Until the job is finished, the scheme can't generate income.
This project should bring us in about 17,000 a year,
which will allow us to keep the house wind and weather-tight,
keep the estate running.
There's also a cottage and five flats,
two of which are holiday lets.
They could all bring in cash if they were renovated.
The roof on it has been done badly in the past,
and therefore it's going to require a lot of money spent on it.
The windows look fantastic, but nearly all of them let in rain.
So, we really have had to spend money just maintaining,
and this is constant. It's constant.
Again, not only do we have the house draining funds -
this drains funds too.
John has brought the bust to London.
But before he shows Napoleon to potential clients,
he wants to give him a bit of a facelift.
How are you doing?
It is a beauty.
-It's great, isn't it?
Wagner Sangeli and his team have carried out restoration work
for Buckingham Palace, so Napoleon should be pretty straightforward.
So, what do you want us to do?
I wanted your advice. We want to clean it,
but whether we take it full clean, or museum quality, or...
What I think, you don't want to clean too much
an item like this, because otherwise it would look new.
And one of the wonderful things about items like this is that
they show their age.
So, we'll do a gentle clean, we're going to lift the dirt
and then wax it.
-I'm so excited to see how it looks.
-Let's have a look.
What I have here is a mild soap solution.
Start always on the back, and just clean.
-As you do that, you start working.
-Wow, you can really see...
-You see the dirt popping out of it.
Yes, you can, yes, you can.
Here you can see where the craftsman has been.
You can see the chisel marks, you can see the rasp working away.
And that is a wonderful thing to see.
We're only here for a very short time,
compared to the life of an item like this.
-So really, we're only the carers.
-He really does come up, doesn't he?
-You can see, look. It's glowing.
-The difference is staggering.
John needs to find a buyer for Napoleon,
so he will leave Wagner to finish the facial.
-Very nice to meet you. Well!
Come in and see what we have.
John has arranged for Glasgow-based auction house McTear's to visit
The Haining and appraise the contents of the house for auction.
I think he's probably one of ours as well. And the bowler hat.
Oh, that's shame, I wanted to sell that!
I remember Mr Nimmo Smith wearing it, so I would quite like to keep it.
It doesn't take Brian long to appreciate just how varied
Mr Nimmo Smith's collection is.
You've got some quite obviously beautiful antique pieces in here,
you've got some fine art,
combined with 19th-century oak cupboards full of car batteries.
Mr Nimmo Smith's taste was certainly eclectic.
Then you get to the top of the stairway
and you've got a beautiful George III mahogany longcase clock.
Such a fantastic mix.
As far as auctioning them,
most of them items in here are going to sell themselves, as we say.
But before Brian sells anything, John and Susan need to hear his valuation of the contents,
and hammer out a deal on the all-important commission rate.
What do you think, sort of bottom line,
if you had to give an estimate for the contents?
Rough calculation -
and it is rough, as you'll appreciate at this moment in time -
I think we could be looking anywhere from 60 to £70,000,
to touching 90 to £100,000.
Can we not hold you to that, no?!
-Well, I would love to guarantee it, but an auction is an auction.
I valued it a bit less. And I'm generally known to be mean,
so I'm quite encouraged by the fact.
I put it somewhere 50 to £70,000 as a bottom estimate for the sale.
I like his one better!
-I do now!
-I like his one better!
Your commission rate is 15% - would you do any less
because of the total volume you've got here
and the quality of the items on that commission?
I think, given the volume of quality items and the value,
our trade rates of 10%, I think, could be on the table.
You've done very well there. I do like this chap!
And I do like the offer. That sounds a lot more reasonable, in fact.
With a deal done and an auctioneer on board, John wants Susan
and Miss Pringle-Pattison to focus on which precious family items
they can afford to keep.
They're keen to show John one item in particular.
The World War I diary of Andrew Nimmo Smith's father
and Miss Pringle-Pattison's uncle, Francis Nimmo Smith.
This is the most poignant book I think I've ever come across.
Some of it is absolutely wonderful.
"It's curious how war affects some people
"and seems to drive them out of their minds.
"I've seen it, too.
"At Ypres one day we were badly shelled. One bit of trench got it
"especially badly, several men being literally blown to pieces.
"The whole earth shakes with the explosion.
"They'd not been specially weak, but just average, hardy men.
"The explosion had torn the clothes off some of them."
It's just lovely.
With war diaries, they're not that uncommon
that people wrote down their experiences.
What is uncommon is to have them in this kind of depth.
I think because it's a kind of personal...
Whereas a lot of the diaries are just diaries.
But he brings in his own comments about it.
You would have to really wrestle me to the ground to get those to sell.
They're not having those!
We really will be in trouble if we have to do that.
No, if we had to do that, I think we would have to say
the catering kitchen has to go, because I'm not going to sell.
John thinks that Susan could make some money from the diary
without having to part with it.
But he wants to do some research before sharing his idea.
Susan urgently needs The Haining to earn its keep as a venue for events.
To showcase its potential, she has decided to risk spending £6,000
that she can ill-afford to lose on an event
to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.
So, there'd be 12 of them and they're £30 each?
I think we'll do it.
She needs to sell over 800 tickets to make a profit,
but a fairly crucial detail has been omitted.
The advert that was in one of the newspapers missed out a section
that was meant to be in it, which was quite important - it was the date.
Without their own kitchen, Susan has had to pre-order
luxury picnics from a hotel, at a cost of up to £40 per head.
People haven't ordered picnics that we had hoped would be ordered by now.
She previously staged a successful Easter event that attracted 1,000 people.
They were all given a leaflet to tell them about this event.
Susan hopes that some of them will share her passion for the 1950s.
The guys that are doing the bar are all coming dressed in 1950s,
to throw cocktail shakers about the place, et cetera.
And down at the bottom, we have another marquee,
and that is for the hair and make-up,
to make you look like Marilyn Monroe, or somebody of that nature.
Some 1950s diva.
Susan's hard work will all have been worth it
if the turnout is good tomorrow.
If it doesn't happen tomorrow, we are going to have egg on our face.
Not we - me.
The Imperial War Museum has one of the biggest collections
of wartime diaries and letters in the world.
John is meeting World War I historian Richard Van Emden
to check if the diary from The Haining has the potential
to earn them some money.
Richard, I found this diary fascinating.
I know you've read hundreds of diaries.
-Did you find them interesting?
-I really didn't know what to expect.
When I first got them, I thought they may or may not be interesting -
diaries vary very much in quality.
This is an excellent diary.
There's material in here which, to a historian like myself, is
Brilliant. What was it you liked about them?
It's the detail, you know?
He talks about incidents where other people...
For example, the explosion of the German shell,
he talks about how men were blown apart.
I knew about that, but what I didn't realise was that it was this kind of suction.
He talks about men being sucked down into the shell hole.
He talks about how others were drawn down.
"Drawn down into the holes by a sort of suction."
That's never been written about before,
and he does that time and time again.
You just see little vignettes, little details,
you think, gosh, that's really expanded my knowledge of the Great War.
Francis Nimmo Smith's diary is made up of the letters
he wrote to his fiance, Eleanor Pringle-Pattison,
who was waiting for him at The Haining.
There are parts of this which are so graphic,
it makes me wonder what was going on in his mind.
Why would they write these diaries?
Whether his relationship is such he feels he can write that,
or maybe he's become dislocated from his home life...
For example, they talk about attacking German with saws
and axes and shovels. I mean, it's horrific stuff,
and I just don't know what her reaction would have been to that.
Sharing these vivid accounts must have brought them closer,
because Francis proposed as soon as he returned from the trenches.
Clearly, you think this isn't a run-of-the-mill diary.
Where do we go from here? What would you do with it?
If I could, I'd take it home with me right now!
There is material in here
I certainly would like to use in my books,
as I know other historians would, too.
I think The Haining could publish this, I think it would sell a lot of copies.
It's just a great read.
I can't believe that something found in a drawer
a couple of months ago has turned out to be
an historically-important document
which could end up here at the Imperial War Museum.
And not only that, it could actually make money for The Haining.
All in all, such an exciting find.
The Haining is on the edge of the picturesque town of Selkirk,
home of the bannock cake and 5,500 people.
The locals are getting into the Jubilee spirit.
But will they come along to support Susan's event today at The Haining?
She hopes so.
Having invested £6,000 in it, ticket sales need to top the 800 mark.
But before the crowds arrive,
Susan takes advantage of the make-up artist she has hired.
I feel a bit like Minnie Mouse.
The cocktail bar is stocked in anticipation
of hundreds of thirsty guests.
The gates opened at 2pm to attract families and people with picnics.
It is 3:20pm. It's very slow at the moment,
but I haven't quite lost heart yet.
Tickets are available at the gate, but they haven't had many takers.
I would say 20 to 30.
So it's been fairly steady, but fairly quiet.
It's very cold here today. It's only about nine degrees.
So, people are finding it too cold to think about picnics
or outdoor marquees, et cetera.
But Susan's parents have come, with her husband, to see the event.
As the food is served,
Susan resorts to portable heaters to warm the marquee up.
The botched advertisement, the weather
and a host of competing Jubilee events have made for
a very disappointing result for Susan,
and the loss of £6,000 that she desperately needs.
I wish there were more people here. I wish it had worked.
We've done everything we think we could to have made it work,
and if people won't support something like this, we've learnt something.
SWING MUSIC PLAYS
John is back from London with news about the Napoleon bust
that should cheer Susan up.
There's a club in London which also has a branch in Paris,
and they're really interested in it.
And the figure we're looking at is 5,000.
-That would be good, wouldn't it?
And you would get more than if it went in to auction.
Would you advise that we do that, then?
It's what I would do, absolutely, otherwise I wouldn't have...
I like the idea of him going somewhere nice.
-It is nice, isn't it?
I think he'd have a jolly time there.
The good news doesn't end there.
Also, I went to the Imperial War Museum with the diaries
that you found, and they were really excited by it.
And also, a publisher,
very interested in actually publishing the book.
You know, and have a steady stream of income coming in.
-Wouldn't that be wonderful?
-That would be great. It really would.
Some much-needed money is starting to come in at last,
but Susan still has to deal with the fallout from the Jubilee event.
She sits down with the volunteers who help out at The Haining.
We really do need to discuss how we go forward from the Jubilee event,
which, as we all know, was a disaster.
The Jubilee wasn't advertised nearly in time, was it?
-It was a week to go.
-I think local publicity...
Wasn't good enough. I think that's right.
The residents of Selkirk seem to agree.
Well, I'm not sure that they've got it quite right.
It sounds like they might be rushing on without thinking it through.
The publicity, the advertising is poor, and everything seems to be done
last minute when they want to do an event, and I do believe
that as the building and grounds were effectively left to the people
of Selkirk, I'm just not sure
it's a good thing to be charging, effectively, the owners
to be entering the grounds and property.
I just find that very strange.
I think we have to take all the negatives from that weekend
and turn them into positives.
I know the house was left to Selkirkshire
and the wider public, but I feel we have to get
the people of Selkirk involved first and then spread our wings
throughout the whole of the Borders, and further afield.
I think that's what we have to start with.
In London, Johnny's hoping that his powers of persuasion will
work on the client he has lined up to see the bust, and who is bound
to be impressed by the fresh-faced Napoleon that Wagner has created.
I'm at the exclusive Eight Club in London.
This club has French connections, and I'm here to meet George,
who wants to buy the bust for one of his smart interiors.
Second-guessing what a client might be tempted by is the key to selling privately.
John is anxious, because he has spent money on the cleaning,
and really wants George to like the bust.
Come and see what you think, George. I've been dying to show it to you.
-Pretty impressive, eh?
It's really impressive, yeah.
We had it cleaned, because I know how fussy you are.
We had it cleaned to museum standard,
and it's come up way better than I thought.
You have done a fantastic job. It's really fantastic, it's really striking. I really like it.
I'm not surprised you like it, cos it's come up brilliantly.
And you think it will be here rather than the club in Paris?
I think, yes, let's go for it here. Let's leave it here in all its glory.
I'm really pleased, John. Thank you. Well done.
-Great, good stuff.
-Thanks a lot.
I'm delighted that the club has agreed to buy the bust for £5,000.
Obviously, it's minus the cleaning costs,
but this is a really good kick-start to our fund, and I know
Susan and Miss Pringle-Pattison will be really pleased.
Back at The Haining, urgent window repairs are being carried out.
Susan is still finding it hard to leave the disappointing legacy
of the Jubilee event behind.
We've had a bit of a nasty reaction
to the business of the Jubilee.
It says that The Haining House could go down the tubes.
The article says that, "Millionaire lawyer Andrew Nimmo-Smith shocked
"community leaders by bequeathing his Haining House
"in Selkirk to the people of the town following his death."
The house wasn't left to the people of Selkirk.
Much as we want the locals to be involved,
it was left to the wider public, as well as the people
of Selkirkshire, which is a large historic area
that's always referred to by lawyers,
and Mr Nimmo-Smith was a lawyer.
But we do want the people of Selkirk involved, and they have been
involved since we started, and we've had a lot of volunteers.
That's why this is... It feels like a personal attack.
Despite the lack of local support,
Susan must find a way to make the house work as a business,
and the money that an auction could raise
towards the commercial kitchen
and facelift of the interior feels more important than ever.
-Susan, good morning.
The auction house have come back to catalogue the contents of the house.
OK, guys, do you want to go and start off upstairs
and I'll catch up with you quite soon?
OK. See you there.
John is also keen to highlight items that will attract bidders.
That's quite nice. NS for Nimmo-Smith.
That's actually silver, which is good.
The way to tell is you've got the lion mark,
which you only get on silver.
The plated mark on the spoon, which looks very similar,
but there's no lion.
That's actually quite fun, that.
When you're having your Sunday roast, you would have the leg of lamb,
the bone stuck in there, and what better way could you have
for carving your piece of Sunday roast?
The problem with this table is that,
although it's a great-sized table,
one, it's too big for a lot of modern houses,
and two, there's probably seven, £800 worth of repolishing.
This is called a tantalus, and as the name suggests, it was actually made
to tantalise, because whoever had the key to this basically controlled
how much alcohol you could drink,
and once it was locked in place, that was it, no more.
The whisky will remain under lock and key until there's something to celebrate after the sale.
John has also called in pictures expert Rupert Maas
to get his opinion on the paintings.
Rupert is immediately drawn to
the slightly battered portraits in the hall.
So, that's about 1830.
They're quite good, actually, they really are.
I don't think they're of the first rank, but they're certainly
good enough to have been by a name,
and I suppose if we worked hard enough, we might find a Scot -
it must be a Scot, I suppose - what could have done 'em.
But will the other paintings that Mr Nimmo-Smith collected
float Rupert's boat?
There are nearly a dozen pictures in the house by Tom Scott.
He was a late 19th,
early 20th-century British landscape painter,
and he lived all his life in Selkirk.
His pictures are terribly pretty.
All of those, they're all of a quality,
they're going to add up to maybe as much as £10,000.
So, what on earth has happened here?
Well, this is Andrew Nimmo-Smith's grandmother,
but he wasn't that keen on his grandmother.
-I wonder why.
-She was rather a stern old lady, I'm told.
He loved his grandfather, however, so all the paintings of Grandfather
have been restored, but this one has a problem.
-Poor thing, she's being eaten alive!
-I know, poor woman!
Well, I think it's extraordinary,
but one thing I am sure of, before you call the restorers in,
I think you'd better ask Porton Down for an opinion!
Yes, I think so too, it does look a bit...!
Rupert has also spotted the painting that John singled out.
There's a picture over here which I think is really cool.
And not just because it's a snow scene. I really like this.
Yeah, I like this one.
It's by Charles Oppenheimer. He was from Kirkcudbright -
that's a place he rarely left, and he loved painting it,
especially the backs of the houses. And here we have a classic Charles Oppenheimer, therefore.
It's nicely observed, very nicely observed, and full of light, really,
for a dreich day.
I've sold one Oppenheimer which was the back of buildings before.
Is that what he did?
Yes, that's what he did, that's his shtick, if you like.
-Would that have a good value at auction?
-A cracking value, yes.
-Yes, I think so, yes.
Even if they put it in at, say, 10 to 15,000...
Gosh, as much as that? That's tremendous, that's really good news.
Even if they put it in at 10 to 15,000,
it wouldn't surprise me to see it doing better.
-That is great news.
-That's wonderful news.
The auctioneers can now start the task of packing up the fragile paintings,
which will be transported separately from the heavier items
to avoid damage.
Does it feel weird, seeing it go?
Yes, in a way, because Andrew loved that one. It's just a blank wall.
It looks very odd.
There's going to be quite a few blank walls. It's usually quite a shock.
People sometimes find it quite a shock,
and until they actually see it starting to go,
they don't realise how empty it suddenly looks.
-It's the start of the beginning of it, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
The contents of the house will now be sold
to support The Haining for the future.
I just want it to get really going.
But one painting that might not be going is the portrait in the hall.
Rupert's appraisal has made John curious about the sitter.
It's a good-looking painting, isn't it? do you know who it is?
It's one of the family,
Miss Pringle-Pattison doesn't know which one.
-If he's linked, then that's good.
-He's the Pringle.
But nothing on the front. Hopefully, there'll be something on the back,
sometimes a name. Shall we take it down?
Sometimes there'll be a name. Or even a regiment would help.
Can you tell sometimes from the regiment?
Well, I can tell that it's had a lot of damp.
Someone obviously didn't like him, cos they've stabbed him through the chest at some point.
-But, I mean, John Pringle, son of Mark Pringle, it looks like.
That doesn't mean anything to me, but maybe we could check and find out.
He might be the Pringle that built it.
If he is the Pringle that built it, that changes it completely,
-but if he's a lesser Pringle, this goes for sale!
-But really, he just needs to go to a restorer.
I think, unfortunately, the whole house needs to go to a restorer.
But, you know, he's great.
John has come to the local archive
to see if he can find out who John Pringle was.
John Pringle succeeded his father Mark as a minor in 1812.
Now, apparently, he inherited the house aged just 16,
and, as you do, he went and studied at Oxford
and then joined the military.
After a brief stint, he returned back to The Haining,
still in his early 20s, full of life,
to really stamp his mark on the house.
I've found out that John Pringle probably did build the house,
and even more interesting is that these are representations
of the house that he planned to build.
-Right, but not quite how it looks, is it?
-No, it's not.
He only ever built the middle section.
John Pringle also kept a menagerie of wild animals,
including wolves and bears.
His flamboyant dress sense and wild parties caused tongues to wag.
I understand he was talked about and written about by no less than
Sir Walter Scott, who referred to him as the disconsolate dandy.
-Wow, Walter Scott of Ivanhoe fame? That's pretty impressive.
He had his court house in Selkirk.
Sir Walter Scott is from this area, and he knew John Pringle.
It seems clear that
the portrait of John Pringle should stay at The Haining.
Susan has now decided to use his nickname in the title of
her next foray into the world of events - a pop-up restaurant.
Isn't that super!
Look at the bottles.
Disconsolate Dandy. Isn't that wonderful!
We will make Granny smile yet, I think.
Granny grimaced her way though the disastrous Jubilee event,
so there's a lot riding on
a successful outcome for Susan this time.
This is all about developing the interest in the place
and developing it as somewhere that people think,
"I need to have a conference,
"I need to have a dinner party, I need to have a wedding."
The lack of catering facilities at the house means that
Susan has had to hire in everything
for the company doing the pop-up restaurant.
And it's a very expensive thing to do,
we're speaking about five or £600 just to bring in four bits of kit,
so it will be wonderful once we've got our own kitchen here
and not having to spend that kind of money.
The event company seems sceptical that Susan can pull this off.
I think anyone who does events would understand that
taking on an event like this
in a place where there's essentially no functioning kitchen is madness.
They need a kitchen.
At the auction house,
the Haining sale catalogues are back from the printers.
1,500 will be sent out three weeks before the sale
to generate maximum interest.
The pop-up restaurant team have been battling in the kitchen.
The Disconsolate Dandy is now in pride of place in the dining room
to oversee proceedings, and the guests are due to arrive any minute.
Here we go, we have guests!
Drinks on the veranda seem to be going down well, but will
the Haining experience be worth the £86 per head that they have all paid?
-I heard the term "faded grandeur".
-It certainly applies.
-But no, a lot of character so far, definitely.
Really enjoying it.
The chefs have come up with the goods using the hired equipment.
And the guests are enjoying the menu.
But the surroundings could be better.
The house is beautiful.
It's good. It's obviously in need of some love,
so hopefully it will get that now.
But has this event raised any money for the refurbishment?
This one isn't going to make money this time.
We will make a small loss, very small loss on this one.
We're speaking about very much less than £1,000.
But we're trying all these events to see what's going to work.
Tonight's event has demonstrated The Haining's potential,
and the happy customers are driven back to Edinburgh.
John is back at The Haining to check that plans are going smoothly
for the imminent sale.
But unfortunately, Susan and Miss Pringle-Pattison have just had
some bad news that could undermine all of their plans.
The position was that the whole of the house was left to the Trust,
but the contents was not, but it was understood that
the people who'd been left it had both agreed
that it would pass to the Trust,
and that was certainly our understanding.
Well, that's what I understood.
It has come to light that, in a surprise development,
Miss Pringle-Pattison's cousin wishes to claim her share
of the value of the contents when they're sold at auction.
But you're saying there's a half share not coming?
Unfortunately... I'm saying we're only getting half the money.
-That is a major blow.
You must have been crushed when you found out.
It has been a very difficult week for the Trust.
I think we've all felt very deflated
and very upset by this at the 11th hour.
-For Miss Pringle-Pattison, it's particularly difficult.
It was an awful shock, I really am surprised about it.
I thought neither of us wanted anything and that was it,
so this is so unexpected.
I mean, this is the whole object of the exercise,
-to get the thing going.
Despite this considerable setback, Brian has come as planned
to start clearing the house in preparation for the sale in Glasgow.
The Haining is beginning its transformation, and Mr Nimmo-Smith's
prized collection of antiques is carefully packed and removed.
It really does just dawn on you that what you're doing is taking away
a past from the house.
I don't know if I'm doing the right thing -
I could be doing something that's going to completely ruin things.
I don't know. I'm doing what I think is right.
Feels a bit strange to see them going away.
We just have to hope that we get the money that we need.
It's the end of an era.
The contents of the Haining have been unpacked in Glasgow, and interest in the sale is building.
The room is now starting to get busy
with people viewing things and taking things down.
It's exactly what you want to see.
As an auctioneer, it just settles your nerves before the sale.
But it's in good order,
it hasn't been exposed to major sunlight or anything.
The auction is attracting interest from as far afield as New Zealand and Japan.
Ten, 20 years ago, you had to come to an auction to view the items.
Now, you don't have to. You can see everything online,
you can bid online, you can ring up and get a condition report,
where the auctioneer will tell you
all of the problems that the item has.
This has opened up the world, literally,
for people being able to buy, sitting in an armchair,
they can view what's on the screen,
they can bid away, and they could be in Australia.
Susan has arrived, and is anxious for a good turnout.
Are there lots of people?
Yes, lots of people, it's been busy, they're rowing it out.
The sale is about to get under way, and as John hoped,
the Haining connection has attracted crowds.
With the news of the relative's claim on half the proceeds,
John hopes that they can reach at least £50,000 to give Susan
the 25,000 she needs for the catering kitchen.
OK, a very good afternoon, ladies and gents,
and welcome to the Haining auction.
So, if you're all ready, we'll start the auction
with a collection of 11 waterline model cruise liners there.
-There's much interest in these.
-I need these to do well.
John has set the reserve low, at £50,
in the hope on attracting bidders.
£130, we'll open the bidding on the lot, there.
140 bid, then.
Any advance at 140?
-That's a good start.
190. 200. 240.
280. 300. 400.
Two people quite literally fighting it out on the phones,
and an internet bid.
-500 bid. 600. 700. 800.
-Come on, bid more.
900, if you wish. 1,000. 1,100.
1,200. Are you all finished at £1,200?
-1,200. Sold at 1,200.
-Are you pleased with that?
-Look, do you think I got my estimate wrong, 50 to 80?!
-I think so!
You can't always get it right!
I think I can safely say I got that one wrong!
Yes, you got that one a wee bit wrong!
Now we have the 19th-century
rosewood and floral marquetry table, there.
Come on, £1,000.
-That's very good.
1,100 bid. 1,200? No, you're out now.
1,100 here. Are you all done now? Last chance again. 1,100.
-That's super. Another internet.
A promising start to the sale,
but there are still over 200 lots to get through.
Miss Pringle-Paterson didn't want to attend the sale.
She has come to The Haining for the first time
since her cousin's belongings were taken away.
Gosh, it's very empty.
I don't think there are any ghosts, though.
Oh, dear, this looks very sad.
Oh, at least Grandmother's still there.
Yes, I don't like this room very much now.
But Mr Nimmo-Smith's antiques could prove to be
the salvation of the house that he loved so much.
His taste definitely seems to appeal to the bidders at the auction.
OK, the early 19th-century console table, £800.
-It's such a good slab
-1,500? 2,000? 2,200?
-Any more? £2,000 on the telephone, 2,200 online.
£2,600 in the room.
Let's keep going. 3,000.
3,800. 4,000 bid.
Now, this is it.
Nice surprise of the day!
£7,400, all finished. That's 7,400.
I must hurry you, 7,600 is bid now.
-The phone went dead!
-£7,600 is bid.
OK, £7,800 with you, then.
In the room at £7,800. All done?
-Good man! Go and shake his hand!
But will the Tom Scott pictures appeal as much to the bidders?
OK, the first of ten Tom Scotts we have today.
The Son of Selkirk, I believe he's known as.
-Phone bid straight in.
-550. 600. 750.
-Excellent, keep going.
-900, excellent, yes.
Tom Scott again. Once again at £500.
Border landscape by Tom Scott. 550? 600.
Two new bidders, three new bidders.
Are you all done at 1,300?
A total of just under £10,000 is raised from the Tom Scott pictures,
a great help towards The Haining's new life.
It's strange, really.
I'm dying to see it all cleared and painted and in use again.
Galleries, or just being used and having people around it.
Yes, it would be nice to have it occupied again.
We've had so many obstacles that now I'm all for it to go ahead.
I think that was good for me to have all that battling away with people,
because it's got to go ahead, and I'm determined it will.
So, yes, it's going to work, it will work,
and I think it will be a great place to come to.
OK, let's go out on a high.
Lot number 171 from the Haining dining room is
by Charles Oppenheimer.
John hopes that the Oppenheimer will achieve Rupert's estimate
of 10 to £15,000.
This is a painting of Oppenheimer's own garden
at 14, The High Street in Kirkcudbright.
And as Kirkcudbright seasons go,
they don't get much better than this.
-I've got a good feeling about it.
-So, come in at £10,000.
£8,000, where are you?
They're all hanging back.
It's alright, let's stay calm.
OK, we're starting at £5,000.
-5,000 is not a good start.
-Not a good start.
It's 5,500, who'll make it £6,000?
6,500. £7,000, will you?
It's all online at the moment.
-£9,000 is bid. 9,500.
-Phew, OK. We'll get the bottom estimate.
Do we see £11,000? We do.
£12,000 is bid. £13,000. 14,000, will you?
£15,000. 15,500, will you? 15,500.
I thought you had that glint in your eye!
We're looking for £16,000.
-Yes, 16,000, come on.
The glint has dulled. OK, at £16,000, are we all done?
-Sold, at £16,000.
-That's great, and Rupert was bang on.
-He was bang on.
-We certainly did well.
-That's great news.
Means we've got a bit of adding up to do.
The butterflies were there right till the very end.
But it was good that we saw such a lot go for good money.
Hmm. All in all, a good day.
Yes, absolutely. So, home for a bottle of something, I think.
I certainly think we've earned it.
-Are you not going to ask me?
-How much did we make?! I don't want to ask!
I can see it in your eyes. You're thinking...
I know, I need to know, but... Well, have you got the figure?
-Oh, well done.
It's good, isn't it? And it's credit to you, as you put in the hard work,
and Miss Primrose-Pattison, so I'm really pleased with that.
I'm so thrilled, cos it just means
our catering kitchen's all within grasp,
I can see the stainless steel now,
and I also think we can do some of the repairs.
-It's unbelievable, isn't it?
We've actually now got the funds to get started.
I'm just going back to The Haining for one last look.
Wow! It's pretty empty.
But this is the blank canvas that they need.
Susan and Miss Pringle-Pattison can now start to deliver
Mr Nimmo-Smith's vision for The Haining, by turning it
into a desirable arts events space for the public.
-Lovely to see you.
-And to see you.
-It's been a while.
And so what are your plans, what's the next step?
Well, the kitchen, and from there,
exhibitions and anyone who wants to show their arty things.
And then weddings.
We've already had some enquiries
about weddings for the summer, in fact.
It's really going to have a new lease of life.
Oh, yes, I think it could be very busy. I hope it will be very busy.
I'm sure it will be.
I hear the locals and even the press are a bit more on your side now?
Yes, we are starring on the front page of the Advertiser,
our volunteers, and Haining Open House next month,
and that will give the Suitors, as they call the Selkirk people,
the opportunity to get involved.
Well, I must say, actually, I've thoroughly enjoyed it,
-it's been a real pleasure.
-Your help has been invaluable.
And does this mean I get an invitation to your first event?
-Absolutely, and you will also be a friend of The Haining.
It's just being developed, and you will be number one.
Being given the reins of responsibility
for such a massive house has been tough for these people,
and its an inheritance I don't think they'd ever planned for.
I just hope that they can achieve Andrew Nimmo-Smith's vision
for this house, and I wish them all the luck here at The Haining.
Next week, a 700-year-old family house is in crisis.
This needs money now, not at some notional period in the future.
Will the owners part with precious heirlooms to save it?
-We've got to raise the money.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Antiques Roadshow regular John Foster helps to prop up struggling historic houses by uncovering valuable heirlooms that the families can sell. The trustees left in charge of the decaying mansion of an eccentric Scottish recluse need John's expert advice.