Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a fortune. Gloria Hunniford meets Sue Mcloughlin, who wants to raise cash to buy trampolines for her daughters' families.
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Welcome to Cash in the Attic, searching out your treasures and collectables
and selling them for you at auction.
Today we're in Kingston on Thames, an ancient market town
that's full of history, having once been occupied by the Romans.
And over 500 years later Saxon kings were crowned right here, outside the Guild Hall.
Kingston even appeared in the Domesday Book back in 1086,
valued at just £30.
Well, that certainly was a bargain
but let's hope that we can find some antiques and collectables today
at the other end of the price scale when we take them to auction.
Coming up in Cash in the Attic, one woman's trash is John's treasure.
I think that's a wonderful find and I'm glad you all hate it.
And he just gets more and more enthusiastic.
I used to love frogs, toads and lizards when I was a small boy.
Mum's certainly bowled over.
Wow! Fantastic! That's amazing!
'But will the bidders be as keen?' Disappointed with that?
Yes, because it was a big chunk of the total actually.
Find out when the final hammer falls.
Today we have come to Surbiton,
right in the heart of the Royal Borough of Kingston
and have come to meet a very special lady who is hoping that
Cash in the Attic can take her grandchildren to new heights.
This attractive semi-detached house
is home to busy grandmother Sue McLaughlin.
Her daughter Colette is the second-eldest of four girls who were raised there,
three of whom have now gone on to have children of their own.
Always active, Sue has had to slow down a little,
having been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
She's decided she would like to lighten her load around the house
and buy something really special for her grandchildren.
-John, good morning.
-Good morning, Gloria.
Look at you - very dapper in blue.
Thank you very much. What have you got in store?
It's a really interesting family, big family.
And I understand a lot of inherited items
that are really good so you are going to have a field day.
But I suppose you might think of it as this lady loving young children
and very old antiques, I don't know how you think of that mix.
The two don't usually go together in my experience.
You're going to have a lovely time rummaging,
-so shall we go and meet the family?
-Let's not waste any more time.
Well, what a scene of domestic bliss.
-Sue, how are you?
-I take it this is one of your gorgeous daughters, Colette?
-This is a lovely opportunity to have a look at all your grandchildren.
-How many grandchildren overall?
-I've got five grandchildren.
I've got four daughters, they've produced two, two and one.
-That keeps you busy, doesn't it?
-Now, which one of you called in Cash in the Attic?
-I did, actually.
Mum's inherited quite a lot of stuff over the years from various relatives.
And what are we raising the money for?
We are hoping to buy some garden toys for the children,
the grandchildren, because they are always jumping on all the furniture
at home and I'd love to buy them some really nice big trampolines.
That's three families to provide a trampoline for.
-How much money do you think we will need?
-I think, £800, I'm afraid, they're very expensive.
Well, John of course is already rummaging around your house,
so shall we go and find him?
So, with £800 to raise, we really need to get down to business.
It is a large house and that means
there are a lot of corners for antiques to just hide away.
But never fear - with years of experience, John Cameron
is an old hand at driving collectables out into the open.
Ah, John, in your element - boys and his toys.
You've caught me again, Gloria, playing around with toys.
Gosh, where did these come from?
They were discovered in the loft of my Aunt Doris and I kept them
and never did anything with them, I'm afraid, after my husband died.
These are very much in demand, aren't they?
-Yes, and they look like they've hardly ever been played with.
-I don't think they have.
Not to mention that you've got the boxes,
which we always go on about, retaining the original packaging.
There are no paint chips on them and these are the little things
that collectors really get fussy about.
An interesting story about Dinky because they first started
as additional toys to Frank Hornby's O gauge railway system
before hitting on the name in the 1930s of Dinky.
They proved an instant success. Well, they are a nice little set there.
If we had to put a value on them,
I'd say collectively we're looking at about £300, maybe £400 for these.
Now one more thing - I have to make sure that all the accessories are working properly,
so I want you to leave me for about half an hour so I can make sure everything's running smoothly.
I think we've got the picture.
£300 is a fantastic first haul towards our £800 target for the trampoline fund.
But Dinky toys aren't the only mid 20th century items under wraps in this house.
Colette has found a cache of vintage silk scarves.
They could sashay their way towards £20 to £30.
And in the hallway I think I've found something with potential.
This Victorian velvet-covered armchair may need a little TLC
but John thinks it could achieve
£40 to £60 in the sale.
And the finds just keep popping up.
John. could you have a look at this?
-That looks interesting.
-I think it's a little cigarette case.
-Well, small cigarettes - it's quite a nice thing.
-Matches your tie.
Thank you very much. It does indeed.
So, where did it come from, Sue?
It was given to me by a great-aunt who was a nurse I think during the Second World War.
And they've inscribed it beautifully inside from... Is that AAJ?
-Yes, I don't know who they were, I think he was a colonel.
Well, we can tell date-wise of this by one or two reasons.
We have a look at the decoration and we can see this engine turning here on the back
which is applied by milling the silver through a machine,
and then on the top here we've got this guilloche enamel which was made popular by Carl Faberge,
the jeweller to the Romanov dynasty, the Russian Royal family.
If you have a look along the top edge, there's a hallmark there.
It's not an English hallmark, it says 925 and there's a date letter there,
but there's an import mark which tells us it was imported into this country,
and the date letter which tells us it is 1929.
-I would put a sensible estimate on this of about £80 to £120.
-If we have two bidders it could exceed that figure.
-Let's hope we do.
Well, that's an excellent find, it's a super little piece.
It's not quite there to reach the dizzy heights of our trampoline target,
-so I think we'd better keep rummaging.
Come on then, see what else we can find.
Well, that's raised our game and while we've been busy
so has Colette - she's found this charming gold bracelet.
John thinks £30 to £50 would be a fair price for it.
While John keeps up the search I take a moment outside with Sue and Colette.
Sue, you have so many gorgeous things around your house -
when did this interest in antiques start for you?
I think I've always been interested in old things because my family kept things a lot.
I've got lots of family history documents.
I've got the indentures to some great-great-grandfather from 17 something or other.
So, you know, I've always had old things around me I suppose.
Do you find that you've changed your attitude to a lot of things since you've developed Parkinson's?
I haven't changed the way I spend my time, it just takes me a lot longer to do anything.
You seem to have lived all over the place, so where did you start off?
I was born in Maidstone in Kent. I grew up in Maidstone, then I moved to London.
And then I met a Scottish guy and moved to Glasgow just as we got married.
In fact we came back from honeymoon in Japan and went straight up to Glasgow.
So, just before we start rummaging again remind me how important it is to raise the money.
It's important for me to see them enjoying themselves and having fun.
Maybe they'll think about Grandma and say "That was good that you bought this for us"
and the sort of line goes on, it's been worthwhile.
Well, that's a good reason to go in and start hunting. Are you ready to go?
-Let's find as much as we can. I'll carry your cup.
And while we've been outside John has been putting his time to very good use.
He's found this Georgian curiosity, a miniature of a young lady and a necklace with a Roman coin.
This golden find could bring in between £80 and £150 at auction.
And in the lounge Colette's found something that leaves her cold.
John, can you have a look at this for me, please?
Oh, wow! Well done, Colette.
-Ugly, I think is the word you're looking for!
-Don't you like this?
No, I have to confess it's not my favourite item in the house.
It's a type of pottery known as majolica, which was very popular
in the 19th century, from around the 1850s onwards.
But this is quite a distinctive branch of majolica, if you like.
It is known as Pallisy-style wares.
Now Bernard Pallisy was a French 16th-century potter
whose work is typified by this ornamental decoration
of lizards, reptiles, insects, that sort of thing.
You don't see his work at auction very often, it's usually found in museums these days.
But in the 19th century with the demand for majolica,
a potter named Jose Alves Cunha
set up a pottery in Caldas da Rainha in Portugal around about the 1860s
and started producing wares very much in Bernard Pallisy's style.
And again the Victorians, unlike us, were very fascinated with the natural world.
A lot of them had microscopes and went off to the countryside collecting specimens
so this would really, really have appealed to Victorian people.
This is definitely something we can take to auction.
-The price for this sort of thing has come down a lot in recent years but it's still saleable.
There was a huge demand for it in the '80s and '90s
but even today with that considered
I'd still be surprised if that made less than £60 or £80.
-Does that surprise you?
Again, that would be my £20 bet on that one,
-or we'd have to give it away, I thought.
I think that's a wonderful find and I'm glad you all hate it.
Well, the finds are mounting up towards our £800 target.
And Sue's found another collection that could just slot into place - this set of postcards.
It's a fascinating mix of the unusual and commemorative.
Lots like this can be unpredictable but if the right collectors
are in the room they could fetch as much as
£150 to £200. And in the study,
John's found some hidden potential.
What have you discovered here John, knowing your interest in furniture?
Well, I've found a rather handsome piece of Georgian library furniture.
A very nice thing indeed but at the moment it's in rather sorry condition, Sue.
-Yes, very distressed.
-What's the story behind it?
Well, it came from my uncle George who had a flat in Chelsea and he left it to me when he died.
He left me the furniture and there was this and some other stuff which I got rid of at the time.
-How long have you had it?
-10 or 11 years.
There's a good line of dust going on so I take it you don't use it very often.
I don't, I don't use it hardly at all, I'm frightened I will break this glass which is quite delicate.
It's the original 18th-century or early 19th-century glass.
-Were you afraid to use it, is that how it is?
Well, overall it's in pretty tired condition.
The main elements are there, the super structure is there
but we've got lots of little bits of veneer, glazing bar,
things like that missing, drawer handles and some of the bottoms of the drawers.
It is restorable but whoever buys it is going to have to consider,
as well as buying it and the auction premium on top,
they've then got to invest further to bring it back to its former glory.
So, I need to take that into consideration when putting a value on it.
I think currently, as it stands, we should be looking at between £500 and £700.
-Oh, my goodness.
-Does that surprise you?
You see, in tip-top condition someone would be willing to pay
at least at auction, between £1,000 and £1,500
-but I think we've got to account for about four to five hundred pounds worth of work.
-Isn't that amazing?!
All right Sue, let's have a look in another room. See you later, John.
Wow, that's a fabulous addition to our total.
We've been reaching some dizzying heights today and in the kitchen
John's found something that is very much in order.
-Colette, can I ask you about this little cabinet?
-What do you know about it?
-Not a great deal. I think it was built by my great-grandfather.
So, it's obviously quite a few years old.
But he built it himself and then Mum and her father collected the shells for it.
I know Mum used to play with the shells quite a lot and we as kids.
Well, he was obviously a very skilled man
because as a joiner myself by former profession
I've had a good look at this, and it's very well made.
Tight joints, it's a good piece. I don't think I could make something that good.
Well, it dates to about the turn of the last century, round about 1900,
and it's been modelled on a chest of drawers of that period.
It's made of oak, has all the standard Edwardian features in it.
But it really is a collector's cabinet.
Now, in the 19th century, with publications by Charles Darwin,
there was huge interest in the natural world
and many people started their own collections and bought microscopes,
and this is what they'd have stored their curios in.
I think with the collection of shells as well in there
I wouldn't be surprised if this made about £60 to £80.
Oh, fantastic. Wow.
I never thought it would get that much - £20 mark, I might have said.
-Well, I hope you're wrong and I'm right, anyway.
-So do I.
What's this flurry of excitement I hear?
We've got a collector's cabinet here, with a collection of shells, that comes from Sue's family.
And I've put an estimate of £60 to £80 on it.
So, we come to the grand total.
Now we know that you wanted to raised £800 to get the trampolines
and I'm pleased to tell you, taking the lower estimates that John has put on all your items,
you should have the grand total...
Wow! Fantastic! That's amazing!
Are you pleased?
-Yes, well done, Colette.
I don't know about you but I'm still hyperventilating after that total.
It's a fantastic sum towards the trampoline fund.
And some of the things we are taking to auction include...
The pristine flotilla of Dinky toys,
virtually untouched with their smart yellow paintwork.
They should really shine at the auction at around £300 to £400.
And this Georgian cabinet, despite being well-loved
and slightly tatty round the edges,
is undoubtedly a fine piece with its original glass.
It could fetch £500 in the auction.
Still to come on Cash in the Attic.
Forget the trampoline - I'm already jumping!
But will we remain buoyant for long?
Less than what I hoped it would make.
Will we make our total?
We'll only find out when the final hammer falls.
We had a wonderful day out with Sue and her family
and Sue's house was hiding some fabulous antiques and collectables,
and we've brought them all here to Shouler and Son in Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire.
I know Sue wants to raise £800 for trampolines, in plural, for her grandchildren.
So, let's hope the prices reach dizzying heights when they all go under the hammer.
'This saleroom has been in action for well over 100 years
'and they've seen all sorts of antiques and collectables pass through their doors.
'But it doesn't matter how much time passes, some things will always remain a constant.'
John I'm nearly afraid to disturb you. Do you love these?
I do. I had a great collection of cars when I was a little boy.
Nothing quite as early or quite nice like these, but I loved my toy cars.
So, you're expecting them to do rather well.
Well, we valued them at £300 to £400. They're split into three lots,
£100 to £150 each, but I'm confident they should make their money.
What else are you excited about?
That nice Georgian cabinet - it does require some restoration but we priced it accordingly.
And also they had that grotesque-style Pallisy ware plate
which I think they all hated.
I think the girls are anxious about how it's all going to go today,
so shall we go and say hello?
'Sue and Colette had duly arrived and found a quiet spot
'to contemplate what they're about to give up.'
Good morning, girls. How are you?
Colette, you are going to just hate seeing that go in the auction, aren't you?
Well, I'm not sure I'd say that.
I think it might be a good day when that goes.
-Any pangs from your point of view, Sue, about it going?
-No. I'm pleased to see that going.
-What are you excited about today, John?
-I'm excited about the plate and your Dinky cars
but have you put a little reserve on them?
That's right. We've divided them into three lots and put a reserve of £100 on each of them,
so hopefully we'll get our £300 minimum estimate that we hoped for.
You've had a bit of a disaster with the gold coin and chain.
Yes, I feel a bit stupid - I lost it!
I took them in to work and put it in my pocket
and I think it's gone down the back of the seat of the car.
So, we are about £100 down to start with.
-It's going to be one of those days.
-Just what you wanted to hear.
-I feel stupid about it.
-I think the auctioneer is just about in place, so we better be on time - shall we go and find him?
'Now, if you're thinking of buying or selling at auction
'then remember that VAT and charges will apply.
'But at this stage the room is steadily filling up
'and we find a lovely sunny spot at the back of the room.
'Looking forward to our first lot - the pill box,
'with an estimate of £80 to £120.'
It's a very posh pillbox.
It's silver gilt and enamel and we want £80 at least for it.
We start at £32. 32, 5, 8,
40, 2, 5, 8, 50.
55... 55... 55...
£55. At £55, bid again if you want it.
Otherwise I'm done at £55.
Less than what I hoped it would make.
So, not quite the start we were hoping for
but the trampoline fund is off the ground.
We are looking for £30 to £50 for the next lot.
Lot 133 now.
It's the 9 carat rose gold bracelet.
£50. 50 bid, got a 50 bid,
50. Got a 50 bid. 50 bid only, 50 bid only. 55.
Commissions are out, £55 on my left.
At £55 with a £55 with a £55...
At £55, done then for £55.
-You want to clap, don't you?
You can clap if you want!
-Somebody's happy they've got it for £55, and we're happy.
Well, I think we recouped some of our money there.
Our next item could deliver some unexpected pleasures.
There were some nice early views and a couple of railway postcards.
I think the collectors have had a good look through them
and you'll have to take the rough with the smooth.
A low start, I'll start at £50.
At £50, 55, 60,
5, 70, 5, 80,
5, 90, 5, 100 here. 110...
Commission out, 110 at the back.
At £110, anybody else want to come for a bid?
It's at the back and I'm done at £110. 104, thank you very much.
-Sue's thinking "£110 for something that's been stuffed away in a cupboard!"
You can't go far wrong with that, can you?
Well, that wasn't quite the surprise we were looking for
but it is early days in our auction
and when the next lot, the silk scarves wrap up...
That is number four.
£20, that's bang on target.
After just four sales we've made £240
towards our £800 target for trampoline fund.
We need our next item to spring into action.
John, this is the moment.
You love this plate, everybody else thinks it's hideous. Why do you like it so much?
Well, I'm a big fan of pottery in general
and I used to love frogs, toads and lizards when I was a small boy, like most small boys.
-So it really does appeal to me, I do like it.
-It is the true boy in him.
But I don't think I'd be allowed to give it house room.
£30, we'll take that, 30, 32,
35, 38, 40, 42.
£42 at the back.
45, 48, 50, 5,
60, 5, 70, 5,
80, 5, 90,
£90 on my left, at £90, £90, £90, £90, £90, £90, £90 I have.
£90 I've got, it's on my left. 95... He's gone again.
At 95, 95, 95. 100, sir? £100.
He's shaking again - this time I will down it at £100.
Thank you sir, number 170.
For that hideous plate!
And you were saying, Sue?
-How do you feel about that?
-That's good. That's brilliant.
-What do you think, Colette?
-I can't believe someone paid £100!
OK, John, you were right, but I still can't see the attraction.
However, we are giddy with delight after that sale,
so we're not too disappointed when the family-made specimen cabinet...
48, number 172.
..doesn't reach its £60 lower estimate.
At £32, I've got at £32 - thought it would make more. £32.
And then the velvet chair comes in,
just a touch under estimate at £32.
We've had a run of sales just a little short of the mark
and if we're going to reach our £800 target we need things
to escalate a bit. We are pinning a lot of hope on the next lot
but will it be up to par?
Now, Colette, you just thought that this Georgian cabinet
was too rickety, too shaky and not really worth very much,
but in fact John rather likes it.
What we are banking on is that somebody has left a bid.
I start at £260. At 260 bid.
280, 300. At £300, £300, £300.
Here at £300. At £300, bid at £300, bid at £300, bid at £300,
thought it would make a bit more.
At £300, only at £300, the commission has it at £300.
At £300, I thought it would make more,
but I down it away, £300.
It's too cheap, isn't it, really?
It does want some work but I still think it could be a nice piece.
-Disappointed with that?
-Yeah, it was a big chunk of the total.
Well, Colette seems understandably deflated, but it's not over yet -
we still have some collectables to go.
Will the Dinky toys drive home the sale we truly need?
I saw a lot of interest in these Dinky toys as I was watching people.
One man who was really scrutinising them, I said, "What do you think?"
and he said, 'They are in great condition, however one of the boxes is written on"
and another one was a bit torn or something.
So, I thought that might devalue it a bit. What do you think, John?
They can get quite finicky about these sort of things,
and seriously, I think they're in great condition.
We will have to really pay attention
because, although you put them in as one lot they divided them into three
and so they will come in quick succession.
Lot number 156 is the Dinky horsebox
and dump truck etc.
At £80, at £80, at £80, at £80, at £80.
At 85, 90, 105, 110.
115, 120, 130.
140, that's number 301.
110, 120, 130, 140. 150, I've got.
150, I'm bid at £150. On my left at £150, at £150.
Thank you, sir, that's number 170.
That's so good.
Not only so good, it was breathtaking.
£400 for the Dinky toys.
After that series of sales, we've been thrown into the stratosphere.
The question is, just how high did we go?
I always find this is the nervous or really exciting time,
but I think you're going to be excited today.
To recap, you needed £800 to buy your three daughters who have children
trampolines for their gardens.
Well, I'm terribly happy to tell you,
I couldn't be more pleased - you have £1,120.
-Isn't that good?
-I really can't believe that.
Because you were very pessimistic towards the auction, weren't you?
-It makes me quite teary, actually.
I can't believe we managed to raise that much money from Mum's old junk.
Thank you, dear.
-And you've got money left over.
-With the excess I'm going to buy something for me,
which is going to be a swing seat to sit in the garden and watch them.
There may be clouds in the sky, but that's not holding Colette's husband back
from completing the first of the three trampolines.
With the family due any moment, time is of the essence.
Oh, who's there? Who's there?!
OK, everybody, trampoline's ready!
Bottom jump. Ooh!
'What fun. Sue's a canny granny, she knows the key to a happy family.'
I think it's a fantastic idea we've had.
Buy this and buy one for everybody.
Everybody's going to get one of these and go mad in the garden
and be exhausted by the end of the day.
It's great because it means all the kids can play together.
And Mum just enjoys watching five grandchildren all similar ages.
They'll all be able to play together for years to come.
Brilliant, really good.
There you have it - a very happy result, and the best of luck
to Sue and Colette, trying to keep all those children in check.
I do know that they are going to have wonderful times on the trampolines.
If you've got something you'd like to raise money for, a special project of your own,
and you think you have some hidden valuables around your house,
it's very easy to join us here on the programme.
All you have to do is go to our web site:
I do hope we'll see you here on Cash in the Attic.
In the meantime, thanks for your company.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Gloria Hunniford and the cash team are in Surbiton at the home of Sue Mcloughlin. With four grown-up daughters and a growing brood of grandchildren, Sue has decided to put a spring in everyone's step. She has asked the team to help her sell some of the family heirlooms at auction in order to buy a trampoline for each of her daughters' families.