Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a small fortune. A piece of aviation history goes up for auction to raise money for a building in honour of its late owner.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic. This is the show that unearths all those
hidden treasures around your and then helps you sell them at auction.
Before I meet today's family in Carshalton in Surrey,
I've stopped off to take a look at the Honeywood Museum.
This 17th century building once belonged to a wealthy merchant
but is now the museum of the borough of Sutton.
The house contains numerous displays on local history
and is rich in period detail, including a billiard room with an original Edwardian table.
The museum is built on Carshalton ponds, and in the 11th-century Domesday Book,
the historic town of Carshalton was valued at just 15 pounds and ten shillings.
Not far from this historic spot is a lady who's hoping that we can help her unearth more treasures.
'Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic, I think I may have hit the jackpot.'
If these are solid silver, we've just got our target figure.
'And Paul's putting a positive spin on things at auction.'
Let's hope we're all doing the loop-the-loop on the way out.
'But will we be smiling when the final hammer falls?'
I'm on my way to meet two sisters
who've called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help them raise funds
so that they can get a bit of beach bar glamour
in their every-day urban garden.
This cosy semi in Carshalton is home to retired shop worker and mother of three, Iris Timmins.
Iris used to live here with her late husband, who had a passion for collecting anything and everything.
The house is still overflowing with his finds.
But Iris has decided it's time to de-clutter, and, with her sister Rhonda on hand to help,
the ladies have got big ideas on how to spend the cash.
-Good morning, how are you?
Our ladies today are into exotic holidays, collectibles and cocktails.
What a combination. They don't need a driver, do they?
No. But if you're really good, I might get you a Long Island Iced Tea!
-I'd love that, but just an ordinary builder's tea is fine for me!
-I have a joke about bars.
Yes. I've worked hard on this one.
-A man goes into a bar.
-Maybe I should stick to the day job?
-Yeah. I think it's "walks into a bar".
-Oh, is it?
Yes. Don't worry, we'll get there in the end.
-So, you're Rhonda.
-And you're Iris. This is your home.
-It is, yes.
-And you don't live too far away?
-No. 10 minutes in the car.
-So you like going on holidays and everything together as sisters?
We're like twins. Joined at the hip.
-OK. So who out of you two called in Cash In The Attic?
How did that come about?
I went up into the attic and I saw so much stuff up there
that we've collected over the years so I thought, let's get it sorted out and get it emptied out.
What do you want to spend the money on?
Actually we want to spend it on this creation here. It's a...
-No! it's going to be Harry's Bar.
It's in memory of my dad. He was a real old cockney, a lovely old man.
He lived with me for a while, and it was his idea to have a bar in the garden.
When the family come round, we all sit out here.
And then he said let's have a Caribbean bar! So that is why we're gonna have this.
OK. So, basically, to turn the shed into a bar?
-How much money are you gonna need?
I should think about £500.
The neon sign is the most expensive, I think. So...
about £500 should do it.
I don't know about a Harry but we've got a Paul inside.
-Shall we see if he's got anything to sell?
-Come on then.
'Converting the garden shed into a Caribbean beach bar
'in Harry's memory sounds like a wonderful tribute.
'I have a feeling we're in for a fun day with these ladies.
'With so many items to choose from I'm glad we have our expert, Paul Hayes, on hand to help.'
Good morning, Paul.
Hello, how are you? You all right?
-I've made a start already. I've found what I think is quite a rare item.
It's an invitation to a dinner called The Upside-Down Dinner.
It's held by the Hendon Aviators which were some of the first pilots here in the British Isles.
How has this ended up in your possession?
It was my late husband's item. He went to a boot sale years and years
ago, when they first started, and he paid about 10, 20 pence for it.
It's quite clever, it looks like everything is actually written
in a loop-the-loop, isn't it?
-It's written backwards...
Upside-down and backwards.
-It's really clever.
-So you'd have to have a mirror to see it.
-I've got one actually.
-Let's have a look.
-I was hopping you'd have something like that.
-Here you go.
If you put that upside-down...
Just tilt it this way a second.
-There you go.
You can read all what it says, and who was at the dinner.
"The Hendon Aviators request the pleasure of the company
"of the London Royal Automobile Club at this dinner to be held
"on Friday January the 16th, 1914 at 8pm."
Look at that...
even the seating in the restaurant was done in a loop-the-loop.
It was held in honour of Mr BC Hucks,
the first British Aviator to loop-the-loop,
and the first aviator to loop-the-loop with a passenger.
They are both signed there.
As a bit of aviation history, what a fantastic thing to have.
This really is the magnificent men and their flying machines.
I think what we'd have to do is be a bit conservative with it.
-And if I said £70 to £120, how does that sound?
-That's a very good start.
Let's see if we can get a good price for it at auction. Hopefully we will.
In the meantime, let's keep our feet on the ground
and finding some more items. Come on.
'The memorabilia gets us off to a flying start.
'We need to keep up the pace if we're going to make the £500 for Harry's Bar though.
'Rhonda comes up trumps straight away, when she spots this set of cigarette cards.
'Paul hopes they'll set the sale room alight
'with an estimate of £30 to £50.
'Paul and Iris continue their search is one of the bedrooms.
'And something sparkly has caught Iris's eye.'
Now then, Iris. Anything in particular?
Yes. I've found this lovely little brooch.
I don't know if you'll be interested in that or anything?
-That's really pretty, isn't it?
-I believe it's a Victorian brooch.
I'm not sure. I think it is.
It's in nice condition. Let me check with my little eyeglass here.
Oh, you've come prepared.
Yes. Like any good boy scout does.
Let's have a look. These are nice.
These are called fire opals and they give a beautiful, rich colour.
If you have a look, they're very deep.
Sometimes when you move it the light catches,
and you can see all the different colours then.
This is 15 carat. There you go.
-So it is definitely an old one.
-There you go.
Because now they've stopped making 15 carat.
I would say you're right, a Victorian piece.
You can see the quality of the gold.
Yeah. It is very well made, I think.
They way the little rings go along each other.
-Are you likely to wear it again?
Let's put it to Harry's Bar, shall we?
I think we could put it to Harry's Bar, actually.
I think that's quite an attractive piece. How much did you say it was originally?
I paid about £40 or £50 for it.
-Right. Do you know I think you'll see a profit in that. I think you're looking at £60 to £100.
-Sound all right?
I think you've done well there.
Another great find.
'This house is looking like it could be a real treasure trove today.
'My eye for quality has also spotted this gold bracelet.
'It was Swarovski crystals set in the metal,
'and Paul hopes it will catch the bidders' eyes at auction,
'valuing it at £30 to £50.
'Next door, Rhonda has found another piece of crystal.'
Paul, can we make anything on these?
Let's have a look. What have you found, anything good?
Right, they're pretty, aren't they? They look like Swarovski crystal.
-I think they are, actually.
-Right. You've heard of that before?
Yes. I collect it myself.
-I think what's beautiful about their work is that
Daniel Swarovski originally developed a machine that cuts the crystal
to a very high standard and high quality.
What that does, it gives that wonderful iridescence.
It's almost like a rainbow effect when you look at it through the light.
It's an amazing substance really.
People look for rarities and this one has York Minster in it.
-Can you see that?
-Right, yes. I didn't realise it was that.
Isn't that pretty? But this actually does go with it.
It's a tie pin and it says SCS...
the Swarovski Crystal Society.
That was one of the biggest collecting clubs
of the late '80s, early '90s.
Swarovski crystal at that time was everywhere,
I remember going into jewellers, every jewellers seemed to stock it at the time.
It's not lost collectability today,
but it's not quite as collected as it used to be.
If I said £30 to £50, how does that sound?
-No, I think she'd be very happy with that.
I'm going to have another look in that box, make sure there's no more!
Let's keep looking.
'£30 to £50 is a great price for the paperweight and tie pin.
'And I've found yet more Swarovski next door.
'Paul hopes this pretty gold-stemmed rose
'will make us another £30 to £50 at auction.
'We're making fantastic progress towards our £500 target.
'So I leave Paul and Rhonda to search while I catch up with our bar owner and bar-lady-to-be.'
Tell me a bit about your family, then.
How many children have you got?
I have three. A girl and two boys.
My first husband, John, had an aneurysm and unfortunately he died.
He died at the age of 52 which was very sad at the time.
He always used to say if ever anything happened to me,
my worst fear is that you will be on your own.
I then had that in mind when I was introduced to Vince on a blind date,
and then I knew that I had John's blessing to go ahead with that.
Hence I'm with Vince now and we've been together eight years.
-Tell me your plans for the bar then. I understand there's a bit of spending to be done.
The first thing is a neon sign. We need the neon sign for Harry's Bar.
I've been in touch with the company and they said they're between £250 and £300.
Then we need a nice little fridge in there, obviously we've got to keep the wine and the beer cold.
Then we want some boarding to board it out.
So I think all together we're gonna need about £500 onwards to do this.
We've got the optics and we've got all the bits and pieces,
we just need the boards to put them on to make it safe.
In that case we just need to make sure we raise the money you need, don't we? Come on.
'I can't wait to see the finished bar.
'We've still got a long way to go to reach that £500 though,
'so it's not quite happy hour yet.
'Paul has been busy inside and his artistic eye spots this rural landscape painting.
'Iris's late husband John bought it almost 20 years ago
'and Paul thinks it could bag us £40 to £80 at auction.
'It's all hands on deck as our search progresses,
'and in the dining room I've spotted something with a Royal connection.'
I tell you what, if these are solid silver, we've just got our target figure.
-I'm not sure they are.
-They look like silver crowns.
No, you're unlucky there.
-These are actually made of nickel.
But they're all made in 1977.
Any idea why they made these in 1977?
It was the Queen's Silver Jubilee.
Dead right. Yes, it was the Silver Jubilee.
25 years that the Queen had been on the throne. She was crowned in '52.
They have a good picture of the Queen on horseback.
Queen Elizabeth II, 1977.
The more collectable ones nowadays, because it's nearly 30 years on,
have a little plastic wallet that they were issued in.
-Collectors go for that type of thing.
-So what are they worth then?
I would say £1, maybe £2 each. So £20, £30. How does that sound?
Yes, that's all towards our bar.
It's another bit.
It's not our target figure in one big hit, is it?
I'm afraid not. If they were all silver, yes, we would be at the target but these are just nickel.
Another £20 is still a good find though.
Iris carries on the search in the dining room and comes across this gold locket.
It's another case of late husband John's eye for a bargain doing us proud,
as Paul values it at £40 to £80.
It's almost the end of the day, but there's one more item of jewellery to add to the kitty.
Now then. Whose is this bracelet?
It's mine actually. It's one that John bought me years ago.
He bought me the actual chain, and then through the years, people have bought me the charms.
This one in particular my brother, my late brother and his wife, bought me that. That does work.
Then we've got one here from Australia.
My son and his girlfriend bought me the koala bear back from Australia.
The others are birthday gifts and things.
The original idea of wearing charms actually was to ward off evil spirits. That's where it comes from.
-So you have charms with you that bring you luck.
That's probably where the Fatima Hand comes in.
Yeah. It's all legend and folklore, isn't it?
But these are very saleable things.
At the end of the day they're solid gold items. Of course, very useful as well.
People still believe that gold is ready-made currency.
You can always sell it.
So if you're in a tight corner, you need some money you can always weigh it in and it will bring some value.
That's why pirates always had one ear pierced with a gold earring.
-Was it really?
-It was to pay for their funeral. Did you know that?
I didn't. You learn something every day.
I think these are good-selling items now.
I wish that footballers' wives would start to wear these
cos they'd become very trendy then.
They're a bit out of fashion at the moment,
but you could sell the bracelet as a separate entity
and these could be sold as pendants or something like that.
All right, if I said at least £150, maybe £200.
That sounds marvellous. That's really good.
Yeah, I'm really surprised at that.
Does that sound like something to celebrate, £150?
-This beautiful charm bracelet.
-Wow. I love the ladybird.
That's fantastic. So that's built up our total quite nicely.
We've run out of time for rummaging. I think we've got most things covered.
How d'you think we've done?
-I've lost track.
You wanted 500?
We do want 500, yes.
Thank goodness for that because we've come in bang on £500.
-That's really good.
Our hard work searching through Iris's treasure-filled home has really paid off,
and we've got a fantastic haul of items to send off to auction.
We've got jewellery of all shapes and sizes,
with the piece de resistance being this gold charm bracelet,
valued at £150 to £250.
We're hoping that the Silver Jubilee coins
will turn into £20 to £30 worth of cold, hard cash.
And who could forget the fascinating collection
of loop-the-loop memorabilia?
Paul valued it at £70 to £120,
but we're hoping that when it comes to bidding for this lot,
the sky's the limit!
Still to come on Cash In The Attic... the pressure's getting to Paul.
It's quite stressful, isn't it? You just don't know how it's gonna go.
But the sales begin to rack up.
It's just over a £1 a coin, I suppose. Are you happy with that?
So, will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?
It's been a few weeks since we visited Iris and her sister Rhonda
at Iris's Surrey home.
They explained plans to turn the garden Iris has from a suburban wasteland into a beach bar paradise.
In order to do that, they needed to raise £500.
So, we found plenty of antiques and collectibles that we brought here to this auction house in Suffolk.
Now all we've got to do is hope that after all the items go under the hammer,
we'll be raising a glass and toasting their success.
It looks like a good crowd are turning out for today's sale.
I hope our ladies' items attract their attention.
One man who never overlooks a quality antique is our expert, Paul Hayes,
and I find him with one of our star items.
-It suits you, Paul.
-Ah! Hello. Happy Christmas!
Thank you! Do you think that'll bring us luck today?
I'd like to think so. They're popular items.
Someone could split each individual charm and sell the bracelet. A good selling piece.
My favourite piece is definitely that loop-the-loop. I mean, what a fantastic bit of history.
That is amazing. That's a one-off item.
A good piece of aviation history so I think that's got no problems at all.
I love the fact that in the whole menu and all the other bits and pieces,
they've even laid the table for the dinner out in a loop-the-loop! That's amazing.
I read that they bought in a tray of lobsters that were doing the loop-the-loop as well.
Really? How fantastic. I'd love to have been there, wouldn't you?
-I'll take you for a treat and buy you a lobster if we do well today.
-In the meantime, shall we meet the family?
Yes, I'll just pop this back.
The seats are filling up as the bidders get ready for the sale.
And we find our ladies giving the loop-the-loop memorabilia a final look over.
-How are you?
This is one of the most interesting pieces, I think, that we've ever come across. Don't you?
It's an amazing book. I do like the way that the auctioneer has placed all the items
in a loop-the-loop just for you.
Are you going to be sad to see it go?
A little bit sad. But, you know, it's going to a good cause,
so let's hope it makes good money.
-So are you looking forward to the auction?
-Very much so.
-We're quite excited.
-A bit nervous earlier on but getting excited now.
Let's hope we're all doing the loop-the-loop on the way out.
Well, on that note shall we al go and get in position for the sale?
-Come on then.
-Put it down.
'If you decide to buy or sell at auction,
'then remember that commission and possibly other charges will be added to your bill.
'So make sure you check the details with the sale room first.'
'We find a spot in the corner with a great view of the auction,
'and it seems we're just in time,
'as the opal brooch is first to go under the hammer.
Paul valued it at £60 to £100.
And I'm starting this at 80.
-80, we're in.
-I'm bid 80.
On the books at £80.
Are you all finished and done with that at £80?
-Bang on the nose, that's what we wanted.
That is good.
£80 in the fund for Harry's Bar already.
A great way to start the day.
Will our next lot bank us yet more cold, hard cash?
It's the collection of Silver Jubilee coins
that Paul valued at £20 to £30.
12, at £12 I'm starting. At £12.
15 over there in the doorway.
At £15. Are you all finished and done at £15? I'm selling at £15.
-There you go.
-It's just over £1 a coin.
-Are you happy with that?
£15 isn't a bad price for the coins, but with a £500 target to reach,
we really need our items to come in on estimate, and hopefully above.
It's the first of our Swarovski lots up next.
So will there be any collectors in the room?
The next lot is the paperweight with York Minster on it and also a tie pin.
A weird combination, Paul.
It's an unusual item and it's very modern, really.
We are at an antique auction here.
But, people tend to buy these items to put away for investment purposes
or for just something a bit quirky, really.
So I put this in at £30 but it's in the lap of the gods. Let's hope we get something near that.
20, start me at 20. At £20. At £20.
You all finished and done with then?
< Pass that one.
-He's passed that one.
He's done you a favour there, I think.
It's a disappointing result for the crystal,
and doesn't bode well for our next two lots.
The crystal rose is next to try its luck.
20, at £20.
All finished at £20?
I'm afraid we pass that one.
Followed closely by the gold bracelet.
All finished and done with that at 20?
< We'll pass that one.
I think it might just be a bit too modern for the market that we've got here today.
-Not quite antique yet.
A trio of unsold lots.
Well, they say bad things happen in threes, so hopefully that's our unlucky spell over.
We're still a long way from our £500 target
so there's still a lot riding on our remaining items.
Right, the next lot is the rural landscape.
-What do we want for this, Paul?
-We're looking for about £40.
35. 35 sitting down.
Are you all finished and done with that at £35? Selling at £35.
-There you go.
-That's good, isn't it?
That's the one you thought you was taking home!
Yeah, I did!
-It's quite stressful though, isn't it? You just don't know how it's going to go.
Phew. A sale at last, and we're all pretty relieved.
After a turbulent morning,
will our next lot prove to be a high-flyer?
Our next lot is that fantastic looping-the-loop booklet.
I mean, this is really historic, isn't it?
It certainly is, but don't forget its signed by the pilots as well. It's a great thing to have.
Anybody that's into aviation, the whole history of the biplanes, it's a great thing.
Hopefully we'll get enough people here that want to buy it.
And I'm going to start this at 50.
£50. 55. 60. 65. 70. 75. 80.
£80. 85. At 85.
Are you all finished and done with that at £85?
-That was a good one, wasn'tit?
And that was non-commission, so you've got your £85.
-Are you pleased with that?
What a great result for our unusual memorabilia,
and a long overdue addition into our Harry's Bar fund.
Let's hope our luck continues
as our collection of cigarette cards go under the hammer.
We're hoping they'll make £30 to £50.
20 I'm bid. At 20. £20. At £20.
You all finished and done at £20?
-We'll leave that.
-He's passed those.
He could have sold them.
I think Iris would've been happy to see them
go for £20 but the auctioneer thought they were worth more.
Our next lot is the 1930s gold-coloured metal locket.
What does that mean, it's not gold?
Well, I suspect this is gold.
I think we all agree there, but there's no hallmark on it.
What the auctioneer has to do,
unless it has an official hallmark,
is to describe it as gold-coloured metal.
And at 20 I'm bid. 20 to start. 20.
You all finished and done with that at £20?
Right, we'll pass that one.
Et another item out ladies will be taking back to Sutton.
We're still a long way short of our £500 target.
But, will our final lot of the day charm the bidders into opening their wallets at last?
It's the gold bracelet that Paul valued at a sizeable £150 to £250.
I'm starting this at... 140.
-Here we go.
-150, 160, 170, 180.
190, 200. And ten. 220.
250. 260. 270, I'm out.
270 on my right. 280. 290. 300.
No. £300 on my left then.
At £300 on my left.
You all finished and done with that at £300?
-£300. Are you pleased with that?
Excellent, isn't it?
-That's nearly your target figure in one piece, isn't it?
That's great, isn't it?
-What a charmer!
-That's good. That's good.
An amazing result, selling for double Paul's low-end estimate,
Iris's charm bracelet has saved the day.
After a roller coaster sale,
it's time for me to get my maths head on and tot up our final total.
-A few disappointments there. A few of the modern collectibles didn't get away, did they?
A bit disappointing. Never mind.
Now you wanted £500.
Do you think you've got anywhere near that amount?
I haven't really been keeping tabs.
Well, fortunately we have.
And you've actually made £515.
-Are you pleased with that?
-Yes. That'll do quite a bit.
-So, bottoms-up now?
-Very much so.
-Mission accomplished then.
A couple of weeks after their £515 auction success,
it's time for Harry's Bar to take delivery of its shiny new sign,
and for our ladies to re-live their day in the saleroom.
We did quite well. We bought a couple of bits back with us which was a bit sad, wasn't it?
-The surprise the was bracelet.
-That was the surprise. And the brooch.
-The brooch was quite good.
-That went very well.
-But it was a good day. We had a good day.
-Yeah, it was lovely.
Plenty of friends and relatives have come along
to enjoy the grand opening, and it's an extra-special day for Iris and Rhonda.
It's a bit poignant today because it would've been our mum's birthday today.
So it's a special day as well for that.
So, we just like getting together, and this is what Dad would've liked.
He would've loved this. And he would've loved the bar.
With the drinks fully stocked and the crowd ready and waiting,
it's finally time to declare the bar open.
I'm now going to officially open Harry's Bar.
It's a lovely tribute to Dad because if he'd have been here tonight,
he'd have been sitting behind that bar giving everybody his orders.
So to me, and to the rest of the family, this is like a little monument to Dad.
He would have really been proud of us.
So Iris and Rhonda topped up their auction total and got the beach bar paradise they were looking for.
Now, if you want to raise some funds for a project that you have in mind,
and you've got plenty of antiques and collectibles that you'd like to sell at auction,
why not apply to come on Cash In The Attic?
You can find more details on the BBC website.
We'll see you again next time.
For more information about Cash In The Attic,
including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a small fortune. Iris Timmins wants to clear her Surrey home of a lifetime of collectables and build a garden bar in memory of her late dad Harry. The team is on hand to help, and in the process unearths a very rare piece of early aviation history.