Germaine Greer and Clive Anderson hit the shops and towns of Lancashire to find the best antiques for auction in Northwich. Antique experts Charles Hanson and Charlie Ross assist.
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-Some of the nation's favourite celebrities...
-That's the pig for you.
-..one antiques expert each...
-He's being silly on purpose.
-..and one big challenge -
who can seek out and buy the best antiques at the very best prices...
I'm swimming out of my depth.
..and auction for a big profit further down the road?
-Who will spot the good investments? Who will listen to advice?
-It goes with your eyes.
And who will be the first to say, "Don't you know who I am?"?
Time to put your pedal to the metal.
This is Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
Lovely Lancashire, the staging post for this shopping adventure.
Graced with the presence of intelligentsia packed into a 1969 MG TF,
each with £400 to gamble on purchased antiques. Lovely.
-Why do we love convertibles in Britain?
-I just love convertible cars.
I feel we should be doing some sort of detective series.
He's the lawyer who made us laugh, the barrister who became a broadcaster. He raised
the TV chat show bar and never minced his words.
-Greyhounds don't need a jockey.
-Ever worry they might do that with horses?
They can have an electric thing with a bale of hay on it.
He's taken this case, no win, no fee. He's Clive Anderson.
This is me, Clive Anderson, saying good night.
This fine lady of letters has truly changed the world.
Cultural critic, writer and, for many, the personification of feminism.
I don't have a naive faith in sexual promiscuity.
Equality is not my game. I don't do equality.
She became a publishing sensation with The Female Eunuch and made a lot of old-fashioned folk cross.
I had to remember not to sing because if I did the young men would know there was a wet, naked woman.
She's an Aussie, not to be trifled with. She's Germaine Greer!
I am NOT a leader of the women's liberation movement.
We get an expert to help us here, an expert each. Would you take advice from an expert?
If it comes to making a profit because I know nothing about it.
I just intended to say, "Oh, that looks pretty. Surely somebody will buy that."
-But we want to know its provenance.
-Buy cheap and sell dear!
Fear not, Clive. We've pulled out all the stops to get you the very best expertise in the land.
# 'Til we have built Jerusalem
# In England's green and pleasant land! #
We are ready for the Antiques Road Trip!
I think it's going to be one of those days.
He's the man who famously turned £8 into over £2,700 with a broken ceramic elephant.
Consider it bought.
Two seven for the last time...
The leaner senior with an eye for the beautiful,
he's an auctioneer, he loves classic cars and he has quite the singing voice.
# I'll be in profit afore ye... #
It's Charlie Ross!
# High on a hill was a lonely goatherd... #
And I know what you're thinking - someone's escaped from Thunderbirds. I can't even see his strings!
-How much is he?
He's a fast-rising auctioneer who is never afraid to take risks.
He's dashing, he's smashing, he puts the CH into Chippendale. He's Charles Hanson!
Charlie, when you say feminism, you mean a lady wants to be at home and looked after by her husband?
-That is the exact opposite of feminism!
-How do you mean?
The feminist lady wants to have equal rights with the man.
The way I see it is it's nice in life to have a lovely meal on the table...
-Cooked by her?
-Waiting for you?
Well, this should be very interesting.
-The one called Charles...
I think he's a total cynic.
Children brought up correctly by mother, father back in good time...
-He buys really horrible things.
-Knowing that somewhere
some fool is going to pay a huge amount of money for them.
This is what you want to work with!
-I like your old-fashioned standards.
-And I say God save the Queen!
It's time for our red-blooded men of antiquity to meet their somewhat more forward-thinking celebrities.
-Look at this view, Charlie.
-What a wonderful place to meet.
But the day's barely begun and there's a slight technical hitch as usual.
-Oh, there they are.
-What's going on here? Hello!
-They've broken down.
-We've thrown ourselves into the idea of an antique purchase by being in an antique.
- Hello, I'm Charlie. - Hi, Charlie. And your Charles.
Clive, good to see you.
She's run off with a younger man.
-That's a relationship made in heaven(!)
-But we look like two very dodgy people
with our flashers' Macs!
-What is this?!
-If you were a sophisticated Edwardian industrialist
-looking after a family, you'd impress your wife with this.
-No, you wouldn't!
-It's supposed to be on a sofa!
-It's Art Nouveau! Flowery, like me!
You're just a prefect at a posh school.
-You're probably better with an older woman.
-I can't wait.
So let's get our odd couples packed into the Beetle and out on the open road.
-Let's go to the seaside!
-Not yet, Charlie.
Lancashire kicks off this competitive antiques quest,
taking in the sights and sounds en route to auction in Northwich.
First, the celebrity nuclear family heads for glorious Eccleston. Are we there yet, Mum?
JULIE ANDREWS: # High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
# Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd... #
-So we're going shopping?
-With 400 quid?
- Where's the lolly? - Charles and I have got the money.
On the outskirts of Eccleston, upon rich Lancastrian lands,
sits the handsome Heskin Hall, built and rebuilt since the 16th century, changing hands many times
as landed families came together and fell apart. But today it's used as an antiques shop,
stacked to the rafters and stoically defended by the valiant Lynn Harrison.
Stand fast, girl. Here comes the cavalry!
Look! Main entrance is over there, guys.
-Raring to go, Germaine?
-Well, I don't know.
-Are you feeling the scent of antiques?
-They usually smell of Antiquax!
You might think it dangerous to have our celebrity intelligentsia
and old-fashioned experts all in one shop and you might be right!
Fortunately, there are two floors.
Don't ever be put off entirely by the price label.
-If some things come right to the dealer or they're fed up with it or they like the cut of your jib,
-they might sell it to you cheaply.
-I've got a very antique jib!
If we had to find an object that characterised your favourite piece of history, what would it be?
-Are you a suffragette lady?
-The suffragettes specialised in dreadful embroideries.
-Doesn't that characterise a female? Needlework, embroidery...
-I'm in favour of those, but the real thing.
-The whole Arts and Crafts movement is wrecked by the craft.
Wonderful buildings with terrible curtains and surface decoration
and stylised roses.
-What are these green vases?
-Noritake. Japanese. 1920s.
The Chinese are buying all their things back at the moment.
-How can we rely on there being a lot of Chinamen in the sale?
-It doesn't have to be Chinamen.
It could be an English dealer.
We're getting ahead of ourselves, gents. First, talk to Lynn.
-The main thing I've got to do is not to drop things like this.
Have a look at the scenes. They are hand-painted.
Not brilliant, but not far off.
-Is anybody going to buy this?
-At a price. I would think the estimate would be £10-£15.
-Right. Well, they're on sale here for £18.
-It is not in my nature,
although Clive will probably disagree, to be rude with offers.
-Perish the thought!
Don't perish it entirely, Lynn. Stand by, girl.
-I'd like to buy those for eight quid.
Obviously we're trying to find something we'd like to buy that allows the prospect of a profit.
-And the other thing is if it's reasonably visual...
-OK, chaps, you've laid it on thick.
Let Lynn call the dealer and give her some space. Gosh!
-Oh, dear. All these things are so horrid. This looks like your waistcoat!
-I'm a flowery guy!
This is even pretending to be the base of an Italian candlestick and it isn't even that!
-No, you're right. It's heavy Baroque, isn't it?
-But it's also fake!
-Aren't there enough of the real ones around? They were stolen out of every Italian church!
Sorry, kid. You're on your own.
-I can't see what it is, but there's a slight remnant of hand-tinting on it.
It's dated here. It should be a print after 1787.
Ceres was a Roman god representing harvest,
and depicted here at one with the natural world. And no price tag.
"She bids the kindly seasons swell the grain and the full harvests load the golden plane."
It's very sweet, it's sentiment, it's charming.
It's quite...rococo. I thought your style was more... form matters.
-You have no idea what my style is!
-This is very pretty.
Best leave it at that, Charles.
If this was a turtle dove, it would be pink. With a little choker.
-What bird would you be?
-I was about to say...
-I was about to say a peacock.
-But I don't want to be a peacock.
-They're terrible stupid!
Anyway, I wonder how much it is.
-Hi, can I help you?
-We'd like to know more about this.
-There's no price tag whatsoever.
-And nothing of the same kind.
-Where was it?
-Room at the top of the stairs on this side.
-In that case, it's a fiver.
-It's a fiver.
-We'll have it.
-That's our first purchase.
-Blimey, that was easy. Unlike the small talk.
Anyone else breaking the ice?
One for the viewers, please.
That is quite an impressive piece of kit, isn't it?
-IT WHEEZES A NOTE Are you a musical man?
-Not really. Keep squeezing.
That's what they all say!
The first bellowed accordions were invented not in Paris, but Berlin,
in 1822 by Friedrich Buschmann. These charming, popular instruments often were played on street corners.
It's also said that a gentleman is a man who knows how to play an accordion, but doesn't!
I think they're great instruments when you hear them played properly.
-You take your holidays in France?
-I do, with my beret. And my onions.
Pavement cafes and somebody comes round. "Ah, monsieur...
"I remember people from your country during the war."
Yes. "Your great-grandfather saved my bacon!"
"A lot of children in the village look just like you."
Well, it's been a very good moaning so far, but now it's time for our two brash British airmen
to go and haggle. Pay attention, Lynn, ze may say zis only once. Oh, ho he ho.
-Can I ask a question about a squeezebox with a funny box?
-£30, the very best.
-That's quite interesting. And the Noritake?
-I can do for 10.
-Well, we should go crazy. Get the Norita...Noritake?
-I'll get confident with my pronunciation.
-Show us the money!
-Not quite as much as you want to see!
-But we can show you a good time, Lynn!
That's quite enough, chaps. You've got the vases for £10, so what'll it be for the accordion?
-How about £25? Am I now compromising...?
-I'd still buy it at 25, at a pinch.
-Hmm. I'll go for 28. How about that?
-I'd go for it.
I'm desperate to buy something! I don't want to turn up with nothing to sell at this thing!
-That's 28 for that and 10 for the Noritake.
-Melt into Lynn's arms!
-OK, no problem, gents.
28 and 10. Now I'm a bit like royalty. I don't carry money. I have my man here.
Mesdames et messieurs, we have a deal
and our two terribly charming hagglers can leave with their heads held high. And outside Heskin Hall,
a wonderful surprise awaits.
-I'm getting quite excited by this.
-You have to pull the starter out.
Oh, what about that?!
It's a sporty little number, isn't it?
Meanwhile back inside, we've got unfinished business.
I'm finding it quite difficult to actually create chemistry with Germaine.
We have a bond. At the moment, I can't work out her interest,
-in what she wants, how she wants it.
But I'm sure as she becomes a lady, I'll become the gentleman and we'll work things out.
Oh, dear, Charles. You could be out of your depth, old fruit.
Look at this. I noticed the dragonflies beautifully engraved.
It's like a squat fruit stand or some sort of fruit bowl.
-I suspect...it's aesthetic, isn't it?
-Turn of the century latest, I think.
-You like it, don't you?
-That's a good sign.
If you have a passion for an object, I always say it's a sure sign it will do well at auction.
-If you could offer something in the order of £15 or £20, £25 at the very most.
-I'll feel rubbish.
-You do that.
-You're the dealer.
-You go and cheapen it.
-OK, follow me.
You're in safe hands, Germaine. If there's one man who can negotiate,
-then that man is Charles Hanson. Watch out.
-Lynn, we quite like this.
-Well, I do, too.
-But we think it's probably been waiting for someone to see it
-for quite a long time.
-I can do it for 35.
Lynn, look at me.
-Oh, it just doesn't...
-Oh, Lynn, don't say that!
It just doesn't do it. Not even the waistcoat, no.
Your powers of charm are clearly failing, Charles, or the waistcoat really is too bright.
In the cold light of day, at auction it's probably worth £30.
-Are we going to gamble?
Well, you know, girl power and all of that...
I tell you what, for girl power, 25.
-Oh, thank you!
What a wonderful first shop! As we bid Heskin Hall farewell,
I'm confident this smouldering working relationship will soon ignite.
-Don't you love England? The Empire, the 19th century...
-No, I don't think so.
I actually think colonialism was a significant evil.
Maybe just leave it, Charles, eh?
Onwards and upwards. Our intellectual heavyweight and Carlos are heading just 6 miles northwest
to the pretty village of Bretherton.
Bretherton is a wee place that's just a little bit special.
Back in 2009 it won the proud title of the best kept small village in Lancashire.
So let's hope our couple don't disrupt the peace too much.
Did you have many boyfriends who could keep you happy?
-That's not what boyfriends do.
-But did you?
-Boyfriends keep you sad, didn't you know that?
-Oh, get out of here! Look at us two now, eh?
-You're not my boyfriend!
Let's get these two safely into the shop, shall we?
You're not a dog, are you?
I'm not a dog, either.
And what a shop this is. Capacious, indeed cavernous, and absolutely stuffed.
Presiding over the place is Aiden. Let's hope he's got the patience of a saint. God bless.
-Oh, hello. This is a big area.
-This is one of the rooms.
Charles is a conscientious self-parody. He doesn't mean anything that he says,
-which is fine.
I'm probably quite wrong about him. He'll probably turn out to have some kind of mad passion
-that I haven't found.
-Well, Germaine, if you watch this show enough, you'll find out
that Charles is full of mad passion. He's a man with hidden depth.
-Look at this!
-I can honestly say I've never seen one of those.
Everybody's Vacuum Cleaner is what it's called.
-"It gets the dust".
-Patented in 1913, I think.
That's the original wooden handle. And the action is by...
-Could you imagine doing this all day?
-Do you hoover, for example?
-Yes, I've got a nasty little machine with eyes on it.
-I taped its eyes shut.
-When it comes to domestic bygones, look...
You've got the vacuum cleaner and this here is titled the Universal Duster.
Looks like Charles has found a really quirky domestic twinset here.
Hand-held, pump-action forerunners to today's electric vacuum cleaners.
-It's sucking my hand a little bit.
-The large one at £55 and the little joker for £32.
-You know, we live in a modern world now, don't we?
-Stop preaching! It's getting on my nerves!
We are equal in everything we do. Do you like this lot?
-But I think we can sell this lot.
-I do as well.
-That's a good investment.
-Only if you knocked the price right down will it be a good investment for us.
Would it be feasible to maybe pay £40 for the two together?
Sorry, Aiden. Charles is literally never afraid to ask. Look at his face.
-I'd like you to beat the others so we should come to an amicable agreement.
-And the best price...?
No more words. I command you to accept it.
it's wacky, it's novel... and we accept.
-And it's quirky!
So a well-considered purchase there. Perhaps Germaine will now start sucking up to Charles.
Is there anything else out the back or fresh in which might just grab our attention?
I have bought today earlier on a very, very nice gentleman's travelling chess set.
It would come in handy on a budget flight. You've got room.
-Are you a chess player?
-No, I'm not.
-You might be now.
-I've never wasted time. I don't play any games.
That's a shame, Germaine. This is a sweet little Victorian travelling set from around 1885, but at £50
is it a strategic purchase? Check it out, mate.
Would you be prepared, for a quick turnaround, £20, done deal?
-Because you're such a lovely lady...
..and I think you'd want something different.
-Superb. Excellent. £20. Yeah, we love it.
Luckily, there's enough great stock here at the Old Corn Mill that Aiden might not miss
those rather good bargains. A solid auction arsenal to rival Clive and Charlie, surely.
If anyone had said to me 20 years ago that I'd be driving around the countryside
-with the author of The Female Eunuch in an old MG, looking to buy antiques...
In Lancashire. I'd have said, "I don't think that's likely."
We'd then choose to drive around a bit more later on,
this time with a smoothie antiques expert. Smoothie antiques expert is your official title, is it?
-Well, I'm not altogether thrilled with it.
-Thrilled or not,
our smooth operators are taking their road trip into new territory
for an intellectual rendezvous 38 miles south-east in Greater Manchester, don't you know?
-How do you get on with your fellow Charles?
-Really, really well.
He seems quite young to be... I'm not suggesting that you're not too young to be an antiques expert!
Charles also has a fine head of hair!
Now Charlie is taking this great mind, Clive Anderson, to the oldest public library
in the English-speaking world. Once a place of cerebral study for great historical minds
such as Benjamin Franklin and Daniel Defoe, don't you know?
Let's go somewhere quiet after that!
First built in 1412,
this former priests' college became the property of one Humphrey Chetham,
a 17th-century textile merchant.
Before his death in 1653, Humphrey bequeathed a trust for a library
to serve all who sought knowledge to rival the older private libraries of Oxford and Cambridge
and attract the great minds of the day.
Today, almost four centuries later, Chetham Library is still open to everyone.
Librarian Michael Powell is the man to tell us more.
-That gives you a clue.
A nice medieval ringing sound(!)
-Ah, hello. Clive Anderson.
-Thank you for having us.
Suitably antiquated volumes.
The library's oldest books date back to the 13th century.
Hand-written manuscripts bound two centuries before the invention of the printing press.
Today there are over 100,000 books lovingly cared for, yet available to all.
So people come in here and sit down and look at the books
-and do you suffer from damage?
-Everyone respects it.
-It's good in that sense.
Chetham Library's gorgeous wood-panelled reading room has been a place of quiet contemplation
for successive historical thinkers.
However, this room was once the college warden's sleeping quarters
and in 1595 the new warden was a man with a great mind, full of strange ideas.
-The little book owned by John Dee.
-Oh, the Elizabethan magic man... What do we call him?
That's right. He's a sort of astrologer and scientist.
-So he writes John Dee, 1556. These are all his scribbles.
-And you know those are his scribbles.
-Not added later.
-No, we know what he writes and why.
-He's using it from beginning to end. It's a book on distillation,
-getting down to essential things.
-Was he based in Manchester?
From the 1590s, the only job he ever had was to come as warden of the collegiate church,
what's now the cathedral. So this was his bedroom.
John Dee had retired as advisor and official conjuror in the court of Elizabeth I,
where he provided the Queen's horoscopes.
In the 16th century, the world of occult was taken pretty seriously,
on a par with religion and proper science by some nervous, powerful elites.
This was a treatise of secret potions and remedies.
And the main idea of it is that you conjure up the dead.
It's not a good thing to do it because conjuring up the dead is not really recommended.
There are certain prayers in here just in case you conjure one up to get them to go back quickly.
Fortunately, Chetham Library evolved as an institution dedicated to sound knowledge and thought.
As great thinkers came here to study, two thoroughly revolutionary minds developed ideas
that would change the world.
This desk in the alcove has the claim to fame in that this was the desk Karl Marx used.
-Marx and Engels were here.
-Can I sit down?
-By all means. Engels had just studied the condition of the working class in Manchester,
which was a big attack on capitalists. The poor are being completely downtrodden
and the rich getting richer. And Marx comes to see what happens in an industrial setting.
And they came here to sit at this desk and work on economics.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels met in Manchester in 1842
whilst both men were developing their political and economic ideas.
They published great works separately, but together wrote the Communist Manifesto,
a pamphlet that inspired the Russian Revolution and the great political schism of the 20th century.
So they clearly knew a thing or two.
As you sit here, you can't help but be struck by the way the whole financial system is imploding
-and capitalism can't really survive.
-Marx was right!
-It's the desk making me think that way!
So Clive and Charlie have had a true encounter with history.
Radical thinkers and epoch-defining ideas have inhabited these rooms and volumes.
So as this day draws to an end, our teams can reflect on some tough economic lessons
learnt the hard way. Night night.
# Oh, what a beautiful morning
# Oh, what a beautiful day... #
What a morning it is!
I suppose this sort of car was built for these sorts of conditions.
-I think they're meant to be in the golf club car park.
-With a lady leaning against the fender.
Well, I've got you here for that.
I want to see the whipped cream of an antique with the cherry on top.
-I'm going to want all these knobbly knick-knacks.
-How dare you!
So far, Clive and Charlie have spent cautiously, just £38 on two items -
the hand-painted Noritake vases
and the Art Deco piano accordion.
So they have a healthy £362 left to spend with confidence.
This is all going horribly wrong. I feel it's going down the pan.
Germaine and Charles, meanwhile, have been terribly busy,
spending £95 on four items -
the Ceres engraving,
the Victorian etched glass compote
and the bygone domestic vacuums,
plus the travelling chess set for a lady or even a gentleman.
And so they have £305 to spend on anything they fancy.
You could always buy this - a little tin celebrating our great King and Queen.
It's only £4.
I had a very long, complicated dream about a Volvo which I've never owned and never driven.
Dreams will have to wait as the auction is but a day away.
With work to be done though, this road trip leaves Manchester far behind
to make a bee-line 35 miles north-west to Preston.
You know, Charlie, when the rains come down on our grey island,
as the bulbs and flowers and plants grow up,
antiques are waiting to be discovered.
They are. Especially here.
In 1732, the famous Richard Arkwright was born in Preston,
creator of the defining Arkwright cotton mills of the industrial age.
Preston changed rapidly and was visited by both Charles Dickens and Karl Marx
to study the new working classes.
Today, the epic struggle between celebrity shoppers will leave its mark...
-They're here already.
-They're already here!
This is it, Charlie.
-Come on, Charlie.
Control yourself. The Preston Antique Centre is a whopper - three floors and 75,000 square feet.
I kid you not!
They've even got vintage cars, but don't ask for them gift-wrapped.
This is a boudoir grand,
but it is 2,850 nicker!
Charlie, how are you doing?
-This is a magnificent emporium.
-It's absolutely sensational.
There can't be an antique left in Preston that isn't here.
-Isn't that lovely?
-It is sweet.
-I don't know how old that is, but I would guess about 1840. That's a gut reaction.
-110 is quite a lot.
-It's too much money.
-You see a lot of samplers around.
-They must have done a lot in their time.
From almost the end of the 17th century,
needlework samplers formed part of a young British girl's education.
Most included verse and numerals and were framed and hung for display in proud family homes.
-If that could be bought for 40, 50 quid, I'd buy that.
He's quite handsome, isn't he? Gosh, I like him! Don't you?
-What's it made of?
Oh, you know what this is?
This is not only a pig. This is a special breed of pig.
Oh, yes, he's a saddleback, a saddleback money-box,
and currently, he has no price tag. Oink!
-It's got no genitals. It's a bit of a drawback.
-Could it be a female pig
-She's got no nipples either.
Painful! So she's a female eunuch. Look up!
Here's our lady. He's got no price on whatsoever.
-And we're going to keep our powder dry.
-I like him a lot.
£30 for an asexual pig?!
As is her duty, Sue must phone the dealer.
This I still don't like. I hate that
He can do it at 50.
If you want to go to auction with a good-looking pig...
-That's the pig for you.
-..this is the pig for me.
-I think at £50, we ought to buy him.
-I think so too.
-We'll take him.
And hopefully, pigs might fly.
In fact, it's time that's flying by on this last shopping day.
Fortunately, Clive and Charlie have cut to the chase.
They got that needlework sampler priced at £110
and a slightly scruffy Edwardian mantel clock at £60.
Now Clive must get busy haggling.
I may hand over to my expert negotiator here who's brutal.
I'd give you whatever you want for this, as you know.
I think the sampler is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
I thought your job was to explain why we DON'T want them and how we're trying to walk away.
And you say, "No, have all three for £20."
Clive, he won't negotiate, but, boy, can he delegate!
-What I would say on this one because it's a bit scruffy...
-It is scruffy.
-It's very scruffy.
-How about 30?
I'm trying to get Charlie to allow me to buy this sampler, but he's resisting.
-Can we go down to 50 for that to persuade him?
-We can go down to 50.
Is that...? Are you sure?
-50 plus 30 equals 70, yeah?
Have you got a machine to test the notes? I would check them out. He's got a bit of previous.
Well haggled there, Charlie, and Clive, well, thanks for being there, mate.
What is in here that maybe you quite like
that I quite like?
I'm very much afraid it's that horrid lamp.
Yeah, it is. If we want to dominate the auction,
this is our prop.
It's certainly eye-catching and, well, big!
A colourful ceiling lamp of Moorish design.
It wouldn't look out of place in a Moroccan souk or a restaurant,
but here it's got a price tag of £140.
I'm going to head downstairs and see Sue and ask what the best price is.
-With your blessing.
-Ask her what she'll pay you to take it away.
Oh, charming! Gosh, these intellectuals are full of suggestions, aren't they?
They're also a bit, well, off the boil. What's the matter with them?
I'm a bit sick.
I've been a bit wet and a bit cold.
And I can't talk to anybody because I'm crawling with germs.
I'm just a leper.
A cold, miserable leper.
OK, back to the lamp.
I've got big arms.
I'm a strong man. I can uplift it and I can give the man some space back.
-What's so funny?
It's just the way you say things, Charles.
What I said to him before was, "Ask her how much she'll pay you to take it away!"
Ah, someone's feeling better then?
You know the lantern, the Moroccan one?
It cost you 200-odd pounds, did it?
So you'll only knock about 20 off then?
They can't buy it at that, you see.
-It sounded so promising at the start.
-There is one place you could use that.
In a garden.
It's weather-proof, it's wind-proof, it's ventilated.
I think I might authorise you to spend £120 on it.
Cor! Has Germaine succumbed to Charles's love of risk?
Tonight, I'll have the biggest dream that that might just make £200 or £300.
All right. That's enough.
-I'll wrap my arms around it and we'll take it for 120.
-Thank you, Charles.
And another peculiar purchase orchestrated by Charles.
Where can we turn to for a more traditional antique then?
-That's a bit of Crown Derby which is quintessentially English, but influenced by the Orient.
With that Japanese Imari pattern. It would be great to serve little bonbons on.
-Yes, a bonbon dish.
-Yes, a little bonbon dish.
What's the little bonbon price? 85.
-That's not ridiculous.
-It really isn't if it's perfect.
Imari is a port in Japan from whence vast quantities of porcelain were exported to Britain.
Our plucky bone china manufacturers would do their best to imitate these designs.
Now, we've had the best of Sue today, so let's drag out Paul.
My view is it would probably sell for the order of £50 at auction.
What would be your very, very best?
It would be £40.
-That is a seriously tempting offer.
-That's a seriously tempting offer.
-I feel I'm deferring to you on this because this attracted your eye.
-I've got nothing more to say than here's 40 quid.
-He's so keen on this.
-I see a profit in there. I really do Thank you very much indeed.
-It's very kind of you.
Well done. Both our experts bargained hard today
and our celebrities, well, they just looked pretty, didn't they?
I'm not bothered about age.
Without age, we can't call objects antiques or collectables or...
And you certainly can't call that lamp an antique.
But it has an iconic look.
Poor Germaine has not been feeling her best,
so for a little treat, Charles is taking this fine lady
away from the pressures of Preston 23 miles east to Rossendale.
Where are we going?
Well, somewhere we'll find a glorious testament to Britain's working women and men.
The Helmshore Mills Textile Museum is a time capsule
of the beginning and end of the Industrial Revolution.
Here to fill in the gap is current museum manager, Louise Jacobsson. Hi, Lou-Lou.
I'm glad you've made it here despite the weather. It does rain a lot in the Rossendale Valley.
That's why they built the mills here - water power.
The oldest wool-processing mill was built in 1789 by the prosperous Turner family
when the Industrial Revolution was only just getting going.
Local sheep farmers were spinning wool at home and needed somewhere to process their cloth for market,
but raw textiles were not the only commodity brought to the mill.
The farmers in the area, it's not the most arable land,
so they used to usually rear sheep and things like that.
With the wool, they'd card it, spin it, weave it, so they'd bring the wool cloth in,
but they'd also bring in the pots of urine from the cottages in the area because stale urine is an alkali.
Amazingly, the local urine was fermented until rich in ammonia,
then it could remove the natural oils in the wool, allowing the cloth to be matted.
You actually got paid different amounts depending on various things.
They used to say, for instance, that Methodists had better quality urine. They were non-drinkers.
-Was it by volume as well? Louise, by volume, I'm always best in the morning first thing.
Enough detail, Charles. It's late in the day.
So once the wool has been soaked in whatever it was soaked in,
the water-powered hammers would beat it, ready for spinning,
a fairly simple process.
Hearing the water behind us and this big water wheel, what was that doing? Going round and...?
Just powering the machinery. It's powering the hammers.
-The fulling hammers are beating the cloth.
-OK, got you.
-Before, they used to walk on them.
-And beating the cloth for the purpose of...?
-This is the thing you're puzzled about.
-Here is the spun wool which is spun quite simply by doing that.
Then that is woven, in this case on quite a small loom,
and then this is what is fulled.
-And that turns it into that stiff, felty stuff.
-I'm a man, you see.
-Yes, but it's men who are doing this
-They used to do the weaving back in the cottage industry.
-Men mechanised the process.
-That's more me, I think
I'm beginning to doubt that, Charles.
The story of Helmshore Mill takes a dramatic change at the end of the 19th century.
Canals and railways revolutionised trade.
Wool declined and cotton became the must-have fabric.
In the 1920s, a mill refit ushered in the very latest 20th century mechanisation
to process large amounts with fewer workers.
Hopefully, it's not too complicated for poor old Carlos.
This is the spinning floor as it was when it closed down in 1978.
And what relationship does this machinery have to the spinning jennies?
Spinning jennies started off with eight, 16, etcetera, you know, improved numbers of spindles.
The water frame did 96.
This one has 714 spindles.
Sadly, this huge, complex machine presented dangers to the mill workers, especially the ladies.
We've all heard the saying, "Let your hair down."
Back in the day, one of the common injuries with women was scalping.
If you didn't have your hair tied up, it could easily get caught up in machinery.
They had their hair very tightly tied up while they were at work.
Some of them would even have it tied up with a cloth wrapped around their hair.
Then when they were on their day off, they would let their hair down.
The interesting thing I find is that a lot of people who worked in the mills think of it fondly.
Some of them got horrifically injured while working in mills,
but they still talk fondly about working in the mills.
Despite the long hours and the all too real dangers,
the mills created prosperity and a close community in the area.
The Helmshore Mill Museum leaves a fantastic historical gift for the nation.
Many of these mules were two decades old when the floor opened in 1925
and are still working 25 years after the business closed.
I wasn't prepared for the beauty of this space, the rhythm of the replication of the machines.
-I can imagine it being rather hypnotic and rather fantastic Can we see it?
Watch your hair, Germaine!
So that's obviously the twisting put in.
And now it's winding on.
It's ingenious, isn't it?
I love it.
It's more elegant than I expected.
It's quite interesting because you have something so delicate coming from something so...
You're right. It's big, it's industrial. It's that brute force. Clearly, it's big and manly.
Oh, phooey! Phooey, phooey, phooey!
Louise, thank you, and sorry about him.
Wonderful Helmshore Mill is now another completed chapter in this celebrity road-tripping saga.
But before we find out who done it in Lancashire,
let's round up the usual suspects to see who's bought what.
-Who's going first?
What do you think about this? You squeeze this in and out and play it. It's a piano accordion.
I know exactly what it is. It's set with gems.
-I think it's...
-That's obviously an emerald.
-More semi than precious!
-It cost 28 quid.
-You have bought some real objects with a capital A for antiques. I love the sampler.
-I love the clock.
-This box is absolutely charming.
It certainly is
and sneaked in at the 11th hour.
Clive and Charlie secretly picked up this decorative Regency jewel box for a mere £60.
-Look at those birds!
-It's a bit revolting.
-No, we like that.
It's almost a memory box. I love it. Don't you, Germaine?
Well, you could just say "yes" and be polite, but never mind.
He's shown you his, Germaine, so now show him yours.
-OK, here we go.
-Yours is an even more bizarre collection.
This is a saddleback pig and he's made of cast-iron.
A cast-iron piggy bank? That is fantastic.
He doesn't seem to be of either sex and when I examined the relevant area...
- Which you would do. - ..it appeared to have had some sor of obliteration carried out.
That does happen to farmyard animals quite often.
And it cost them just £50. What's next?
This is the sort of thing you buy in a shop, you take it home and think, "Why the hell did I buy that?"
The patent is 1891.
I don't think anybody else would have wanted to make one.
-What does it run off?
-It runs off woman power.
These are fine for a museum of domestic...
-We'll be on the phone.
-Domestic Science Museum.
We'll make sure that a Bygones Museu or the Museum of Female Drudgery can have that and this.
After that affable, collegiate approach
to each other's shopping efforts, is there anything left to say candidly?
-What do you think?
-I think we're in the lap of the gods
I think their lots are strangely boring.
-We liked one of their things.
-We liked the pig.
The pig is the sort of thing that if I was in a bric-a-brac shop, I might go, "I'd like to buy that."
-Toss of a coin, who will win?
-I think it is a toss of a coin. I think we'll win though.
In all honesty, do you feel, in our array of objects of art, I've served you well?
Yes, I think you probably have, you know.
We all knew... Everybody who looked at the lantern knew that it would have caught your eye.
And my first instinct was, "No, it's just trash, it's utter rubbish.
"You can't, you can't, you can't, you can't,"
and then, "Perhaps you can, perhaps you can."
It's taken Charles two days, but he's finally managed to charm the lovely Ms Greer.
It's been a real journey of discovery from Eccleston
with the passing delights of Preston and Manchester.
And as Rossendale fades from memory,
we head 45 miles south to Northwich.
Quick, Charles, we're late!
- Good morning. - Good morning. Allow me.
Clive, we've got five minutes before the auction kicks off.
-No time for chit-chat.
Come on, across the road. Steady.
Northwich Auctions is a relatively new kid on the block,
but valiantly serves the fine folk of Mid-Cheshire.
Today's auctioneer, Peter Critchley, has had a look at our celebrities' purchases
and this is what he thinks.
The Crown Derby, Imari-patterned dis is a nice thing.
Crown Derby is always very popular and it's stayed fairly valuable.
The old-fashioned hoovers, hopefully, they didn't pay too much for those.
I can't see them flying today.
The accordion is not in the best of condition and they're very, very expensive to repair.
We sell a fair number of these and we've estimated that at around the £30, £40 mark.
Some nice items and some rather strange items. The lantern should do well.
The Moorish lantern is a huge piece and they're still very popular at the moment.
I would be very disappointed if we don't get well into three figures
And woe betide you if you don't! There's Germaine behind this.
Our celebrity teams began with £400 apiece.
Clive and Charlie spent a brazen £218 on six auction lots.
But Germaine and Charles spent a less compelling £265 also on six lots.
But before we can really get going, Clive, does Charlie have news for you?
-I've got some good news and some bad news. Which would you like?
-I'll start with the bad news.
-You remember our Noritake vases?
-Of course. Yes, prime things, weren't they?
It is now a Noritake vase.
Boo-hoo! Broken in transit, sadly.
And the Road Trip rules allow for a mid-estimate auction price of £70
to be credited, so it's maybe kind of good news.
-I'm reasonably happy with that.
-Shall we now smash up all our lots?
Sorry, Clive. The rest you earn the hard way. Sit up straight, everyone. This auction is about to begin.
First up, one rather lonely Noritake vase seeks a new home.
Start me at £20? Start the bidding on the Noritake vase at £20, please?
Start me at £20? £20?
-£20 bid with the lady. 20 with the lady.
-Well done. Well done.
22? 22. 25? 25. 28?
- Oh, I say! - 28, sir? No.
£25 with the lady then. Selling at 25...
What would a pair make? Not a bad start for Clive and Charlie.
As promised, the mid-price estimate is going to be credited,
so a cracking profit to begin with.
That was the broken one. Now they're selling the one that's intact(!)
Our new underdogs begin their fightback with the Ceres engravings.
Start me off at £20? Start me at 20? £20 I have in the room. 20.
-Well done. Great.
-£20 in the room. Maiden bid. Looking for 22.
22 anywhere? £20 I have and I'm selling. £20...
Good start for Germaine and Charles, but they must keep up the momentum.
-Are you happy with that?
-That's a good return.
- Don't look so miserable, Germaine. - I'm not miserable.
Could the pretty Crown Derby bonbon dish be next to do it
for Clive and Charlie?
20 I have on the net. Looking for 22 now.
25 in the room. 28. 28 in the room now. 30 on the net.
£32 I have in the room. 35 on the net. Thank you, net.
- Keep going, net! - £38 in the room.
£38 in the room...
A bothersome loss, that, but no great shakes for the front-runners.
Humble apologies. We lost two quid!
Now, can Germaine's domestic twin set suck up a decent profit?
Start me off at £30 if you will.
-Start me at 30?
£20 bid. Thank you, sir. 22 in the room.
25? 25. 28? 28. 30.
32? 32. 35.
- £38. £38 the bid and selling... - You don't need any electricity.
I hope we're not in for a night of small, wounding losses. This could be a long one.
Let's fire up the bidders with Clive and Charlie's jewellery box.
Start me at 20? At 20 in the door.
22 on the net. 25, sir? 25 bid.
28 on the net. 30?
£30. 30 in the room. 32.
£30 bid in the room. £30 in the room... Sold.
Gosh! That's going to hurt.
Clive and Charlie's early lead is fast slipping away.
I can't bear it!
Could the underdogs get their day with the saddleback money-box?
-Start the bidding off at £40. Start me at £40.
-Come on, let's go!
-Who's got 42 now? Give me 42. 45.
48. It's still very cheap.
You get loads and loads of money in it. It might be full! £65 bid.
70. £70. £75 bid on the front then. Any further interest?
£75 is the bid and selling at 75...
Fantastic profit. It's a porker!
-That was a good item.
As Team Anderson's needlework sampler awaits the bidders.
-Good quality sampler. Start me at £50?
-This is a lovely sampler.
Start me at 40 then? 40 we have in the room.
-40 in the room.
-It's going downwards It's a Dutch auction.
£42? Got to be worth more than that, surely. £40 only bid. 42 anywhere?
£40 the bid then. Selling at £40...
Oops! £10 down on that one.
That sampler, we were stitched up!
He's got a good sense of humour. Now the travelling chess set.
Start the bidding at £30? Start me at £30?
30 bid there. 30 in the room. Looking for 32 now. Who's got £32?
30 I'm bid in the room. Looking for 32. 32 in the cage.
35. 38. 40. 42.
45. 48. 50.
55? £50 in the room. £50 in the room
Looking for £55 now. £50...
Fantastic. Germaine and Charles are firmly on the up.
Can we bear the weight of expectation
as the chaps' piano accordion tunes up for auction?
£40 for the piano accordion? Give me £30 then?
£30? 30 bid. Have we got 32? 32 bid.
40...? £38 the bid then.
Selling at 38...
That hit the right note. Finally, a profit for Clive and Charlie.
A profit, but I was expecting more.
Still flying high though, the happy couple's glass compote next.
Start me at £20. 20 bid with the lady there...
It's estimated at 80 to 120!
25, madam? 25. 25. 28? 28. 30.
-You're rough players, you two.
38. 40. 42...
-Look at this!
-It's really rare.
55? 55 with the lady...
Another chapter in this success story!
Now time for Clive and Charlie's last hope.
Edwardian mahogany and marquetry-inlaid mantel clock.
-Start me at £40?
-It's a super clock. £40 I have.
-42 on the net. 45?
-45 in the room. 48. 50?
50 in the room. 55.
60 in the room. 65 on the net.
70? 70 in the room. 75.
80 in the room. 85 on the net.
Who's got 90? £85 it is on the net then. £85...
Very well done, gentlemen.
That great profit has somewhat turned the tables.
-Half the reputation's back!
So all the pressure is now on Germaine's risky Moorish lantern.
Can it deliver on Charles's promise?
I've got £80 bid. 80 bid. 85? 85 over there.
85 over there. 85. CHEERING
90? 90? 90 bid.
Could be a fight in the corner. 95. 95 with the gentleman.
£100? £100 with the lady. 110?
110, no. £100 then with the lady. £100. No-one got 110?
It's a super thing. £100 with the lady...
Sadly, that loss has also lost the auction for our duo.
-Not too bad.
-You got something for it. I thought you were taking it home, so I think that was all right.
Our celebrity teams began with £400 each.
Germaine and Charles bought well and fought hard to make a decent profit.
Our First Lady of Letters and her young man finished their trip with £412.16.
But Clive and Charlie had Lady Luck on their side
to make a more healthy sum.
They end this road trip with a thoroughly pleasant £428.82.
Small profits, but profits nonetheless.
And all those profits will go to Children In Need.
-Very, very close.
-It's too close, really.
We've made a profit, both of us, and the whole thing has hinged
on the delightful fact that they dropped one of our Noritake vases.
That was the best thing we did!
This is your tactic? You buy something fairly fragile and hope it breaks in some way!
Thank you, Charles. I'm just pleased that I didn't choose too badly.
-You did not.
-Germaine, you were a great expert. You're coming with me.
- Well done. - Bye-bye.
Well done for taking care of my old mate.
Goodbye, Germaine. Goodbye!
Charlie, I sometimes go to bed and dream about you.
There's a weeping ash. I grew a weeping ash and it "un-weeped".
It cheered up? It cheered up with you?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Germaine Greer and Clive Anderson hit the towns and shops of Lancashire to see who can buy the best antiques for auction in Northwich. Antiques experts Charlie Ross and Charles Hanson lend a hand to these competing celebrities and join them on excursions to the wonderful Chetham Library and Helmsmore Mill Museum. Which high-minded haggler will win the day?