Stars of stage and screen Simon Williams and Duncan Preston take a buying trip around Essex with £400 to invest in antiques with experts James Lewis and Philip Serrell.
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Some of the nation's favourite celebrities.
Why have I got such expensive taste?
One antiques expert each.
Speak, oh wise one.
And one big challenge.
Who can seek out and buy the best antiques at the very best prices?
Answers on a postcard!
An auction for a big profit further down the road.
# When I'm cleaning windows! #
Who will spot the good investment? Who will listen to advice?
-Do you like it?
-No, I think it's horrible!
And who will be the first to say, "Don't you know who I am?!"
Well done, us.
Time to put your pedal to the metal.
This is Celebrity Antiques Road Trip!
Doing battle today in the Roman playground of Essex
are two gladiators of stage and screen.
Simon Williams and Duncan Preston.
And check out their chariot, eh?
The magnificent E-type Jag.
That is just so beautiful!
The E-type has always turned heads and made the headlines.
Enzo Ferrari himself called this the most beautiful car in the world
when it was released in 1961.
Oh, that's just beautiful.
Treat her like a lady, Simon. Gently does it!
We're in for two very fine days.
We're in for some fine country weather.
And Simon's on the hunt with Duncan, whose career has spanned Hamlet to Emmerdale.
As Victoria Wood's leading man,
he's starred on stage and screen in Acorn Antiques,
and wasn't he Stan the janitor in Dinner Ladies?
The element of competition is alive and well.
It certainly is!
At the other end of the social spectrum,
Simon is famed for his aristocratic roles from '70s drama Upstairs Downstairs
to joining Duncan in Dinner Ladies.
It's a shepherd's pie, Ma'am. Your Royal Highness.
-Not made with real shepherds, I hope?
-Ha, ha, ha!
So, with decades of playing the cream of the upper classes behind him,
Simon should have no trouble getting to grips with the precision engineering
of this classy little motor.
-How many gears has it got?
-Who cares how many gears? Four.
-The backwards one you can't find.
I get my people to park for me!
Of course he does!
And looking every inch the gentleman,
will surely be a boon when it comes to getting a good price for his antiques.
I'd be looking so cool. And when the antique dealers saw me arrive,
they'd add a zero to everything they've got in store!
Ah, well. Maybe not, then.
The cars match the men. From sleek and sexy to muscular and manly!
Ha-ha! Pairing up with our celebs are two Road Trip veterans,
Philip Serrell and James Lewis.
This is the very first car there ever was.
It's a punchy three-litre V8 Triumph Stag for them.
If you read the Bible, it says, "Moses came down the hill in his triumph."
And this is it!
In that case, just like our experts, it's aging beautifully.
Derbyshire auctioneer James Lewis started his career at the tender age of six
when he bought a bird cage for his budgie at auction.
It was going "cheep"!
Made for you!
When in Rome, James...
And there's the silver fox himself, auctioneer Phil Serrell
who has a lot of bottle when it comes to taking a risk on some hair-raising purchases!
But when it's sewing up the competition, he's all business.
A table-top sewing machine.
No, I don't mind. It's all about taking part, isn't it? Is it hell!
Our teams have two days of antiques shopping ahead,
with £400 in their back pockets.
Their aim? To strike the kind of deals that make them lots of dosh at auction.
So, to battle, at Finchingfield in Essex.
Then it's a quick stop in Suffolk
before Road Tripping the 300 miles
to that all-important auction on the English Riviera at Torquay.
Starting off in Finchingfield, there's just time for a cuppa
before our experts meet our sophisticated celebrities.
You've got the drinks in, then?
-How are you? Good to see you.
-Pleased to meet you.
-How are you?
Choosing partners takes careful deliberation.
You've got Phil.
Good. There we are. We're in business.
-Shall we let them race off, and we'll sit down and have a coffee.
-That would be nice. Lovely.
Whilst Simon and James make a dash to the first shop,
Phil reveals his strategy to Duncan.
Duncan, I think the plan is a hare and tortoise job, here.
-Yeah, go on.
-Well, there's a pub there
and I think we should equally spend our time between the antiques centre and the pub. What do you reckon?
Well, I've got to be honest. I saw the pub before the antiques centre!
Listen, it's Antiques Road Trip, not Antiques Pub Crawl!
Nice to see one team, though, taking it seriously.
-I'm Simon Williams.
-Hello! Hi, there.
Peter and Mary Curry have owned Finchingfield Antiques Centre for 25 years,
although for the first seven years, they ran it as a restaurant.
Whilst Duncan and Phil check out the retail opportunities in the pub,
Simon is honing his haggling skills.
-Have you got a lot to spend?
-Poor as church mice. Take no notice of the E-type Jaguar!
Not sure you'll get away with that one, Simon!
In fact, the boys have £400 to spend.
But is there anything on the menu that will serve up a healthy profit?
-I'm not moved here yet. Are you?
-No, not yet.
Somebody actually made that, you know!
Is Simon casting a spell? Well, it's worth a try!
Interesting stuff. I'm enjoying myself. Are you?
Yeah, it's... I always feel the pressure, you know,
until I find the first object.
-That's the sort of thing I love to find.
-Big iron brackets and things.
These cast iron Victorian architectural brackets
date to about 1860 and were often used in conservatories.
The whole discipline is about not what you want to have in your house,
-it's what we can make money on.
That's why I'm a pauper.
Seems like he's really getting the hang of this Road Tripping business.
He's got a good eye and he's keen.
What do you like? What do you collect?
I like a bit of a painting.
Simon's spotted a 1984 pastel by Jon Antony Atkinson,
entitled Joanie, Early Morning, priced at £38.
Is it a boy or is it a woman?
Poor old Joanie!
-I think it's a woman. I'm seeing woman.
-I see woman now.
See a woman who's had a disappointing time of it, I think!
Yeah. She's not happy, is she?
But there's a mood there, and nice tones.
-I think at 38, I think it's...
1984. It's not early.
-No, it's not early.
-She's not happy, she's not pretty, she's not early.
-There's something possibly a little bit French.
-Yeah. I agree with you.
Could we make a buck on that?
Let's put it somewhere else, and stand back.
Well, as they say, she's no oil painting!
But will Joanie's frail charm attract a potential bidder?
Speak, oh wise one!
I think it's nicely done.
I think you're right.
-Damning with faint praise?
I think she's either in her sick bed or...
-She didn't quite get there.
So, to buy or not to buy is the question being pondered by Team Simon.
Meanwhile, next door, it seems Phil has found the answer to his problems.
And no, it's not the wine!
"Not a drop is sold till it's seven years old."
It's John Jameson's whiskey. Irish scotch. Are you a scotch man?
No, I'm afraid not.
-You might be now!
-I might be changing!
Well, we all might be!
-Can I take the bottles out?
Has Phil found unexpected treasure?
So is this an old one, or a brand new one?
That was bought a couple of years ago from a lady called Heather,
who has a vintage shop here in the area.
-I think that's a fun thing.
-Yes, it is.
Someone's taken a whiskey box, attached a handle, and hey presto!
-That's quite a clever idea, I think.
-Yes, it is.
It's a trick, isn't it? It's worked. That's just what it is.
But I think it's fun.
What you need to look at is who's going to buy it at the auction.
-There's going to be a few drinkers there.
-Well, there's going to be us, for a start!
-But it's going to go to another pub, isn't it?
I'd have that at home.
But there's only room for six bottles of booze in it.
We're going to be really mean here,
but if that goes for auction, I think that'll make between 15 and 30 quid.
Which means we've got to try and buy it for between five and ten pounds. Is that any good?
-I would be crying!
I would be crying, I would. Realistically, we would...
-Do you like it?
-Split the difference. 15 quid.
Sold for £15. And their slow and steady strategy bags them the first deal of the Road Trip.
Well done, chaps.
That tortoise and hare have gone rushing off into there.
We can enjoy our drink, can't we?
Is a round of drinks cheaper than the basket?
-I'll have to buy you one as well, now!
-Thank you very much indeed.
Strictly orange juice, boys. You're driving!
Next door, Joanie has been left to languish on the couch
as Peter is summoned.
-Can we borrow you for a minute?
How long has this been in your premises, I wonder?
It's been here a long time, hasn't it?
The wallpaper was faded around it!
Oh, stop it!
Luckily, we can't afford wallpaper, because of people like you!
It's got a bit of something about it, hasn't it?
She looks dead!
-She's just resting!
-No, we weren't seeking a fiver!
That's just as well!
Are we talking here, or are we actually negotiating?
I'm not sure at the moment!
I think if we could get it for 20, we'd be in some kind of business. Do you?
That was exactly the level. And we haven't pre-planned that, either.
It's a classic pincer movement.
I'll just confer. Won't be a minute.
So it's 38. Right.
Peter's consulting with the real boss, his wife, Mary.
So, 20 quid. I was looking at 38.
You've got it at 25.
I think it might sell for 25.
-He's as hard as flint, isn't he?
-He's a tough man.
A henchman, here.
Um, 22.50, then.
22.50. I said 22.50. I think that's a fabulous bargain!
-Thank you very much.
-It's not even mine!
There we are. Well done. Well found.
What do you think? You like? You like?
Too late for second thoughts, old bean!
With Joanie in the bag, the boys are in a buying mood.
Not coming back for your brackets?
Oh, the Victorian brackets.
Those brackets, I think, are very good at that price.
49 quid the lot.
He'll probably do... They're not mine. He'll probably do them for...
I should imagine you'd get them for about 35.
I think with the damage to them, we could get that price tidied up a little further.
I can ring him up and ask him.
Good. Let's just wait and see what we get back on the phone here.
Seems Simon's definitely getting the hang of this!
Time for Peter to call the dealer.
Alan, I've got Simon Williams and James Lewis here,
looking at your cast iron brackets.
-What were you...
-We wanted to offer 15 for the two.
-Or 25 for the lot.
-25 for the lot or 15 the two.
-The good ones. Is that about right, do you think?
-So no joy on that.
-How about 35, then? What do you think?
They're taking up a lot of space here.
Exactly. You're doing them a favour!
You're going to do that?
You're on, then? OK.
-We are done.
-Good. Thank you.
Wow! A nail-biting end, and a sterling ovation for our leading man.
-Great! Well done!
-I've had a fantastic hour!
So that's a 20th-century pastel for £22.50,
and four cast iron brackets for £35.
-Lovely. Thank you very much.
-Good doing business with you.
Time to hit the road. No sign of Team Duncan.
The opposition gets the pick of the cars.
Which one will they choose, I wonder?
I'm having the best day!
It is lovely.
-England with a blue sky. Open-top car.
E-type, you, and the good thing is, we've got cameras turning and I don't have to learn any lines!
One thing about antiques, I absolutely love them.
But if they're rubbish antiques, I don't like them.
If they're very good antiques, I get worried about the grandchildren knocking them over or breaking them.
-So they're a kind of two-edged sword!
Simon isn't the only one reflecting on the joys of the antiques trade.
Duncan is reminiscing about his time on Victoria Wood's masterpiece, Acorn Antiques.
'We had a great time doing that.'
'We didn't know how funny it was'
when we first started doing it.
You look at one of Victoria Wood's scripts,
but we didn't know that the back cloth was swinging from side to side
or half of what was going on.
She has a vision like nobody's ever seen.
Hang on. Looks like Phil is having a visionary moment of his own!
Look at all that in there!
What's the old dog up to?
There's all sorts of axles, and all sorts.
Yes. It's resting in peace, actually.
-Guard dogs and all sorts of things!
-I don't want to buy a guard dog, but is there anything else?
Looks like the old remains of a trailer over there.
I think we need to look at places like this.
Well, we're certainly looking at it! Onward down the road.
Meanwhile, Simon and James are forging on ten miles to Gosfield,
and the talk turns to this acting lark.
Have you always been acting? Or is it in later life, or..?
No. When I was a kid, my father was an actor.
He took me to see My Fair Lady with Stanley Holloway.
Stanley Holloway took me by the hand, took me out onto the stage of the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane
and there was a great big empty auditorium. And he said, "What do you think of that?"
And I said... Oh, I just knew then that these were the buildings
I wanted to be in all my life. I love them!
Next stop is on the outskirts of Gosfield,
said to be where geese were resting on their march from Norwich to the markets of London.
Simon and James have big boots to fill.
I was guest of honour at the Gosfield Shopping Village opening ceremony
back in 2006.
The village has two main barns,
housing items from some 130 dealers. Wow!
And keeping an eye on proceedings is Betha. She's Polish, by the way.
SHE CORRECTS HIM
Well done! Well done!
I didn't know you nearly spoke Polish, James!
Good tactic, though. Get her on your side.
-Oh, that's incredible.
I can carry my own luggage, sir!
Talk me through these.
They have a crown on the back, hallmarked Sheffield.
A lion, which means it's English silver.
And an S. From about 1900, 1910.
-A set of six of those are worth 30 to £40.
Ah, a wry smile. But that's half the ticket price.
-We'd have to get half price to get our money back, I think.
-I think we would.
Moving to the next barn, they now have 12 shop units and an art gallery to peruse.
Good tactics to split up. Cover more ground, that way.
So many things to feast the eye on.
James has sniffed out something close to his heart.
A snuff box. This one dates to 1730.
It's mother-of-pearl in tortoise shell.
Snuff used to be so popular
that George III's wife, Queen Charlotte,
dedicated a whole room to it
and was known as "Snuffy Charlotte"!
I think that's a possibility.
-Shall I move this ticket?
And he's not finished yet.
He's going box mad.
It's unusual because of its shape, more than anything.
-What is it made of?
Battersea enamel was a factory which used a transfer printing process
back in the 1750s.
That's a terribly special green.
It's, um, about 1820.
They often had a mirror in the top.
And it was when you would have a spot or blemish on your skin
and you would cover it with a beauty spot.
And then within ten or 15 years, it became fashionable to have the beauty spot anyway.
So you would literally lick, tap, and with the mirror, apply.
So with two boxes in hand, can they broker a deal with Betha?
Over to you, Simon!
-If we were to propose a job lot of this and the...
-Are they 35 each?
-35 each, yes.
-So that's 70.
-I'd like to make an offer of £60 for the pair.
You are tough!
But I don't see how else we can pull it off.
-Would you go with that?
-I think special for both of you. You are so nice!
It pays to have a class act on your team! Good work, old fruit.
Just really makes it right.
Lovely. Thank you. Gives us a chance.
So, that's £60 for an enamel patch box and a snuff box.
Just the thing James collects.
If it had been my money for my collection, I'd have happily paid ticket price for that. It's lovely.
There you are. If only we could get that message to the auctioneer!
-I wonder what Preston and Philip are getting up to?
-Probably been in the pub all day!
That's slanderous! In fact, Duncan and Phil have left Finchingfield
and driven the 15 miles east to Sudbury.
They're visiting a place where an old aged tradition thrives
and without which, many of Britain's historic buildings simply wouldn't survive.
-Am I looking at Peter?
-You are, indeed. Nice to meet you. Lovely day.
Nice to meet you.
Peter Minter's family business is one of the country's foremost brick makers
and produces over 300,000 a year, using age-old techniques.
The bricks are used to renovate our most important buildings,
like Hampton Court Palace.
-This is the end product of all this? All this huge concern?
"Mark Nicholson, Victoria Cottage, Halstead", a local town.
But it could be anywhere. These are going to Hampton Court. So there's a variety.
They're all different. I never knew there were so many different bricks.
In fact, as every historic building is unique,
there are more than 25,000 different types.
Most of them are moulded. Ordinary bricks are moulded, and most of the specials are moulded.
It depends entirely on where they're going as to the specification,
the clay we blend for it and how we do it.
Can you take us through how you start? Right from the beginning?
Yes. Go to the pit. That's where it all starts with the geology and the clay.
We'll see that and you'll understand the process as it evolves from there.
I'm looking forward to this.
The Minters have been on-site since 1936,
but the tile kiln dates back to 1450.
The industry is even older.
The whole of the brick industry in this area goes back to Roman times
and into the Saxon period as well.
It almost seems continuous.
This is the pit, where we actually dig the clay.
I can see there's a hole there.
You don't put explosives in there?
No, we dig it all in the autumn.
And we dig when it's the best conditions down here
and then we actually stockpile it and use it the following year.
And what you're looking at is the estuary, from the Thames estuary,
about 40 million years ago.
-This was water?
-Water. 40 million years ago.
The clay is the source of the material, and the key to the whole thing.
Turning that 40-million-year-old clay into bricks like these
starts back in the workshop.
-What's that goo?
-That's the clay.
That's the clay. We were down in the pit.
It's been processed through there with just water added
and it comes out as a paste like that.
Kenny here has brick making in the blood.
It's important to our heritage buildings that these skills are passed down.
His father works here. He makes the moulds.
-And his mother worked here.
It's all part of the family.
It's all family, isn't it?
This method he's using, would it have been the same 100 years ago?
Yes. This building was here then.
This technique would have been used in this area,
it's called stock moulding because the block underneath is known as the stock.
-The frame goes over it.
You can raise and lower your frame to get different thicknesses of the same size.
We've got over 150 different frame sizes.
There are about 25,000 different-sized bricks you could make
if you wanted to compute it all.
-Can I have a go?
-You can certainly have a go.
-We'll dress you properly.
Good idea. This could get messy!
-Kenny, will you show me how to do it?
A bit of sand in there. Get your hand round in the middle.
So far, so good.
-And then in there?
That settles out.
-Is that right?
-Now you want to roll it as you...
-Roll it over.
-It's pouring out, Kenny!
-Bit of a shake.
-Bit of a bang.
CLATTERS TO FLOOR
That's called dropping a brick!
-How was that?
-To be honest, not very good!
I didn't mean that honest!
Don't hold back, Kenny. You tell him, son! Let him have it.
It just makes you look good, this, doesn't it?
Maybe stick to acting, then, Duncan.
I think we should move on.
Good idea! But Phil's determined not to leave the brickyard empty-handed
and he's spotted a decorative finial.
This looks to me like it's what, 1860, 1870?
It was copied originally from a much earlier 16th-century building.
-So this is from 1870?
-It was down on the Thames somewhere. We did a series of pinnacles.
Then we were asked to make some more up. So that's copying something from the 16th century.
-So you made these?
-Yes, we made those.
Exactly, Phil. So unless Peter's ageing well, it's not 150 years old.
-Is it for sale?
-I suppose anything's for sale, yes.
Here we go!
Now, in auction that's going to make 40 to 60. That sort of region.
Which means we've got to try and buy it for a bit less than that.
If we were selling them per item, each of those pieces...
-Oh, no, we don't want to do that.
-We want to buy the whole lot, Peter,
-and we want to give you...
-40 or 50 quid.
-No. 30 quid.
-20 or 30 quid.
-20 or 30?
-I didn't think you'd like to hear the 20 bit!
-No, I don't like 20 quid.
-But the 30 quid might do, might it?
30 quid? Well, it's... Just as it's you. Just because it's you.
Oh, get in there! Get in there!
Crikey. So he's either bagged a bargain or...
We just bought a pile of bricks for 30 quid!
-Shall we get on?
We'll go and open the boot.
So, the end of an unconventional first day.
Duncan and Phil have stuck to their plan of taking things at a steady pace.
And Simon and James have been haring ahead doing deals left, right and centre.
No sign yet who's going to win this race!
So, nighty-night, boys!
It's the dawn of a new day.
Will Phil finally take Duncan to an antiques shop?
And can Simon keep schmoozing those deals?
He's already feeling wickedly competitive
and he's barely had breakfast.
I'm quietly confident. We've still got money to burn today.
We bought some stuff yesterday, masterpieces of art,
artefacts, oh yes.
-I'm not saying any more.
No, best not to.
My goal is just to keep away from antiques shops. That's the way forward.
-I know what you've done.
You've picked something up off the side of the road, knowing you!
Well, you're not too far wrong.
So far, Simon and James have spent £117.50 on four items.
The pastel painting, four cast iron brackets,
the mother-of-pearl snuff box and the enamel patch box.
Duncan and Phil, however, have forked out a miserly £45 on two items.
A wooden box and a pile of bricks!
So, time for out teams to turn their chariots south-east to Colchester,
for the next part of this Road Trip.
And there's fighting talk in the air!
-Right, here we are, Day Two.
-How are you?
It's a fine day.
Good, so you're going to continue your losing streak, basically, the way the strategy's going.
Straight in for the kill!
We're going to go... We've got money to spend and we're going to spend it more subtly than yesterday.
Like a good drama, Simon, we're accelerating towards a brilliant conclusion.
No over-acting, thank you!
In the first century AD,
the Romans established a legionary fortress in Colchester
and anointed the town as the provincial capital of Britain.
There's something about the way they spell "bitz", B-I-T-Z, that worries me here!
Right. Clever use of the language!
That's not the half of it!
-What's your name?
-Oh, "bitz and bobs"!
-Bitz and Bob's.
Bob Kavanagh and his wife have owned this shop for seven years.
Their collection covers everything, from Victorian jewellery to stuffed warthogs!
-We've got work to do here.
If you want to catch a big fish, look at that!
We could get Preston on that!
There's Pierce Brosnan there. Get a shot of me.
A striking resemblance!
You're quite Bond-like, actually!
It's amazing how the role escaped me.
He's a bit of a "bore"!
James has spotted something from his home county of Derbyshire.
It's pastelware, 1930s.
And made by Denby in Derbyshire.
-Is it hand-painted?
-Mm. Hand-moulded. It's a moulded piece.
But they're hand-decorated.
It's part of their range called Danesby Ware.
What will that fetch?
What will that make us?
It should make 30 to 35 quid.
That would be a decent profit. Ticket price is a tenner.
Oh, no! Not another brick!
If only James knew!
Even Philip Serrell would find that interesting!
James, you have no idea!
It's a royal wedding brick!
Commemorating the union of Charles and Diana,
made by the London Brick Company in 1981.
We could sell that to Phil!
No need, James. He's got that one covered!
A complete set. If you lift it out, I'll show you.
Although it looks like dominoes,
this ancient Chinese game of skill and strategy is more closely related to rummy.
I think that would make about 75, 80 quid at auction.
This will make about 195 at auction.
James is not convinced.
Anything else, Bob?
What about the Royal Worcester coffee set? That will sell quite well.
Tell me about this.
It's Royal Worcester, who were one of the best porcelain manufacturers in England.
If they'd been painted with fruit,
then they'd be £100, £150 a cup and saucer.
But the plain powder blue is very difficult to sell at the moment.
-But still very pretty.
-It is pretty.
What's the best on the mahjong set?
-What do you want to pay for it?
-You've got a deal.
Before you shake hands...
He bit his hand off! Quick, make the most of it!
-He's the expert.
-Will you throw that in with it?
-Shake the man's hand. You've done a deal.
That's a 1930s English Denby vase and a Chinese mahjong set for £80.
Well done, boys.
Exit stage right.
Entering stage left are Duncan and Phil,
who are heading ten miles south to Britain's most easterly inhabited island
and its small town, West Mersea.
This is really nice. I'm glad we came down here.
-I've never even heard of Mersea!
-I haven't, either.
Since Roman times, it's been famous for oysters.
So can our pair find a magic pearl to bring them riches at auction?
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
First things first.
Work out where you are!
Is it "Mer-sey" or Mersea?
They call it Mersea.
Mersea. And is that an island, do you think?
Oh, crikey. Mersea Island, chaps! The clue's in the name!
This is lovely.
Wonders will never cease.
Duncan and Phil are finally heading to an antiques shop.
One with a nautical feel.
Why? Because Phil is a man with a plan.
Those are quite nice, look.
We've got to think here, haven't we?
-We're going to Torquay.
-Which is on the coast.
-Unless somebody's moved it.
Sounds like a winner.
You know, I think we might have set ourselves too big a task here
by trying to buy stupid things.
We've got our eyes shut to shops like this, really.
-I like that.
-What about that, yeah?
These bronze fittings were screwed to ships' decks next to the cleats
around which the mooring ropes were tied.
-They're for ropes on a ship.
-And there's the rope.
So as a pair, that's a possibility.
30 quid apiece. We'd need to have a tickle with the girls on price.
-30 quid a pair, isn't it?
-Get out of here. It's less than that!
Time to turn the charm on Lynne and Heather,
with an offer that will hopefully be music to their ears.
-Is it for sale?
-It is for sale.
What made you choose that?
I just like the look of it.
Hold on. I thought the plan was to go nautical?
Do you know what? I wouldn't have a clue what that was worth.
Give us a tune, Duncan.
# When I'm cleaning windows! #
Can I have a look at the bows, please?
Oh, dear. Phil's on the fiddle!
What are you learning now?
Very often, you can find a lousy violin
that might be worth, I don't know, 30 quid.
And everybody forgets the bow.
-And the bow could be worth a lot more than the fiddle.
A lot more than the fiddle. But this is fairly modern.
-There's a Tommy Cooper joke about that, you know.
I was left a Rembrandt and a Stradivarius.
Unfortunately, Rembrandt was a terrible violinist,
and Stradivarius could never paint!
Seems the musical instruments haven't struck the right note.
Time to re-group.
The only thing I think we might have a chance for
is those ships' rope tie things.
But I think we've got to be quite firm in our price.
Yeah, let's be firm.
So, with a ticket price of £30, can the boys tie up a bargain?
I really, really like them. I do like them.
And it's just down on price.
Where I'm coming from, I think if you put them into auction,
you'd perhaps estimate them at, I don't know, 30 to 40 quid.
25, 45, that sort of area.
If we bought them for 20 quid the two,
then if they sell for 30 quid, they're going to make £5 for us.
But I'd understand if you say no.
I think there's more in it for you.
I honestly think 20 is going to be our best shot. Honestly.
-Sure? Thank you.
The old sea dog has done it again!
Thank you very much indeed.
Thanks ever so much, girls.
And the deal is sealed with a kiss. How nice!
Back in Colchester, Simon and James are all spent up.
But their hunt for antiques isn't over.
They've come to the home of Gerald Gurney, one of the world's foremost collectors of sporting memorabilia.
-There we are.
-Mr Gurney, sir, how nice to meet you!
There we are.
-I love your doves.
-The doves are wonderful.
As a former tennis coach,
it's Gerald's love of racquet sports in particular
that has inspired this collection,
built up over 60 years.
And he has some choice items.
This is the box.
-Oh, look at that.
This is one of the original racquets.
I bought this for £25 on Newmarket racecourse.
One of these racquets, I was there at Christie's,
-and it sold for £18,500.
What have you got there?
-This is the...
-Oh, the net... The net marker.
Very elegant thing, isn't it?
Yes. And look at the scene on the top.
Oh, gosh, yes.
He's Victorian, and there he is in his cap.
-This is a reproduction one, though, isn't it?
-Are you sure?
-You wouldn't take a tenner for it, then?
It was worth a go!
Ha! Cheeky! In fact, it's worth a lot more.
There are thought to be just two others in the world.
This net measurer is the only one remaining at the original net height of four foot 11 inches,
the other two having been cut down to today's net height of three feet,
making this one unique.
I've got to say - I've been pretending I haven't seen it for the last ten minutes!
-That, that is fantastic!
It looks like the Ladies' Wimbledon trophy,
but this particular Rosewater dish has never seen Centre Court.
A number of them were made in the 1860s
but only one became the iconic silver trophy we see today.
And you can tell me. Is this silver on brass, or silver on copper?
Elkington and Co invented this technique of electroplating
in the 1850s.
They have a copper base
and they attach a current where the silver attracts to the copper.
This is an example of that,
the Venus Rosewater.
And how did Gerald come by this version of the trophy?
Well, it was pure luck.
Some years ago, somewhere round Oxford Street, lots of antiques places,
and I went in and I saw this.
And it was £60.
I then said to the dealer, "Have you got any more tennis items?"
"Tennis?", he said, "What's it got to do with tennis?"
-You got lucky that day!
Gerald's collection also includes contributions from some unlikely sources.
You may have heard of the dispute relating to Boris Johnson and the game of Whiff-Waff.
Just remind us about the dispute.
In Beijing, he made the statement very firmly
that the game of table tennis was first called Whiff-Waff.
-And he got it wrong!
Indeed. Renowned sports manufacturer Jake
actually released ping-pong a full nine years before Slazenger invented Whiff-Waff.
Gerald even wrote to Boris to correct him.
Boris returned the volley.
"Dear Mr Gurney,
"Thank you so much for your letter and comments about ping-pong/Whiff-Waff.
"I know I am right.
"Best wishes. Yours sincerely, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London."
How wonderful! That's typical! But he's not right.
He is not right. He is not right by nine or ten years.
This is one of Gerald's prize possessions.
It used to belong to Fred Perry
and there's an unusual story attached to it.
-You know that Fred Perry was champion at Wimbledon.
You might not know that he was world champion at table tennis.
-He was, indeed.
He was one of those annoying characters that was good at everything!
Is this the actual trophy that he won?
This is the actual trophy that he won.
Fred Perry's trophy!
As it's a money-based programme,
what do you think it would be worth today?
I'm not... That's for you.
Oh, no idea!
This is my most recent find at a boot fair.
It's a ball cleaner.
-It says 1897 at the top there.
-Shall we give it a go?
-Do we push?
-I think you have to press it, actually.
Careful, James. Even the balls are antiques.
-It's gone now.
-Where's it gone?
You've chewed it up into fragments!
Don't tell me that was Fred Perry's ball!
It's an amazing collection, and I have to say I've learned a lot.
And I just wish that Boris Johnson might learn a lot, as well!
If you're watching, learn, Boris!
Game, set and match to Gerald.
Meanwhile, Team Duncan have left Mersea Island
and are heading back to Colchester for more shopping.
But, back to form, it's not an antiques shop.
Duncan is certainly having an unusual Road Trip.
This looks really good, doesn't it?
It's Blackheath Reclamation,
run by Terry Att.
Hi, Terry. Duncan.
I know exactly what we want to buy,
which is a profit. I don't care what it is, I want to buy a profit.
Luckily, Terry sells everything here but the kitchen sink!
What about those?
What are they made of?
This is Carrara marble from Italy,
used to make such artistic wonders as Michelangelo's David,
or in this case basins with no plug holes!
What's the absolute death on these?
The pair, 90.
No. Let's go and have a look round.
Terry's been in the trade for almost 20 years.
This family-run business started in demolition in 1989,
but Terry's love of reclamation has seen the business move into architectural salvage
with a speciality for Tudor items.
-You wouldn't believe what we've bought! I promise you.
-He's off the wall!
-I've got a warped mind!
You said it, Phil, not me!
I don't know what you think. I'm thinking one of those sinks.
-One of those sinks?
-The marble ones?
Well, there's no doubt who's in charge here.
So, how's it going with Phil, Duncan? Go on, be honest!
'I think he's totally barmy!'
And he's picking up things. My sympathies are with the people at the auction,
getting these things out!
What's the absolute finito on those?
What have we got them at? 290.
'He has that eye that hones in on things.'
And I'm glad he's here!
What do you reckon's the best bet? One of those baths or the sink?
I know you'll make money on them.
But at £45 for one,
is there an offer Terry can't refuse?
How does 30 quid sound?
Oh, get in, there!
-Well done, Terry.
-Shake his hand as well.
Well, at £30, let's hope the people of Torquay want a sink without a hole!
Terry, we need something else.
Uh-oh! Now, what have they spotted?
-I love that.
-This is lunacy, isn't it?
Seems they just can't escape the pub!
I love that.
It's plastic. It's not wood.
-It's not wood. It's unusual...
-Is it really?
Who do you know that has got a garden that they'd put that in?
See, that at auction, it's 50 to 80 quid's worth, isn't it?
-Which means we've got to try and buy it for under 50 quid.
-What do you think that's going to make at auction? Truthfully.
-Exactly what you said.
No need for Terry to do the hard sell here.
He's leaving that to Duncan!
It's there. You don't need to do anything to it.
The only thing you like about it is it's a pub!
Yeah, but it's also got something there.
-You don't have to do anything to it.
-Do not feed me that flannel!
It has just one interest for you. It's a pub.
Let's go and see what else we can find.
I feel a bit guilty cos he's let me do all the choosing so far
and when it all goes horribly wrong, I'm the one that will be in trouble.
So maybe Phil's going to let Duncan make a decision.
I like that pub sign.
You indicated that you could do a deal for us, didn't you?
On the pub sign.
What's the best you can do that for?
-So that means...
-It's a steal for you.
-Yeah, it is.
-It looks as though it's a bit weathered, as well.
-You look like that!
We'll have the Truman sign. We'll have the sign.
-OK with that?
-I'm happy with that.
Job done. So that's £30 for the sink
and £50 for the pub sign.
With the shopping ending in a full circle.
So, what started off in a pub
has finished off with us buying a pub sign!
-What a lovely story.
I wonder whether it's... What's the word I'm looking for? Subconscious?
Yes. Must be.
What will their rivals make of their subconscious choices?
Time to show and tell!
It's been a fantastic treasure hunt, hasn't it?
But I'm quietly confident that we've got you licked!
You haven't seen anything yet!
-You can smell it!
-Shall we start?
-Look at this, eh.
Curtain up, then. I mean, off.
How about that, eh?
Was she in a lot of pain when that was done?
-Look at this.
A bit of Denby.
Snuff box is a beauty.
I've seen "e-snuff" of those!
That's "e-snuff" of that!
I don't think you've done well, but you haven't done badly.
-I like these.
-They're very you!
-How much are they?
-They were 35 quid.
-For the four?
-That's worth the money.
-Do you want to see how it's done, now?
-Go on, then!
Oddly, James seems at a loss for words.
Have you raided a tip?
-You've been to a skip, haven't you?
I'm so sad for you.
I've got to just unwrap this gently.
What's really funny is I stood there,
because I'm an expert in this business,
-and I said, "This is probably about 1870."
-You thought possibly 1865.
-I thought that.
But I was sure. 1870.
And then Peter told us he made it six years ago.
Yes, maybe the less said, the better!
-Are you ready?
-Look and learn.
-A dead tree?
-No, the master.
Don't you look at our things like that!
Not only have they been buying from pubs, they've nicked the sign!
-That's really rather charming.
-Do you know what the best part is?
It's all plastic.
It's not wood at all?
What was it you said? Go for something big.
Yeah. We couldn't find anything.
-We couldn't find anything bigger.
-So you bought a snuff box.
Ribbing aside, what do they really think?
That's a piece de resistance.
-I think that might fly.
When the auctioneer mentions the sign
you shout, "It's plastic!"
-Something subtle like that.
-Nice and subtle and fair play and all.
How do you think they compare with our stuff?
I wouldn't swap any of our bits for their bits,
but that's cos we bought our bits and they bought their bits.
I'd like to see that at the bottom of my garden.
-I quite like that and that. The rest you can keep.
But I honestly think - this is where I go down in flames - I think we might win this.
Well, we're about to find out, Phil.
Time for our Road Trippers to hit the tarmac again
and bid farewell to Colchester
and hello to the English Riviera on the south coast
for the auction showdown in Torquay.
So, here we are. We're in Torquay at last!
The day of reckoning!
Do you know what, I'm not an excitable person, as you've probably gathered,
but I've just got a little twittering in my stomach.
Ooh, that sounds uncomfortable!
Are you feeling mildly confident, Mr Lewis?
-That's good to hear.
Yeah, no. Confidence is a recipe for disaster in sale rooms.
Torquay became a fashionable seaside resort in the early 19th century,
initially with the Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.
Then with the creme de la creme of Victorian society
as the town's fame spread.
-Good morning, gentlemen!
-How are you doing?
-How are you?
-Good to see you, partner.
How confident are we feeling?
-I think it's in the bag.
-I'm quietly worried.
-It's in the bag.
-It's in the bag. Shall we make a move?
-Shall we get in there?
-I can't wait.
-Are we off?
-Come on, then.
West of England Auctions is the venue for today's showdown.
They've been running sales here for over 30 years.
Warren Hunt is the man with the gavel.
So, what does he think of the team's buys?
You've got a large advertising sign here.
There are still a few publicans around here who buy these type of things.
The pastel painting is what we would call in the trade not a very interesting picture.
It's the wrong subject.
Looking at the items James has bought,
I would say he's probably more of a gentleman who likes to have a little gamble on items.
As regards the items Phil has bought,
he's got some nice interesting collectable items there.
Out of the two, I would probably go with Phil.
Because the items he's bought I would say he's used his head more.
So, Duncan and Phil's shopping tactics might just have worked.
Both teams started this Road Trip with £400.
Simon and James spent almost half their budget
picking up five items for a total price of £197.50.
Duncan and Phil also bought five items
but were a little more frugal, managing to splash a mere £145.
We've just bought a pile of bricks for 30 quid!
So let's see who'll be facing a standing ovation
and who will be playing to an empty house.
First up, Simon and James's pastel of the unhappy girl.
Start me at £10.
Ten is bid, thank you. Can I see 15?
15 is bid. 20.
New bidder at 30. 35. 40.
£35. Can I see 40?
All done at 35?
Well done, boys. That's something to smile about.
Next up is Duncan and Phil's Jameson Whiskey box from the pub.
Ten to start me?
OK. I'll accept a five. Can I see six?
And we have a £6 bid. Seven?
Eight. Nine. Ten.
12, madam? 14?
16. 18. 18 new bidder.
20? At £18. Can I see 20?
At £18. All done at 18?
Oh, dear. After auction costs,
that wipes out any hope of a celebratory drink!
So, can Simon and James's iron brackets do any better?
Start me at £20.
Not what James was looking for.
15 I'll accept. Can I see 16?
16 is bid. 18.
22. 24. 26.
32. 34. 36?
£40. Are you all done at £40?
Now, cheer up, James. It was profit, albeit a small one.
Simon and James sneered at this pile of bricks,
but will Duncan and Phil build a profit?
A nice quality item, this is.
Start me at 50. It's got to go at £50.
Don't see these very often. 30, then?
Uh-oh. It's not looking good.
-I'm going to bid £20 myself cos I think it's great!
-That's not allowed!
Well, that's unusual. But it is allowed as Warren is buying it for himself.
I've got a bid of 25.
-30 with me. 35.
-He's bidding on it!
40 with me. 45.
It'll look nice in my garden.
Do you want a beer sign, as well?
Don't push it, Phil!
45 with me. Can I see 50?
45. I'm actually buying this at 45.
And the winning bidder is Warren the auctioneer! Ha!
Next, the George II mother-of-pearl snuff box.
Can James and Simon sniff out a profit?
-Start me at £20.
Because, James, that's what.
20 is bid. Can I see 22?
22 to the hand. 24.
Simon's not looking happy!
34, new bidder.
34 at the back of the room.
Can I see 36? 38.
I've got a new bidder at 40.
£40. If you're all done at £40.
Crikey, it's a profit. It's nosed ahead. Pull yourself together, James!
Don't be such a baby!
I want to go home!
What gets me is you've got two blokes here with about 52 years of experience in the antiques trade,
they've had two days eking out bargains from all over the country
and so far, we're about £1.40 ahead of the game!
-Not very impressive, is it?
But be thankful it's still a profit.
Top brass, next, in the form of these deck fittings.
An auction on the coast should be the place to shift these.
Start me at £20.
20 is bid. Thank you. Can I see 22?
22 is bid.
New bidder at 28. 30.
32. 32 with the lady.
-Can I see 34?
Are you all done at 32?
With three lots each sold, it's virtually neck and neck
for our teams.
So, with the rub o' the green, can the enamel patch box
put James and Simon into the lead?
-Nice little box.
-How much was it, James?
120 quid I think it cost, Phil.
120, or was it 400?
Nice try, James.
-I thought you said 130 pence.
-Start me at £30?
-Can I see 12?
12 is bid. 14.
16. 18. 20.
£30. Can I see 32?
-I can't believe this!
-32, new bidder.
£40. If you're all done at £40.
James may be grim-faced,
but they've boxed clever to make another profit.
Next, it's Duncan and Phil's marble basin.
Let's hope it doesn't sink their profits!
Come on. Start me at 20.
15 is bid. Thank you, sir.
Can I see 16?
15 only bid?
I will sell, if you're all done at 15.
Looks like they're all washed up.
Got to be worth more than that.
A carved basin. £15, then. I will sell if you're all done at 15.
It's that sinking feeling.
And the first loss of the day. £15.
-Wipe that smile off your face!
"Is it plastic?"
Next, Simon and James's mahjong set,
which they've put with the Denby vase.
Oh, that's just gorgeous!
Louder, Simon! They didn't hear you at the back!
-Start me at £20.
Nice mahjong set. 20 bid. Can I see 22?
22 is bid. 24.
Two? 34. 36?
Two. 44. 46.
Five, sir? 60?
55. Can I see 60?
55. Are you all done at £55?
Uh-oh! It's all gone wrong, mahjong!
Last orders, everyone. It's the final lot.
Is the pub sign going to prove plastic fantastic?
Start me at £20.
20 is bid. Thank you, sir. Can I see 22?
22, Ali? 24.
Are you all finished at 36?
Disaster! But it's a close call.
Time to phone Road Trip HQ to see who's won.
-Oh, hang on.
Who's won? Who's won?
-'It's very close.'
-OK. What's our profit?
'So, after auction costs, you have lost £25.30.'
'Philip and Duncan,
'you have made a loss
'So Philip and Duncan are the winners by two pence!'
So, summing up, after setting off at a roaring pace on this Road Trip,
Simon and James made a conservative loss of £25.30 after auction costs,
earning them a total of £374.70.
While Duncan and Phil took a more leisurely approach,
preferring reclamation yards to antiques shops.
That netted them a loss of £25.28 after costs,
giving them £374.72 at the finishing line.
And that make Duncan and Phil the winners by 2p!
Can you believe it?
Well done. Well done.
I knew we'd win. I knew we'd win.
-I think your bricks worked for you!
-Don't feel bad about it, will you?
-Off we go.
-I think they're wrong. Recalculate, please!
Profits across the series will go to Children in Need.
Time for our guests to take a bow and face the final curtain.
Now, would we rather be an antiques dealer or an actor?
I think they would make better auctioneers than we would make actors!
I think they can turn their hand to it worryingly easily.
Mind you, we ARE antiques. Well, you are!
I don't know what they'll get for me!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Stars of stage and screen Simon Williams and Duncan Preston team up with antiques experts James Lewis and Philip Serrell for a celebrity buying trip around Essex. Armed with £400 each and two stunning classic cars, their mission - to acquire items to sell for profit at auction in Torquay, Devon. On the way, Duncan tries his hand at an ancient craft and a collector of sporting memorabilia has a tale to tell about London Mayor Boris Johnson.