Celebrities hunt for antiques across the UK. Award-winning journalists John Stapleton and Lynn Faulds Wood head to Stockport for auction.
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The nation's favourite celebrities...
-Ooh, I like that.
-..paired up with an expert...
-Ooh, we've had some fun, haven't we?
-..and a classic car.
It feels as if it could go quite fast.
Their mission? To scour Britain for antiques.
-I'll do that in slo-mo.
to make the biggest profit at auction.
-Come on, boys!
-But it's no easy ride.
-Who will find a hidden gem?
-Don't sell me!
-Who will take the biggest risks?
-Go away, darling.
-Will anybody follow expert advice?
I'm trying to spend money here.
There will be worthy winners...
-..and valiant losers.
Put your pedal to the metal - this is the Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
On today's show, we're joined by a couple of celebrities
who are a celebrity couple.
It's married, award-winning journalists and presenters,
John Stapleton and Lynn Faulds Wood.
-20 years of bliss.
-Until this moment.
-Never a dull moment.
Never a cross word.
-Until this moment.
-Perhaps until today.
I do hope not.
# I predict a riot
# I predict a riot. #
Seasoned broadcaster John
has over 40 years' experience in newspapers and television
and has previously been awarded the Royal Television Society
News Presenter Of The Year.
It's seven o'clock on Thursday the 19th of May
and this is the BBC's Breakfast Time programme.
A very good morning to you.
Fellow journalist and presenter Lynn is best known as a consumer champion
and was named Consumer Journalist Of The Decade in the '80s.
So, what do you think?
Are stores right when they say that we actually like having sweets
within easy reach of the checkout?
Or would you prefer something else?
Make-up, for example? Or tights?
Herbs and spices?
This could be the end of the long and glorious marriage.
They don't come as cheap as me, you know.
-Oh, I don't know.
Our married duo are motoring around the North West of England
in this saucy little red 1971 TVR Vixen.
I'd forgotten we were the first married couple presenters
on British television. We predated Richard and Judy.
We did. But I... I genuinely can't remember this -
how long is it since we stopped doing Watchdog?
By Jove, you're both ageing well.
On this journey, John and Lynn will be joined by antique gurus
Thomas Plant and Margie Cooper.
They're whizzing towards the meeting point
in this beautiful blue Series One Jaguar E-Type, made in 1964.
Which means it was manufactured before seat belts were mandatory,
which is why they're not wearing any.
I've never driven a Jaguar E-Type in my life.
What an amazing, what an iconic car.
I'm sort of trying to get to grips with it.
-You're doing very well...
-Well, that's very kind...
-Well, I can't keep my eyes off you.
Once paired up, our teams will begin their epic adventure
with £400 in their pockets.
Starting in Wrightington, Lancashire,
our teams will take to the road, buying around the North West,
before finally finishing up in Hazel Grove in Stockport
Where are they? We've been, what? Five minutes, ten minutes?
Obviously, this is a faster car and there's a jalopy coming,
so I'm having this one.
-And just on cue...
-Oh, it's not a Reliant Robin.
And who do we see?
That one's Thomas Plant.
I'd like Thomas, please, if you don't mind.
Now, this is a bit more like it.
That is a colour I can live with.
Thank you very much indeed. Sky blue, Manchester City blue.
Perfect! And look who's there!
-We were destined to be together.
How lovely to meet you.
-And you as well.
-And I'm so glad I've got you.
-Cos I know nothing.
-What about John?
-Do you know a lot?
-I'm looking to you...
-Well, we will be your helpers.
..for benevolent guidance.
So, are you two competitive?
Let me tell you, she is the most competitive person you will ever meet.
I reckon John's quite competitive.
-We're going to sort that out.
Well, let's find out, but I hope he loses.
-Come on, let's go.
-Are you going to drive?
-I'll drive. Can I drive?
-Of course you can.
Paired off, it's time to hit the road.
Thank you so much.
-Here we go.
Look at that.
And opportunity to get to know one another.
So, have you ever driven a classic car before?
Does my car count as classic?
-How old's your car?
-11 years old.
Is that not classic?
Well, it was made in, like, 2005 or something, isn't it?
It's a noughties car.
It's a beautiful car, this.
But not the easiest in the world to drive.
I can smell rubber.
If you see smoke, give me a shout, will you?
This morning, our teams are heading to the market town of Chorley
in Lancashire, where they will both kick off their shopping.
Because of your seriousness,
your gravitas when it comes to journalism
and your in-depth knowledge on subjects
and the way you research...
That was very nice of you to say this.
..you would be probably masters at negotiation.
No, I'll be hopeless.
No, no, come on. Give yourself some credit there.
You've got to be masters.
Hang on, I've just mastered this car.
You've got to be masters at negotiation.
Well, if you give me a clue...
What we call... I was born in Glasgow, we call it nuttings.
-I used to specialise in doing villains...
-..who were refusing to sort out problems,
give people their money back,
-and I used to go and doorstep them.
So I'm good at that sort of stuff.
This is the same thing.
Er, it's not really, Thomas.
I'd always wanted to be a journalist and I wrote to 33 newspapers
before I got a job as a journalist, aged 17, yeah.
So you showed persistence and that is the answer.
That's one of the key things, persistence.
-It is, persistence.
So you met Lynn on a television programme?
No, I met Lynn in a pub.
-She was a barmaid.
-She was pulling pints in a pub in Richmond.
Actually, she was a teacher, she was a French teacher,
-supplementing her income as a barmaid.
And I used to pop into this pub with my mate.
I was a researcher on This Is Your Life at the time
and we used to pop in this pub on the way home and she used to...
We never had any food in the fridge, you know,
she used to slip us lumps of cheese to make an omelette.
-So love was omelette-shaped...
So she wasn't in journalism then?
No, well, she wasn't at that time,
she was teaching French and then she very quickly got into journalism,
magazines and newspapers.
And then, eventually,
she got into consumer affairs,
because I bought her a nightie that didn't fit. Right?
And she took it back and she started investigating it,
-they refused to give her her money back or something like that.
Anyway, she started investigating her rights and that's how she became
a consumer journalist and eventually we wound up on Watchdog,
-Good gracious, what a story.
All over a nightie?
All over a nightie, yeah.
While John's been busy reminiscing,
Lynn and Thomas have arrived at the first shop.
You're now entering my territory.
-And we're ahead of John.
-I know, which is good, isn't it?
It's always good to be the first ones in.
Heskin Hall Antiques houses a huge selection of treasures,
from vintage crockery to fine antiques.
Hello, Lynn. I'm Lynn.
-Can we come in and get some great deals from you?
-Well, we can try.
-Us Lynns stick together.
Well, I've just noticed.
Aha! Look who's arrived.
-They have arrived.
-They've beaten us to it.
They have. Right.
-Here we go.
It wouldn't be The Antiques Road Trip
if you had a car that was easy to get out of.
-Come on, let's see what we've got.
Where is the best place to find your best bargains?
Come on, come on, get out the way!
-Out the way...
-We'll go upstairs, we'll go upstairs.
-They beat us to it. I'm John.
-Nice to meet you.
-Hi. Hello. Hi.
-Thanks for looking after us.
-No problem at all.
I hope you enjoy it. Have a good wander around.
-Are they going to get all the best deals now they're here first?
Friendly banter aside, time to get down to business.
So what sort of thing am I looking for?
I think something decorative. If it catches your eye, it's going to be good.
-You said... get something quirky.
It doesn't get much quirkier than this, does it?
You know, dafter things than that have been purchased
-on The Antiques Road Trip.
-Have they really?
Step away from the cuddly toy, John.
You know, I was saying maybe I'd like something Scottish?
And this makes me think of bagpipes.
Well, it's a push box.
-Yeah, but do these sell?
-Let's see if it works.
That will sell, yes.
-You can tell I'm musical.
-I can see.
-So you're missing the straps.
Here's the maker here, CGH.
They're normally made on the Continent.
A squeeze-box, £60.
-But you are missing quite a bit of material.
-You're missing a button there.
I mean, some of these boxes can make hundreds of pounds.
-But not that one?
-Well, I don't know enough about them, to be candid.
-60 quid doesn't seem like a great deal of money.
-If something like 20 quid, 25 quid?
-HE PLAYS NOTE
Yeah, but it's marked at 60. I love your optimism here!
-I love your optimism, it's great.
-I think you haven't got a cat in hell's chance of getting it.
-I'm a fool, OK.
You're not a fool, but it's worth having a go.
-Look who's here.
-What are you doing?
-Just checking on you lot.
-You're not allowed to look.
-Look at this.
We're not allowed to look, we're just here to say hello,
-how are you doing? We're doing brilliantly down there.
-Have you bought, have you bought?
We've got some...
-See you later.
-No rush, no rush, bye.
No, there is a rush. Bye!
Lynn, right now, will be upstairs driving a very hard bargain,
you can bet your boots. She's got an eagle eye for a bargain,
she'll have spotted something and she'll be giving the shop owner the
Glasgow Kiss, as they call it!
Well, thankfully, she's not head-butting anyone,
but she is making a cheeky bid on the £60 German squeeze-box.
She's squeezing the price.
I can only offer you really silly money on it,
because it's got no leather straps,
there's some of the fretwork missing, there's one little knobby thing that's missing.
-Tell me what silly money you're thinking of?
-Go on! I haven't bought anything yet today.
I can do 25, but I couldn't do 20.
I have to consult my colleague.
You've done... I couldn't believe you.
My husband says I'm the most competitive person he's ever met.
-I can't believe that.
-And I'm rotten at haggling,
so you're my first haggle.
I love you, Lynn, thank you very much, 25 quid.
-You're welcome, all right.
-Perfect, thank you.
-Thank you, Lynn.
Ha, the consumer champion is a champion consumer.
A fabulous first deal there for just £25.
-Are we going to play a happy tune to the auction?
-Yeah, what can you play?
I can't play very much.
-I wish I had...
-HE PLAYS A NOTE
Best stick to the day job, Thomas.
Back inside, though, Margie's onto something.
-That's a pretty vase.
-This one here.
It's a... That's Noritake, which is Japanese.
They're always nice quality, Noritake vases.
You've always got nice gilding, pretty hand-painted flowers.
-It is nice.
-It says on here,
there's a pair, but I can't see it.
-And what's the price?
-The price is £180,
so I'm only showing you because I just thought you might like it.
-I do, I think it's lovely.
Yeah, it is lovely, but where's the other one?
Whether they've got it
And what era?
-Oh, that's, it's 100 years old.
Yeah, late Victorian, early 19th century.
Even though its partner has gone AWOL,
John and Margie have decided to try to do a deal on the Noritake vase,
which would cost £180 if it was a pair.
We don't know where the other one is,
so we'd possibly like to buy this on its own, right?
What's your best price?
As a single...
As it's you, we'd let it go for 60, but that would be the very best.
Can it come down another ten, could you do 50 on it?
Not really, no, I can't.
What about 55, meet us halfway?
-55, yeah, go on.
-Shake the lady's hand.
-Thank you very much indeed, Lynn, thank you.
£55 buys John and Margie their first lot for auction.
-Look at this.
-Oh, my goodness me.
Don't get my pot wet.
I'm going to link your arm.
-Thank you very much.
-Right, come on.
Lynn and Thomas have hit the road and made their way to Liverpool.
At the end of the 19th century,
Liverpool had one of the biggest ports in the world,
with merchants and sailors arriving at its docks with goods from all
over the globe. Unfortunately,
sailors often returned from voyages to exotic lands with unknown and
In 1898, the ground-breaking Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine,
also known as LSTM, was set up to research the symptoms,
causes and potential cures.
It was the first school of its kind in the world.
Lynn and Thomas are meeting Dean of Clinical Sciences
and International Public Health, Professor David Lalloo,
to find out more about the illnesses the 19th century sailors faced.
Give us an example of what sort of diseases these sailors were coming
-Certainly malaria would be one of the things that would be
causing the greatest amount of damage, causing deaths and disability.
Did we call it malaria at that time?
Did we know that's what it was?
Well, so the concept of malaria had been discovered fairly,
slightly earlier than that, but it wasn't understood how it worked,
what was transmitting the disease,
what parasites were causing the disease.
That really only came in the late, the very late 19th century.
And who discovered that?
Ronald Ross was the first person to work out that malaria was transmitted
-That must have been a Eureka moment.
We were getting sick, but we didn't know why we were getting sick,
because it was these little things here, critters.
It was a hugely important discovery because it meant you could start,
first of all, to work out how you could control mosquitoes and therefore
-Ronald Ross sounds like an amazing man.
Yes, clearly he was.
He was, in many ways, one of the first tropical physicians.
And in 1902, he got the Nobel Prize for that discovery.
Wow! I'm really interested in promoting women's part in any of this.
Were there women involved in setting up the school?
Yes, Mary Kingsley was a remarkable woman who was an explorer in the
An explorer, a female explorer in the late 19th century,
at a time when women didn't travel around Africa.
A lot of her work and writings really has influenced the philosophy of the
way that LSTM does work in the tropics.
What's important was the influence that she had over how the
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine did its work.
-It was the whole idea that you did this in partnership with people
in Africa, rather than imposing in a very colonial way.
That's a philosophy that we espouse to this day.
Everything we do is about working with people,
finding solutions together with these populations that are suffering from diseases.
So you're still going to the outer reaches of the world,
where diseases, animals bite people and things go wrong?
Yes, many of our researchers travel all the time.
Probably in slightly more luxury than Mary Kingsley did.
-But we go out there and we investigate and we treat these diseases.
The LSTM is world famous for its pioneering work on pesticides,
antimalarial medicines and has a unique resource for snake venom research.
David's letting Lynn and Thomas get a rare look at some snakes being
milked for their venom by herpetologist Paul and senior lecturer Nick.
What they're doing, they're getting this snake out, this is a puff adder,
which is a snake you find all over Africa.
They're enormous snakes, as you can see, and have got a very potent venom.
What they're doing now is just controlling the snake,
to make sure that it's safe.
You can see there that Paul is holding the head of the snake there.
That's quite dangerous for Paul, is it?
This is all experience, so really experienced people can do it well.
What he's doing now is just getting the snake to clamp down onto that
-clingfilm there, and you can see the venom milks down.
-You can see...!
Absolutely. It's that venom that's crucial for use in our research and
for use in making antivenom, which is the treatment for a snake bite.
Snake bites kill around 95,000 people every year,
so the milking of snakes done here
is key to the school's research into antivenom.
-Oh! He means it, he means it!
-They're pretty nasty snakes, though.
-Look at all that coming out.
You can see the power there as well.
-I can see how dangerous that could be,
if you didn't know what you were doing.
But we use that venom to actually understand whether we can make better
treatments, by investigating what the components of that venom are.
The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine remains one of the most
respected scientific institutes in the world,
thanks to the pioneering efforts of people like Sir Ronald Ross
and Mary Kingsley.
Meanwhile, without a snake in sight,
John and Margie have made their way to Bretherton and their next shop.
It gets deeper and deeper down there.
It does. Quick, quick, quick!
Dealer Aidan has an Aladdin's cave of goodies,
and John and Margie still have £345 in their pocket.
Time to get shopping.
You tend to not look up, I always look down.
Look up, because you see all sorts of things hanging about.
-It's good for your double chin as well.
-Plenty of stags...
Certainly better profile, darling, yeah, much better. I'll remember that.
That's quite sweet.
That's sweet, there.
That's Tunbridge ware, that box.
-Could be a snuffbox.
-Yeah. They're designed?
Yeah, they're all tiny, little minute pieces of wood that are all
-It started in Tunbridge, Tunbridge Wells,
-as souvenir work.
-So every bit of that design...
They're called tesserae, yeah, little, tiny squares of all different woods.
-And it was souvenir ware.
We'll have a look at that, if we can remember.
There's no ticket price on the Tunbridge ware snuffbox,
so one to ask Aidan about later.
Now, it looks like something shiny has caught John's eye.
Got a bit of silverware here.
You know me and a bit of silverware.
Yes. What's that, just an ornamental bowl?
-It's a little bonbon dish.
-A bonbon dish.
-Yeah, a bonbon dish.
But it's nice. I'll tell you why it's nice, it's on little splay feet.
-Which makes it really pretty.
And a snip at 125 quid?
Well, I think that's negotiable.
So that and that little snuffbox, potentially.
-That's two to think about.
Potential purchases are stacking up.
Gosh, these look nice. Look at that, gosh.
It sounds daft question, it's a lamp...
-Off a carriage. A horse and carriage.
-Oh, horse and carriage!
-Horse and carriage.
-Oh, I see.
-Yeah. That's really nice.
Wow. Do you know many people who have got a horse and carriage?
It's a sort of practical question a journalist is bound to ask you,
-Well, I wasn't really thinking,
I was just thinking antique wise, they are pretty rare,
because there's one behind you.
So we've got a pair.
-But they're going to be dear.
-Vintage, do you think?
Georgian. Early 19th century, 1820.
-I like those.
So get those, all I need now is a horse and carriage!
With three possible lots, are there deals to be had with Aidan?
First up, the Victorian silver bonbon dish.
You've got 125 on the ticket here.
And what are you thinking?
Well, we're pushed, aren't we? Because we've got some other things in mind.
-We've got plans for you, Aidan.
-Yeah, we have.
-Have you got plans for me?
-The gallows are at the back!
We're looking for a very good deal in here.
Could it be 60?
-Go on, then.
-You're a good man.
-I want you to do well.
-You're a good man. Thank you very much indeed.
We do try.
That's the silver bonbon dish bagged for less than half price.
Time for the turn of the Tunbridge ware snuffbox.
It's a bit dirty.
It wants a good clean.
It does, and there's a bit of damage there.
-I am worried now.
-Why, because of the mark?
-There's a chunk there.
-Oh, I see.
-How much is it?
-That has got to be...
Look, come on, it's 20 quid, isn't it?
To some people.
No, I would happily give you £30,
we would happily give you £30 if it wasn't for a great, thundering chip.
-Go on, I agree.
-Do you want that for 20 quid?
-For 20 quid.
-You can't lose, you've got two pieces, top and bottom.
-Will you clean it as well?
-I'll give it a clean.
That's the Tunbridge ware bought for £20,
AND with a clean-up thrown in for free.
Right, John and Margie still have £265.
Can they strike a deal on the rare Georgian coach lamps?
-They're not cheap.
-I didn't think they were. Go on.
-You're looking at five or 600 quid.
-Are you in for a deal or not?
I'm always in for a deal.
It's a huge purchase for us, isn't it?
Massive, I mean, it's like...
All your budget, all your budget!
-More than our budget.
-What sort of price would you really...
-We haven't got that.
-No, we haven't got that.
-So, 200 would be out of the question?
How's 225, then?
I'd like to try but...
-I think they could fly.
-But it is a gamble.
It's a big outlay, but let's do it.
-Go with her instinct.
-Yeah, let's do it.
That's what we use every day, isn't it, darling?
-Shall we do it three ways?
-Three ways, how's that?!
-Thank you very much.
-It nearly blew their bank balance,
but that's the rare coach lamps secured for £225.
That trio of lots bought brings an end to a very successful first day
of shopping for our two teams.
I bid you all nighty-night.
It's a new morning.
Lynn and John are reunited and swapping stories about their experts.
Margie is so reassuring.
I mean, she's a very jolly lady, got on with her very well,
kindred spirit, Northern lass, bound to work, wasn't it?
-Man City fan?
-And a Man City fan, what more could you ask for, really?
I'm surprised I didn't marry her, really.
-Steady on, John.
-Thomas is lovely.
I know nothing about antiques. I keep saying "I love it".
And he really does know things.
He's very... Again, he's very reassuring.
I'd like to take him home, would that be all right?
By all means, darling, by all means, if you can afford him.
I think she probably could!
As ultra-competitive Lynn has only forked out for one item so far,
the German beechwood squeeze-box,
which means she still has a huge purse of £375.
While big spenders John and Margie have bagged an impressive four lots.
The Noritake vase, the Victorian silver bonbon dish,
the Victorian Tunbridge ware snuffbox,
and the rare pair of Georgian coach lamps,
leaving them with a mere £40 to spend today.
Margie and Thomas are on the road, hurtling towards Leasowe, to meet
their celebrity team-mates.
How did it go with John yesterday?
Great. We had a lovely day.
And you know something? I don't know whether I should tell you.
I've only got £40 left.
Get in! Get in!
So we'll see what £40 brings today.
I love that!
You've got a real sense of, you know, devil-may-care about you.
I have. And how was your day?
we only got bought one thing, and I am slightly apprehensive because you've gone
out there and you've done it, Margie.
I have, I have, four items purchased.
I love that.
-I've only got one.
Panic, panic, panic, panic.
I know, I know, I know.
I'll be honest, I would quite like to beat you just once in my life,
you know, that would be quite nice. But I won't sort of be crying myself
-to sleep if I don't.
-Do you think I'm a hard nut?
I think you've got your moments, yes, darling.
We have been married a long time.
I wonder if it will last this Antiques Road Trip.
Gosh, I do hope so.
-We're here first.
-I know we are, look.
-We're here first!
Ah! Good morning.
How are you?
It gets a little bit easier,
-but... Not as hard. How are you?
-You all right?
-Nice to see you.
-Good to see you.
-We've got to get our game on.
Margie knows. Margie knows. They've bought four things.
Four things purchased.
-Are you worried?
-I am dead worried.
-Good, you should be.
-We're in a hurry, then!
-We are in a hurry.
-Are you going to drive?
-I think so.
-Are you ready?
-Yay! On the road again.
This morning, Lynn and Thomas will head to New Brighton in the
north-east corner of the Wirral.
And now is a perfect opportunity for Thomas to quiz Lynn about her career
as Britain's consumer queen.
I ended up doing a lot of safety stuff because people wrote to me.
Like, one example, TV-am,
a couple wrote to me because their son died,
he was six and he put a pen top in his mouth, the way little kids do,
-and somehow or other inhaled it into his windpipe...
..and he died, because it blocked
his windpipe. Other people wrote to me because their children had had
the same thing happen.
A doctor rang me and said, "Why don't they put a hole in the end and
"then, when they get to hospital, we can save their lives?"
So I rang up Bic, and the other pen manufacturers, and I said,
"Why don't you put a hole on the end of the pen?" Because I had by then about 12 deaths.
-And all the other pen manufacturers
said, "Yes, we can do that."
Bic said, "We couldn't possibly do that because the ink might dry out."
And it took eight years before they finally put a hole in the end of the
-But they did it.
Yeah, they did and all credit to them because Bic is a beautiful looking,
iconic pen top. Thank you very much, Bic, for putting that hole in.
Well, well done, you.
Well done indeed.
This pair are armed with £375 to spend at their first shop of the day.
I think I'm going to like this.
-One gets quite hot in the car, don't you?
-Look at this.
-Hello. I'm Lynn.
-Good morning. Nice to meet you, Lynn.
I'm Sean, welcome to New Brighton.
-Thank you very much.
-Have you got some great stuff here that we could
have at very nice prices?
We have stuff. We have piles and piles of stuff.
He's not kidding.
Sean's stock's piled high, especially downstairs.
Lordy, look at that lot.
Wow, can we get in here?
Sean, you have got some stuff.
Yeah, we have people who come down here and I forget they're down there.
-At the end of the day, I go to close up and I hear a noise...
People rummaging. I'll leave you to it, guys. Give me a shout if you need anything.
Lynn, we've got our work cut out.
This is going to be a bit of fun.
I'm not sure Lynn is convinced about fun.
Good luck wading through this lot, though.
Look, there's a three-legged Clydesdale.
A three-legged shire.
Oh, look, they obviously collect them, there's a two-legged one.
Is that a two-legged one?
While Lynn and Thomas plough through the piled-high room,
John and Margie are still on the road.
So, politics, prime ministers.
-You must have interviewed a lot of those.
Yes, I've had the privilege - it is a privilege, actually -
of interviewing every Prime Minister since James Callaghan, back in the
So... In one form or... Some of them several times, actually.
Margaret Thatcher, obviously, was someone who you couldn't possibly forget
and was a challenge, to put it mildly.
Most people you interview, there's a bit of small talk
before the actual interview. Not in the least interested.
"Get on with it,
-"get down to it."
-And I found her quite intimidating, actually.
-Yeah, I did.
Well, thankfully, Margie is no Iron Lady, so you can relax.
Back in New Brighton,
Lynn's knee-deep in antiques and collectables.
-I just saw a box that I thought was quite interesting.
-Where did you see that?
-It's over there, but it won't be worth much.
Because there's some tins up there.
You could do a job lot of tins.
Ready, get set.
Was it worth the effort?
So this is an early 1900, 1920s tin.
Look at the lovely graphics on there.
Isn't that great?
Um... It's not floating my boat.
It's not, is it? No.
Hmm. Lynn may need a bit more convincing, Thomas.
A job lot of tins isn't what she had in mind.
I'm loving this, are you loving this?
I've found some Scottie dogs, I'm beginning to love it a bit more.
But I'm not going to beat John with tins, am I?
When we do our reveal and...
We'd better put the better ones on top.
We've looked at a lot of these tins and they're not really in very good
nick. Don't they have to be in better nick to sell?
I have sold tins, extraordinarily enough,
-for hundreds and hundreds of pounds.
-Have you sold tins like these?
Not for hundreds.
But I think we try and buy them for very, very little.
How dirty are you? Look at your hands.
Look at that.
-Welcome to my world.
Thank you. Next time I come into your world, I shan't wear white trousers.
Look, and I know I'm entering my world and I'm wearing white trousers!
Right, are you going to offer a pound?
-I'm going to offer £1.
-Right, come on.
There's no messing with Lynn Faulds Wood.
-Lynn and I have been busy.
-You've been down there about an hour.
I think we've done you a service.
Yeah, perhaps you could pay us to take it.
I'm feeling a bit guilty, that I should be paying you to take it away.
In that case, could we take that for £1?
Well, I'm a businessman, so I think I need more than £1.
Maybe about £15.
Oh, no, that's... You see, because I'm not sure I can make a profit on that.
Well, make it two quid.
Sean, you're a wonderful man, I'll do two quid.
The champion consumer strikes again, as Lynn secures the huge
selection of Victorian and Edwardian tins for just £2.
Bye-bye, Sean. Thank you.
Now, how to fit them in the tight TVR?
-Will you stand here and look decorative?
Would you like me to buy something smaller?
-That tea caddy looks a bit knackered. Is that a technical term?
We call it "whacked".
My favourite one's that red one.
-But for two quid...
For two quid. Right, there you are, we're done.
And we don't keep that to carry them.
Sell it back to him. A quid for his crate.
A quid for his crate? Right, I'll be back.
John and Margie, meanwhile, have made their way to Birkenhead.
And are arriving at the Wirral Transport Museum.
Wow, look at this lot.
My goodness me. Oh, we've got the light on here.
They've come to learn about an eccentric American entrepreneur,
George Francis Train.
A man who revolutionised public transport in Britain in
the mid-19th century by introducing the American streetcar.
John and Margie are meeting tram expert Rob Jones to find out more.
Streetcars at that stage were pulled by horses.
-What was the reception when he came here initially?
Well, he was helping run his uncle's shipping line in Liverpool.
He thought, "What Liverpool needs is these streetcars that they have in
"New Orleans and New York and Boston and Philadelphia.
"I'll try and sell the idea to Liverpool." But they thought he was a bit too
extrovert. So, on the rebound, he came over the water to Birkenhead
and saw the chairman of the town commissioners, who was John Laird,
a big employer in the town.
John Laird said, "Well, we'll give you a try.
"We'll give you six months' try, and after six months,
"if it's a failure, you must take it away at your own expense."
And George Francis thought,
"I've got an inroad here."
And he made a success of it.
A brilliant businessman who travelled the world,
it's claimed that GF Train was the real-life inspiration for the
fictional character Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's
Around The World in Eighty Days.
In the late 19th century,
the horse-drawn trams that Train had introduced were eventually replaced
by electric ones.
And what was its advantage over the horse-drawn tram?
Well, it was cheaper to run, it could carry more passengers,
and it went twice the speed of horse trams.
And, I suppose, one other advantage was that you didn't need men following
the tram, picking up the... You know what, the manure.
You're right. When the horse trams finished,
one of the few redundancies was the manure salesmen that Liverpool
But everybody else was taken on.
You say it was such a success here in Birkenhead.
Did other cities and towns follow suit?
Yes, it gradually got more enthusiasm.
Within 25 years, there were about 100 towns
and cities in our country that had trams.
What caused the decline of the tram?
After the First World War, trams were in decline because of motor buses.
The technology was growing at a fantastic rate and motor buses came in.
Actually, I used the B word here.
We don't... We're a tram place here, so we talk about the B word.
With the B word banned,
Rob is kindly letting John take a turn in driving a tram.
-This is Dave.
Hello, Dave, pleased to meet you.
Dave's going to look after you, make sure you do everything spot on.
Now then, obviously, I don't want to crash this.
What do I need to know?
Well, the first thing you need is the key.
-So this actually goes in there.
Let me do that for you. That's great.
-Oh, I got it.
-HE RINGS BELL
Here we go.
Oh, yes. Hey, I rather like this.
-We're actually doing some speed.
-Now we're racing, now.
Hey, it's quite fast, isn't it?
It is, yeah. It soon picks up.
You're doing great, John.
Thank you very much, sir.
It's quite a speed this, actually. I'm really quite impressed.
-Bring the control back to off.
To slow it down again.
Birkenhead will go down in history as the town that
took the plunge and secured Britain's first tram system.
All thanks to George Francis Train.
It would have been so much easier if he'd called himself Tram.
Lynn and Thomas, meanwhile, have made their way to West Kirby,
where they've arrived at their final shop...
..still armed with a whopping £373.
They've got some serious money to spend.
-Good to meet you, Lynn.
-And this is Thomas.
Hello, Thomas. Good to meet you.
We're really interested... You've got lovely stuff.
-I'm just hoping you can do us great
-deals on them.
-We'll see what we can do. We need to make a living.
Well, you see, I have to beat my husband, John Stapleton.
Is that a hobby?
It is, yeah.
With winning on their minds, Lynn and Thomas get stuck in.
And it doesn't take long for our Tom to dig up something.
Go for it, Tom-Tom.
Look at this, Lynn.
I've never seen a wooden spade before.
It's a cool thing. I love the size of it.
-I love it, too, but I have got a lot of money.
I have got very little money to spend if I'm going to thrash my husband.
Thomas is taken with the 19th-century treen spade,
which is ticketed at £36.
And Lynn has spotted something in the shop window.
Is it a doggy?
The one that attracted my eye most was that lovely kind of
Art Deco feeling pendant.
-The gold pendant at the back?
-Well, it's probably not deco.
-No, it's going to be earlier than that.
-It's Art Nouveau.
-Oh, right, OK.
And it looks, with those flowers and the peridot...
-And what's the little green stone?
-It's a peridot.
-I've never heard of that.
We call it an olivine. It's a paradise stone.
It's got a great sort of lovely green to it.
But that is extremely wearable.
I told you I knew nothing. I've never heard of peridot.
But you've got an eye, you've got an eye, haven't you?
It's a pricey piece at £225, but Lynn likes it,
so another it's for consideration.
Would pictures sell at this auction?
Oh, definitely. Absolutely.
What... I mean, do you like her?
She's lovely, but I prefer the fat baby.
-Look at that.
-I hadn't seen the fat baby.
Look at the fat baby. What's a fat baby doing there?
Oil on canvas. Hercules And The Serpents.
With a £110 price tag,
the oil painting is added to the list of other potential purchases.
Anything else, chaps?
Now, what's that? Is that an ashtray?
The silver dish. Antique silver dish.
-And what are those animals round it, horses and...?
Well, you've got lions.
You've got horses, you've got elephants and you've got some extraordinary
With a ticket price of £79,
the white metal Sri Lankan dish is also set aside for negotiation.
That pendant is still playing on Lynn's mind.
Time for a closer look.
So you've got the Art Nouveau design.
The chain is not associated, it's sold with it.
I'm just going to turn it over. So we've got the lovely design here.
Turn it over.
-It is beautiful.
-And what's this stone?
Peridot. It's actually a good-looking thing, isn't it?
-It is good-looking.
-You like that?
-It's lovely, it's lovely.
The price. Yes.
Right. So, we like that, we like that.
And Lynn's not done yet.
I really like the fat baby.
The fat baby. On the ticket, it says, "After Sir Joshua Reynolds,
Turn it over and show the back to me.
So what you've got here is the modern frame, which is fine.
So if I just peel this off.
There we are, look. So if we do that there, there's a bit of writing on there.
We can't see what it is. This is 1900 board.
It's got £110 on the ticket, but
I'm going to speak to our friend Bob, if we
-want to do a deal on that.
-You can see the infant Hercules.
-Can you see that?
-The infant Hercules.
It's quite interesting that we've got that bit of copperplate writing
That's three lots on the counter,
but Thomas has one more he'd like to add.
My spade. Right.
This is what you are so attracted to.
I love my spade.
Well, I've never seen anything like it.
Lynn is not convinced on that spade.
So they've decided to try and do a deal on the dish,
pendant and oil painting,
which have a combined ticket price of over £400.
Well, the best offer I can do...
I have to say, that's an immensely fair reduction.
Would you come any lower than that, because I feel I should haggle?
250, I could do.
-And with the spade?
265, including the spade?
-That's a good deal.
-Are you going to do it?
Yes. You're a lovely man.
Thank you very much.
And a very generous discount.
Which means Lynn and Thomas get the pendant for £140,
the painting for 60, the white metal dish for 50, and the spade for 15.
We've done it, but I don't know whether we're going to beat John.
Come on, we've got the tins!
-We've got the tins!
While Lynn and Thomas have been busy buying,
John and Margie have made their way to the picturesque town of Frodsham
Situated in the shadow of Frodsham Hill,
this vibrant market town is home to John and Margie's final shop.
-All right, here we go.
Last call of the day.
-It gets no easier.
Come on. In we go.
After blowing most of their £400 budget yesterday,
John and Margie have just £40 left to spend.
Oh, that's branny, that is, as they say in the trade.
-A branny? What does that mean?
-Oh, I see.
-Yeah. That's just trying to be something it isn't.
-Not for us, then.
-No. That's not for us. But well spotted.
-This is nice.
Yeah, that's quite nice, isn't it?
Nice meat plate.
I could see my roast beef on that.
-Yeah, it's all right, isn't it?
Yeah, no, that's English...
-Well, yeah, that style is sort of the Western,
what we assume that it's like in the Orient.
That is willow pattern, isn't it? It is all transfer printed.
-You can see the join there, can you see?
-Do you see that little bit there?
-They transfer print and...
-Oh, I see.
-Yes, it's all very clever, but...
So what, they print the whole thing on?
Yeah, they, like, put a stencil on it and roll it and...
It's not hand-painted.
-Well, for 32 quid...
-It's actually quite nice, that.
-It is good.
-Yeah, I like that.
Dealer Jill is on hand to help get a closer look.
Let's get a mark, yeah.
That's made in Swansea...
-..which is interesting, yeah.
That is interesting. In the late 19th century, there was a huge interest in
Japanese... Anything to do with Japanese.
The Mikado was inspired by the Japanese interest.
And this stuff was just so immensely popular.
And still looks fabulous today.
I mean, it's a lovely, attractive plate.
-Yeah, we like that, don't we?
-We do like it.
-Do you know much about it, Jill?
I don't. It's another dealer's stock.
Oh. We haven't actually got much money left.
-We've come to you with very little.
Can you ring the dealer and ask him what his best price on that might be
for us, given that we genuinely don't have much money?
-Yeah, certainly. I'll give him a call for you.
The 19th-century meat plate sports a £32 ticket price,
but how low will the dealer go?
-Could do it for 22.
-Yeah, that's great.
-He'll do it for 22.
-Well, that would be nice, wouldn't it?
-I think that's all right.
-That's very kind. Thank you very much.
-We'll shake on that.
-Thank you very much indeed.
And with that generous discount, John and Margie are all bought up.
Right, shopping done and dusted, time for a spot of show and tell.
It'll be something delicate. Good heavens!
I thought you were supposed to get four or five things?
This is one lot.
You look as though you've bought an entire grocery shop.
How much do you think we paid for this lot here?
Well, I haven't the faintest idea.
-I'd say a tenner.
-£1. A bit more.
I offered £1 and then we felt sorry for him because he said he was a
-There's got to be a little bit of a profit there.
-There'll be some mark-up on that.
There's some good boxes in here.
-This could be a runaway hit.
There are some great tins in this.
Yes, they're in lovely, original condition.
Also known as a bit battered.
John, Margie, your turn.
You have quantity. May I suggest here we have quality, right?
So we've got the coaching lamps, which I am immediately looking at,
because they are cylindrical.
I've never seen cylindrical ones.
Margie, you would have paid a fair bit of money for those.
I have. We have.
We have paid. And what are your thoughts about that?
-Does that mean vulgar?
Well, it's from Japan and it will have a hand-painted scene on it.
-With very nice gilding.
-Don't be silly.
-Oh, they paid more.
-I like those coaching lamps.
Yes, I like those coaching lamps.
Those items you've got before all of that are all going to make a profit.
-You think so?
-Yes. The coaching lamps could let you down.
I have to confess, I think the coaching lamps are a gamble, but in
the hands of my expert, in whom I have absolute faith, I love it.
-I think we'll go off and have a cup of tea.
-Yeah. Good luck.
Out of earshot, what do they really make of each other's lots?
Well, I tell you what, I saw those tins.
That's just a load of old tat, isn't it?
But it's quite clever because they only paid two quid for it,
-so they'll make money out of that, I think.
-I think they could win.
-You see, I like those coach lamps.
They're the kind of thing that people buy to do up houses differently.
OK, I bow to your superior knowledge.
After starting in Wrightington,
Lynn and John are now motoring towards Hazel Grove in Stockport for
the big finale.
As the most competitive person I've ever met in my entire life...
-You still think that?
-I still think that.
How are you rating your chances today?
I think, I think...
Well, I'm meant to say I think we'll win, but I have my doubts.
-You have your doubts?
-I have my doubts.
I've never seen you even with a scintilla of doubt about anything you've ever done.
-I'm just loving the game.
-Well, this is a first.
While the competitive couple are gearing themselves
up for the sale,
our experts have arrived at Maxwells auctioneers under their own steam.
Well, here they are.
Good morning, sir. How are you?
-Are you going to slip out of that?
-Good to see you again.
-Good to see you.
-Good to see you again.
Looking forward to this?
-Our tins are going to win it.
-Our tins are going to win the day.
Right, let's go in. Come on.
Well, we'll soon find out.
On this tremendous trip, Lynn and Thomas spent £292 on six auction lots.
While John and Margie bought five lots,
almost blowing their entire budget, spending £382.
Bravo. The man with the gavel today is Max Blackmore.
So, what does he make of our celebrities' lots?
Some quite unusual items, like the concertina.
Shame it's not in better condition.
The coaching lamps are a very attractive pair.
They could do quite well.
Today's auction has buyers online and in the room.
Our teams are settling in.
Let the battle of husband versus wife commence.
The opening lot is the 19th-century treen spade that Thomas adored.
-Ten I have on the net.
-£10. Oh, you got £10.
-Take twos if you wish.
-£12, the gentleman. In the room at £12.
-You've got it. Swiped...
Selling this time, then at 18.
The spade secures Lynn and Thomas their first profit.
I loved it.
I'm really pleased you're happy.
And I'd buy it again.
From a Thomas favourite to one of Margie's.
The Noritake vase is next.
Start me at £10.
£10. Ten bid. At £10.
12. 15. 18.
20. 22. 25.
-Oh, it's getting there.
-£25 we have from the lady.
At £25 on my left, I'm selling it.
-Oh, what a shame.
-How much did you buy it for?
-Stop rubbing it in.
-I feel sorry for you.
-Just lost 30 quid.
-Oh, I'm so sorry.
Not as sorry as Margie must be feeling.
-That's a disappointment.
-That was one of our bankers.
Next up, Lynn's German beechwood squeeze-box.
-Oh, you're in.
Come on. At £30.
Another profit for Lynn and Thomas. Well done.
We can easily overtake that.
Fighting talk, John. I like it.
Look, your Victorian bonbon dish is up next.
50 bid. At £50.
-Lady's bid at 50. 52.
-£60, the lady's bid.
-It's wiping its face.
-Now in the room.
Selling, then, at 60.
-There isn't a lot of love in the room for poor old
John's lots. But at least it wasn't another loss.
Even he thought we'd make more than that.
-Even I did.
-C'est la vie.
Moving on, it's the turn of the £2 tins.
There must be a profit for Lynn here, surely.
20 bid. I have £20.
-20. Two. Are you bidding? 25.
Oh, you've got a tins collector.
30. 35 I have. We're in fives.
-40. 40 bid.
-I don't believe it!
£40. 45? £45
-on the net. Against the room.
-Well, I congratulate...
45 for that load of old tosh!
-Oh, thank you so much, net.
-Well done, internet.
-Lynn hoped they'd do well,
and didn't they just? What a profit!
How do we make a dignified exit?
Don't go anywhere yet, John, here comes your 19th-century meat plate,
-Starting at £10, then.
-This is going to creep up.
This is a quality piece.
-No, it's not...
-It is a quality piece.
-Anybody want it? £8 I have.
Eight, we've got eight, with the auctioneer's wife.
Thank you very much. I'm selling at £8.
Oh, dear. This is not John and Margie's day.
-What's happened to us?
We've gone down the slippery.
-I'm really sorry.
Oh, stop it! You don't mean a word of it.
-You don't mean a word of it.
-I do, I do, I do.
I believe you, Thomas. Though thousands wouldn't.
Time now for Lynn and Thomas's white metal Sri Lankan dish.
Come on, 20, then. Let's start nice and low.
20 bid. In the front.
-Come on, come on, take it.
22? It's a competition.
-I'm embarrassed now.
-28. I'll come back to you. 30.
32. 35. 38.
£40. Front row again?
-Go one, sir!
-£40? It's with the lady.
-Go on, madam.
That's the lady's bid. Anybody else now?
All done? I'm selling.
-Just missed a profit.
-Just missed washing its face.
A small loss for Lynn and Thomas.
-We're clawing our way back, Margie.
-We're clawing our way back.
-We're on the ropes. We're on the ropes. And those blows are coming in.
Can John and Margie make a comeback with their Victorian
Tunbridge ware snuffbox?
30 bid. At £30.
There you are, straight in.
-32? No, 32.
35. 38. 40.
-Well done, you've doubled your money.
£40 for the lady standing.
I'm selling it. At £40...
Doubled their money! Top-notch.
-We're on your tail, mate.
-We're on your tail.
-Lynn and Thomas are up again,
this time with their oil painting of the infant Hercules.
30 bid. At £30.
Any further bids now?
It is beautiful!
-Oh, you're getting there.
-It's a proper picture.
-It's going, going...
Gone. The fat baby flopped.
-Somebody got a bargain there because that was beautiful.
-It was a good thing.
-I loved it.
Right, then, hold tight. Here comes John and Margie's big gamble,
their rare Georgian coach lamps.
Good luck. They'll need it.
-Start me at 60.
£60. For a good pair of Georgian coach lamps.
They are really good.
They are good, and they're not mine.
They're not mine, and they're good.
-A long way to go.
-£90 in the front row.
-Come on, they're gorgeous.
-They are good.
There's no interest on the net.
-We're in the room.
-No interest on the net!
Any further bids now? £90 it is.
-Oh, I feel for you.
What a disappointment. But never mind.
Never mind?! Oh, dear. Top marks for your positivity, Margie,
but that is a crushing blow.
I thought there was a telephone bid coming up.
I thought there was. With somebody hovering around on the phone,
I was worried. Genuinely.
-I think they were ordering their lunch.
Time for the last lot of the day, then.
Lynn's peridot pendant.
There could be a profit here.
At 55. 60. 65.
Well, it's doing all right!
120. 130. 140.
-All done this time?
And we end on a profit.
-Yes, well done.
-Have we won?
Good one, Lynn.
John and Margie started with £400 and, after paying auction costs,
sadly, they made a pretty dramatic loss of £199.14.
Which means they end this trip with £200.86.
Lynn and Thomas also kicked off with £400 and, unfortunately,
they too failed to make a profit after auction costs.
Although their loss was somewhat smaller of just
£10.74, which means the wife wins.
Oh, yes. Lynn finishes with £389.26.
-Well done, darling.
-Well, thank you, darling.
I'm so sorry you lost.
That will teach you to be rude about me.
And being with you has been reward enough for me.
How sweet. I feel even worse now.
Sufficient reward just being with you.
-Given that you've won, will you drive me home?
-Bye. See you.
Well, I tell you what, I found this a really,
really lovely and fascinating experience.
-I mean, it's quite educational, isn't it?
And, oh, I can get in top gear here.
I think we've really missed out over the years.
I didn't realise how great auctions were for buying good stuff at good
prices. And the antique shops...
I'm going to go in more of them in future.
Now I know slightly what I'm looking for.
-You've got the bug?
I'm pleased to hear it. Safe travels, road trippers.
A celebrity couple road trip with award-winning journalists John Stapleton and Lynn Faulds Wood. Joining them on this jolly jaunt are Thomas Plant and Margie Cooper. With Â£400 in their pockets, the teams kick off in Wrightington, Lancashire, and head to Stockport for auction.
Lynn and Thomas find themselves literally knee-deep in antiques while hunting for old biscuit tins, while Margie tries to convince John that some rare lamps will make a profit.
John learns how an American revolutionised British public transport, and Lynn sees why snakes are milked in Liverpool.