Antiques programme. Paul Martin is in the seaside town of Exmouth with experts Christina Trevanion and Will Axon.
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Welcome to Devon and the seaside town of Exmouth.
Nobody's clutching their buckets and spades today, playing on the sand,
but they are in a healthy queue clutching bags and boxes,
hopefully full of treasure.
-And what are you going to do with all that lot?
-ALL: Flog it!
'Regarded by some as the oldest holiday resort in Devon,
'Exmouth has been a popular tourist destination ever since the 18th century.
'Its golden age came with the arrival of the railway in 1861,
'bringing with it mass tourism, and it looks like we've also brought out quite a crowd today.
'Fingers crossed a few gems from that golden age make an appearance.
'Keen to keep on track and already in the queue
'looking for today's gems are experts Christina Trevanion...'
Oh, what is it that you've got? A Victorian scrapbook. That's beautiful, isn't it?
The colours are still so good.
-'..and Will Axon.'
-I've seen a lot of horses
and I don't think either of those are going to make that water jump.
'Both highly experienced valuers and auctioneers,
'I can guarantee nothing will slip past them.'
I'll give you this and we'll have a closer look inside.
Let's get the doors open and get the show on the road.
'While everyone takes their seats inside the pavilion, here's what's coming up later.
'Christina is amazed by what you can find if you're lucky...'
I actually bought it at a jumble sale. I paid 50p for it.
-Bought it from a jumble sale?
'..Will has a little wobble at the unpredictability of the auction room...'
I hope it sells, you know.
'..and I fulfil a boyhood dream.'
I tell you what, this is the life. This is the life every schoolboy wants.
Everybody is now safely seated inside.
This is where it gets exciting. Who is going to be one of the lucky ones to be whisked off to auction?
We'll find out, because Will is first at the tables. Let's see who he's talking to and what he's found.
Well, Sue, I saw you looking very glamorous, I must say, in the queue this morning.
As soon as you pulled this little picture out of your bag, I knew exactly who it was by.
-Well, I knew it was Adam Buck but I don't know anything about it.
I looked on the internet and found nothing out.
-Found nothing out?
-Cos he's actually a pretty prolific artist.
Sort of early 19th century.
Just down here in this little bottom corner, he's kindly signed and dated it, 1821,
which is really the sort of prime of his career, early 19th century,
that's really when Adam Buck was painting his best work.
-Is it something that you've bought yourself or something you've inherited?
-It's been inherited by the family. My mother.
-Your mother's side?
And does she remember where it came from?
Erm, it came down the family from my grandmother's side.
OK. So what I'm edging towards is whether or not this is a family member.
Well, that's what I'm wondering, cos there's two. My sister's got the other one.
-And is the other one a gentleman?
-No, it's a lady.
Is there anyone in the family around this date? Have you got the family tree?
I haven't gone right back on the family tree, so I really don't know.
-That's the trouble. Unfortunately, you run out of people to ask, as well.
-Well, this is the problem.
The work itself is very typical of Buck's work.
She's wearing this wonderful hat with, I suppose, ostrich feathers.
-Ostrich feathers in her hat.
-And this delicate face with the eyes and the little rose lips there.
-I think it's lovely.
One thing I have got to draw your attention to,
that I'm not very happy about, is the colour of this frame.
-I think someone's got the old spray paint out.
-I think so.
-Because looking at the back, it's actually an old frame.
Let's just spin it over quickly and then you can see what I mean. You can see these blind holes
and the way the frame's been constructed is in an old way.
It's got this rather nice label, as well, on the back.
Carver and Gilder, picture frame manufacturer.
So he may well have made the original frame
-or, because it's on the back board here...
-Possibly the back board.
Yeah, could've come with it from another frame.
Now, value-wise, have you had any thoughts as to what you think it's worth?
No, but I would hope it's worth more than £100.
Well, I think you're in the right sort of ballpark figure.
I was thinking 100, 150 as an estimate.
So if we reserve it at that bottom figure, fixed reserve at £100,
I think she stands a good chance of making a little bit more
-cos she's a pretty face, isn't she?
-It's not like it's a withered, old whiskered gentleman,
which isn't terribly commercial, but a nice pretty period lady
in dress like that, I think 100 to 150 is on the money.
-So are we agreed?
-Yes, we're agreed.
-100 fixed reserve?
I think you should say goodbye, cos I'm pretty confident she'll find a new home.
-Good. Thanks a lot.
-Not at all.
'And I'm confident, too, that she'll find some admirers in the saleroom. Next, I'm in the driving seat.'
I've just been joined by Colin and this little chap here in the middle.
Tell me, this is a wild guess, but are you in the tyre business?
Yes, I was. I was a company director for Southwestern Tyres.
-Right, OK. Based where?
Looking at this, I'm pretty sure this is compressed card or felt.
Looking at it, you can see all brown grinning through.
I've seen a lot of these and they're normally late '60s, early 1970s,
made of fibreglass, more translucent,
so you can put a bulb up inside so they light up.
-This one is a much earlier one. This is very early 1950s.
-So does that correlate with how long you've had this?
-Yes, it does.
I was in business for 48 years
and I bought this, more or less when I started, off a local coach dealer.
-How much did you pay for it?
-I cannot remember. I think I gave him a tyre.
A tyre? That's a fair exchange, isn't it? And where have you had this bolted down? Onto the worktop?
-No, it was on top of my lorry.
-How long was this on top of the lorry for?
-About 20 years.
-Wow! He's had a good life!
-Did you give him a name?
-No, I didn't. No, I didn't.
-It's in relatively good condition. It needs a jolly good clean.
-So has this been in the garage in the last few years?
-It's been in my attic.
I retired so I sold the lorry and took this off.
I do like it. There's something about it, isn't there?
When I was at school, you grew up with these kind of images of this logo. It's that branding,
that iconic branding, which sticks with you.
These were only available to people in the trade.
People like you, dealers, and the general public couldn't buy these back then.
So when this comes on the market, I think people will fight for this, if you're into automobilia.
-What do you think it's worth?
-I have no idea whatsoever.
If this was in brilliant condition, if this was in perfect original condition,
I think you'd be looking at £200.
Unfortunately, it's not. It's had its knocks and its wear, but that's only to be expected.
It's been on top of a lorry for 20 years.
Let's get this into auction with a value of £80 to £120.
And put a reserve on, if you're happy, of around £60.
-Are you happy with that?
-I'm happy with that, yeah.
I think we'll have a surprise. I think this is a come and buy me
and I think if we get this on the right website with the right search engines,
the automobile collectors and the trade collectors will love this.
'It always amazes me what turns up on a valuation day,
'however, Hilary's brought along something a little bit more familiar.'
-Hilary, you've brought in this collection of silver today.
You've got some teaspoons and then this rather lovely cigarette case here
-which has got Bristol & District Table Tennis Association on the front.
-So are you a table tennis fan?
-Well, I was when I was younger.
My father was one of the members of the Bristol & District Table Tennis Association. He was the treasurer.
And in 1959, he was presented with this cigarette case
in recognition of the work he'd done for the association.
-And he obviously represented his club and did a lot for the club.
-He was mainly the treasurer.
I think that's why he got this recognition.
Well, what a lovely gift that they've given him. You've got the enamelled front.
-The case is solid silver.
-And it's hallmarked for Birmingham 1957.
-And they've obviously engraved his initials in the top corner here.
If we open it up, it's still got its box there and a little dust case,
and you've got this rather lovely inscription here, which says,
"Presented to AG Norman on his appointment as a life member, B&D TTA,"
which is the table tennis association, "May 1959," which is lovely
because although it's hallmarked for 1957, it's contemporary within that two-year period.
So it really is a quality piece. You've got this gilt interior, as well, which is really nice.
-Just adds to the luxurious feel of it. Do you know if he ever used it?
-Yes. In fact, when I opened it up, it still had little bit of tobacco in, which I brushed out.
Oh, wonderful! Aw.
So that was the first item you brought in to us.
And then you've also brought these very Art Deco teaspoons here, which are solid silver.
-And they are hallmarked for Sheffield 1937.
Maker's mark CB&S, which I can't track down.
-I think it may well be Charles Boyton & Sons.
-I'm not sure. Where have they come from?
I don't know. They were my mother's, and she's long dead, I'm afraid.
-There's nothing significant that I know of in her life at that time so I'm not sure how she got those.
And then we've also got this nice retailer's label here for James Walker Ltd.
The spoons fit beautifully in this box, so I think they are contemporary...
-They look contemporary.
-..with the box. Exactly.
Then this second set of silver teaspoons, they're a little bit smaller and are monogrammed
and those are hallmarked for London 1923.
And that was when she was married first.
-And her married name was Faracre and the F monogram is for Faracre.
-So those would've been a wedding present in 1923.
-Why have you brought them in?
Well, I'm moving house and I've been turning out cupboards
and, frankly, I haven't seen these since I moved into the house I'm in,
which is 16 years, so it just seems that they're sitting in a drawer
-and somebody else might enjoy them.
It is quite difficult to put a price on the items because they are very different.
-With regards to a value, I think what we would do is put them as one lot.
Because the stronger items will help sell the weaker items.
-So I think, at auction, we're looking at somewhere in the region of £80 to £120.
-For the group.
-The main value being in your cigarette case
and in your Art Deco spoons.
OK? So we're looking at £80 to £120, maybe with a reserve of £70.
-How do you feel about that?
-That'll be fine.
-Let's hope that Dad's many hard voluntary hours at the table tennis club pay off for you.
'It always amazes me what turns up on a valuation day.'
-Judith, thanks for bringing in the pestle and mortar.
What can you tell me about it, where has it come from?
I can't tell you a lot other than we found it
in my husband's parents' house when we were clearing up
and he can remember it since he was about the age of ten,
so it's about 55 years.
He thinks that it was to do with his grandparents.
It's certainly older than you or your husband remember it.
I've been looking at it and it can be quite hard to date
this sort of tree or turned wood...
-..but I think we're probably into the sort of
-18th century here.
So we are thinking sort of 1700s.
That's possible because his grandmother was in service
at a big house in Tiverton.
This would have probably been used below stairs
in the kitchen to prepare,
or even for medicinal purposes,
-for preparing medicines and so on...
-I suppose so, yes.
..and mixing up ingredients.
I am fairly confident that it is a lignum vitae,
which is a well-known wood for turning
because it's so dense. You feel the weight of it, can't you?
-It's very heavy. Lignum vitae, actually,
it's one of the few woods that actually sinks in water.
It's so dense that it doesn't float.
The pestle I think is probably associated, to be fair.
I don't think they started off life together.
If you put it inside there, you can just see the proportions
-are a little odd.
-I thought that, yes.
-It's certainly done the job, hasn't it?
It certainly fits in quite nicely.
Have you given a thought of what it might be worth?
Absolutely no idea!
We were just intrigued about it, really.
We thought if Flog It! was coming to Exmouth,
we would like to bring it and see what we could be told about it.
I think you're right.
I'm going to suggest that we put it in the sale with an estimate of
around the couple of hundred pound mark.
How do you feel about that?
Let's put it in, let's straddle that £200 mark.
Let's put it in at 150 to 250.
Fair enough, that should be fine.
On the day, it could make 200 or 300 or £400.
That sounds wonderful.
-I think the only thing to say now is, see you at the auction.
-Thank you vey much.
-Not at all.
Over the years on the show,
I've discovered some superb antiques,
seen some wonderful works of art and met some extraordinary people.
But every now and then, when I least expect it,
I come across an artist who completely bowls me over,
totally inspires me,
and that's what happened when I was staying here in the Dartmoor National Park.
I have two passions in life, art and animals.
When I saw this painting here in the entrance hall at Bovey Castle,
it was love at first sight.
For me, this work is contemporary, it's fresh, it's alive.
Vibrant hues, yet understated.
Broad, square brushstrokes
perfectly placed, but with confidence.
This work is complicated but at the same time it's refreshingly simple
and easy on the eye.
It's by contemporary artist Katherine Lightfoot,
and she's kindly agreed to meet up with me today to have a chat
and also give me a lesson so hopefully I can learn one or two things,
pick up some tips, because her work has literally inspired me
to pick up a paintbrush and start to paint.
Katherine is an impressionist painter
who knew from primary school that she wanted to be an artist.
She grew up in Dartmoor so it's no surprise that most of her work
is inspired by the moorland and the farm animals.
She says it is their stubborn ability to survive the elements
within their remote and beautiful environment
that she admires.
And I must say the mood and the character she captures
is stunningly beautiful.
-I'm so pleased to meet you at last.
-Thank you from meeting up with me. Oh, crikey.
Two are underway - one's for me, one's for you?
-We're painting sheep?
You're working from photographs, I see.
I'm afraid we haven't got a resident sheep here
so we're going to have to paint from photographs
-and I have a lovely Devon Longwool...
-I think that looks stunning as it is. I'm going to muck this up.
-No, you're not.
So you start with a blank canvas.
You obviously put a ground colour on straight away?
Always start with the wash, it gives more depth to it.
You've started with a charcoal-y, dark sort of colour.
Are we hoping to put green grass on that?
You can put whatever you like,
but I think green would complement the sheep,
or a sky blue. Make it up as you go along.
-Is that what you tend to do?
-Artistic licence, yeah!
Can I pick a brush up? I love your palette.
Yes, I don't clean it as often as I should
but it works for me.
But animals are your thing?
Yes, pretty much.
Mostly Dartmoor-inspired, so, yes...
I need a lesson, I want to learn how to paint like this.
Where do we start? You've started with this outline.
Basically, I work from dark to light,
and then bring in the creams and whites and highlights,
and build it up from there.
Did you always paint like this?
It's just a style that's evolved
over the space of ten years
and it's just the way I paint now.
-Can I start more on the background?
-Of course you can.
I'm feeling really scared and I just think I'm not going to muck up the image so much
if I begin to feel confident with a bit of blue.
There's a lot of white and cream
and highlight, and on the nose,
so maybe start building up some depth.
You tend not to clean your brushes off,
-you use the same brush for the same colour?
-I try to,
to stop using too much turps.
I find if the brush is too wet with turps,
it stops you from getting the colours underneath coming through,
so work with a sort of dry-ish brush.
And it's sort of dragged, mostly,
-as it is moved...?
-That's right, yes.
I don't know if that's the right colour to use or not.
-I think it works. The secret is to paint fast.
-I've gathered that,
because I've just been watching you and all of a sudden
you've put some highlight on your sheep, just on its forehead,
and all of a sudden the sheep is talking to you,
whereas mine is sort of in the distance, frightened.
We're lucky, we are painting from photographs,
but if you think about Monet,
he had to paint as fast as he could and wet on wet...
-Is his work a big influence to you?
-More so than any other artist?
But your work has totally inspired me to pick up paintbrushes
-and do this kind of thing.
-Oh, thank you.
Be loose with it and be creative
and imaginative, and I think that's what good art is all about.
Yeah, when you're starting out as a painter,
I think it's always best to use a big canvas and a big brush.
-Don't be frightened of it.
-It's very therapeutic, isn't it?
It is great, actually.
Can you give me a tip about what to do for some of these curls in the wool?
Just...do a curl.
It's not that easy.
This is ten years of you going...
That's the problem, it's all feel, isn't it?
'Katherine's painting style enables her to capture
'the feeling and the movement of her subjects.
'Those bold strokes and layers give every canvas
'capturing the depth and character of each animal.
'Some have a sense of vulnerability,
'some seem detached or even isolated,
'while others are just inquisitive.'
I'm just going to turn my painting upside down
so I can have a look at it, like that.
It's just something I do, it helps me to look.
What will you look for when you stand back?
It just helps you to see where you've gone wrong
or helps you to see where to go when you're a bit stuck.
Will you work on more than one canvas at a time?
Yes, I do, so I don't overwork them
and because they are oils, I let them dry,
pick them up and then put fresh colours over the top.
What do you like painting most?
Is it sheep or would it be the cattle, or cows?
Sheep, I think. There is something nice and familiar.
I don't know, childhood memories or something.
When I have a show in London and I put a sheep in this big, swanky gallery
-and put a sheep in the window...
-In the city centre...
..in the city centre, you see these businessmen rushing past
and they stop and have a look
and it makes them smile, you know.
Your work does that, it puts a smile on people's faces.
And I think that's a brilliant quality.
It's technically very, very clever
but because it's loose and expressionistic,
you don't understand the cleverness.
This it's why I'm so grateful to have this lesson.
I would never have the confidence to start like this at home.
-Starting to relax into it now.
Now I've lost its ear.
This is looking more like Highland cattle...
You're doing really well.
Do you actually stand back and go, "Yeah, it's finished,"
and then tomorrow change your mind
and want to put more on?
You can go home thinking, "Wow, I've done a good job today,"
come back the next morning and think, "No way.
"How did I think that was good?"
So, when do you know, when is that moment, that definitive moment
when you know it is finished?
When you are actually pleased with it, I suppose.
When you actually see it, and you think,
"Ooh, I've done OK there."
-Cos sometimes less is best, isn't it?
That's going to be my maxim. Right now I'm thinking less is best.
I want to keep my sheep quite dark,
but I know it's not finished, but I'm frightened to...
-Maybe you could...
-What do I do next?
-..use a big brush.
-That one's a bit huge.
-Go on, just show me....
He's got a big blob of white there
-and a big blob there.
-So if you maybe incorporate a few big blobs...
..just to soften all those smaller brush marks
-Cos there's a lot there are, isn't there?
What, a big blob?
Yes, cos all this area's quite light, isn't it?
Yeah. I guess that's the good thing about oils,
-you can keep going over it and over it.
-Shall we have a look? Can you turn that back up?
I'm just intrigued that you have been painting for half an hour now
-with that upside down...
-And too long.
No, not at all.
Did that help, turning it over after half an hour?
-It did, actually, yes.
That is so good.
-Thank you so much for helping me.
-I'll shake your hand.
-Can we carry on for a bit more?
-I just think this is lovely.
What a perfect day out.
'We have our first four items.
'Now we are taking them off to the sale.
'Let's hope we have a good result at auction.
'We're in Exeter at Bearnes, Hampton & Littlewood for our sale today.
'We're lucky enough to have Chris Hampton auctioneering our lots
'and the seller's commission here is 16.5% plus VAT.
'So let's crack on. Our first lot is Sue's charming painting.'
We had an original valuation which Sue was pleased with of £100 to £150.
-Since the valuation day, you've had a chat to the auctioneer.
-And you've raised that reserve to £200.
-New valuation, £200 to £300.
To be honest, I've sold prints by Adam Buck at £100 plus.
The only thing that made me hold back a bit was the frame.
This is it. It's down to the bidders.
Adam Buck, portrait of a young woman, half-length,
wearing a splendid hat. £150 is bid.
-I hope it sells, you know.
£200. Seated near me.
At £200. 10, will you?
-No, it's going on the reserve.
-Well done. Good for you for putting up the reserve.
-It might have gone for much less.
-If no-one was bidding against you,
he would've got it at 100.
Thank you. I've got very sweaty hands. Nice to meet you.
-Nice to have met you.
-Thanks for a good day.
'What a great start! Let's hope it continues.
'I'm up next with Colin's advertising icon.'
It's the Michelin Man about to go under the hammer.
We've got a reserve of £60. I'm hoping to get around 80.
Unfortunately, Colin hasn't made it in yet.
We've been on the phone to him. He said he's left home but maybe he's having problems parking
because it is really busy out there.
I'm expecting him to run through the door any second now and join with me in this wonderful moment.
The seated advertising figure of a Michelin Man with mounting bracket.
£45 is bid. At £45. At 45.
At £55. And 60 now.
And 60, will you? 60 in the doorway.
At £60. 5 now.
-Come on, Colin.
-At £60 and selling it at 60.
Sold. Here's Colin now. Look at that.
-I'm not joking,
I've literally just said to the camera, "The hammer's gone down".
-The hammer went down...
-Is that OK?
-Yeah, that's quite all right.
-Colin, it's great to see you anyway.
Can we make it a hat-trick with the pestle and mortar?
Oh, have I been waiting for this moment ever since that valuation day
back in Exmouth.
Judith's here. What a stir you caused.
I'm very pleased about that.
And what a lovely item, something so tactile,
something so sculptural, the pestle and mortar,
which I took around to all the off-screeners...
So we have a mixed variation of valuations
and I let Will go ahead with it
with you at the table. You were ever so excited.
-I was. Very pleased.
-I'd love to have done that one, because this could fly away.
-My fingers are crossed.
The 18th-century lignum vitae mortar
and a treen pestle.
And at £150 starts it.
-Bid on the book.
280. £280, where's 300?
At £280, straight ahead.
-Now selling at £280.
-Come on, a bit more.
Well, it's gone. Top end, though, 280.
We are happy, Judith?
-I'm very happy about that.
-That's very good.
Had a lot going for it, yeah?
-I think you're right.
-Really good, nice thing.
-Thank you so much for bringing it in.
'And coming up next, we've got a collection of silver all from the 1900s.'
It belongs to Hilary, who's right next to me.
-And this is your first auction.
-You're having a bit of a tough time at the moment, aren't you?
I am. I've just moved out of one house and I haven't moved into my next house
-and I'm staying with a very nice friend.
-Stressful, isn't it, living out of boxes?
-Good luck in your new house. Where is it?
-In Exeter. It's sort of the other side of town.
-You're staying in the area.
-Cos I have an allotment and I want to keep it.
-Where I'll be this afternoon.
-We've digressed. We should be talking about antiques.
Your lot is next. Good luck, Hilary.
Silver cigarette case,
a set of six George VI teaspoons
and a set of six George V coffee spoons, cased. All together.
£70 is bid. At 70. 5. 80.
5. 90. 5.
100. And 5. 110. 120.
-He's looking at his book.
-People have left bids on the book
prior to the sale. They've viewed it earlier in the week but aren't here.
-Selling at £160.
-That's really good!
Yes! You can go from the tension, the high drama of the auction room
-to the calm of the allotment.
-I will, thank you, Paul.
-I quite envy you.
-On a day like today.
-Is that where you're heading off to?
'While Hilary heads off to the allotment, I've got my own journey to make, back to a bygone era.'
Now, I'm a bit of an old romantic and I'm passionate about nostalgia
and so I should be, because I love antiques and everything old.
Today we're going to relive the past. I'm going to take you on a trip down memory lane
on one of the best heritage railway lines in the country.
This is the age of steam, so come on, I've got a train to catch.
'And that train is here at the South Devon Railway.
'The UK's railway system is the oldest in the world,
'built as a patchwork of local rail links operated by small private companies
'which, over time, developed into a national network. This branch was part of
'the South Devon Railway Company and it joined the Plymouth to Exeter mainline.
'Opened in 1872, it originally ran for nine miles,
'from Totnes to Ashburton.'
Today it's a bit shorter. It runs for about seven miles,
from this station, Buckfastleigh, to Totnes, which is in that direction.
Now, you're probably wondering why I'm dressed like this.
Today I have the opportunity to fulfil every schoolboy's dream.
I'm going to be riding on the footplate and learning how to drive this locomotive and be the fireman,
obviously under instruction from Chris and Dave, who are up here waiting for me.
I am prepared to put in a full day shift.
I've even got my steel-toecap boots on. So let's get dirty.
Hello, guys! Pleased to meet you!
I've got to say, you're immaculately turned out.
Will we look like this at the end of the day, completely clean,
-or will we be covered in...
-We might, but you won't.
-How long have you been working on this railway line?
-I've been a member since 1968.
-Just before it actually started running. And I've been driving since 1993.
-You've got the hardest job. You're the fireman.
-No, you've got the hardest job.
I'm going to be the fireman today! I'll really work at this
and put in a good day's shift for you.
Is this really the apprenticeship for becoming an engine driver?
-Did you have to be a fireman first?
-You start off as a cleaner.
Gradually, you learn how to light the fire and then you progress to the footplate
and then under the guidance of the driver and the fireman, you learn how to fire the engine.
You then progress to learning this side of the engine, driving that,
and you learn how to oil the engine up, where to look, all this sort of thing.
So it does take a few years before you get over to this side.
What do I have to do first? What is the first job of the fireman?
There was nothing in the firebox this morning,
so we've spent three hours bringing up to pressure and we've got 160 on the clock
and three-quarters of water in the boiler.
-The boiler is the most important thing on the engine. If we lose water, we go bang.
-That's the gauge.
I tell you what, the size of the coal... Look at that!
That is a whopping great lump of coal!
-I shove it in there?
-There you go!
TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS
You guys have kindly got up at six o'clock this morning to sort this trip out for me today.
You do it day in and day out throughout the season. Why do you do it?
I thoroughly enjoy it. Somebody said to me, "What would you do if you won the lottery?"
I said, "I would do what I'm doing now." It was always a passion.
I always wanted to be an engine driver when I was out taking train numbers.
-So I always felt privileged to get on a steam locomotive.
-And what about you, Chris?
-I love doing it.
If you didn't love the job, you wouldn't do the hours, because it's such hard work.
-Need to put water in the boiler now. Would you like to do that?
-Yes. It's about time I did something.
Pull that lever there. That puts the water on.
-And then you turn the steam valve anticlockwise.
Yep. You might have to crack it.
That's it. Back the way.
And then we listen for the sound. That usually tells you it's picked up.
-I can hear it whistling.
-Yeah. And if not, you look down the side
and if there's no water coming through, you just trim it with that there.
-As a fireman, you've got to think ahead all the time.
-It's really hot just here.
-Turn it off now.
-Off with the steam.
-And off with the water.
When was the 305 class, this type of locomotive, decommissioned?
-Well, it was never decommissioned.
No, it actually came off British Railways
and it actually came down to Totnes first off
and it did come up this branch back in the mid '60s.
And then it disappeared to the Severn Valley Railway
where it actually ran their inaugural train up there in 1970, I believe.
How many have survived? Do you know?
-This is it. This is the only one that survived.
-TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS
-Wow! I was going to say, "Wow!" and he went, "Whoo-whoo!"
This is the only survivor! That is quite incredible, isn't it?
'Running along the stunning valley of the River Dart,
'the journey to Totnes takes approximately 25 minutes, stopping only once, at Staverton.
'But it gives you ample time to take in the breathtaking views.'
This is just beautiful. It's absolutely stunning. Nice time of the year to do this.
-Yes, the leaves are just out now.
-Isn't that spectacular?
Underneath a canopy of green foliage, this is the life.
This is the life every schoolboy wants.
I just love the smell. Everything about this journey is wonderful.
-What sort of speed are we doing now?
-We're doing approximately 20.
What would our braking distance be if we saw a cow or sheep on the line?
-Probably about a quarter of a mile, safely.
-Really? Quarter of a mile?
I mean, there's a lot of weight here to stop, really, I guess, isn't there?
That'll be enough now. Thank you. Lovely.
What happens at the end of the day when you're on your last route and you have a boiler full of coal?
Do you knock it out or let it die off gradually?
No, I work in advance, think ahead.
On the last trip, I won't put so much coal in the firebox so it'll be a lighter fire,
keep the boiler on full, and when we get back, the fire should be nice and flat
-and just about going out.
You actually work non stop. You work harder than Chris does, really.
-Drivers don't do anything, do they?
o, he's got the responsibility of being the engine driver, and he's in charge of me, as well.
Dave, thank you so much. And you, Chris. I've thoroughly enjoyed my day here.
I'm going to do the return journey sitting in the carriage, soak up the nostalgia and the scenery
-and carry on enjoying the day. How did I do?
-You did very well.
And you didn't drop my shovel in the fire. THEY LAUGH
'So my job has finished, but Dave and Chris are still hard at it.
'As Totnes is at the end of the line, the locomotive needs to be uncoupled
'and repositioned at the head of the carriages.
'Once everything's secured, we're all set for the return journey. This time I get to enjoy a comfy seat.'
Isn't that just stunning out there, the beautiful Devonshire countryside?
Completely unspoilt, unchanged and not a trace of the modern world.
And I must say, it's a lot warmer and quieter here in this second-class carriage.
It reminds me of being a schoolboy, growing up in Surrey and living near Hampton Court
and getting on the train there and travelling to Surbiton. Wonderful times.
'The history of the line, commercially, it's quite a quiet one, really.
'It was used for transporting goods, things like coal, wool, cider
'and agricultural equipment and the local population.
But with the advent of the motorcar becoming a lot more popular in the early 20th century,
takings on the line here declined
and, sadly, it closed on 3rd November 1958.
It carried on transporting goods for a few more years,
but that finished, also, in 1962.
'In fact, the 1960s was a defining moment for all the railways in the UK.
'Richard Beeching, chairman of British Rail,
'became infamous for the reshaping and slimming down of a whole network.
'So it was with a sense of irony that, in 1969,
'Beeching was invited to open this picturesque line,
'named at the time the Dart Valley Railway.'
A group of enterprising businessmen decided to reopen this line and run it for tourists,
and thank goodness they did. It's been running ever since and it's keeping our heritage alive.
Today it's a registered charity, run by volunteers,
people like Chris and Dave, who get up early in the morning
and make this journey so special. It's well worth the trip.
Love it to bits. I'm going to look out the window now.
'We've travelled back to Exmouth, where everyone has been waiting patiently for some more valuations.'
-Are you still happy?
-It's your turn next, believe me.
Welcome back to our valuation day here at the Pavilion in Exmouth.
Let's now catch up with our experts and see what else we can find to take off to auction.
'And it's Will who's spotted something first, so sit up straight as we listen in
'to what he has to say about Sally's chair.'
I'm pleased to see a bit of furniture at Exmouth today. We don't often get the chance,
us furniture experts or people who are geared towards furniture.
It's often too big or bulky to bring in.
-But no problem with this little piece.
-What can you tell me about it?
-Not a lot.
I bought it in a shop about 30 years ago now when I'd just moved into a new house.
-Has anyone perched on it since then?
-No, nobody's sat on it.
-Because someone at some stage has and would have.
These are generally called correctional chairs or deportment chairs where, if you sat in them,
because of the very vertical nature of the back, it would stop you from slouching.
-Which is a natural position we fall into.
-And you can tell someone has used it by the natural wear on the turnings here on the stretchers.
-Can I ask you what you paid for it?
-I think I paid around £50.
-That's not too bad.
Because, of its type, I think it's a rather nice one.
Starting from the top and working down,
we've got a nice top rail that echoes dining chairs of the time.
-We're talking early 19th century to mid-19th, William IV, Victorian crossover.
This carved rail, as well, that's a nice touch of quality.
Someone's gone to the effort of hand-carving that.
And, again, that echoes the dining chairs of the time.
-You'll see a lot of dining chairs with that sort of splat on the back.
-Nice little caned seat,
-which is actually in good order, which is nice.
-Looks like it could be original.
It could have been replaced. But it's been done sympathetically.
-And it's been done well. And then these long, elegant legs.
-There's a nice little splay at the bottom.
-It adds that little... It gives it that stability.
-Yes, I particularly like that, the way it splays out.
-That's another typical feature of the period.
That little splayed front leg. And the wood itself is in beech.
-Oh, right, yes.
-You can generally tell beech when you get these flecks...
-..just by the way the wood is cut.
-Right. I see.
-That's the way the rings appear on the surface.
-But up here, they've just added these little pen marks or paint marks,
-just to simulate the rosewood grain.
-Yes. That's interesting. I didn't know that.
So if someone was sitting on it, you might just see the top rail.
-So that's where they've made the effort to try and make it look more expensive than it is.
-I mean, I like it myself. Do you like it?
-Yes, I do like it.
-So why are you selling it?
-Well, since I had that, parents have died and I've inherited various other chairs.
There isn't really a lot of room left for chairs.
As this one isn't used, I thought it made sense to get rid of that one.
-OK, so if you got your money back...
-..that would be a good ending to the story, wouldn't it?
-You'd have had the enjoyment of it.
So let me put the estimate at 40 to 60.
-Straddle that £50 mark.
-Right, yes, that's fine.
-Do you want to reserve it? Or are you happy for it to...
-Perhaps I should have a reserve on it.
-Let's put a reserve on at 30.
-If it's not worth £30 then I say take it home.
-It's got to be worth £30.
-I'm pretty sure you'll have no trouble getting that away on the day.
And thanks for bringing in a bit of furniture for me to look at.
-That's all right.
-Thanks very much.
Chris, you brought this lighter in to show us. Tell me where you got it from.
Well, I actually bought it in a jumble sale about 30 years plus ago.
-I paid 50p for it.
-You bought it from a jumble sale for 50p?
-I took it home and cleaned it up and realised it was nine-carat gold.
Absolutely, nine-carat gold, yeah. And it's got a wonderful maker's mark.
-Did you recognise the name at the time, Dunhill?
-Yeah, I did, yes.
-I sent it away to Dunhill cigarette manufacturers in London.
-And I asked if they could repair it, cos there was a pin broken on it.
-They refurbished it fully.
-They sent it back to me with no charge.
-Oh, gosh, that was very generous, wasn't it?
And also they offered me £100 to buy it for their museum.
-Wow! So how long ago was that?
-That's got to be about 30 years ago because I didn't have it that long.
-I wasn't planning on keeping it anyway.
But when they said it was £100, I thought I'd hang onto it, you know?
Exactly. So why have you changed your mind about selling it?
Well, it's been in a drawer for 30 years now, and I watched the Flog It! programme,
-and I saw you were down at Exmouth so I thought I'd bring it along just to see what it's worth now.
Excellent. That's good news. They've done a very good job refurbishing it.
-And you haven't used it, because we've got this very, very clean...
-Never been used.
-Not since I had it refurbished.
-Fabulous, absolutely fabulous. And it's in very good condition.
It's in nine-carat gold. We've got a nine-carat gold coat here.
And on the bottom, all the information about it. Nice nine-carat gold hallmark there.
Which is also hallmarked Dunhill. So the case was also made by Dunhill.
Some of them weren't. Some were made by a different manufacturer, and they put the Dunhill name to it.
-You do get them in a variety of different forms. You get them with engine turning,
also, rather than this oval shape, I have seen them in a facetted form.
-I think it's really quite nice in its simplicity.
-You bought it from a jumble sale, you don't know who owned it before?
You would have been fairly affluent to have a nine-carat gold lighter.
-From the hallmark, it's dated 1929.
So it's from the late '20s.
It's nice we can pinpoint the date accurately.
Value-wise, we might be looking somewhere in the region of £250 to £350. How do you feel about that?
-Good. Excellent. So would you be happy if we put an estimate of £250 to £350?
-And a firm reserve of £250. How would you feel about that?
-I was thinking more a £300 reserve.
-£300 reserve, OK.
So we'll say £300 to £400 with a reserve of £300.
I hope that's not a little bit too high, it might be, but let's keep our fingers crossed.
-I could always keep it and it would go up in value.
-That's very true. It will not go down in value.
-Brilliant. Thank you very much for bringing it in.
-We look forward to the auction.
-Hopefully it will be very successful for you.
'Whatever happens, you're onto a winner, Chris.
'It's time for our final valuation, and it looks like Will has found quite a collection.'
Well, Jean, you've come in today with a real Aladdin's cave here of various gold items.
-Tell me, have these come out of your own jewellery box?
-No, I inherited them many years ago.
Inherited pieces, OK. So you're not going to feel a pang of sentimentality when you sell them?
-Was it a close family member?
-No, not at all. I think I met the relation once as a child.
So there's no sentimental or emotional attachment to them at all.
OK. Let's have a look at what you have brought in. I like this necklace you have brought in,
which I've had a closer look at and is marked 15-carat gold, so a reasonable purity of gold.
-But I love this wirework onto the cabochon beads...
-..tied on this strung necklace.
-Never been tempted to wear it?
-No, I think it's hideous. I don't like it.
-There's me talking it up.
What about this? I don't think that's going to be in your pocket, being a gent's watch.
And the condition of it is rather poor. Was it like that when you inherited it?
-I think it was, yes. It's never worked since I had it.
-Never worked, OK.
Well, to be honest with you, that's not really a big problem because, even though it is a pocket watch,
-all the value in that is in the 18-carat gold case.
Then over here we've got various little charms and sweetheart brooches on this little bracelet.
-Again, when was the last time you ever wore a charm bracelet?
-Oh, as a child.
-They've really fallen out of fashion.
-But good news is, they're nearly all nine-carat gold.
-So that has value in the material value of what they're made of.
These little sweetheart brooches are nearly always nine-carat gold.
You see a lot of those, late-Victorian period.
And then here a little charm that perhaps fell off a bracelet.
Or maybe was on a chain as a little pendant locket, perhaps.
So, we've got 15-carat gold there, we've got 18-carat gold here,
we've got various nine-carat gold items there. It pains me to talk in this way,
but with the price of gold being so high, these are literally going to be weighed in, I'm afraid.
-And their value is purely in what they weigh.
-On the weight, right.
Now, the watch case, 18-carat gold,
you're probably looking at £300, that sort of level for the case.
-That does surprise me.
-It's a lot of money, isn't it? For really not a lot of gold.
The price is up there. Nine-carat gold charms and so on,
you're probably looking at, say, £100, £150.
And then for the 15-carat gold necklace, again, you're probably looking at around the £300 mark.
-Surprising, isn't it?
-It soon mounts up.
So if we think we are looking here at £750-ish, that sort of level.
-I think we're going to need to reserve these,
but a lot of the buyers of these things will go to the sales armed with their digital scales.
-And they will weigh the items there and then. So they know exactly where to bid.
You have to allow a bit compared to the bullion price, bearing in mind that buyers pay a buyer's premium.
But even so, I'm confident that if you were happy to put these in
at £600 to £800 with a reserve at £600,
-I'm pretty confident we will see these away. How do you feel about that as a level?
-Sounds good. Fine.
What's the money going towards, maybe some jewellery you do wear?
-I think a nice holiday.
-Oh, very nice. Let's swap this gold for the goldy, sandy beach, how's that?
-I'll see you on the day.
You can talk to me about this vinaigrette
which my wife had.
-I saw you in the queue this morning.
It was very blustery outside, you had a big box of things.
Then you came up with this little gem.
Where has it come from?
It's come from her family, passed on from her Great Aunt Julia.
So this is on your wife's side?
On my wife's side.
And do you know what it is?
Yes, I gathered - my wife had already educated me -
and told me it was a vinaigrette.
Ah, there we go. Do you know what they were used for?
Yes, for obnoxious smells.
That's right. In the 19th century,
when it was something that was not too sweet-smelling,
you would have your vinaigrette and you would wave it under your nose
and it would bring lightness back to your life.
This is the most wonderful vinaigrette.
It's silver, you have this wonderful agate top
which has been especially chosen and polished to fit the space,
and also the banding has been selected to create these wonderful striations here.
If we open it up, inside,
you have this beautiful silver gilt grille.
Underneath this grille you would have had a sponge
soaked in perfume
or scent, basically.
What's even more exciting for a vinaigrette collector,
if we lift the grille - which sadly has had some damage to it -
the grille hinge is unfortunately a little bit damaged there -
but underneath the grille we have this wonderful hallmark
which tells us that it was made in Birmingham
and the date letter is for 1850.
And we have those magic initials NM.
NM stands for Nathaniel Mills,
who, for vinaigrette collectors, is the creme de la creme of makers.
At this stage in his career,
unfortunately Nathaniel Mills had actually passed away
and his vinaigrette or small working firm had passed to his sons.
So at this particular date, it's not actually Nathaniel Mills
making these pieces any more,
however, as we can see from how intricate this grille is,
his sons have really maintained his standards.
And he still is popular today with vinaigrette collectors.
If we turn it over, we have this continuing floral-engraved design
here, and what we call a cartouche in the middle,
which you will have had your initials or name or some sort of dedicatory inscription in.
Sometimes they can detract from the value,
but this has been left vacant.
That actually will be a plus point to any buyer,
because they can actually have their own put in, so that's fantastic.
Tell me, John, why are you selling it?
My wife has literally said, "Well, I don't need it."
-And it's better to go towards something else that she might want to buy.
Some other jewellery, modern jewellery.
-Sensible woman, I like that.
I think if you were to send it to auction, you are probably looking in the region
of maybe £150 to £200,
with a reserve of 150 with some slight discretion.
I just think it could do better,
but I do have some concerns about the condition.
How do you feel about that?
I feel fine about it. I think my wife will be happy about it as well.
-You think she'd be OK with that, do you?
Oh, good, I'm pleased. She does know that you brought it, doesn't she?
Oh, yes, she knows I've brought it.
Well, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes if she didn't.
So how do you think our experts' valuations went?
There is only one way to find out - we are off to auction,
and here's a quick reminder of what we have chosen.
'So we're back in Exeter for a last visit to the saleroom
'with auctioneer Chris Hampton.'
Picked up for 50p at a jumble sale and hopefully it's going to achieve £300 to £400. Chris, good luck.
-Christina, these are the stories we love.
-I know. Isn't it wonderful?
-Nine-carat gold, George V. Why are you selling now?
-It's been in a drawer at home for 30 to 40 years.
I saw your programme in Exmouth and thought I'd see how much it's worth.
-And we're going to find out right now.
-Hopefully we get that top end.
-Selling now at £370.
-This is it. It's exciting.
Dunhill, the George V nine-carat gold
petrol-operated cigarette lighter.
200, thank you, at £200. At 200.
At 220. 240. 60. 280. 300.
At £300. Where's 20? At £300.
-It's sold on the reserve.
-Selling at £300.
We did it! That's not a bad return on 50p. Put it there.
-Pleased with that.
-Good spotting, sir!
-That was a bit tight, wasn't it?
-It really was.
-It is a roller-coaster ride.
-Well done. There's commission to pay, don't forget. It's 16.5% plus VAT.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-Thank you for bringing it in.
'Selling for 600 times the purchase price,
'it's a result that would have any of us on the edge of our seat.
'Talking of which, next is that lovely beech wood deportment chair.'
It's a lovely example. It belongs to Sally.
We're not looking for a lot of money, are we, Will? £40, £50.
Condition is really good. I like the bar back. It's nice and high. Makes you sit straight.
-Why are you selling today?
-Well, I've inherited quite a few chairs since I bought that one.
-And I need to do a bit of work on the ones I've inherited.
-So one has got to go.
-One has got to go, really, so hopefully it will.
Let's find out, shall we? And hopefully we'll find a home for it. Here we go!
The stained beech deportment or correction chair,
-and I've two bids at £40.
-Two bids straight in at 40.
At £55. Where's 60? 60. 65?
In the room against the reserve.
-And I sell, then, at £65.
Sally, it's a good result. Hammer's gone down, £65. Good, clean example.
I'm glad that went, because if that hadn't sold,
-then the furniture market really would've been in the doldrums today.
-And that's quite sad.
-I'm pleased about that.
-Good. Good. And thank you for bringing it in.
The original valuation - 600 to 800.
-Gold prices have just gone whoosh recently.
-Good news for you.
-I know the auctioneer's had a chat to you on the phone, hasn't he?
The new estimate is £900 to £1,300.
Oh, good news.
You've got to keep your eye on those gold prices, haven't you?
-Yeah, it is, isn't it?
If we wait another ten minutes, hopefully the gold prices will go up even more.
It's going under the hammer right now, this is it.
The gentleman's 18-carat gold, key-wound pocket watch,
15-carat gold rope-twist necklace with filigree beads,
a continental bracelet, ten charms attached, two brooches,
a chain and a book-form locket.
And I'm bid £750. At £750.
At 750. At £750. 800.
And 50. At £850.
-I can't see who's bidding.
-Someone's left a bid on the book.
You don't have to be in the room, you can bid on the phone, online,
-or you can leave a bid on the book.
-1,200. And 50.
1,300. At £1,300 near me.
-Top end of the estimate.
-Selling now at £1,300. You all done?
£1,300, thank you.
-Oh, you must be so made up with that.
-Worth getting up this morning.
'With that money going towards a holiday,
'I'm sure Jean will be packing her suitcase and feeling the sand between her toes in no time at all.
'Next, it's John with our final lot
'and that lovely Nathaniel Mills vinaigrette.'
This is Heather, who we didn't see at the valuation day,
but it's great to see you again, John's wife,
-it's yours, isn't it?
-Well, it was Great Aunt's.
-Sad to see it go?
That's the answer we like. We're here to sell things, not keep things.
-But I'm sure you have other things in the house.
-Yes, I do.
-What a quality piece.
Really, really nice.
I know that most Nathaniel Mills collectors
do tend to want castle tops
and what you would expect of Nathaniel Mills.
But this is slightly unusual,
so hopefully we'll find some good bidders that will want it.
Here we go.
It won't be in the saleroom for much longer.
A Victorian silver and polished-agate oval vinaigrette,
by Nathaniel Mills.
-We'll start here at £180.
That's straight in at the top end.
At 10, 220.
230, with me. 240, 250.
260, 270, 280.
In the room. Yeah, At £290, I sell.
I better dig my wallet out now
and buy extra jewellery.
-That's a promise.
-A man that loves you, there you go.
-Brilliant, well done, congratulations.
-Well done, Christina.
-Thank you for doing the valuation.
-You're welcome, Heather.
How about that? Most people have gone home happy. That's what it's all about.
As you see, the auction is still on. We've had a terrific time here at Exeter.
Thanks to everybody here for looking after us. I can't wait to come back.
But until then, join me again for many more surprises on Flog It! Bye-bye.
Paul Martin and the team are in the seaside town of Exmouth. Clutching their bags and boxes and not their buckets and spades, the locals turn out in force, giving experts Christina Trevanion and Will Axon an array of antiques and collectibles to take a look at.
Christina discovers a solid gold lighter bought at a jumble sale for 50p! Will lights up after spotting a 19th-century watercolour of an attractive lady. Paul also takes a trip back to the age of steam when he visits the South Devon Railway.