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In 1947, the government planned to create eight new towns
in a 20-30 mile radius from the centre of London,
to ease congestion in the capital.
Today, we're in one of those towns. Welcome to Crawley.
The idea of the eight new towns was to encourage people to the countryside where they would
be offered decent housing and employment.
In 1950, the then Princess Elizabeth came to Crawley to open Manor Royal -
the town's first road through its new industrial centre.
She also visited one of the new, cutting-edge housing estates,
ready and waiting for Crawley's new inhabitants.
Over the years, Crawley has continued to grow.
It's now the largest inland town in West Sussex
with a population of over 100,000. So it looks like we've got our work cut out today. It's now nine-thirty.
It's time to get the doors to the Hawth Theatre open.
Let's see what our two experts, Charlie Ross and Mark Stacey, can find.
-John, it's time to have a game.
-I think so.
-This is fantastic. The condition is amazing.
-Where did this come from?
-A friend of mine bought it at an auction.
-And gave it you?
-No, he just asked me to bring it down
-because he can't come here today himself.
-How long ago did he buy it?
-Just a few months ago.
-And he's bored with it already?
Well, he must have. He probably doesn't know how to play it.
Do you know if he bought it because he liked it?
Probably cos it was at the right price.
Blimey, we're on the spot here. I hope he didn't pay £1,500 for it.
I think the great thing about this is the condition.
Frankly, it looks as if nobody's ever played it.
This game must be 100 years old.
It looks like this fully-fitted box has got the correct number of horses -
12 horses. They're lead.
They're hand-painted. They've got original colours on them.
An original mahogany box of super quality.
Slightly disappointing that there is no maker's name.
I was surprised that, on all the horses and reins, there's no damage.
-It's only a bit of cotton.
-You'd think, at the age it is, that there would have been damage.
-Well, you'd think they'd rot.
-They're all complete.
-They look original to me. We haven't got the instructions.
But I imagine that you put the fences and the rather splendid water jump where you want to,
and one can only assume that if you land on them you go back to the start. Have a spin.
-Here we go.
-Well, I suppose we'd better ask how much he paid.
-Did he tell you how much he paid for it?
-20 or £30. That's all.
-Did he think he was getting a bargain?
-I think he did.
Well, I think he got a bargain too. I reckon it's worth three or four times that.
-I'd be surprised if this didn't make £100.
-He'd be pleased with that, would he?
-I'd have thought so, yes.
-Perhaps the old favourite "Flog it!" estimate of 80 to 120.
There will be no shortage of people that want to buy it, I think.
-For his sake, we'd better put a reserve on it.
-Yeah, sure, yeah.
Um, shall we put a reserve of double what he paid?
-You think he might have paid £30 for it?
-Yeah, something like that.
-Let's put a reserve of £75.
-I think we ought to mention his name.
-His name's Tommy.
-Well, thank you, Tommy.
-We'll do our best for you. Thanks for bringing it along.
-Now, you have brought this wonderful watercolour to show us.
Before we look at it in detail, give us the history of it.
I used to help out on the Scouts. I was on the committee. We used to do the jumble sale.
Somebody brought this along and I rather liked it and I offered
-3p for it.
-When was that?
Nearly 40 years ago.
Gosh! And has it been up on the wall all that time?
Well, in my other house it had, but this one is a small house and,
unfortunately, it didn't fit in any more.
-So it's up in the loft.
-What attracted you to the picture?
I just liked it. I liked the look of it because it had...
things going on in it, and I liked the period of that particular time.
Well, of course, it is signed and dated. "F McAllister, 1910."
We've got the signature and date down here.
And we've done a little bit of research. There are some F McAllisters registered
and have sold at auction over the last few years.
And there was one in particular who specialised in these sort of Scottish harbour scenes.
-And this looks very Scottish, doesn't it?
-It does, yes.
And you've got quite a lot going on there. You've got the little bird on the boat,
and sailors and families milling around in the background. The only problem is
that it has faded a lot over the years.
You've lost a lot of the watercolour and body colour to the sky.
But generally speaking, it's quite a nice little subject.
I mean, I had it up for years in my other house. That probably helped to fade it, I suppose.
Of course, if you had it up in direct sunlight, that does cause a lot of fading.
You should always keep watercolours in the shade,
to stop the sunlight getting on them.
In terms of value, your thruppence then...
We've looked into it and we think we should get between £100-£200.
-What do you think of that?
-That's about right, I should think, for today.
-I hope so.
And I think we should put a reserve on it,
so we don't sell it for nothing.
I was going to suggest a reserve of £80. Is that OK with you?
-Yes, that would be fine.
-Hopefully there will be a couple of Scottish buyers out there
-who want to buy a part of their heritage back.
-We hope so!
-I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
Let's hope it sails away.
A pretty pair of vases, Stanley.
-I like them, yes.
-Where did they come from?
I bought them in a shop in Southall in London about 60 years ago.
-60 years ago?
-About 60 years ago.
I was very young at the time.
-You must have been.
-It was for my parents' silver wedding.
-As a present?
-As a present.
-How very, very generous. Can you remember how much you paid for them?
-Not a clue.
-But at the time money didn't matter.
-No. Do you know how old they are?
-Not exactly, no.
-Assuming they are silver, and I presume they are,
there will be a hallmark on them.
Just before we pick one up, I love this Art-Nouveau influence round
the top here, and almost a Deco finish to the stem.
Therefore, I look at these and I'm going to say - I'll be a bit wide in range -
but they're somewhere between 1890 and 1910.
-They're going to be that sort of period, stylistically.
It would be nice to think they were a hundred years old or Victorian - they're on the cusp.
Normally, they have a hallmark round the rim at the bottom, which they haven't.
-There is one, I think, somewhere underneath.
-Ah, here we are. I've got it.
We've got the letter D, which dates it to 1899.
And then, interestingly, a little shield on the left. "G & S Co Ltd."
Goldsmiths And Silversmiths Company.
Now, they are,
well, the Rolls-Royce of makers and retailers.
Founded in the 14th century.
They moved into their premises in the late 14th century and they're still there now.
-How is that?
-It's an amazing company.
-So, they're quality.
They're spill vases, flower vases, in pretty good condition.
-I saw a little bit of solder.
-I think one of them was repaired.
-I think one has been restored around the base.
-It was leaking.
-Oh, right. So it hadn't broken off?
-They're charming. They're not going to be worth hundreds of pounds.
-No, but even so...
I'd like to think they're getting on for £100. I think if they weren't
Goldsmiths And Silversmiths Company, I'd be saying, "£50-£80 the pair."
But I think that's too cheap. Let's say £80-£100.
-But I think we'll put a reserve on them at 80.
-I think so too.
-And I rather hope they make £100.
-I hope so.
-You've brought a very nice vase in to show us.
Well, it's not my taste, but, eh...
-yes, it is nice.
-It is a nice vase. Where did you get it from?
It came from my father-in-law, when we split his home up
amongst the family, and it came to us.
It's been used as a flower vase, but lately it's been wrapped up
-and put away.
-Oh, what a shame!
-I'm sure you know who it's by. It's by William Moorcroft.
We can tell that instantly by the colours, by this lovely shape,
and by the use of decoration on the top here.
And we're very used to seeing Moorcroft on the show, but I
particularly like this one because of the design.
This is known as the Honesty pattern.
You've got these almost balloon-like flowers on there, which are rather nice. Beautiful colours.
And then underneath we've got a full set of marks, with "W Moorcroft" impressed and "made in England".
So we're probably looking at the early part of the 20th century,
-not the earliest pieces, which were made around 1895.
-This is about 1910-1920, that sort of period.
Nonetheless, it is a very, very nice example.
-Have you ever thought of the value?
-My wife talks of it occasionally,
but I don't pay too much attention to her.
-Do you pay attention to anything your wife says?
-Oh, yes, oh, yes!
-On pain of death!
-Well, I think it is a very nice piece, and she's right to think of the value.
There are a lot of collectors for these sort of pieces now.
Moorcroft is still a very popular item at auction and a vase like this,
I would anticipate an estimate of around 300-400 on it.
-As much as that?
-I think so, yes.
-We would need to have a reserve of maybe 250.
But there will be quite a few people who like this. It is a good size,
it's a nice shape and it's got a good pattern on it.
-Is that pleasing to you?
-Oh, jolly good. Thank you very much for bringing it in.
What could be more typically English than a lovely, sunny summer's day,
clear blue skies, fresh, invigorating seaside air,
a freshly cut lawn, and a game of bowls?
And I've come prepared and brought my shoes with me.
The origins of the game are shrouded in myths and legends that date right back to the Stone Age.
But it wasn't the English, it was the Scots, who were responsible
for introducing the game the way we know it today.
There we go. Properly booted up and now I'm ready.
I'm here in Worthing, at the English Bowling Association, to meet 15-times world bowling champion
Tony Allcock, who's going to give me an insight into this fascinating game and hopefully a few pointers.
Tony, so pleased to meet you.
-What an accolade! 15-times world champion.
But I actually don't play any more, Paul. I decided that 15 was enough,
and over and out. 30 years, almost, playing for my country.
I decided to retire on the nod with the last title.
-I haven't really played since.
-But you're so passionate about the game.
Let's take it right back to its origins. Tell me where it all started.
Well, history suggests it could have been the cavemen, rolling stones.
But the poignant chapter in history
is around the 1300s, when Edward III wrote to his Lord Lieutenant and said,
"Please ease off the number of archers playing the sport. We need them to practise with arrows."
So, obviously, it was immensely popular in those days.
And once again, Henry VIII banned it.
He didn't want the lower classes, as he called them, playing bowls.
He wanted them to practise archery and all the things that would defend the country.
The landed gentry could play. That law was in existence until 1845 -
-bowls was illegal.
-Was it really?!
-A dangerous sport!
-That's right, yes.
-It's such a genteel game, isn't it?
-It is, really, Paul.
But as you'll find out when I'm taking you on, it can be aggressive.
OK. Well, let's just talk about the game -
the rules. I don't know the rules.
The principle is very simple.
It is getting this bowl next door to the jack, and as close as possible.
-Hitting it is only an advantage...
-If you get close to it?
-Absolutely. That's the principle.
-That's a resin bowl, isn't it?
-They were originally made of lignum vitae,
-one of the hardest woods in the world, from South America.
-Tremendous. We have examples.
-We've got some here. Can I pick them up?
-Yeah, you can.
-Do they vary in weight? Are they all a standard weight?
-They are now.
They have to be uniform, but years ago, they would shave a little bit off, because they're actually biased.
They're not actually straight. They're determined by the shape of the bowl.
-Not weighted, but by the shape.
-So, they will curl one way?
Yes, they will. And it is always determined on the bowl by the little spot.
So they are biased.
-That is rather fancy bowl, that one.
-This one is a very historical bowl,
-because on there...
Yes, WG Grace, the founder of the English Bowling Association.
And certainly the only specimen bowl that we have in the museum.
-You've taken that out of the museum?
-So, we can't play with that?
-I'm sure he would be delighted. Here's a challenge for you.
-Can I use it?
-Yes, you can.
-I have never seen anybody handle this ball or play with it, so you can have the honour.
-Thank you very much.
'What a privilege to be able to use one of WG Grace's bowls.
'Perhaps playing with it will bring me luck. I'll need it!'
I'm feeling rather nervous, Tony. This ball hasn't been used for the last hundred years or so.
-Well, probably a few times, on special occasions.
-Be gentle. That's the key.
-Not so hard.
-I'll give it a kiss. Here we go.
This is my first bowl.
-You start on the mat and then come off?
-Yeah, just be natural.
One foot on or over the mat, and then just take a little bit of green.
Allow the bias to go, and away you go.
Now, look at that.
Hopefully, it will bend towards the jack.
-That is actually a very good attempt, Paul.
-Can I try with a plastic one?
-Yeah, you can.
-Just to see...
Yeah. Have a go with this.
-Then I'm going to watch you do it and pick up a few tips.
That's excellent. Now, watch this ball curve.
-Oh, it's not got the pace.
-It has. Watch it.
Watch it curve.
Look at that! You do not get much better than that...in the world!
-It's easy, isn't it? It's easy with a plastic ball.
-Let's see you do it. Come on, Tony.
-I can't do it as good as that, I can assure you.
That was a sheer fluke. My second bowl...
So, Paul, I've got to wait for that to bend in.
What I'm trying to do, ideally, is to give you a little bit of a knock.
I've not quite got the weight. But remember, I've got three others in a set,
-so I could now try and push you out.
-So I'll have another go and we'll take it in turns.
Do you want to bowl with an old bowl or a new one?
I am going to stick with the new ones. I'm pretty good at this!
I've never played before and I seem to be doing OK.
It just goes to show why bowls is one of the largest participant sports in Britain.
It really is a game for anyone and everyone.
Is it an affordable game?
Yeah, the set of bowls that you're playing with, a second-hand set, you could pick up for 40-£50.
And they'll last, if you've got the right size, forever.
And it always has been an affordable sport. In the last century,
the government gave sponsorship to commercial outfits and factories
-to lay bowling greens for their workforce.
Recreation, yes. So, a lot of factory greens were set up and are still in existence today.
-You just have to join a club like this, really?
-Yes, but a lot of public parks, like this,
allow people to come and practise. And this actual green is often used by the public,
for just coming along and having a go.
And there are a lot of people who aren't members of clubs, who just want to go and try it.
-There's always an opportunity in a public park.
-Thank you. It's been a pleasure. We'll finish off the game
cos at the moment, I'm winning, aren't I, by the looks of it?
-Surprisingly you are, Paul!
-Not for long, though! Let's carry on.
The crowds descended on Crawley for our valuation day,
and now we're taking a select few with us to auction.
Here's a reminder of what's for sale.
John's horse-racing game is in such good condition,
I'm convinced that at 80-£120, it will gallop out of the saleroom.
With an estimate of 100-£200,
let's hope May's watercolour of the ship finds a fleet of bidders.
I'm sure Stanley will get more than a handful of silver
for the pair of Victorian spill vases he bought for his parents' silver wedding anniversary.
Hopefully there will be plenty of collectors in the room and the bids will blossom
for this Honesty pattern Moorcroft vase.
We've come to Scarborough Fine Arts and Worthing Auction Galleries. It's a massive place.
It's jam-packed, as you can see, full of antiques.
Hopefully, later on, it's going to be full of bidders all wanting our "Flog It!" lots.
But before the sale starts, let's have a chat with today's auctioneer.
He's one of our "Flog It!" experts and his name is Nick Hall.
-This is great fun!
-We've had a lot of interest in this on the viewing.
It's Edwardian and I'm sure lots of people would like to play with this, although...
the original owners, possibly 100-odd years ago,
didn't play on the board because it's in crisp condition. Just look at that.
-Well looked after.
-Now this was bought by one of John's friends,
-a chap called Tommy, a couple of months ago in auction.
-Yeah, for around about £30.
-So we've put...
-He's had a flutter of his own, hasn't he?
And we've got odds on this doing 80 to 120.
I'll take those odds and I'll have a fiver myself.
-It's going to make more than that. It should do.
-He paid how much for it at auction?
-You'd be disappointed if this only got £30 in your rooms.
-I'll stick my neck on the block -
-I think it's worth a couple of hundred pounds.
-Great, that's what I wanted to hear
-cos I was going to say the same.
-I hope it will, now I've said that!
-OK, they're under starter's orders.
For today's sale, Nick is joined by his business partner,
Andrew Scarborough, who's first out of the gates.
We've just been joined by Stanley in the nick of time. We've got a packed saleroom. Tension is building.
-We've got two spill vases. We're looking for £80, hopefully a little bit more.
These were bought 60 years ago, weren't they, in London?
-For a silver wedding.
-OK, well, they're going under the hammer now.
Posy vases...50 for them? Thank you. 50.
And five, 60...five, 70...five, 80...five, 90?
In the front now at 90, for the pair of posy vases...
Are you all done at 90?
-£90. The hammer's gone down.
-We'll take that.
-Yeah. That's very good.
-Sort of mid-estimate.
-I'm quite pleased.
-What are you going to do with the money?
-I'm going to split it between my niece's two children.
-What are their names?
-David and Rosanna. I figure that they could use the money now,
-rather than wait until I'm gone!
-Oh, you don't want to say that.
-You'll be around for a long time! Thank you for coming in.
Next up, it's time for May's painting to set sail.
-Why are you selling this?
-I've had it for 40 years.
-Fed up with looking at it then?
-Not so much that.
I live in a small house now and there isn't much room left.
-It's better going to someone who might appreciate it.
-I've looked at it for 40 years - a nice long time.
It's a lovely decorative picture. I had a chat to the auctioneer earlier...
..and he said it just might struggle.
He said he cannot find the name McAllister. He doesn't have form. He thinks he's a competent amateur
-who's painted for a hobby.
-Well, that could be true. We didn't find much about him.
-I thought we did actually find a listing on the day.
-I thought I heard that he worked at...
-a school in Scotland. It was the second school in Scotland for painting.
Well, if he's got some provenance that is going to add to the value.
-But it's valued as a decorative picture, really, Paul.
-Yes, it is.
-It is a wall-filler.
-Yes, if you like marine subjects, there just might be somebody here. Who knows?
-We'll just have to hope so.
-Exactly. Fingers crossed.
-OK. It's going under the hammer now. Good luck.
The signed McAllister.
Dated 1910. The boats at a quay, with landscape.
Shall we say 120?
Yes, we're in.
130, 140, 150, 160. At 160...
Well, there you go! The auctioneer was a bit wrong, wasn't he?
-So was I. £160.
-Well done, Mark.
I thought I was going to be all at sea!
-And then I found my lifebuoy.
-The able seaman.
-We all like...
-And your boat is still floating.
-I'm still floating...just.
-What are you going to do with £160?
-I've got my family coming for Christmas
-and I'm going to treat them.
-Where are they all coming from?
-I've got one son in Dubai and another son
who lives not very far from me, but they can all meet up together, which they don't often do.
-A few bottles of champagne, May?
-You deserve it.
I absolutely love this next lot. It's a horse racing game.
-It's Edwardian, it belongs to John, not for much longer.
-Not for much longer. Not at all.
Because we've got a value of 80-£120, which is an auctioneer's book-price cliche for most things!
We had a chat to Nick, our auctioneer, earlier.
You know what he said. He said, "This should do £200 quite easily."
-Are you pleasantly surprised?
And a friend of yours got this in an auction for 30-odd quid not long ago. So I think he's got a good eye.
He's going to turn a good profit.
-If he turns a profit, he'll spend the money on more bits and pieces.
-See? You can buy and sell at auction and make a profit.
-Well, good luck.
397, the Victorian horse racing game.
In good order, with accessories,
together with the painted, lead named mounts. Hard to find now.
-Thank you, Chris.
180. 190. In front at 190, 200.
-They love it!
-It's 210 in front.
-It's neck and neck, they're coming to the line.
-A lot of potential!
-210, over the water.
-Who's the winner now?
-That's good. We'll settle for that, won't we?
-Very much so. He'll be very happy.
-Give him our regards.
-I will do.
-Tommy, you've got an excellent eye.
This lot is a real gem.
We're always saying, "If you want to invest in antiques, invest in quality."
Something in good condition with a maker's name. It's got the lot. It's a bit of Moorcroft.
It belongs to John here, who's flogging it. It's a lovely vase. We had a valuation from Mark Stacey -
£300-£400. It's the Honesty pattern,
and honestly, it is worth that.
Moorcroft is so well-documented.
-There are prices for everything.
-It is a very well-known market, a very mature market.
It would take something special for you to shoot away, but we've got a fixed reserve of 250,
so that should help it as well. It is a nice design. It doesn't come up that often.
-I love that little balloon design. It's wonderful.
Typical 1920s, 1930s. I think all the talking's over and done with, don't you, chaps?
-It's now down to Nick. Let's see if we can top that £400. It's going under the hammer.
A nice lot there. The '30s Moorcroft vase in the Honesty pattern.
Nice shape, good size, excellent condition.
A nice bit of Moorcroft. Where are we going to start? £200?
Surely worth that, and more, I hope. At £200...
Thank you, sir. £200, I'm bid. Any advance on £200?
Anyone else coming in? I'll take 210 anywhere.
£200 seated, 210, to my right. 220.
- 230, 240, 250, 260... - We're in!
270, 280, 290, 300. £300, seated.
Anyone else coming in at £300?
The gent seated, will you bid at 310?
Thank you, madam. 310, seated. 320 at the back here. 320, I'm bid.
330. 340. 350.
-This is good, John.
-They now love it.
£400. And 20, madam?
I'll take £410, if it helps. 410.
Yes! Well done, Nick.
420, seated. One more might do it.
420, against you. It's a nice piece. 430, with you.
440, I'm bid. At 440.
Shall we make it a round 450?
It's 440 against you. I'll leave you alone. Thank you, madam.
At £440, the gent seated. All done. At 440, I'm selling.
Yes! £440. Now that is a result!
What will you do with all that money? Less commission, of course. There's always commission to pay
-whether you're buying or selling.
-It will go towards the pets' insurance?
-The pets' insurance?!
-How many pets have you got?
-Well, we've got three dogs, at the moment, and three cats.
-I don't think we've had that on the show, have we, Paul?
-We love our pets.
-They're worth every single penny of it.
Well, that's it. It's all over for our owners.
The auction is still going on behind me.
It's been another fascinating day for "Flog It!" in the saleroom.
If you want to take part in the show, watch out for us coming to your area soon.
For more information about "Flog It!",
including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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