Hundreds flock to Flog It! on the pier

PUBLISHED: 10:02 30 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:43 30 April 2015

Jonathan Pratt with Tony and Mary Williams with their silver cigar case.

Jonathan Pratt with Tony and Mary Williams with their silver cigar case.

Archant

MORE than 500 people flocked to Weston seafront this week in hope of unearthing a hidden treasure, as antiques experts from BBC One's Flog It! arrived in town.

A total of 506 enthusiastic hopefuls saw their items valued on the Grand Pier by the show’s team of experts, with a huge assortment of items, some dating back to the 1800s, examined on the day.

Those lucky enough to make it onto television will see themselves on BBC One as part of four episodes to be broadcast over the next 18 months, with Weston’s the first pier to feature as the show’s backdrop.

Among the items to make the cut was a 19th-century microscope and slide set, which had been used to collect samples during a Weston man’s trip across the globe in the late 19th century.

Its owner, Stella Paynter, told the Mercury: “We believe it originally belonged to the reverend of Christ Church in Montpelier, and he took it to South Africa with him in 1880 when he went to explore.

“There is a box of slides which are all documented, with things like butterflies’ wings and some eggs from a house spider from over there.

“We spoke to Paul [Martin, the show’s presenter] who said he had never seen anything like it. I can’t say we’ve got a figure we would like, I just don’t really have a place for it.”

Another item to catch the producers’ eye was an early 20th-century stationery box owned by Penny Stoney, who spoke to the Mercury before recording had begun.

She said: “My father was an antique restorer, he absolutely loved it and often didn’t charge people what he should have.

“They used to give him things and we are assuming that’s what has happened here. I got a valuation for probate before and they got rather excited about, and it seems to have caught Paul Martin’s eye.

“I really like it, it is made of walnut and you don’t get things like this any more – but beyond that we don’t know a huge amount about it, hopefully they will be able to give us an idea about it. All the crew have been lovely.”

All items valued on the show will go forward to a special auction, to be held at Clevedon Salerooms in Kenn Road on May 14.

Alex Habgood, the show’s location manager, said he jumped at the chance to hold the event on the pier, a far cry from the show’s normal locations.

He said: “We’ve never hosted Flog It! on a pier before; it’s a brilliant backdrop, normally we’re based in stately homes and places like that.

“It’s a very unusual venue but it’s one of the most iconic sites around, and that’s what you think of when you think of Weston.”

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