As everybody knows my business is a family business and I love having my family around me at work.
The antiques centre was named after my lovely wife, Gloria Blackburn, (hence GB Antiques) and she has played a big part over the 25 years we’ve been here.
My son, Jimmy, is 40 this year and he looks after the furniture side of the business and my daughter Dawn looks after the office and administration.
It was 12 years ago now that we took the decision to change the name of the antiques centre to “GB Antiques and Furniture Centre”, as furniture was becoming a huge part of the business.
Year on year this trend has never waned.
Furniture is so popular that we’ve extended the centre and taken on many more furniture dealers and Jimmy now manages this department full time.
Jimmy started working for me when he was 15 on a part-time basis and I soon realised he was very interested and naturally enthusiastic about old furniture.
Any spare time he had he would use looking for old pieces of furniture to sell.
During the next 25 years, what first started out as a hobby in his spare time became his livelihood.
He had been working quite happily at British Aerospace in Warton but the family pull to my business was strong and he would spend his weekends helping me and going round car boots and jumble sales.
It was a big decision to leave his job but one, he says, he has never regretted.
Once he was with me full time, he trawled the auction rooms looking for special pieces.
He stopped grabbing bargains and concentrated more on finding a more established, expensive, rare or collectable piece.
He loves being in the centre when a new delivery arrives and he can unpack it, clean it, date it and value it.
Very often he’ll ask my advice and I like that.
You’ll often here us bantering (all in fun) about a valuation or a specific date.
Jimmy really does know what he’s talking about and I am so proud of him.