Take Grandma’s advice and hang on to your treasures

Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park
Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park
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The other week I mentioned in this column that we were celebrating our 25th anniversary and one of the ways we celebrated was by offering valuations in aid of charity.

So, on the Sunday we erected a gazebo outside the antiques centre and between 11am and 3pm were absolutely packed with visitors.

It’s a good job I love this part of the job as I literally talked non-stop for all four hours!

We only charged £5 for two items to be valued and all the proceeds went to two local charities, CancerCare and Alexander House.

The treasures and collectables were valued for sale or insurance purposes.

We published the event a lot and giving people time to dig through the loft and get their treasures together often means they bring things they’ve always hoped were worth something. It’s usually the thing their Grandma asked them to hang on to!

Things fall into three categories.

1) Victorian things that may have been expensive at the time and worth something over the years, but aren’t worth anything now as they are out of fashion.

2) Something the owner has previously been told is of value, only to be disappointed by me when I tell them it’s not!

3) Granny was right and the item has kept its value. These are my favourite ones.

I love seeing people’s faces when they realise they were right to hang on to their item all these years.

Very often it is the musical items that fair best. Early record players and phonograms can be worth between £2,000 - £3,000 and it’s always nice seeing things that are 125 years old, surviving through the generations.

Many people keep their first musical instrument for sentimental reasons, so I get to value a lot of those.

One of the first visitors brought me a set of bongos!

We saw a lot of glass, but that’s not unusual at these events as in Victorian times England was the known as the centre of glass and we had 300 manufactures of if.

Sadly though, there was nothing outstanding. A lot of it is out of fashion now – even cranberry glass (always a favourite) isn’t worth very much any more.