Allan Blackburn column

Owner of GB Antiques Allan Blackburn with some of the Pendlefin figures.
Owner of GB Antiques Allan Blackburn with some of the Pendlefin figures.

So, Christmas is firmly behind us now and things seem to be getting back to normal.

We were open every day except Christmas Day and incredibly busy on most days.

The weather was atrocious, and as I’ve explained in previous comments in my column, the antiques centre always sees a rise in visitor numbers if it’s raining, so we were very busy over the Christmas period.

Now we face a new year and if you are anything like me, you’ll be having a sort out.

I find that putting all the Christmas decorations away (at home and at work) makes me want to get clean, tidy and orgainsed.

It must be the same for our visitors, as January always sees a surge of people coming into the centre with precious items that either need cleaning or repairing.

I used to think that maybe pieces had been broken over the Christmas holidays with families visiting, young children reaching for an ornament or a dog with a particularly waggy tail knocking something off the table.

However, I’ve come to realise that it’s not just knocks or damage done in over crowded homes at Christmas, the pieces I’m inspecting, are long overdue a professional clean or have been damaged for some time.

I am going to talk more next week about how to repair and restore your beloved items, but for now (and while you’re in the mood) give them a good clean.

Handle items carefully and don’t be afraid to give them a thorough wash in warm, soapy water, just don’t put them into very hot or boiling water or use harsh chemicals.

When washing, it’s a good idea to put rubber covers over the taps to prevent accidental knocking.

Put a towel in the bottom of your sink to add a protective layer for that unexpected bash.

Polishing is fine too, but only on items which are already shiny.

Never polish a matt finished ornament.

So remember, whatever the season, children, dogs and chemicals are definitely out if you want to preserve your fragile collectables.

The passing of time is nothing compared to these, the three biggest culprits for damaging china, porcelain and glass.