Allan Blackburn column

Allan Blackburn.
Allan Blackburn.

I couldn’t believe it when the phone rang this week and it was someone I’d not spoken to in years.

It was an old customer of mine called Bill Sharples.

I first came across Bill when I was associated with the BBC TV programme “Cash in the Attic”.

I remarked that it was ironic he should be ringing as I was only thinking about my involvement in TV recently after I caught a repeat of “Antiques Road Trip”, which I mentioned here in my column 2 weeks ago.

Well, Bill and I met whilst filming Cash in the Attic over ten years ago.

In the show which has now run for 16 series, the presenter visits a family’s house to find out what they need to raise money for.

They then explore the house finding antiques and valuing them, before selling them at auction to raise money.

I didn’t get the job as presenter, but was used as an expert, and would go into peoples homes with a BBC team, before the main presenter and camera crew arrived.

I would value all the articles ready for the presenter, Alistair Appleton to film the programme.

So back in 2002 I went into Bill’s house in Garstang, valued his things and the programme was filmed and aired.

Bringing us right up to date with the story was the phone call from Bill this week.

Unbelievably he is now 90 years old and he rang to invite me back into his home to buy some of his things.

It was wonderful to meet him again after all this time and although some pieces have been sold over the years, he still has some wonderful antiques and gorgeous pieces of furniture, some of which were featured in the original programme.

He has one particular item which I am very excited about.

That’s why I love my job so much.

I get to meet amazing people: radio and tv presenters, dealers, auctioneers, customers and visitors, (some of whom I have made and remained good friends 
with), see fabulous antiques and am lucky enough to hold and value very rare and valuable pieces.