Over the past six years, the King’s Lynn Arts Centre has been integral to creation of a number of new international markets in 20thC design. Liz, Nick, Amanda and team there (seen above) have put their full support behind a number of major exhibitions that have launched new areas across the world, including the work of local international glass designer Ronald Stennett-Willson, ‘Fat Lava’ West German ceramics, postwar Czech glass, and much more. Without their hard work and generosity in supplying and staffing the space, and promoting the exhibitions, these innovations could not have taken place. And I know the owner of the collections put on show, Dr Graham Cooley, feels exactly the same. So we were naturally shocked to hear that the centre was marked for closure last year, due to local government cuts. But the team are made of stronger stuff, and have now regrouped and relaunched themselves as an independent charity – to enormous local and nationwide acclaim. Even though this exactly the sort of thing that David Cameron is urging us all to do, …

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Antiques Centres in Dorking

On my way back to the ‘Big Smoke’ from filming at the West Sussex Roadshow a few weeks ago, I stopped off in Dorking, Surrey. Nestled beneath the South Downs, the town has always been known for its antiques centres and shops clustered along West Street. As I grew up nearby, it’s long been one of my favourite hunting grounds. And I’m in good company, as Margot Leadbetter, Penelope Keith’s character from BBC’s ‘The Good Life‘, also shopped there – most memorably for a spinning wheel… Like so many antiques shopping venues, it’s changed dramatically over the past few years. But it’s still excellent, with plenty to choose from, whatever you’re looking for. You can browse a full list of the many shops by clicking here, but most of the action for my visits is focused on a couple of great antiques centres. These include Christique, Talbot House, The Pilgrim, and Dorking House. The Pilgrim is always rammed with a huge variety of objects, and stock is refreshed regularly. Don’t forget to …

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Antiques Roadshow in West Sussex

I’ve just got back from the last filming day for the Antiques Roadshow this season. It was held at the wonderful Weald & Downland open air museum, near Chichester in Sussex. Despite heavy rain predicted, the weather stayed dry, and the sun even shone at one point! Thousands made the journey to see us, and some amazing treasures were uncovered. I filmed two pieces, both of which I loved, but it was a very busy day so we’ll see if they make it to the final programme. One of the pieces I couldn’t film, partly as it came in too late, was the little treasure above. And when I say little, I mean tiny. It’s only  1.5inches (4cm) long – basically the size of a match! Known as the ‘Smallest Pen In The World’, it’s a fully functioning fountain pen despite it’s diminuitive size. It was made by Waterman in the US around 1920, effectively as a marketing tool. Displayed in shops, or shown to prospective retailers or clients, it showcased Waterman’s skills at making fountain pens. Continuing …

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