[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: The nation's favorite celebrities.
Just want to touch base.
NARRATOR: Paired up with an expert.
NARRATOR: And a classic car.
NARRATOR: There mission, to scour Britain for antiques.
NARRATOR: The aim, to make the biggest profit at auction.
But it's no easy ride.
[CAR SPUTTERS] Ooh!
NARRATOR: Who will find a hidden gem?
[HONK] Like that.
NARRATOR: Who will take the biggest risk?
This could end in disaster.
NARRATOR: Will anybody follow expert advice?
But I love this!
Why would you buy something you're not going to use?
NARRATOR: There will be worthy winners, and valiant losers.
No, I don't want to shake hands.
NARRATOR: Put your pedal to the metal.
Let me go first gear.
NARRATOR: This is the "Celebrity Antiques Road Trip."
[MUSIC PLAYING] You'd better be on your best behavior.
We've got the "Blue Peter" gals.
The vivacious Valerie Singleton and the dynamic Diane-Louise Jordan.
And her little pooch Bella.
We're enjoying the countryside, but let's just get down to business.
How are you with antiques.
Do you like them?
I'm always doing courses on things.
And I did a course on antiques.
And I have had loads of books on antiques.
I've got real competition have I?
NARRATOR: Watch out, Diane!
Valerie and Diane we're both much loved presenters of the longest running children's program in the world, "Blue Peter."
Valerie throughout the '60s, and Diane in the '90s.
For this road trip they each have 400 pounds to spend.
Bella, I love the fact that you've got a friend.
Because you know what Valerie said to me before we got in?
She said I hope she doesn't bark.
So no barking today.
She's very good.
Then she'll like you.
Don't show me up, all right?
NARRATOR: What a cute little dog dog.
[MUSIC - DAVID BOWIE, "HEROES"] Another couple of dogs are antiques heroes Paul Laidlaw and Phil Serrell.
I remember the tail end of the single [INAUDIBLE] Do not come that tail end stuff with me!
No you don't!
Obviously, I was one.
No you were not.
But I've got a great memory!
You were there at the beginning!
- I wasn't!
I would be, what?
They were the early '70s.
So I'd be five, six-year-old.
You'd be about 40.
My maths-- NARRATOR: Oh, tumbleweed moment.
The Fellows have the super cool 1975 BMW 2002.
Back when I was a wee lad, watching Peter Purvis, my old man drove a 2002!
Did he have the turbo?
Because he used to race the 2002.
That was a great car.
The front spoiler, 2002 turbo, in reverse.
First time it had been done, so that you knew to get out of its way when you saw it in the rear view mirror.
NARRATOR: I think ball likes the car.
And the girls have the nippy MGBGT from 1970.
I had one of those.
This, it looks like it should be in the '60s, '70s, when these cars were out.
These were the sports cars of the day, and they were really cool to drive and all that sort of stuff.
[RUMBLE] Oh my gosh!
Sorry, was that a pot hole?
I think so.
NARRATOR: No, standard British road surface.
My MG was white.
Our marauding antiquers will be let loose in beautiful middle England.
Beginning in Olney in Buckinghamshire, our gang will hunt around Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire before plumping for an auction in glorious Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire.
We haven't decided who's working with who, have we?
This is a fight, Phil.
You got any thoughts or preferences?
I kind of think that Valerie and I are a similar era.
You're from the past, aren't you?
[LAUGHTER] NARRATOR: Watch it, Paul.
There are our experts, looking suitably attired.
PAUL LAIDLAW: Hello there both of you!
Three of you!
Go on, out you go, Bella.
How are you?
Good to see you.
Who is this?
This is Bella.
Paul, you've got a friend.
NARRATOR: For a little dog, Bella's got a big bark.
Good luck, Paul.
VALERIE SINGLETON: Have fun.
Will see you.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: And you, my darling!
Oh it's gorgeous.
PAUL LAIDLAW: Good luck!
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: This is divine.
NARRATOR: Let's get those big wheels moving!
[MUSIC PLAYING] I'll tell you why I'm also really so thrilled that you're my partner, is because you know everything.
No, no, don't set me up on that pedestal!
Your jinx it!
All right, you know nothing!
Now the nation wants to know the answer to this.
Are you ready for this?
Have you still got a Blue Peter badge?
I've got a gold Blue Peter badge.
You've got a gold one!
Would you sell it?
No, I'm going to keep it.
It's my own badge.
NARRATOR: You tell him, Val.
This pair is headed for the Buckinghamshire town of Olney.
And the antique center is Valerie's first shopping destination.
PHILIP SERRELL: Well, here we are Valerie.
I think I've got too many coats on for today.
NARRATOR: And a scarf, too.
With around 100 dealers showcasing their wares in here, what will tickle Valerie's fancy?
VALERIE SINGLETON: Ooh, where does one start?
Is this you let loose in a sweet shop?
A little bit.
You know my instinct would be to go for what I like.
But that's not necessarily what's going to sell.
So you are competitive then really.
It would be nice to have things that sell.
NARRATOR: I say.
You've watched the show, then.
I've got it.
What did you find?
It's the 11th book.
You have to find the first book.
That's the one that's worth something.
Yes, but what we can do, we can add value.
We can add value here.
What's it going for?
If it's signed-- Well, it will be.
If I buy it for you and sign it?
Oh, get out of here.
NARRATOR: He's so naughty, Val!
VALERIE SINGLETON: The elephant is quite fun.
I mean it looks sort of Lalique, doesn't it.
You're kind of hoping that it is Lalique, but as they priced it 29 pounds, I don't think it is.
- That's not Lalique.
It's-- It's quite nice though, isn't it?
They're a European factory that-- do you know those little sort of '60s and '70s figures of little boys and girls in britches?
Oh, yes, yes.
NARRATOR: Goebels were renowned for their Hummel figurines, but they introduced glass animals like this one in the 1980s.
Blowing his own trunk-- trumpet-- Trump?
She's gone Sandie Shaw.
I smell Gorgonzola.
VALERIE SINGLETON: Ooh, there's lots of nice silver pieces in here.
PHILIP SERRELL: I like that, Val.
Yeah, that's very nice.
It looks like a little oil bottle.
- That's charming.
- Perhaps have oil and vinegar.
VALERIE SINGLETON: With just a little bit of silver bits at the top.
Yeah, with some silver colors.
Can you see the price?
It is 58 pounds.
It's Hallmark London, 1929.
We're building up a bit of a shopping list here, aren't we?
Well, that's the idea.
NARRATOR: Yeah, keep up Philip.
Meanwhile, Diane, Bella, and Paul have galloped to the Bedfordshire village of Lidlington for their first antiquing adventure.
Funky Farmhouse is run by Lindsay.
I'm extremely sorry, I've brought my pooch!
NARRATOR: Lindsay has pooches of her own!
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Come on, Bella!
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Want to come see your friends?
Would you like to see your friends?
[SNARL] Oh, don't!
Come on then.
Should we go and play?
NARRATOR: See what I mean?
They're all saying hello, I'm sure.
Having a good smell.
Anyway, you tell them Bella!
She's the feisty one!
Right, doggy in daycare.
Let's go for a mooch.
I've decided that I'm going to win today.
I second that.
NARRATOR: Oh, a confident duo!
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: I've got a penchant for mirrors.
PAUL LAIDLAW: OK. DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Lamps and mirrors.
I don't think that's in.
That's George V, inter-war.
That-- DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Is out.
PAUL LAIDLAW: --I think that granny would have liked.
NARRATOR: OK let's leave them to it, and nip back to Valerie and Phil in Olney.
Oh, another very full little cabinet.
What have we got in here?
Lot's of pink glass.
Can't see for looking here.
Oh, there's a silhouette.
They're very popular, aren't they?
At the back?
PHILIP SERRELL: Yeah.
You homed straight in on that.
That's rather unusual.
Oh, it looks like a little miniature sort of-- Funny little-- do you think it all goes together?
Miniature clogs, there's a miniature spade, within a sieve.
Which are your two favorite bits in here?
Well, silhouettes are usually quite collected, aren't they?
- Yeah, yeah.
- I don't know.
It looks quite good.
And the frame looks nice.
You can see it looks like a genuine frame.
I don't really know about that, but it does look quite fun.
They're just fun aren't they?
So shall we ask him if we can look at the silhouette then, and this little group with the clogs, the sieve and the spade?
NARRATOR: The little clogs and garden tool samples are priced at 35 pounds.
And the silhouette for 55.
Nick is in charge today.
Prepare yourself, young man, for battle.
Nick, we've had a good look round.
There is so much to see, but we finally found a few things we'd like to look at.
- OK. Do you want to-- We've narrowed it down, haven't we.
Yes, you say what it is so we can have a look.
Well there's the little glass elephant in the cabinet over yonder.
The glass and silver oil and vinegar bottle.
And there's the-- I saw a silhouette which I rather liked.
NARRATOR: This is like the generation game.
Then the silhouette.
And a rather strange little sort of-- Yeah, it was a conglomerate group of a little sieve, pair of clogs, and a spade.
OK. Could we have a look at all those, do you think please?
I'll go get them.
NARRATOR: And as quick as a flash, Nick returns.
All right, here we go.
Right, now we haven't actually looked at any of these, have we?
So what we've got is a little oil bottle.
I like the simplicity of the silver on that.
This is just a paperweight.
You can just see, just there.
NARRATOR: The total price for all the items is 177 pounds.
But Phil's got 100 watt idea.
What about if we bought the lot of you and made you a one off, special deal offer.
The whole lot strikes me as being 120 pounds.
We'd like to offer you 40 pounds for that.
Which is your second favorite?
VALERIE SINGLETON: People who collect.
PHILIP SERRELL: We'd like to offer you 25 pounds for that.
Let's offer you 40 pounds for that.
OK so that's 100 quid.
You know this is going to work just like magic this.
And then what's the elephant.
20 pounds for that.
That's 120 quid.
I mean, I don't want to put any pressure on you.
But you've got in front of you and icon of British television.
And she's got money too.
Should we sort of hang on while you make a few phone calls?
NARRATOR: Blooming heck.
This is epic.
While Nick calls the dealers, let's go back to Diane and Paul in Lidlington.
It's a vintage child's swivel desk chair, with a box seat.
See if it-- is that hinged?
Oh, come on.
I like this.
Ooh, me too.
I see some repairs.
But I also see a transfer decal, so we know who made it.
What does that say?
LE-- something England.
So made in Leicester.
Age, because age is key-- So if I was to guess this age-- I'm just going to guess.
I would say, because it's quite sort of-- it's a cross between being ingenious and primitive.
So I would say later than Victorian.
A lot later.
All right, '60s.
Do you love?
Um, yeah I'd love it a third of what it is there.
Yeah, it'd be great.
I love your ambition, your vision.
NARRATOR: Let's get Lindsey over.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: The maximum we'll do is 22 pounds, 50p.
Where did that come from?
[LAUGHTER] Maths [INAUDIBLE].
Let's round it up.
You know what?
You're a nice lady.
You want to shake my hand, don't you?
You're a nice lady.
NARRATOR: Wow, Diane.
Thank you so much.
That's for you.
Thank you, my love.
That's for me.
That's my first buy.
I'm a very, very happy lady.
Bella, do you like this?
NARRATOR: Diane's a good negotiator.
Congratulations on your first purchase of the trip.
Now team Val in Olney.
Have they actually bought anything yet?
So how are we doing?
The oil and vinegar bottles they were 58, we can do that for 48.
OK, so that's 10 off.
The vintage collection of clogs and spade, that was 35.
We can do that for 25.
The silhouette, which was 55, you offered 40, and that is accepted as well.
And the elephant, the very best we can do is 22, which makes 135 altogether.
OK. Oh, let's be mad and have all four.
NARRATOR: Crikey, Val.
You're a one.
You say 135, Nick, if you could come to 13o-- Wonderful.
NARRATOR: You're a whiz, Valerie.
Four items in the first shop.
The elephant paperweight for 20.
The oil and vinegar bottle for 40.
The little clogs and garden samples for 25.
And the Georgian silhouette for 45 pounds.
What about Diane, Bella, and Paul in the Beamer?
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: I don't know where you'll taking me.
Come on, spill the beans.
We're nearly there.
Look, if there's one thing I'm renowned for, it's my passion for military history.
And you know what-- Gosh my eyes are glazing over.
The kids will tell you, I also have a passion for big country houses.
Prepare yourself, Diane.
You are in for one heck of a treat.
Our pair, and little Bella have traveled to the village of Silsoe in Bedfordshire.
The magnificent rest park lays claim to an incredible story of one family's mission to help save the dying and wounded soldiers of World War I.
It was the first country home in Britain to become a convalescent home.
And then a highly respected military hospital, seeing nearly 1600 men pass through its doors between 1914 and 1916.
PAUL LAIDLAW: Looks like our welcoming committee.
NARRATOR: Historian Doctor Andrew Han has all the answers.
Oh, my gosh.
Look at that view.
I've got complete and utter house envy.
[LAUGHTER] Was it just a country home?
It was owned by the Lucas family.
But they actually didn't live here.
They'd rented it out to the American ambassador Whitelaw Reid, who'd been here until 1912.
And then when he died, the house had just been sitting empty because they preferred living in London.
NARRATOR: In the first week of August 1914, preparations were made for the transformation into a convalescent home.
In 1914 war broke out at the beginning of August.
And 23rd of August I think was the Battle of Mons.
And two weeks after that, on the 7th of September, the first convalescents arrived here, having been patched up in London in one of the London hospitals.
66 of them came here.
But this is entirely privately funded, which is why it was able to get off the ground so early.
NARRATOR: Owner Lord Lucas was a liberal politician and fighter pilot.
His sister, Nan Herbert, was the dynamic force behind converting the house from private residence to convalescent home.
She basically-- they moved all the furniture out and stored it in the basement.
Covered over all the fine interiors with Canvas cloth, and they bagged up the chandeliers in sort of bags so they could be protected.
And all the books were taken out of the libraries.
And then they rigged up a rudimentary system of electricity, because there was no electricity in the house.
So they built a generator, and then ran wires over the top of door ends, and just had pendant lights hanging down, which you can see in a lot of the photographs.
So you can actually see this sort of hospital taking shape.
NARRATOR: Nan achieved this huge transformation with the help of staff within just one week.
Was there segregation of ranks?
I take it it's other ranks here, and officers elsewhere?
Yeah, it's just other ranks here.
Lord Lucas was very egalitarian.
He was quite-- he was a radical liberal in background.
And he was very clear he didn't want officers here.
NARRATOR: The war office substantially underestimated the number of casualties.
Only 50,000 hospital beds were made available.
But by the end of 1914, a total of 73,000 soldiers had been evacuated from the front line.
You know, I'm just thinking it must have been some sort of culture shock.
First of all leaving their normal everyday life to go off to the war, and what that meant.
Coming to this beautiful opulent house, seeing that view every day.
And looking at that and knowing that they have to go back to the horrors of the war.
I just can't really comprehend how they could have actually taken all that in.
NARRATOR: Casualties were mounting on the Western Front.
And the types of injuries were becoming far more severe.
In November 1914, Nan set about transforming Rest Park again.
This time into a military base hospital.
100 patients were immediately transported here by rail and ambulance.
This area here was part of A ward, which was where the most serious cases were treated.
It was on the ground floor.
At this point now you had people potentially with amputees, and you'd have people who suffered from gas, gangrene, people with serious illnesses as well.
NARRATOR: Nan ensured this miraculous transition happened in less than a fortnight, and it was still privately funded.
It involved introducing an operating theater upstairs, along with a room for the medical officer.
And an X-ray room, as well.
And they had to buy all the equipment for that.
And in an introduction of much more beds, they had enough accommodation for 150 to almost 200 patients at times.
And the setting up of additional wards so that other parts of the house, parts of the service wing, were also converted into wards.
NARRATOR: Nan Herbert trained as a matron and ensured that the seriously injured soldiers were given the best care and attention they could be offered.
The selfless generosity of the Lucas family is an example of the support offered by so many during one of the most catastrophic wars of the 20th century.
What would you say is the legacy of this place?
I think the legacy is really of having set the groundwork for country house hospitals.
I mean this place was the first place to be a convalescent home.
And then became a country house hospital.
But by the end of the war, there were something like 1,400 hospitals.
And they had something like 800,000 hospital beds being provided all through charitable donations.
Thank you so much.
It's been a pleasure to have you.
NARRATOR: Back to Valerie and Phil.
VALERIE SINGLETON: I've met people who've become painters because of "Blue Peter," or designers.
And it was black and white when I first started it.
- Can I tell you something?
It was black and white when I first watched it, as well.
We won't tell anybody how old either of us are, shall we?
We'll keep that just between you and I. NARRATOR: We're off to the town of Fenny Stratford in Buckinghamshire.
I think we did really well this morning, you know.
It'll be interesting to see how they do.
NARRATOR: Sell Well Fenny Antique Center is next on their list of shopping emporiums.
So have you've got a plan?
That's no good.
I just thought it might be fun to buy something a bit chunkier.
And here I am.
[LAUGHTER] NARRATOR: You said it Phil!
After that earlier spending spree, they have 270 pounds left.
That's quite sad.
Look at the look on their face.
Doesn't that just speak volumes?
(CHUCKLES) Well I could do with a new step ladder.
Mine's a bit old.
I think he's a really cool.
Wonderful set of old quality step ladders.
What does it say-- named?
PHILIP SERRELL: They've got-- They've got Slingsby here.
Slingsby, in England.
They made trucks, ladders, stacker, and casters.
There in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, and Leeds.
NARRATOR: And they're priced at 85 pounds.
I don't you shouting at me if this all goes wrong, you know.
Well, we have to take our chance, don't we?
NARRATOR: Let's get dealer Mags over.
We want to give you 40 quid for it.
NARRATOR: Step up to the mark.
Can you not do a little bit more.
Oh, more, come on.
Stretch to 50?
No honestly, 45 would be us done I think.
Well I'll tell you what, I can do it at that price for you.
Oh, you're an angel!
Just for you.
It's a one off.
Oh, that's so nice of you.
Thank you very much indeed.
NARRATOR: Well I never did.
The silver fox Serrell has somehow managed to convince Valerie to add a set of step ladders to their bulging bag of goodies.
NARRATOR: They're a couple of sports.
What a delightful day, eh?
But it's time now for a lovely rest.
(SINGING) Morning has broken!
And our lovely ladies and little Bella are up an at them.
Let's have a sniff, eh?
VALERIE SINGLETON: Did you haggle.
Well, my haggling went something like this.
That's rubbish, I can take it off your hands.
[LAUGHTER] I don't think it really worked too well.
NARRATOR: I think you were pretty good, Diane.
What about the boys in the BM?
You and I aren't competitive, but we know full well that I want to beat you, and you want to beat me.
[LAUGHTER] So let's just get rid of the niceties here, yeah?
NARRATOR: They're definitely all in it to win it.
Yesterday our ladies entered the antiques arena with plenty of vra-vra-vroom!
Valerie's spending spree gave her five items.
The elephant paperweight, the oil and vinegar bottle, the little clogs and garden tool samples, the Georgian silhouette, and the big chunky step ladders.
And she still has 225 pounds for the day ahead.
Is this you let loose in a sweet shop?
A little bit.
NARRATOR: Diane is having a whale of a time, but only has one item.
The 1950s child's swivel chair.
She's absolutely swimming in spa noodles, with a mighty 375 pounds left to splash.
I've decided that I'm going to win today.
Do you think that our performance today is going to be reflected in the weather?
Bright and sunny or cloudy and wet?
[LAUGHTER] Look at this.
Hey, they're still smiling.
Watch your legs fellas!
PHILIP SERRELL: Morning, morning, morning.
The A-Team are here.
PHILIP SERRELL: How are you?
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Fine!
PAUL LAIDLAW: How's Bella?
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Bella's obviously happy to see you!
PHILIP SERRELL: Good to see you.
Yea, you too, lovely.
(SMOOCHING) Not even on her radar!
Hey good to see you.
Oh, missed you!
Diane, we'll look forward to seeing you later.
OK, my darling.
We're going to steal a march.
[INAUDIBLE] good news they say.
OK. PAUL LAIDLAW: Your turn-- Happy shopping!
PAUL LAIDLAW: --in the driving seat!
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Come on, Bella, baby face.
NARRATOR: Let's get a move on you lot.
I think what we really need is a really good big tin bath - OK. - Yeah.
- That's enough Phil.
If you'd like to stop and let me out of the car.
Are you poorly?
No, I just can't bear the thought of a tin bath.
[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: Diane, your clicker is on.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: So yeah, how are you and my little friend bonding today?
I give good tickles.
It's just one of those things.
And you like that, don't you Bella boo?
Should we bring Paul home with us, he can give you lots of tickles.
NARRATOR: Never mind that tickles!
Serious shopping is the order of the day for you lot.
We're headed for Letchworth Garden City.
Never been there.
The antiques hunt continues at the Green House Market.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Good girl.
Let's go shopping!
I'm already excited.
So, how do you do it?
It's overwhelming isn't it?
Follow your nose.
And when you get back to where you started, you've either seen it or you've not.
NARRATOR: What a guy.
He's just full of pearls of wisdom.
That is just beautiful.
PAUL LAIDLAW: Oh, I'm so with you!
You get that!
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Oh gosh!
I thought you were going to-- I walked past on the way in, and out of the side of my eye, I went oh, lovely.
But look at that silly price.
Never mind that.
What's the problem?
What's the bigger problem with it.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: There's no bowl.
PAUL LAIDLAW: That's right.
There's no pan for the weight.
So what do we have?
We have late 19th, maybe early 20th century shop counter scales.
These are commercial.
So you walk into your groceries and you say, may I have a pound of butter please?
Onto the earthenware pan with a delicious transfer print.
NARRATOR: From 1914 Birmingham company Day and Millwood.
And they were renowned as a manufacturer of all kinds of weighing machines.
It's priced at 120 pounds.
Anyone I love that!
How did I not see that?
PAUL LAIDLAW: So look at this.
What is it?
It is-- DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Gorgeous.
That's what it is.
Come here, Bella boo.
That could be 200 years old.
It's certainly early 19th century.
So late Georgian, mahogany, and here in you put your cutlery.
NARRATOR: Ticket price, 85 pounds.
Seems a lot, that.
You could also use that for all your condiments.
PAUL LAIDLAW: Oh, yes.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Or your little prices.
I'm just going to cook.
The price is from the past in my opinion.
Today there's not the popular demand.
20 to 40 pounds.
It's not a lavish, it's not a rich example.
It is what it is.
But it's worth 20 to 40 pounds.
And I think that will sit here a while with that price tag.
NARRATOR: I agree.
OK, what else then?
PAUL LAIDLAW: I wouldn't take it home.
But I see merit in it.
What do we have?
Late 19th, early 20th century.
It's of coopered construction, insofar as it's made of staves like a barrel.
And it's well done.
That's a difficult operation.
So this wasn't cheap in its day.
It was highly skilled, the manufacturing thereof.
It's in oak and then brass mounted.
Touch of the arts and crafts.
They're not trying to hide the constructional techniques.
NARRATOR: This was used for storing coal.
It's priced at 55 pounds.
We've got another Georgian cutlery tray.
Two compartment this time.
And arguably less austere because of the fret carving there.
If you had to pick?
- Oh I'd go for the other one.
PAUL LAIDLAW: I thought that would be too austere for you.
I like things that are solid.
NARRATOR: Like Paul.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: What about this?
Nice and simple.
PAUL LAIDLAW: Oh, I adore this.
So what is it?
It's a waiter.
It's-- our silver tea ware could be on here, or whatever.
Date wise we're still firmly George III.
But commonly these would have handles.
Oh, that's right.
Be they brass, or fretted within.
We've three very harmonious pieces here, have we not?
If I saw this as a set, I would buy it.
I think this would be a nice little [INAUDIBLE] I don't want it to go to auction.
Bake on mission.
Back from personal shopping.
This is really nice.
NARRATOR: All three total 240 pounds.
Good girl, Bella!
So far we're interested in the Victorian grocer's shop scales, the brass mounted oak coal box, and the two George III cutlery trays, and the waiter tray.
Dealer Jenny we need you.
Standby to be buttered up.
The Oval-- Georgian oval waiter.
I know the one.
Yeah, without handles.
And the two cutlery trays.
But we're Interested in buying those and combining them as a lot.
Because frankly, we both adore them.
We think they're fantastic.
But I know in my heart of hearts, they're yesterday's news at auction.
50 pounds for the three pieces.
Get out of here!
That is-- no, that is too-- PAUL LAIDLAW: What could it be?
Nearly double that.
PAUL LAIDLAW: That's too much.
If we went up a small step and said 60, is that too small a step?
I think we should say 70.
I think that's reasonable.
I could do 75.
I'll say yes.
That is a big drop for me.
I wouldn't quibble over a fiver.
It's only because of her see.
I do like you!
[LAUGHTER] - Do you know what?
I'm saying yes before he says no.
Wonderful, thank you.
That is reasonable.
NARRATOR: Few indeed.
What about the Victorian grocer's shop scales?
The thing is it's incomplete, and that's where we're going to struggle.
Because we don't have that lovely brass bowl, we don't have the lovely old fashioned weights.
I think-- you're going to just hate me-- in the meantime can I just buy that for 60 pounds?
- Thank you.
- I can do that.
- Thank you.
- I'm happy to do that.
PAUL LAIDLAW: Wonderful.
Now I'm thinking I should have said 50.
NARRATOR: Oh, Diane.
Now what about the brass magic coal box priced at 55 pounds?
And this is my final price.
It's a lovely piece.
Job done, that's wonderful.
I think it will do well.
Can't we say, I want to say 40.
You know what, we've been-- I've created a monster!
I want to give her a little bit more.
She's was so sweet and innocent.
No, want to go the other way?
I want to give her 40!
We'll give you 40.
NARRATOR: Oh, crikey!
Just pay the lovely and very patient Jenny.
I need to give you a hug.
You're so lovely!
My mother-in-law is called Jenny.
So all Jennies are really nice.
We were in it right from the beginning.
Jenny thank you.
Come on, hugs all around.
What a joy [INAUDIBLE].
So it's a pleasure to pay.
There's 100 there.
- 80 there.
I think it's five pounds change for us?
5 pounds change.
NARRATOR: 175 pounds for three lovely lots.
Meanwhile Valerie and Philip have taken a detour, and have made their way to the Hertfordshire town of Letchworth.
Never been there either.
As a keen photographer, Valerie is going to find out about a key development in photographic history.
Photographer Christian Trampenua is going to enlighten us on a technique that was pivotal in the progress of modern day photography.
PHILIP SERRELL: Valerie, this is Christian.
VALERIE SINGLETON: Hi.
Now we'll go into the studio.
Wondering what you're going to show us.
NARRATOR: Oh, yes.
The first photograph was taken in the late 1820s.
British scientist Fox Talbot had invented durable camera negatives on paper by 1835.
But 14 years later, British sculptor Frederick Scott Archer invented the wet plate collodion process, and produced stills such as this one.
He would radicalize the world of photography.
Why did Frederick Scott Archer come up with this particular process?
He wanted to decrease the amount of exposure time that he needed, and increase the amount of detail and clarity that he could get to his images.
So the old Fox Talbot process didn't give much detail.
It was very slow and very flat.
Whereas the wet plate collodion process gave them an image that had an increased depth of contrast and of clarity, so that he could really see the details of his sculptures.
NARRATOR: Archer wanted to photograph his subjects so he could sculpt them better.
The imperfections in Fox Talbot's process spurred on his spirit of invention.
And how quick is it?
Let's say we took Phil's picture today?
If we take Phil's picture today, we can do the process from start to finish in about 10 minutes.
The older processes would mean that the subject would have to sit still for anything up to an hour, which made portraiture virtually impossible.
So with collodion photography it meant that the subject was able to be captured instantly.
NARRATOR: Gentleman scientist, Archer had his Eureka moment when he used collodion, a chemical solution used in medical dressings.
For the first time Archer could combine fine detail with mass production.
And that is crisp, that image.
So do you think that this is a chance for the photographer to really express his art?
And perhaps, you know, going back to the mid-19th century, were those photographers really using this to express their art then?
Absolutely they were.
And this is one of the reasons that I've got back into it.
It slows down the whole of the photographic process.
It means you focus on composition, on lighting, on all of the techniques that were important to photography, rather than this simplistic point and press.
This is a way of stopping and thinking about how the process works?
Could we have a go, and see you doing it?
Do you fancy having your picture taken?
NARRATOR: It would be a shame not to capture such beauty, Philip!
CHRISTIAN TRAMPENAU: So the first thing we need is a nice, clean sheet of glass.
So I've prepared this previously.
NARRATOR: That sounds familiar, hey Valerie?
CHRISTIAN TRAMPENAU: So this is the collodion.
I pour this on the plate.
The idea is to get a nice clean pore across the whole plate.
So flow it to each side.
NARRATOR: The plate is then dipped in a silver nitrate bath, which mixes with the chemicals in collodion to make it light sensitive.
And because of this, the first stage of the process ends in the dark.
CHRISTIAN TRAMPENAU: Phil, we're just going to turn on this top light, so it's going to be nice and bright.
Phil, you've got to keep very, very quiet, and very, very still for a whole three minutes.
We now open the back of the camera.
And then drop in the plate holder.
The plate holder is in position.
And then removing the dark slide.
VALERIE SINGLETON: Gosh!
CHRISTIAN TRAMPENAU: OK. That now means that the glass plate is ready to receive the light.
So I'm going to turn the main light out again.
And remove the [INAUDIBLE].
There's going to be a flash, 3, 2, 1.
NARRATOR: And after a period of developing in the processing area-- CHRISTIAN TRAMPENAU: It's just a simple develop like that.
Now you can see he's appearing here.
Which is fantastic.
So all the highlights have come through.
That's probably enough processing time.
So I'm just using tap water here now to stop the development.
NARRATOR: If you're nervous, turn away now.
Phil, come and look!
I think you'll be delighted with this.
So as we hold it up to the white background-- PHILIP SERRELL: Who's the old bloke?
CHRISTIAN TRAMPENAU: --we can see him in negative form.
It's actually you.
NARRATOR: It's true.
Frederick Scott Archer devoted his life to his new art, but he didn't patent the technique and died impoverished in 1857.
Archer's breakthrough process led to a rapid expansion in all forms of photography.
Some would say the old ones are the best ones.
Let's return to Diane, Bella, and Paul.
PAUL LAIDLAW: What vibe were you getting from Val this morning.
That she's not on the winning team.
No, I'm just teasing!
[LAUGHTER] NARRATOR: Cheeky.
We're bound for the Bedfordshire town of Dunstable.
This feisty trio are making their way to Mannucci's.
I really hope we get there first.
That's a good thing, right?
Isn't that [INAUDIBLE].
You don't want them walking out with big smiles and something under their arms.
Don't worry, if they do, we'll take it off them.
But yes, to end this trip both teams will be shopping here.
Diane, Paul, and Bella are first to arrive with their 200 smackers.
Would you look in something like this?
If I came in here, I'd be kind of confused by this.
Try and stop me looking in a cabinet like this.
This is good, is it?
Right, I'm going to do what you do.
NARRATOR: And about time too.
Look who's finally arrived.
You're OK Valerie, the coast is clear.
Take your shoes off.
Oh look at that.
This is my heritage [INAUDIBLE].
Do you know what that is?
Oh, I've got a smaller one than that at home, which I use for pushing my windows open and closed.
Well I have no idea.
What is it?
It's a bull pole.
VALERIE SINGLETON: A bull pole?
For holding a bull by the nose?
So if I had a ring through my nose, Val, you could then-- OK, right.
On you go.
All right, thanks.
Anything of interest to you here?
NARRATOR: Well Bella's not interested.
What do you think of the desk set?
NARRATOR: Let's take a closer look.
Tell us more, Paul.
That's a blotter.
What does that mean?
So this is in the day of the fountain pen, or dip pen.
Yeah Write your letter.
Oh, and then to make sure that it doesn't smudge.
NARRATOR: Oh, yes.
It has a 24 pounds price tag.
Oh, my days.
Right well, there is the pot.
It doesn't hinge!
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Go on, go on.
NARRATOR: I know Bella.
Just humor him, girl!
If you drop this, it shatters and it chips.
And you don't want it [INAUDIBLE].. NARRATOR: We're having a Laidlaw moment.
Let's find dealer Richard.
We'd like to know what the price could be for this.
What have we got here.
We've got 24 pounds.
OK, so it's not mine, but what can I do?
I can do 20 pounds on that for you.
I think-- 18 would be great.
I can't really at 20 for me.
Oh gosh, it's two quid.
Otherwise I'll get in trouble.
I would say, oh gosh it's two quid.
What on earth.
Give the man the two quid.
Can I just say, I think 20 quid is good as well, but I was trying to negotiate.
[INTERPOSING VOICES] Can I give you that?
They've got lots of money.
Honestly, they've got so much money.
I think you need to leave.
Diane said she wasn't very good at bargaining in the car this morning.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: And what would you say Paul?
So I was wondering how she was doing.
I'd say you were lethal!
NARRATOR: I second that.
Now scram, Serrell!
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: For you.
Lovely, that's great.
Thank you very much.
No, thank you Richard.
What a pleasure.
More than welcome.
I would shake your hand, but you've got your hands full.
Well, you can give me a kiss instead.
[SMOOCH] I'm not very happy.
Thank you so much.
Yeah, we hope to get a good price at the auction.
I hope you double your money.
NARRATOR: 20 pounds for the art deco brass and marble desk set.
Not much, is it?
So happy daisy!
I feel we're going to win!
(LAUGHING) NARRATOR: Now what on Earth are Valerie and Phil going to buy?
I'm just looking, what you could do-- you could buy another one of those.
And put it with the elephant, because that's the match to it.
Isn't that bizarre!
Yes, that would be fun.
NARRATOR: Yeah, this glass eagle is also from the Goebels factory.
And it's priced at 22 pounds.
We reckon because it's only a little trinkety thing, 10 pound note would buy that.
What have we got there?
Would a tenner buy that?
NARRATOR: Richard phones the dealer to get the best price.
NARRATOR: What's the answer, Richard?
He said, yeah, that's OK.
He'll do that.
That breezy little buy for 10 pounds signals the end of the shopping of this glorious road trip.
A tune up, this next bit.
We'll reunite the gang and see what they think of each other's purchases.
OK. One, two, three, reveal!
PHILIP SERRELL: Oh, hello!
[INTERPOSING VOICES] How much did you pay for the dog?
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: You are priceless.
PHILIP SERRELL: I really love the cutlery trays.
Because they would make-- or that one in particular, would make a great wine carrier.
Bit of a country version.
And what is this?
Has this got a little lid up that-- Oh, it's a little desk, a school chair.
Do you know I have to confess, I had nightmares after I bought that.
I can see why.
I can see why.
What are you going to do with this.
Put it back in the skip that it I'm from I would've thought.
[GASP] DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: You do know we've got some stylish pieces.
PHILIP SERRELL: Yes, you have got your own style.
I'll give you that.
And it's always good style, I'll give you that.
This little exercise is all about making profits.
So hit me with the prices.
How much was that lot?
PAUL LAIDLAW: 75.
PHILIP SERRELL: Get away.
I absolutely hate you.
What, for the three pieces?
Yeah, you're a rat bag.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: I'm just doing a happy dance.
Absolute rat bag.
PAUL LAIDLAW: 25.
You know what I thought you said 25 quid for that.
PAUL LAIDLAW: 40.
PHILIP SERRELL: Oh it just gets better.
I am very, very envious of your little bit of period mahogany.
PHILIP SERRELL: Do you want to see a bit of quality?
PAUL LAIDLAW: It had better be after that.
DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: They're already looking at quality.
Let's have a look.
What's going on here?
Is there something up that tree that you're going to show us?
- Well Wimbledon's coming soon.
[LAUGHTER] You've done-- This, so silver colored PHILIP SERRELL: 1929.
That, I mean, a delight.
PHILIP SERRELL: 40 pounds.
I think it's a good buy at that.
It may or may not be.
I think it's there or there about.
PHILIP SERRELL: 45 pounds.
Again, I'd give you that for it.
And take it home.
The funny thing is, Val thought it looked like you.
The two little paperweights.
Ooh, you know they're going to have to be Steuben or Lalique.
No, they're not Lalique.
But, strangely Paul, brought in two different shops.
30 pound, the two.
PAUL LAIDLAW: What were the odds?
PHILIP SERRELL: But, the tin bath.
PAUL LAIDLAW: Well, come on!
PHILIP SERRELL: You know, I have Serrelled Valerie Singleton.
Yeah but what about the ladders?
He thought I wouldn't like them.
He thought he was finding me a tin bath.
And I said I like them.
I'd put them-- what would you do with them?
I'd put them in the garden with pots all the way down.
Yeah, that as well.
I mean-- everything is nice about those.
In the right quarter, that's a good buy.
Don't you start "in the right quartering" me!
But in the wrong quarter-- Don't you start that!
It's a clapped out pair of step ladders!
No, do you know what-- [LAUGHTER] PHILIP SERRELL: Lovely to see you.
Thanks for coming.
VALERIE SINGLETON: See you at the auction.
PAUL LAIDLAW: We will!
NARRATOR: What a lively bunch, eh?
So spill the beans on what you really think, please.
Which is our banker?
Um, I don't know.
I mean maybe-- maybe the steps just for fun.
Those ornaments-- You don't like the glass.
The bird and the elephant, I don't get it.
Do you get it?
- They're not me.
I like the fact that theirs are quite large and sort of noticeable.
Yes And after all, I'm almost thinking, you know, is anybody going to see that at the back of the auction room, when they're holding up a [INAUDIBLE] You know what, Valerie?
We are a delicate couple, aren't we?
We're very delicate.
- Very delicate.
That little chair.
That's our little mystery missile.
Watch this space.
NARRATOR: We will Diane.
Now, would you believe it?
It's auction time!
So it'll be really interesting to see how we do today.
I agree with you, actually.
It truly isn't about the winning.
Ha-ha, unless I win.
But I would be gutted if we have minus numbers.
NARRATOR: Best of luck, girls!
We're headed for Shakespeare's home Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire.
[MUSIC PLAYING] The auction showdown will take place at Big Wood Fine Art Auctioneers.
The fellows are already here.
This is quite appropriate, because we're at the old school house.
Two "Blue Peter" presenters-- here they are!
PHILIP SERRELL: Makes sense.
I'm hoping to get a "Blue Peter" badge out of this.
I can't get out.
PHILIP SERRELL: Oh, look at this.
Come open the door for young ladies.
Come and help us out.
PHILIP SERRELL: I'll come and let you out.
I think this is a child lock on this door?
PHILIP SERRELL: How are you lovely?
You all right?
PAUL LAIDLAW: Here's her entrance!
NARRATOR: And there's the beautiful Bella.
[INTERPOSING VOICES] DIANE-LOUISE JORDAN: Winners!
PHILIP SERRELL: Hi darling, how are you?
[INTERPOSING VOICES] This team there!
No, we don't really mind.
Oh look, no offer it again to Bella.
NARRATOR: Pure unadulterated chaos with this lot.
Valerie and Phil spent a frugal 185 pounds on five auction lots.
I don't want you shouting at me if this all goes wrong, you know.
No we have to take our chance, don't we?
NARRATOR: While Diane and Paul spent 220 pounds, also on five lots.
I don't want it to go auction.
NARRATOR: Christopher [INAUDIBLE] is the man in charge of today's proceedings.
What does he think of their antique offerings?
The sample garden tools are Clarrington, Brook, and Wiggin toolmakers from 1780.
Very pretty little lot.
The clogs incidental, we've estimated 30.
But deep down think they'll probably do better.
The desk set, very much art deco.
In its time would have been very desirable.
We've put 50 pounds.
Nice little lot there.
NARRATOR: Thanks Christopher.
It's a busy room.
And there's online bidding too.
Here come are beautifully turned out gang.
And let's not forget Bella, eh?
Paul, if that dog bark, we're not friends anymore!
[BARKS] Go on, kill!
Not me you fool, them!
NARRATOR: Bella likes you, Phil.
First to go is Diane's marble desk set, which will do well, I predict.
[INAUDIBLE] What am I bid for this?
Who's going to go in?
I don't know, 50 pounds for it?
That's a nice thought.
Grace anybody's desk this, would.
Dutch auction so far.
What about 20?
What about 20?
You see the tumbleweed.
Safety bid at 20 in the room.
I'll take five of anybody.
At 25 with you lot.
Oh, you're going to break even on this.
25 it is.
Gentlemen the center of the room.
We all done?
You see, that's auctions isn't it?
Because I thought that was going to make 50 to 80 pounds.
So did the auctioneer.
NARRATOR: So did I.
Plenty more to go though, and it's still a bit of a profit.
I'll bet that sells for a good price in the shop.
There'll be a customer for that.
NARRATOR: There certainly will be Diane.
Valerie's next with the oil and vinegar bottle.
Who's got 30 pounds.
Pretty little item.
30 pounds for it.
30, I'm bid 30.
And five do I hear?
At 30 on the maiden bid of 30.
And 5 is in.
At 30 pounds.
And I'm going to sell it.
Down here at 35 surely.
Pretty little item.
Are you done?
That was rubbish.
Sorry, did I say that too loud?
I don't think Valerie is too pleased.
I'm actually gutted for her.
[INAUDIBLE] That's the truth of it.
I am gutted on her behalf.
But we could win.
Oh, stand lively.
Diane's collection of George III cutlery trays and tray are next.
And we've got interest on the net.
And we're in at 120.
At 120 on the net.
At one 120.
I didn't see that.
130 in the room perhaps.
130 in the room.
130, I've got a room bid.
You nervous now?
It's a room bid.
Gentlemen here at 130.
I'm just living in the moment.
NARRATOR: That is a stonker of a result.
You're in the lead, Diane.
Valerie, can I just say, I much prefer you on television to her.
I think you're lovely.
NARRATOR: Val's garden tool samples and little clogs are next.
It's a really enchanting little item.
And the net's in at 35.
[INTERPOSING VOICES] At 45.
Got 60 in the room.
At 60, this gentleman here.
70 on the net.
80 at the back.
This is exciting.
80 at the back of the room.
I got in the room at 80.
Internet 90 if you want to.
It's 80 with the lady.
In the room at 80.
And I'm going to sell at 80.
Is there any further advance on 80 pounds?
That was justice.
NARRATOR: It certainly was.
That takes you closer to Diane's lead, Valerie.
That's brought a smile back, hasn't it?
NARRATOR: Diane's grocer's shop scales are next.
And I've got 30 straight off on-- OK that's a start.
Oh, he's saying the right things.
He's saying the right things.
At 30 pounds.
We get 5.
35 in the room.
40 on the net.
Net wants them.
It's 35 in the room bid.
And I'm going to sell in the room.
At 40 on the net.
You want 5, sir?
45 in the room.
50, surely on the net.
At 50 on the net.
45 we have in the room.
At 45 it is.
I'll take that.
That could have been worse.
Let's not dwell on that.
But more than that-- You've lost about 20 quid haven't you?
NARRATOR: 15 actually.
And that result brings you both almost neck and neck.
So What's next?
That's what it feels like to lose?
[INTERPOSING VOICES] Some people feel that way on a regular basis.
NARRATOR: Don't rub it in, Laidlaw!
Val's Goebels paperweights are next.
They'll do all right.
Who's got 30 pound for them?
Nice little decorative.
30 I've got.
30, looking for 5 now.
At 30 pound I have, is it 5 now?
I will sell at 30 then, if you're all done at 30.
Are you sure?
Is it 5 now?
At 30 pounds, all done.
I had about 40 pounds.
- I did actually think [INTERPOSING VOICES] I thought they would.
I thought they would.
NARRATOR: Me too.
This is a close competition though.
Plenty more to go, Val.
- That's what we paid for them.
So we haven't made anything.
We've actually lost a little bit because we've got to pay commission.
NARRATOR: Diane's brass mounted coal box now.
I predict a disaster.
Who's got 20 pound to get me going?
Come on, the cold weather is coming back.
You'll need your coal held.
And a nice [INAUDIBLE] barrel.
20 pound I'm bid on the net.
At 20. Who's got 5.
25 in the room.
25-- [INAUDIBLE] 30 now.
At 25 pounds down here in the room.
And it's going to be sold at 25 pounds.
Are you all done?
I wish you could say we ended on a high there, Diane.
NARRATOR: Told you so.
That result has just nudged team Val a bit more ahead.
I can tell you, your grace and humility are winning all the way.
Why do I do this?
NARRATOR: Val's Georgian silhouette is next.
Doesn't he look a bit like Paul?
So I've got 10 on the net.
At 10 I've got on the net.
At 10 pound only.
15 we've got.
At 15 on the net.
Is it 20 in the room?
20 is the room bid.
I have 20 in the room.
At 20, do I hear 5.
It's in the room at 20 pounds, and it's going to be sold at 20.
The bids there, are you all done?
I thought it was older that 19th century.
Well I think it's probably about 1810, 1820.
Oh, that's terrible.
NARRATOR: But you're still in the lead.
You know what, I think it's not bad.
See I work on, if you break even, that's good enough.
Loss, nah, it happens.
Diane's child's swivel desk chair is next.
And I got the internet straight in at 20.
Looking for 5 now.
At 20 pounds on the net.
At 20, surely you'll have 5.
At 20 pounds.
Nice little child's chair at 20.
We've got up to 30 now.
30 on the net.
I can breath.
I can breath.
It's 30 on the net.
And it's going to sell at 30 pound.
Are we done?
[BARK] 30 pounds.
It's five pounds.
It's just broken even, hasn't it?
Yeah, after charges.
It's just paid our rent.
NARRATOR: All right Dr. Doolittle.
That puts you back to within a smidge of each other.
The major problem for me is that we've still got the Serrell lot left, and my new best mate could be throwing it at me.
Is that the steps?
The tin bath.
Very difficult to sell those steps, [INAUDIBLE].. NARRATOR: Blimey, Val.
A lot rests on these.
The final lot of the day.
But I think they'll do OK.
It does look like a porter has left them there by accident.
Shut up, Paul!
[LAUGHTER] I've got 40 on the net.
Straight off at 40.
I'm looking for 5 now.
45 over there.
60 we're up to.
You want 70 on that phone?
70 on the phone.
On the phone?
Get in there!
On the phone!
70 over there.
Are we all done?
Back of the room at 70 pounds.
It's not bad.
You're a legend!
[LAUGHTER] I'll never moan about tin baths again.
[LAUGHTER] NARRATOR: Calm down you lot!
Well done on an excellent result.
We better go find out who's won.
There's nothing in it.
[INTERPOSING VOICES] You've won.
I think it's 5 to 10 pounds.
I really do.
NARRATOR: I think it's going to be a close one, you know.
Let's add up the sums.
Paul, Diane, and Bella began with 400 pounds.
And after all auction costs made a loss of 10 pounds and 90 pence.
Their final takings of 389 pounds and 10 pence.
Valerie and Phil had the exact same amount.
And after all sale room costs, made a profit of 3 pounds, 60p.
Their final figure is 403 pounds and 60 pence.
By an absolute smidge, Valerie is today's celebrity road trip winner.
No matter how small, all profits go to Children in Need.
Cheer up, you two.
All you need to know is-- I never liked him anyway!
You deserve to win!
You're a lady!
You are amazing.
Listen, I'm going to buy you a glass of champagne-- Thank you.
--to celebrate your loss.
Come on then!
God bless, darling.
[INAUDIBLE] I've actually loved every minute of it.
It really has been one of the best experiences for such a long time.
- It was great fun wasn't it?
All my favorite things.
You know, shopping, looking at old pieces that tell a story, learning.
Oh, of course!
I was coming to the best bit!
My gorgeous Val.
And this sort of almost feels like the old days.
- Yes it does.
- Two generations together.
And we've got the dog.
Just needs a child, and then that's it.
NARRATOR: Bye-bye, girls.
And you, Bella.