Happy New Year one and all! I hope you all had the very best possible Christmases you could have, given the circumstances. Most importantly, I hope you all stayed safe and got all the antiques you wished for!
Welcome back to 'Blog Post Monday', my first post of 2021. I'm feeling a bit rusty, so I'm going to break myself in gently this year. With every New Year comes a clean slate, a chance to set yourself some ridiculous goals for the coming year and an opportunity to look back on the year just gone...
With that in mind, this week's blog post is dedicated to my top memories of 2020 and to the challenges I'll be setting myself for 2021. So, for the first time this year, get that kettle on, kick back and let me take you back to 2020 (sorry!!)...!
Image: Me on my birthday (5th Jan) in Spain last year. Before the global pandemic!
I think the most memorable thing to happen to me in 2020 was my TV debut on BBC antiques show, 'The Bidding Room'. It was one of the most frightening things, but definitely the most memorable and I'm so pleased I did it. I met some amazing people and Nigel Havers was an absolute gent! I managed to sell the item I took onto the show for a tidy profit to industry legend, Adi Higham, who I still message now. In fact, I'd like to give a special mention to both Adi and Natasha Francis (another Bidding Room expert) for their help and support last year, both of whom agreed to be interviewed for my blog. So a massive thank you! You can read more about my eventful appearance on 'The Bidding Room' here.
Image: Me looking scared on television!
Image: The WW2 Perspex Model Spitfire I took to The Bidding Room
Image: The Bidding Room
Moving on, I think the next most memorable thing to happen was all of the interviews I did with industry legends. I interviewed some big names and I'm blown away by them even giving me the time of day, let alone agreeing to be part of my little blog! There was 'Dickinson's Real Deal's' very own Tim Hogarth, 'The Urban Vintage Affair' and 'The Bidding Room's' Natasha Francis, 'Bargain Hunt's' Gary Pe, 'Hoof Brocante' and 'The Bidding Room's Adi Higham, 'The Antiques Road Trip's' Isabel Balmer and 'Bargain Hunt' and 'The Antiques Road Trip's' David Harper. So a massive thank you to all of you! It was so very kind of you to give up your time to speak to me and I will always be so very grateful!
I'm hoping to continue these interviews this year, but that will depend on if I can persuade more legends to agree to take part. I'm working on it and have already approached some big names, so watch this space... And if there is anyone you'd like me to interview then, of course, please let me know in the comments section below.
Image: The industry legends I've interviewed
Next up is, of course, my decision to go full-time self employed in the antiques trade. As you may or may not know, the Covid pandemic has had quite a dramatic impact on my life. I think, like many people, I had to re-evaluate life. I had been dealing antiques for a few years alongside a job at an antiques centre, however, I knew that once Covid struck, the high street would suffer and jobs would be on the line, mine included. So I decided to put all of my energy into starting out in full-time self employment and began building a small antiques business of my own.
Antiques are my life and I'm loving every minute of it. My decision to go self-employed has proved to be a shrewd one thus far and I'm crossing everything that it continues to be successful on into 2021, and beyond! So a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me, advised me or bought from over the past 9 months, I will be forever grateful. You can read more about my decision to go self-employed here.
Next up are the stories of the two World War 2 children's air raid identity bracelets that I managed to reunite with their respective families. We all know how tough 2020 was and these two stories really did provide me and I hope many others, with some happiness.
First was the bracelet belonging to a Mollie Hercock from Romford. Thanks to some fantastic work from a Romford local, Claire Davis, we managed to reunite this bracelet with one of Mollie's sons, Trevor. You can read more about the bracelet and my search for Mollie here.
Image: The Romford Recorder article about my search
Image: Mollie Hercock in her later years
Image: Trevor (Mollie's Son)
And then there was Grace Wilson from Silkstone Common's bracelet. This was a much tougher search, but eventually, after getting the local press involved and thanks to the power of the internet, we were successful in tracking down Grace's closest living relative, her Sister's Son, so her Nephew, John. You can read more about my search for Grace here.
I'll admit that both searches made me quite emotional. Seeing photos of both Mollie and Grace, hearing stories of their lives and the gratitude of their families when I returned the bracelets to them is something that will stay with me forever.
Image: Grace Wilson's WW2 identity bracelet
Image: Grace Wilson as a young lady
Image: John (Mollie's Nephew & closest living relative)
And finally, my Blog! This Blog is something I thought I'd do purely to focus myself during lockdown, and whilst it did that, it has grown into something very enjoyable. I don't really know if many of you are truly interested in what I have to say, but I'm enjoying telling you my stories. Posting every Monday for the past 9 months has been a big commitment. Coming up with interesting or entertaining stories has been challenging, particularly during lockdowns when I've not been able to go anywhere, but I couldn't be without it now! But please do let me know in the comments below if you want to see anything different or you have any ideas for content, and if you haven't already, please show your support by subscribing to my blog.
Image: Claudia and Me outside Donkeys Years Antiques Centre
Image: Katherine, Claudia, Claire and Me outside the Antiques Home & Vintage Fair at York Racecourse
Image: Me looking around Donkeys Years Antiques Centre in Knaresborough
That's it for this week folks! I hope you've enjoyed this little look back at 2020. I can't quite believe how many amazing things I managed to achieve! Thanks for being a part of my antiques adventure. This year's goals are to network, to grow and to keep having a blimmin' great time!
So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love...!
Owner Source Vintage
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