We wuz robbed!

or Sour Grapes by Adam and Stephanie Jane Goodfellow

Bargainhunt programme first broadcast BBC1 on 12th February 2003

When we arrived at Wetherby Antique Fair in August 2002 to film the first part of our Bargain Hunt appearance, I asked about the rules of the game and it was explained that we were given £ 200 to spend at the Fair. I enquired as to what would happen if we didn't spend all the money and was told "you will lose it". From that I took it to mean that you might as well spend the lot.

Our spending was made up of an Oriental Vase (£100), an old Staffordshire Warming Plate (£70) and a small Oak collectors chest (£30) which


meant that our total spend came to exactly £ 200. The experts seemed to particularly like the warming plate, but were less than enthusiastic about the Vase which I liked and the chest which Stephanie Jane liked. Our expert was young auctioneer Charles Hanson and it was his very first occasion as an expert and whilst we found him good fun, great company and very knowledgeable about porcelaine and silver, but obviously not particularly clued up on the way the "game" is played and won.

Whilst we both enjoy the programme, and the way it is presented by David Dickinson, it is just about the opposite way round to the way that the Antique Trade actually works. Most Antique Dealers will attend auctions, many of which will include House clearance items, and will pick up goods at a low price, maybe do a little work on them, and then put them for sale at an Antique Fair (or in their own shop) at what will be pretty near to the market price. It is difficult to find any real bargains at these Fairs since these traders have a pretty good idea what the items are worth, and whilst you can knock them down a little, they are often over-priced in the first place. Furthermore you only get 1 hour to buy your items, with no chance to look around fiirst, and when you consider that there are probably 200 stalls at a typical Fair, and they each have maybe 250 items on each stand, you will realise that to see all the items, you would have to view 14 items a second!!!

On the day of the Auction at Wilby's Auctioneers at Rockingham Hall in Barnsley we were very pleased to find that my favourite item (the vase) went for a small profit, the collectors chest (Stephanie Jane's favourite) made almost a 50% profit, yet the 19th Century Warming plate went for a measly £ 30 making a whopping £ 40 loss.

Even so our £ 200 investment had produced a return of £ 174.

Our opponents on the day were Gordon and Gifty Gresham, amazingly they also lived in Bridlington, and whilst BBC do try and keep contestants fairly local for the Fair and Auction it was a big co-incidence that both couples were from the same East Riding of Yorkshire town. We found Gordon and Gifty to be very pleasant, and got to know them quite well over the course of the two days of filming, in fact it turned out that our son Steven, is actually in the same class at Hilderthorpe Junior School as their son Gerald! Their expert on the day was the eccentric Michael Hogben and whilst we saw and liked the items that they had bought, a silver mesh handbag (£65), a Coal bucket (£50) and a Poole Pottery Vase (£45) we were fairly confident that we would make more money on our items than they would on theirs.

Their goods sold for a total of £ 150 and whilst this was less than we had made, because they had only spent £ 160 of their money they had actually lost less, thereby winning the game. We have since noticed that the succesful teams sem to be the ones who spend maybe £ 120 to £ 150 of their money buying items which will easily sell in a public auction, whereas we had gone for more traditional antique items, which whilst nice were not likely to produce a profit. I think the wily old Michael Hogben knew this, whilst our expert - the novice Charles Hanson did not.

We had a very enjoyable 2 days taking part in the programme and meeting the crew, the experts and the other contestants. In particular we spent some time in the company of David Barby (or is it Barbie) who is an expert on the show, although he was filming for another programme, and he was the nicest person you could wish to meet.The worst part was actually watching the programme! I intend to go on an immediate crash diet!

Gordon and Gifty have now become personal friends of ours, and of course there are no hard feelings - other than to say:

We wuz robbed!

David Dickinson with Stephanie Jane
David Dickinson with Adam
Programme Director - Carol
David Barby with Stephanie Jane
Live-on-stage Homepage
The Goodfellows
BBC Bargain Hunt Web Page
David Dickinson's Web site