Sunday, 20 October 2013


Marc Allum with his book
The Antiques Magpie


We have many wonderful days at Hungerford Arcade and yesterday was no exception.  Although the weather was not great with very heavy showers and brief spells of sunshine, everyone was happy and the first time visitors from home and abroad thoroughly enjoyed their first experience of the Arcade and cannot wait to come back.  

Yesterday was a very special day because before the Arcade closed at 6.00 p.m. people started to arrive for a drinks reception with famous TV personality from BBC's Antiques Road Show, writer and broadcaster, Marc Allum.  This was part of the Hungerford Literary Festival organised by The Hungerford Bookshop.  Marc has published nine books with his latest being 'The Antiques Magpie'.  This is a - must read - brilliant book where Marc explores the wonderful world of antiques and collectables and much, much more.  He even tells of  ghostly spirits!  This is going to be the first of a series of books the publishers have asked Marc to write and the second in the series will be out late in 2014.

Before Marc gave his talk, there was a competition to guess what certain items were.  These were exceptionally good items brought in by Jess Elliman and her parents, Trevor and Jane who have a unit at the Arcade.  It was great fun.  Marc was very impressed by the items that Jess had brought in and also the great knowledge she had about them.  Marc said if she had brought these onto the BBC's Antiques Road Show, they would definitely have been filmed.  You will see Jess, her parents and some of the items below.  Marc then settled down to give his talk and book signing.

Marc and his family have moved to Chippenham, Wiltshire where he has just purchased a stunning medieval house.  He said the pathway leading up to the house is made up of ancient grave stones and when it is raining, the inscriptions really jump out at you!  As you can imagine, this house has a fantastic history which Marc is researching.  He knows that one of the owners was an Admiral in the Royal Navy and Marc is going to get a picture of him and other past owners and create a gallery.  
Marc started his career when he was very young.  First of all he played the guitar and wanted to be a musician but his heart told him to enter the world of antiques as he always had a good eye and was encouraged to go down that road.  When he was 17, Marc bought what he knew to be a very special item for £6. He took it to Sothebys in London who were very excited about it and put it into their next auction where it made a staggering £600!  Marc's 17 year career as a London based auctioneer and company director was built from a childhood passion for collecting.  Due to his many business commitments, Marc no longer participates in the auctions.  You can read lots more about Marc and his on his website at

Marc Allum with his book
The Antiques Magpie

Jess and Marc with Trevor and Jane

Marc waiting for an answer to
"What do you think this old tool is used for?"

Marc telling everyone how the
tool would have been used

Marc with lovely Tracy

Me grinning like a Cheshire cat with super cool Marc

Jess's parent, Hungerford Arcade Stallholders
Trevor & Jane Elliman

Jess describing her tools on the table

Some of the tools brought in by
Jess Elliman

More of Jess's vintage tools

Marc Allum with his book
The Antiques Magpie

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