On the 24th May, 2022 over seventy Friends and guests gathered in the West Wing of Lytham Hall for a special event when Margie Cooper from the Antiques Road Show and the Antiques Road Trip entertained us with her experiences on these very popular shows.

A long time Queen Mary School friend of Margaret Race, our Chairman, Margie had taken time out from a busy schedule and we were most appreciative.

 

Margie Cooper of TV's Antiques Roadshow visits Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection at Lytham Hall - photographed with Chairperson Margaret Race

Margie Cooper of TV’s Antiques Roadshow visits Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection at Lytham Hall – photographed with Chairperson Margaret Race

 

She spoke with humour and has the same twinkling persona that the viewers see. Her successful career was forged over 40 years ago when she was inspired by such experts as Arthur Negus. In the early days she was one of those who were selective of items brought in for filming often travelling to inspect the larger pieces. Over the years she has gained in knowledge and experience and managed to retain her enthusiasm and energy.

In all the years she worked on the Road Show she said there had only been a few presenters, Angela Rippon, Hugh Scully, Michael Aspel and Fiona Bruce and whereas at one time it may have been one venue, one programme now the producers may get two or three from a single visit. Lytham Hall being an example.  It is an expensive programme to produce and sixteen or seventeen a year is the norm.

Until 2010, Margie had not appeared in front of the camera but when the Road Trip started she rang the producers and has now been one of the experts for 11 years.

The filming is quite arduous as she is up at 5.45 am and it is a 12 hour day. The crew moves every night as they film for 15 days and travel considerable distances. Filming was continued all through lockdown although the viewer would be completely unaware of the protective plastic sheets between the contestants.

Whereas the crew stay in Premier Inns, celebrity guests are accommodated in upmarket hotels. Margie has worked with Ricky Tomlinson, Tony Christie and Nigel Havers to name a few and one she would not identify (to our disappointment) who was obnoxious.

One of Margie’s particular interests is silverware and she brought a few selected pieces to show us. Surprisingly hallmarks have been mandatory since the 1300s and provide consumer protection although they may be rubbed away over the years. She showed us her own well thumbed copy of the hallmark book.

A photo of a page of Margie Cooper's hallmark reference book

A photo of a page of Margie Cooper’s hallmark reference book

 

Many antique dealers had been superseded by the world wide web as many items are now sold online by the auction houses.

Our Vice Chairman, Barbara Weston, gave the vote of thanks. Flowers were presented and the raffle drawn before we enjoyed delicious refreshments.

A very successful event.

Marjorie Gregson