National Antiques Week – The Awards

Dear Diva Readers,       

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I was delighted that after this last month – which has literally found me on 3 continents in a months time (India, America & Europe) – that I was able to take time out of my busy travel schedule to attend the Awards for National Antiques Week at The Decorative Fair in London.   Gail Mcleod –  The Antiques Diva & Co’s English Agent who manages our tours/england” target=”_blank”>antique buying tours for the UK and our buying services – just so happens to be founder of National Antiques Week and she finagled me an invite to this prestigious invite.  This meant I was able to rub shoulders with the movers and shakers of the England antiques trade such as Spencer Swaffer, Martin Johnson and the Fontaine boys and even shared a glass of bubbly with famous interior designer Nicky Haslam!!  My friend Ronda Carman of All the Best blog (and author of the fabulous new book Designers at Home) must have had burning ears for we chatted about her fabulousness over our coupe de champagne!

Judith Miller

 Publisher Homes & Antiques, Judith Miller and Winners Debbe Perry & Jim Broomfield of Brackley Antiques Cellar  

The awards being presented at the event were two fold – first there was the Homes & Antiques Magazine award for Best Shop of the Year.  Drum roll please… and the winner of  Antiques Centre of the Year for the UK is  Debbe Perry & Jim Broomfield of Brackley Antiques Cellar!

Brackley Antique Cellar is the largest purpose-built antiques centre in the Midlands of England with  over  160 independent dealers, 30,000 sq ft of antiques and collectables, under one roof and all on one level!  It has Diva-Divine written all over it.  The presenter for this competition was Judith Miller –  Miller is THE Goddess of Antiques. Moreover, she is a delight – she’s a fountain of information – and quite simply as friendly as she is informative.  NEWS FLASH for my American Readers – Judith will be in NYC and Houston this November and is making special bookings for talks, book signings, etc.  Stay tuned for more details.

Mark Hill

Nickey Haslam and Mark Hill

For the Young Guns competition the presenters were also equally high profile!   In order to be eligible for the Young Guns award you had to be an antiques vendor under the age of 39.  I was thrilled that by a hair I was still in the age bracket categorized as YOUNG!  The award presenters were Nicky HaslamMark Hill and George Johnson.

Timothy Medhurst

Photo:  George Johnson, Nickey Haslam, Timothy Medhurst of Reeman Dansie Auctioneers
and Mark Hill

The Winner of the 2013 Antiques Young Gun was the 21 year old Timothy Medhurst of Reeman Dansie Auctioneers whom the judges all agreed was an outstanding ambassador for the trade based on his enthusiasm and energetic support for the campaign, his willingness to promote his fellow dealers and his absolute commitment to his profession. Well done Tim!!

Joint runners up were:  Keeley Harris who owns Discover Vintage and runs multiple events across the UK including Festival of Vintage. The judges agreed that Keeley’s achievements and hard work together with her ability to include and work with her peers has really put her on the map and we felt that her success will be an encouragement for other young dealers in the vintage trade.

Chris Oxley of the family firm P A Oxley Antique Clocks has been a pivotal member of the Antiques Young Guns group on Twitter and has been a fantastic supporter of the campaign and his fellow Young Guns. Chris has displayed a heartfelt commitment to the family business since his teenage years and has taken the business – a traditional and highly respected business – into the 21st Century with gusto.

Special Award:  George Johnson, Alys Dobbie of Nana Dobbie, Nickey Haslam and Mark Hill

The judges were delighted to be able to award one extra prize on the night, having struggled to select just three winners from such a starry line-up! One of my favorite London hauntsAlfies Antique Market – generously offered a free stand at this famous and iconic London landmark antiques, vintage and Mid C Retro emporium for two months in the summer of 2013 and this award went to Alys Dobbie of Nana Dobbie who the judges agreed was the ideal person to make the very best of this opportunity. Alys has established a destination vintage and Mid C shop in Brighton and works with her father to manage another Nana Dobbie shop in Cornwall. She is perfectly poised to take London by storm and what better place than Alfies? Alys has a great sense of personal style and her shops reflect this and at Alfies she will have the chance to meet and interact with seasoned and experienced dealers – a true Young Gun experience.

Mark Hill

Goerge Johnson

All the Young Gun shortlist will benefit from a fantastic package of prizes from the generous sponsors including:  Hotel Una Brighton; Cooper Antiques Fairs; Penman Antique Fairs; On-Line Galleries and Antiques are Green.

Congrats to all who received the awards and a special shout out to our Antiques Diva English Agent Gail McLeod for her tremendous work she does promoting the antiques trade in the UK.  I’ve said it for years that Gail is the most connected woman in antiques in England…. And seeing her in action at the awards Thursday night had me brimming with pride that she was part of our team.  Gail is not only a member of the Diva Team, but she’s a dear friend and business mentor.  We love you Gail!!  Congrats on another successful National Antiques Week.

Antiques Diva

Gail McLeod – Founder of National Antiques Week and the English Agent for The Antiques Diva & Co

Warm Regards,
The Antiques Diva®

Guest Blog: Old Bank Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While I’m away from The Antiques Diva® & Co headquarters on tour ” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNYC and leading VIP TOURS this March 2012 in tours/france/ ” target=”_blank”>France and tours/belgium/ ” target=”_blank”>Belgium, today’s guest blog comes to you from our English Diva, Gail McLeod.  Gail wears multiple hats.  She not only shops tirelessly as our Antiques Diva® Agent in England but when she’s not taking clients to the best places in Britain to go antique shopping, she is also editor of Antiques News and Fairs – the site Google ranks as the #1 resource for finding details of upcoming antique fairs!  On top of all this, she’s also the founder of National Antiques Week and coordinator of the Bath Decorative Antiques FairThis Diva NEVER stops.  She’s a serious mover and shaker in the English antique world and today she’s writing here at The Antiques Diva blog about an insider’s source in the lovely town of Bath, England.

Cheers from me, The Antiques Diva®, and Greetings from Your English Diva Guide, Gail McLeod!

Gail McLeod – caught mid-laugh – on the job as The English Diva!

One of the City of Bath’s destination calls for antiques and vintage hunting is Old Bank Antiques.  This sprawling and labyrinthine antiques centre is housed in two lofty Georgian houses ten minutes walk from the centre of the city. 

The friendly and helpful group of more than twenty dealers who share the centre offer a fabulous array of hard to resist finds from period oak and mahogany furniture right through to the latest trending retro collectibles from one of the trail blazers of the current vintage and retro scene – Bread and Roses, who cram their showroom with vintage furniture in metal and Melamine, kitchenalia and accessories sourced from France and the UK.  


Norman Kemp, Beth Cuttell, Simon Jackson, Mary and Steve Wootten and Robin Coleman add decorative flair to the centre with their range of English and European painted and country furniture from 19th – 20th C and wonderful decorative accessories including lighting, mirrors and garden furniture and decoration.

The centre is a big draw for the local homemaker of all ages and owners David Moore and Alex Schlesinger, who deal in formal period oak and mahogany furniture and ceramics, have established the centre as a call for American trade buyers and UK decorators.  Understanding the busy lifestyle we all enjoy today, David and Alex made the decision to open seven days a week, often enjoying a bit of stampede of eager buyers on Sundays.

The well-decorated displays across three windows on one of the UK’s busiest streets offers the centre a great passing trade and parking on site is a rare treat in Bath!

Happy Shopping!
The English Diva, aka Gail McLeod

Britain’s Best Antique Shops Competition

Mark Your Calendars:  National Antiques Week 14th – 21st November 2011


Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Could you be Britain’s best antique shop?  To celebrate this year’s National Antiques Week (14th-21st November), Homes & Antiques magazine and Antiques News & Fairs (the organizers of National Antiques Week) have joined together to find Britain’s best antiques shops and auction houses.

From early October until the end of November, the public will be invited to nominate their favourite antiques destinations in five categories:

  • best antiques shop
  • best antiques centre
  • best specialist shop
  • best mid-century/vintage shop
  • best auction house

Nominators can win one of ten great prizes, each with a value of at least £200, but the prizes for the winning venues are far greater. Not only will they be able to claim to be ‘Britain’s best’ (with all the media opportunities that presents); they will also receive a feature in the May issue of Homes & Antiques!

Kirstie Allsopp

The winning businesses will be announced by TV celebrity Kirstie Allsopp at the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair on 8th March 2012.

‘Too many people are afraid of buying antiques or think they’re expensive,’ says TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp. ‘The message that needs to be sung from the rooftops is this: this is the right way to buy – antiques hold their value in a way that modern furniture simply does not. This initiative is the perfect opportunity for the trade to reach out to new customers.’

Mark Hill

The antiques and vintage industry is unique in its ability to adapt and provide true quality, value for money, and quirky individuality,’ says author and Antiques Roadshow expert Mark Hill.We hope that this campaign and competition will raise the profile of the entire industry at a time when buying vintage or antique is both desirable and fashionable. We have so much to offer, so let’s shout about it.’

If you are an Antiques Shop in the UK – and you want to get involved – take notice!!!

Simply display one of the postcards (distributed in ATG in late September and available to download from the websites below) and encourage your customers to nominate you!

Nominations take place on and

For more details visit or


Late Sept/Early Oct – Campaign announced in the national press – voting starts on and

14th – 21st November – National Antiques Week – to be launched by Kirstie Allsopp at the Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia. We’re hoping for lots of coverage in daily/weekly national/regional press and radio

30th November – voting ends

1st March – shortlisted winners announced in Homes & Antiques

8th March – winners announced by Kirstie Allsopp at Bath Decorative Antiques Fair and opportunities for more national/regional/local coverage

Early April – feature on winners in Homes & Antiques

Now – even if you’re NOT an antiques dealer in the UK this blog post relates to you! You simply MUST follow National Antiques Week on Twitter and Facebook so you can GAIN ACCESS to all sorts of insider knowledge, letting you in on the best of the best dealers in Britain!

Facebook –

Good Luck to all the Fabulous British Competitors in this year’s Britain’s Best Antique Shops Competition!

The Antiques Diva®

P.S.  Special thanks to my Diva Colleague Gail McLeod of Antiques News & Fairs for turning me onto this fabulous competition which is co-coordinating with BBC Home & Antiques!!