PICTURES: Antiques fair attracts the bargain hunters
BARGAIN hunters from as far afield as Australia flocked to the Brentwood Antiques and Collectors Fair, billed as one of the largest events of its kind in the region.
Scores of antique traders packed into the Doddinghurst Road venue to sell everything from Edwardian furniture to 18th century silver and a huge collection of ceramics and glassware.
Rita and Michael Sinclair-Wood, 72 and 74 respectively, are from Adelaide and decided to visit.
"I love antiques," Mrs Sinclair-Wood said. "It's lovely just to look at pretty things."
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Stallholder Steve Lester, from High Easter, near Chelmsford, had brought with him an impressive collection of silver antiques, including an 18th century milk jug for £350.
Mr Lester is an auctioneer by trade but he has been dealing in antiques for the past 20 years.
He said: "Silver is like a fiddler's elbow – it can go up and down – but the thing with silver is you can do more things with it than gold that can look a little ostentatious and a bit bling.
"They say that if you want to eat an egg you can't beat eating it off a silver fork – stainless steel reacts with the sulphur in the eggs and you get that twang taste."
Kath Rushton, who had travelled from Maidstone in Kent to sell her wares, has been in the antiques trade for the past 12 months.
She said: "I've always interested in antiques, but I think the interest and intrinsic value of antiques is it's all about whether they fit in with modern lifestyles.
"Part of the problem is people don't have the size of properties that they used to."
Olive Smith and Chris Jones made a point of travelling from Edmonton to see if they could pick up a bargain.
Ms Smith, 75, who is an aficionado on ceramics, said: "It's the big one – there's lots of variety – there are always good finds and it's a great atmosphere.
"We always make a point of coming to this one."
Raymond Kline, from Watford, also always makes a point of paying Brentwood a visit for the town's major antique fair..
"I like second hand books and paintings – you are always on the look out for a bargain and hoping you are going to be able to pick out that special find.
Mike and Liz Watson came from Colchester to sell a large collection of antiques, including ceramics and Edwardian furniture.
Mike said: "It's silly that you can now buy 18th and 19th century furniture cheaper than some of the stuff made from MDF.
"It's slightly annoying that people always haggle, which I blame on the TV.
"They can do that on TV because that is the deal they have for the publicity for actually getting on TV."