Flog It! Presenter Paul Martin to Host  Valuation Day in Calne

Latest news from tv presenter and antiques’ expert Paul Martin

 Well known popular TV antique expert, Paul Martin, will be sharing his knowledge and experience with Calne residents on Wednesday 6th March by hosting a free community valuation day at the Lansdowne Strand Hotel in the town centre.

The valuation day, which is being run in partnership with world renowned Devizes auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son, for which Paul is Head of Valuations, will take place 10am-3pm and is intended to encourage members of the public to dust off those items they’ve always been curious about and bring them along to be discussed, valued and perhaps sold.

Paul would be delighted to see items ranging from antiques, collectables, silver, gold, militaria and jewellery.

“The day in Calne is going to be so interesting,” said Paul. “There’s a long history of trading in the town, especially with cloth from the 14th century onwards; as well as a strong historical connection to the Church and of course numerous places of historical interest nearby. Put all this together and I’m certain it will make for a very interesting day!”

Paul has been a tv presenter and expert for over 20 years on programmes including the Antiques’ Road Trip; Flog It!; CountryFile and many more. He has a new series, Paul Martin’s Auction Showdown, going live on Channel 5 this year.

“Even though I am a tv presenter and still enjoy my broadcast career, I’m an antiques man at heart and these events allow me to get back to what drives me — the people, their objects and the stories they tell.”

The day is part of a programme of valuation days being run by Paul in his role as Head of Valuations at Henry Aldridge & Son, based in Devizes.

“Wiltshire is such a great part of the country to host these kinds of days,” said Paul. “There is so much history here and the people are really generous with their time and curiosity. Some local families go back generations so I’m sure we’ll see some fascinating items and learn lots from the stories attached to them.”

Calne’s own church, the 12th century Norman building of St. Mary’s, was once known as “the Cathedral of North Wiltshire” because of its impressive size and design. It’s thought that Calne once had a castle that was the residence of King Edward (Edward the Martyr) until he was brutally murdered in AD 978.

The town was known for its market by 1086 and for centuries Calne a popular place of rest for people travelling between Bristol and London. From the 1300s onwards it became known for weaving and cloth-making and was a significant centre for the industry for the next five centuries. The expansion and wealth of Calne in this period was a direct result of its thriving cloth-making industry.

When the industry was no longer viable in the area, the Harris family started Harris Butcher’s in 1770 and the business steadily expanded into what later became a meat processing factory, which was a major local employer. Its existence brought the railway line to Calne and the company’s products had global reach. Harris’s closed in the 1980s but the history of the business in the town is also part of the family history of many of Calne’s residents.

“With this really rich and diverse history it will be so interesting to see what items will be brought to our attention,” says Paul. “We could end up being presented with some fascinating items that reveal brilliant snippets about the history of the area and the people wo have helped make it what it is today. What’s exciting about community valuation days is you never quite know what will turn up. It’s full of surprises!”

Paul Martin’s Calne valuation day will be held at the Lansdowne Strand Hotel in the town centre, an historic Grade 2 listed 16th century coaching inn. The hotel is named after the Marquess of Lansdowne. The title has a strong connection with the history of Calne and the Lansdowne family seat is nearby Bowood House.

For more information on Paul’s community valuation days, please visit: