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The Great Antiques Challenge - Matthew's Brief

Updated: Feb 28

For Dawn's fourth challenge she is set againast JB, from James Broad Interiors. Pub landlord Matthew has run some of the country’s most prestigious eateries and 20 years ago decided to slow things down and run a traditional country pub.

Matthew is very keen to keep as much history in the building as possible. Every nook and cranny is transformed into an Aladdin’s cave of curios from a particular time in British History; whether it be Gothic Revival, Renaissance, Georgian or Edwardian. Keeping the history is one thing, adding something to the heritage of the pub is another. Matthew wanted an interesting talking point item for a space in one of the bar areas.

This brief was a great fit to Dawn and what she loves about antiques. The history, and stories pieces tell, is so important. They are windows into the past. Her research first started by looking at the space online and the photos supplied of the Royal Standard Pub, in Beaconsfield.

Here's Dawn's moodboard.

Her first thoughts was the sheer age and history of the building. The first official mention of the pub appears in 1213! Research about the history of the building found that during the 17th century, the pub became a popular meeting place for various groups of Royalists. One story claims that Charles II granted the pub permission to change its name from The Ship to the far grander Royal Standard of England in thanks for the venue allowing his father, Charles I to hide from danger in its roof space.

After meeting Matthew on the programme, Dawn quickly realised that he really loves mechanical things and to tinker and fix things. The bar has a limited space and he wanted to create some 'theatre' within the bar area as a talking point.

Having sourced many items for pubs and restaurants, creating an unusual interior leads to a destination. The unique pieces Dawn sources are always a one off. Pulling on her network of antique dealers, and putting the feelers out is vital. Searching for an antique mechanical piece that works is very difficult. These pieces are normally work horses and used on a daily basis.

Dawn was over the moon to find a working Time Recorder. Clocking and out machines were used extensivley in factories across England as a result of the Industrial Revolution. To have the original card racks was incredible too.

There really is something lovely about hearing the 'ding' of the bell as you clock in and out. What did you think? We would love to hear your thoughts.

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