Boost for Honiton’s economy

Town will take centre stage during National Antiques Week.

An influx of visitors is expected to boost Honiton’s economy as it takes centre stage during National Antiques Week.

It is holding the inaugural Honiton Antiques Festival to coincide with the event, from November 14 to 20. Organiser Elizabeth Chilcott said: “Honiton is the jewel in Devon’s crown when it comes to hunting for antiques and by joining forces, we the traders in antiques-related businesses in the town, intend to attract a big influx of collectors and enthusiasts during the seven days of the festival.

“We also hope to showcase the diverse range of skills and knowledge our people have about antiques and fine art from all periods in history. We’re sure there will be something to interest people of all ages and tastes,” added Valentine Butler.

The Festival will promote the message that “Antiques are Green” and encourage new, young collectors who might be looking to turn their hobby into a career.

The organisers will communicate with careers advisers in the county and students from Honiton Community College will film events during the week.

Said BBC Antiques Roadshow personality Mark Hill: “National Antiques Week aims to promote antiques and collecting. Over the past year, a growing number of young people have seen the value and individuality of antiques, and the thrill of the hunt, and begun to buy antiques and vintage pieces for their homes.

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“Furthermore, a report commissioned by the antiques trade from industry experts Carbon Clear has found that an antique chest of drawers is 16 times more eco-friendly than a modern, flatpack equivalent. Antiques really are green!”

Exhibitions happening all week in Honiton include: ‘Chairs from 1650 to the Twentieth Century’ at Roderick Butler, Marwood House; ‘Clarice Cliff Pottery’, at Upstairs Downstairs Antiques; ‘Prints and Maps of Honiton’, at Graham York Rare Books; ‘Contemporary Art’, at The Grove Antiques Centre and, on the quirky, ‘Skirt Lifters’ and ‘Glass Hats’, also at The Grove,

Honiton’s auctioneers are also backing the Festival. Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood will be holding a series of free specialist valuation days culminating on Friday, November 18, with a reception and preview of an Antiques Auction, while Chilcotts will auction the important Carl Rosen Collection of Honiton Pottery on Saturday November 19.

The ventures is being backed by Honiton Town Council, Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Allhallows Museum and Honiton Tourist Information centre.