Andy’s ‘Roadshow’ tearjerker


Andy McConnell, the glassware expert, is back on our TV screens twice over the next few days in a spin-off from BBC2’s Antiques Roadshow. The new series of 30-minute episodes, 15 in total, is called Antiques Roadshow Detectives. Each episode follows two stories that developed from previous Roadshow appearances.

McConnell first appears on Friday April 10, at 6.30pm. “Viewers prone to tears should get some Kleenex in,” he said.

He is following up on the visit of Sue Baldwin to the Roadshow at Chenies Manor House, Bucks, last year, when she explained that her father Ronnie Street had been a glassblower at Britain’s longest running glass house, better known as the Whitefriars factory, until it closed in 1982. “However, she had no idea precisely what he did for a living, declaring that to some extent ‘my father was an Invisible Man’.”

He added: “It seemed too good an opportunity to miss, so we follow her father’s story through the Museum of London archives, then on to Adam Aaronson’s studio near Kingston upon Thames and, finally, down the pub. Sue was a total sweetie.

“My second story [Monday, April 13, 6.30pm] concerns a servant girl who was given a half-bottle of 150-year-old wine by her aristocratic employer when she left his service at Wentworth Castle in the 1930s. The programmes were great fun and challenging to make, and will hopefully make engaging viewing. They’re a heart-warming hybrid of Roadshow, What Happened Next? and Who Do You Think You Are?”

* Records indicate that the Whitefriars factory opened as a small glassworks off Fleet Street, London around 1720. McConnell’s Glass Etc showrooms are at 18-22 Rope Walk, Rye. Visit his website here

Photo: BBC

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