8th February 2024

Paul Martin Hosting Valuation Day. Well-known popular TV antique expert, Paul Martin, will be sharing his knowledge and experience with Swindon residents on Monday 19th February. He’s going to be hosting a free community valuation day at STEAM – the museum of the Great Western Railway.

He’ll run the valuation day in partnership with world renowned auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son. Paul is their head of valuations. The event will take place 10am-3pm. It’s intended to encourage members of the public to dust off those items they’ve always been curious about and bring them along for discussion, valuation and even selling. You never know!

Paul is looking forward to seeing items ranging from antiques, collectables, silver, gold, militaria and jewellery.

Paul Martin Hosting Valuation Day at STEAM in Swindon
Paul Martin Hosting Valuation Day at STEAM in Swindon

An interesting day!

‘The day at STEAM is going to be so interesting,’ said Paul. ‘Swindon’s history is so bound up with the history of the railways. So locating our community valuation day at the museum will be perfect. It’s a location unlike any other and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what people choose to bring along.’

Paul has been a TV presenter and expert for over twenty 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’m 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.’

A series

The day is part of a programme of valuation days Paul is running 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’s so much history here and the people are so generous with their time and curiosity. So I’m sure we’ll see some fascinating items and learn lots from the stories attached to them.’

Swindon’s history is well known for its connection to the railway network and its Victorian heritage. It’s often described as the town that was “built on steam.”

The town has roots going back much further though. It’s recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. But it was the arrival of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway in 1843 that saw it shift. It transformed from a modest area of fewer than 3000 people to a thriving area of commercial significance.

The influence and power of the railway in Swindon resulted in one of the first lending libraries in the UK begining in the Mechanics’ Institution. There also was a “free at the point of delivery” healthcare centre, library and community centre around its railway village. And that is largely credited with partly inspiring the model for the National Health Service. It’s known that Aneurin Bevan, the architect of the NHS, came to the town to see how its ‘Medical Fund Society’ worked. Go here for a little more on that.

Swindon the boom town

Swindon was one of the fastest-growing towns in Europe after World War Two. And it still attracts large global organisations today as a suitable place to situate company headquarters, due to its strategic transport links.

The site of Paul Martin’s valuation day is STEAM, a national museum dedicated to the history and story of the Great Western Railway. A sympathetically restored Grade II listed railway building in the former Swindon railway works, comprises the home of STEAM. As well as its permanent exhibitions, the museum hosts a range of temporary exhibitions and events across the year. Thus keeping the history of Swindon alive for both residents and visitors.

‘With this kind of rich and very particular history, with its intimate connections to the industrial history of Britain as a whole, it will be so interesting to see what items come to our attention. We could end up having with some really fascinating items in front of us,” says Paul. “What’s exciting about community valuation days is you never quite know what will turn up. It’s full of surprises!’

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


See also from Swindon in 50 More Buildings:

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