Malbank WI Meeting Report

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Malbank Meeting with Christina Trevanion

The most valuable antiques in my book are my old friends. Let's face it we are now at an age when we are continually battling against becoming an antique ourselves.

Being fortunate enough to offer the highest bribe to our WI outings lady, who is now on the way to Australia with the proceeds, I managed to procure a ticket to our latest Malbank extravaganza, which was a complete sellout as the star guest was no other than Christina Trevanion.

Now I may have to change my mind about antiques,'ll see I do this quite often as my mind is always racing ahead of my thoughts, and I now realise I have probably thrown out antiques of the not too distant future although I have never gone to the Banksy extreme of shredding them.

One of the things that attracts me to vintage and antique things is that they have stories, and even if I don't know them I can make them up.

This Malbank event was a complete sell out. Even picnic chairs had been put out to cater for an over excited throng of colourfully dressed ladies clutching a variety of Mulberry, Cartier. Asprey and Christian Dior handbags, just in case Christina should catch a glimpse and make them an offer.

Audlem WI's Doreen Hubbard waited anxiously in the foyer, dressed in a smart Joules outfit — she wasn't going to let our side down — ready to greet our esteemed guest and to fend off a stampede of autograph hunters.

Christina arrived on time and was shown to her chair whilst the projector and screen were set up for her.

The President of Malbank, Margaret Hughes, is a lively lady and very funny! She is always enjoyable to listen to, and she commenced the meeting by instructing her sidekick to turn on the music for 'Jerusalem' which we sang to the accompaniment of a full orchestra and professional choir!

Yes, we occasionally had to change our timing to catch up with the recording, but I must say we all sounded very grand. However, as we sat down another verse started up and after the startled sight of confused looking faces, the recording was turned off!

Finally Margaret introduced our speaker and Christina stood up to give her talk. Let me tell you all, she is as beautiful in the flesh — well the bits we could see — as she is on TV.

Christina was inspired by antiques from an early age, attending plenty of auctions as a child and searching bags and boxes for treasures. Being a valuer and auctioneer has always been the job for her, and led her to study the trade at university.

As a child, Christina would pester her parents to take her to watch auctions conducted by a family friend. Having caught the auctioneering bug and after graduation from university, she joined the team at the prestigious London auction house Christies.

Since then, Christina has moved back home to Shropshire where she headed up the jewellery department in a long-established local auction house, before setting up her own auction house with her partner Aaron Dean.

Trevanion & Dean auction galleries are located within the red brick clock factory built in 1904 by Joyce Clocks of Whitchurch to construct their famous tower clocks.
The elegant facade, with its original clock, is known to everyone locally and to historians, clock connoisseurs and enthusiasts the world over. It is believed that Trevanion & Dean is the only auction house in the country to boast such a unique building.

Christina said that Trevanion & Dean were honoured to be custodians of such an important building and history. When they designed the auction house layout their aim was to incorporate as much of the buildings original features as possible. They were especially pleased to have retained the original Joyce tower clock and managed to incorporate it into their auctioneers rostrum.

An admirer of famous names like Cartier and Faberge, she also appreciates British Victorian and Arts and Crafts designers. Impressive jewels aside, Christina also collects 1970's bubble base, bud vases, and 18th century teapots.

Christina also told us some of the more humorous elements of her TV career. The Antiques Roadshow is recorded over two days and then they attend the auction on the Friday. The cars are, apparently, always breaking down, and are merely used for show

She also showed us photos of her two children Ada, who is seven and her 'feral' younger daughter Darcy who is six. She told us that whilst sitting around a dining table with friends they were discussing what they thought their children would do in the future and they decided that Ada would become a nurse or doctor as she has a caring personality and Darcy would either work for MI5 or become a hired assassin! Let's wait and see..........

As Christina's entertaining talk came to a conclusion, the President called upon a lady to give a vote of thanks. This is standard procedure at any WI event, however in this case the lady slowly made her way to the front and gave a few words of thanks before rushing back to her seat.

It would appear that our Malbank President had called out the wrong name and another of our members, armed with written sheets and notes, should have given the vote of thanks! Thank goodness she didn't call my name out.

After a delicious cup of tea and cakes, Christina judged the competition and the winning 'antique of the future' was an iPhone, still in its original packaging. Well that's useful!

Finally Margaret wished us all a safe journey home after what had been a full and entertaining evening.

Top Tip;

Remember ladies, wrinkles are merely antique smiles!