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Star auctioneers follow ‘A Bit Of A Do’

Eric Knowles, Paul Hayes and Tom Keane - BBC TV stars and antiques experts who are at a flood fundraising valuation day at Hebden Bridge Antiques Centre
Eric Knowles, Paul Hayes and Tom Keane - BBC TV stars and antiques experts who are at a flood fundraising valuation day at Hebden Bridge Antiques Centre

Braving the rain, a shout from Town Crier Les Cutts last Saturday heralded the opening of Hebden Bridge Antiques Centre at a new home after the floods - and this weekend will see a trio of antiques trade stars there to help raise money for the Calder Valley Flood Fund.

Les aptly braved the downpour to spead the word about the centre’s fundraising raffle and “A Bit Of A Do” for the fund around Hebden’s shops and cafes and the centre’s new home at Valley Road, where period fancy dress was de rigeur and entertainment included an exhibition of swing and jive from dancers TC and Joycey B, in aid of the Calderdale Rising flood recovery fund.

Trish Banyard and her family welcomed visitors including Mayor of Hebden Royd, Coun James Fearon, to join in the dancing, have a look round or simply enjoy some coffee and cake.

This Saturday, February 13, the centre welcomes all for a Valuation Day with antiques experts, all well known faces from TV shows including Antiques Road Trip and more, Eric Knowles, Paul Hayes and Tom Keane, who for a small fee for the flood fund will cast their eye over and value any collectables, heirlooms and curiosities visitors may bring, between 11am and 3pm.

Speaking to the Todmorden News and Hebden Bridge Times this week, Eric, who hails from nearby Burnley - one of the football club’s celebrity supporters - said he, Paul and Tom wanted to help reinforce the message that all the Calder Vally is open for business.

“I got a message from Trish asking me if I could do it and I thought ‘yes’ - I’m doing it for Yorkshire and Lancashire detente!

“This is just a small recognition of the misery that thousands of people are experiencing everywhere this winter and we wanted to support things where we can.

“I have a theatre show and I talk about Cliviger, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge and weave the Calder Valley into it. I’m a regular there and a Clarets fan too - it’s a tribal thing!”

Paul is from Morecambe, close to areas of Lancashire hit by flooding, and Tom is a famous auctioneer who first made his name at Chiswick Auctions.

Trish said the first weekend saw more than £3,500 raised for funds from the raffle alone and hoped people would enjoy meeting the celebrities this Saturday, having some fun in the process.

“It was great to see our place buzzing again, just like before the floods, we are now open every day and we are back to stay- I really wanted to get across the message that our town and valley is open, fun, and for people to come on down. There is lots happening here,” she said.

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