Ah, summer in London: the point at which we yearn for outdoor entertainment, grabbing the opportunity to see iconic acts on tour, carrying the audience along on a wave of emotion. And for that reason, the BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ will be appearing at the rather beautiful Clissold Park in Stoke Newington on Sunday July 10. Usually taking place at historic country estates across the country, this is a great opportunity to discover some Hackney heirlooms.

How to be a part of it

If you fancy getting your own family treasures valued gratis or gawping at the hoards stashed in other people’s attics, then you’ll need to book a free ticket in advance. It’s a hugely popular show, so be prepared to queue to be seen by the panel of antique experts, but the good news is that you’re encouraged to make a day of it, watching the filming, and soaking up the whole ‘Roadshow’ atmosphere.

You also have the choice of two entry times: 9am and 1pm. Advice is that the morning session will be less busy. Refreshments will be available on the day, but you’re also welcome to bring your own food and drinks, so think ‘picnic in the park’ with period piece perks. Bearing in mind the focus is on antiques, so under-18s have to be accompanied.

What is the ‘Antiques Roadshow’?

For the uninitiated, the long-running ’tiques is presented by Fiona Bruce – taking a break from her ‘Question Time’ gig, where she has to coax and cajole the antiques rather than appraise them – and is screened on BBC1 during the gentle postprandial recovery period after Sunday lunch. Along with ‘miscellaneous experts’ – a title we can all aspire to – there are specialists in paintings and prints, glass, ceramics, furniture, militaria and rather more broad memorabilia, ie the sort of valuable stuff we hope our collection of illicit free coffee stampers purchased from eBay will one day turn out to be, once they’re rendered obsolete when they change the system in Greggs. 

On the day, any ticket holder can bring in their goodies to be assessed, and the audience has great sport not only deciding if a chair is Chippendale or chipboard, but also predicting the punter’s reaction to the antique expert’s valuation. Sadly, human nature being what it is, it’s miles more entertaining when the priceless Pre-Raphaelite print inherited from Great Aunt Edna turns out to be a framed freebie from the Sunday Express colour supplement circa 1975, but there have been amazing lost treasures unearthed on the show over the years and some real human interest tales. The BBC also encourages ticket holders to share their story in advance, for a chance to feature on the ‘Roadshow’.

Strictly speaking, most experts consider an ‘antique’ to be an object more than 100 years old that has aesthetic or historic worth, but Antiques Roadshow isn’t too purist about that and will happily look at more recent items, especially if they’ve got a great story attached and some rarity, so if your grandpa has got a signed copy of a Rolling Stones poster from Hyde Park in 1969 then that’s definitely ‘Antiques Roadshow’-worthy. Just don’t try bringing Mick ’n’ Keef along themselves.

‘Antiques Roadshow’, Clissold Park, N16 9HJ. Sun Jul 10, 9am and 1pm. Book free tickets in advance here.

What to do in London to treat Mum for Mother’s Day.

Value your city? Tell us all about it in our annual, global, Time Out Index survey.


published 2022-03-21 15:10:57