Businessman Jon White has breathed life into an historic Wiltshire building by opening a new antique shop in Royal Wootton Bassett.
Old Bank Antiques, the former HSBC bank, was opened at 143 High Street on Saturday by TV presenter and antiques expert Paul Martin with town mayor Steve Watts. Town crier Owen Collier made the official announcement to all who passed by.
The shop has been a labour of love for Jon and it means the bank building is now open for business after being closed for several years.
“Setting up this business has without doubt been the most stressful venture I've ever undertaken,” Jon said.
“With the help of my friends who have supported me by helping me get the shop ready for trading, we opened on time. I am deeply passionate about our High Street in Royal Wootton Bassett and proud to be part of this business community.
"My premises are located within the heart of the town and it is my hope that, in time, our town will become a destination point for buyers, much like Tetbury, Corsham and Hungerford.”
Antiques dealer and tv presenter Paul Martin cut the ribbon at the shop. Paul, who is a presenter on Countryfile Diaries, Flog It! and Make Me A Dealer, said: “It was a privilege to be asked to open Jon’s new venture Old Bank Antiques. His passion is clear and, like me, he takes great joy in items which show craftsmanship and care. Those of us who work in this sector understand the value of collaborating and supporting each other.”
Jon’s friend Cllr Steve Watts, who is also the mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett has been one of the team who have rolled up their sleeves to get Old Bank Antiques open on time. Steve was also part of the official opening.
“This has been a case of friends and the community coming together. I’m proud that the people of Royal Wootton Bassett already really support our High Street and I know they will support Jon with this new venture. It so good to see the building come back into use with such an interesting independent business,” he said.
Old Bank Antiques is a small antiques centre which will focus on selling portable antiques including jewellery, silver flatware, coins, toys and collectibles. The premises currently has 21 high quality display cabinets for small items and floor space for furniture and some larger pieces.
One of the dealers already showcasing stock is Steve Bucknell, of Fulcrum Antiques. His items included ceramics and china.
“It’s very exciting to see Old Bank Antiques open for sales and it’s lovely to see people taking their time to browse and enjoy the objects. Antiques are my passion and I do this alongside my other business,” Steve said.
Some cabinets in the shop are still available to rent at an introductory rate of £10 plus VAT per week for three months. Commission on sales is a flat rate of ten per cent. Jon has even designed a bespoke IT programme to automate payment across multiple dealers.
Pictured: Jon White and Paul Martin