The team at Old Bank Antiques in Royal Wootton Bassett are celebrating their first anniversary after starting up during the most difficult economic and social crisis the UK has faced since the Second World War.
It was a year ago that businessman Jon White breathed life into an historic building – the former HSBC bank at 143 High Street – and opened its doors. The ribbon was cut by Wiltshire-based tv presenter and antiques expert Paul Martin.
Within three months, the shop had to close during lockdown and this fledgling business – like so many others on the High Street – had to go online.
“What a year it’s been,” Jon said. “We could not have imagined that we would have had to shut up shop for weeks at a time due to Covid19. However we’ve not been deterred and we’re not alone. We put our shop online and I’ve employed new staff to take the shop onward and upward in 2021.”
One of the new faces is Nicky Noakes who has been appointed shop manager and is now immersed in the world of antiques, vintage and collectibles. Nicky joined the team after spending almost a decade working in another retain outlet. She felt the opportunity to run Old Bank Antiques was too good to miss.
“I’m thrilled to be running such an interesting shop where every item has a story or a memory attached to it. It’s been brilliant so far and we’re proud to be part of a High Street which still has independent and individual retailers. I would urge everyone to please buy local to keep shops such as our’s on the High Street in 2021 and beyond.”
To make up for lost time, Old Bank Antiques and several other independent shops will be opening seven days a week in the run-up to Christmas, allowing people to shop safely and at their convenience.
Nicky said: “High Streets are central to many communities and I would urge people to support those retailers. We sit alongside many quirky independent shops including Sorelle Home & Gifts at Merchant House, 3 High Street and also Moonraker books at no 42.”
Old Bank Antiques is a small antiques centre 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. For more information visit https://oldbankantiques.co.uk
Pictured ront to back: Karen Watts, Steve Watts, Jon White, Megan Macpherson, Mark Lympany, Steve Bucknell, and new shop manager Nicky Noakes