The Antiques Roadshow really is a great experience, but a bit of advance knowledge can make all the difference. Here are some in-the-know tips for getting the most out of your day.
Get all the details
Roadshows are advertised in the specific area that’s being visited up to six weeks in advance of the show itself. But if you’re willing to travel, you’ll need a full calendar of recording dates, starting in the spring. The best thing to do is check out the forthcoming valuation days on this site.
If the Roadshow is coming your way and you have something that’s very large or fragile, write to the Antiques Roadshow at BBC, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR – and include a photo. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
. The team may be able to help transport your object to the show.
What to bring
Wear comfortable shoes and carry an umbrella (which may double as a sunshade) if it’s an outdoor venue. Try not to weigh yourself down – for example, just bring the pot, a cup and saucer if you want to know about a whole tea service. There are always refreshments available at a show. However, once you’re in a queue you won’t want to leave it, so take a small bottle of water or juice.
On the day
Arrive about an hour before the doors open (they open at 9.30am), which should be soon enough to be seen by lunchtime at most shows. Often the queues have thinned out by 3pm. Doors shut at 4.30pm and the filming continues until about 7pm. As long as you are in the queue by 4.30pm an expert will see you by the end of the day.
About those queues
As you arrive at reception, you will be given a ticket to get to the appropriate expert. The queues for ‘porcelain’ (china and glass) and ‘miscellaneous’ (advertising items, toys, gardening tools for instance) are always the longest. A good idea is to bring a friend, dividing your things so that you can queue for separate experts.