JAMES BRAXTON As seen on BBC's Bargain Hunt and Flog It

Sunday, March 23, 2003
Accountants can laugh too!

Last Friday (21st March 2003) I was invited to Lord's Taverners lunch. My hosts were an Eastbourne firm of accountants Price & Company; the venue was the magnificent Grand Hotel in Eastbourne. I sat next to Martin & Fiona, both car crazy. What is it about staid professionals who magically change into big cats after climbing into cars? Martin competes annually in the Italian Job rally, behind a classic Mini, whilst Fiona drives an E-Type Jaguar.

The entertainment was provided by both Jimmy Hill and Richard Stillgo, the latter composing a poem from random suggestions ending with ".. paying for her breast enlargements on family benefit."

It was a great lunch, and it was good to be back in Eastbourne after 18 months. There were lots of familiar faces - Nigel in marketing and David from motoring - with whom I shall share some merry lunches. Back to the auction rooms, Edgar Horns in Eastbourne, to find the changes I asked for have been completed. Edgar Horns has experienced some "rough seas" since last October, but I relish getting behind the helm again, and believe David will make a great lieutenant. David and I need to secure some good collections to re-energise the business. I have moved my Italian marble table into the 1st floor office, an end each; it will be telephones at 8am this Monday.

On to a call in Maresfield, some good clocks including an oak longcase clock, with 8-day striking movement, with an unusual automaton (mechanical novelty) of a boy and girl on a see-saw moving up and down in time with the see-saw, placed just above the hour and seconds hand in an arch. Regrettably the base of the case had been badly sleeved, a result of standing on too many damp floors, which in this instance has ruined its architectural proportions. The clock would make £1,000-1,500 at auction helped by the automaton and held back by the poorly sleeved base.

Finished the day watching my son Charlie, playing the 27th peasant in Ringer 'er Roses, a story based on the Black Death. I should add he was 27th peasant out of 40. He played a good drunk. Can't think where he gets it from!