The late Mark Marchant.

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After a brief period of National Service in Hampshire he joined British European Airways (BEA) as cabin staff, later flying with British Overseas Airways Corporation BOAC (which later became British Airways).

In the mid 1960s he moved to Coggeshall in Essex with his partner Leslie Driscoll, setting up their first antiques business in the Guild House, before moving to nearby Market Hill in 1968.

In the heady antiques trading days of the late sixties to eighties, there was a non-stop flow of dealers from Europe and the US always keen to pick up the clocks and furniture on offer.

Antiques ‘magnet’

Coggeshall was a magnet for buyers and dealers alike with over 20 shops at its peak.

Mark was well known in the town and was widely known in the trade for his keen eye, welcoming smile and charm, and he dined out for years with stories of meeting the Lovejoy TV series film crew and cast, doubtless entertaining them at the shop.

Local auction houses found him to be a constant buyer and occasional seller.


Mark Marchant's shop in Coggeshall is shown to the left of the Chapel Inn.

The trade in antiques slowly moved away from Coggeshall as with many towns until just a couple of shops remained in recent years.

Mark semi-retired in the early 2000s and reduced the trading space to make his home behind and above the shop.

Despite failing health he kept his shop door open until the week he died, a true dealer to the end.

Will Odling