Dr Timothy Foster is a second-generation antiques dealer whose speciality is antique Chinese porcelain, a passion for which he has nurtured since his teens. A former lecturer on the fine arts degree course at the former Southampton Institute, now Solent University, Foster has traded at the Taunton antiques market for more than 20 years (where he was pictured above). He said: “It’s the perfect model for the trade. Effectively one’s own shop with minimal overheads and all the business is done in one day. Since Vincent and Lesley took over and opened the front part of the shop seven days a week it’s even better as you meet up with clients whenever you like.”

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Vincent Page is a man on a mission and a man on the move. The owner (with his wife Lesley White) of five Antiques on High-branded antiques centres in the UK is looking for more dealers at his 15,000 sq ft Taunton outpost.

That is a big space to fill and this busy spot includes the weekly Monday Antiques Marketrun since 1978 as well as the recently launched monthly auctions, with the front of the premises now open seven days a week as an antiques centre.

Page said: “Back in the 1980s customers queued round the block to get into the Monday market when there were over 100 dealers here. Now there are 40 with plenty of scope for more specialised dealers.

“We’re looking to draw in dealers in French antiques and vintage fashion, textiles and unusual items but am happy to hear from dealers in other specialisms.”

He added: “I find that the hardcore Monday market dealers do the other fairs and markets like Kempton, Shepton Mallet and Bath and I think that with more dealers in the market it could grow.

“It’s quite unique and with the addition of the auction room and the centre the place is becoming quite a hub.”

Sixth makes sense

Page spends a lot of his time driving up and down motorways between his centres in Oxford, Sidmouth, Harrogate, Bowness-on-Windermere and Taunton and as if this was not enough to keep him frantically busy, the opening of his sixth centre is on the horizon.

“I don’t want to say too much yet but it may well take on the ethos of the centre in Taunton and be an auction house as well.

“It’s towards the north of England and has a very substantial footage”, he said. n