It is not often that a TV celebrity pops in to the office to purchase some of the furnishings, but that is what happened in August last year when Charles Hanson and the Antiques Road Trip team visited Ansons LLP Solicitors in Lichfield.
Charles and the BBC film crew had been out and about in Staffordshire that day, and were in need of an interesting story to finish off the day’s filming. It was then that Charles suggested they visit Ansons, situated in a historic and tardis like building at 5 Breadmarket Street, Lichfield.
Charles already knew the staff at Ansons well as he regularly provides valuations on antiques that have been left to clients as inheritances, but Dawn Ward, receptionist at the practice was still most surprised to see Charles and the film crew looking through the window at four o’clock that August afternoon.
Charles explained to Associate Solicitor Shelly Wainwright, that they were looking for an interesting story, and asked if they had anything they wanted to sell. Luckily, Simon James, Senior Partner knew of a large victorian company seal, which is a large round plaque made of metal, wood or wax used to authenticate or add gravitas to documents from the South Staffordshire Colliery. This seal was cased and enormously heavy and had been used to decorate the offices but Simon was willing to part with it.
As the deal was struck, the cameras recorded the transaction and Charles continued to film outside the building, discussing his find with the viewers.
Ansons LLP Solicitors are located in a handsome building that was the birthplace of another great antiquarian, Alias Ashmole who was born at number 5 in 1617. This fascinating man is perhaps most famous as the donator of the broad range ranging collections housed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, which opened in 1683 and was the first public museum in Britain.
Going even further back the current Ansons building was originally a priest’s dining hall for those clergy who were attached to St Mary’s.
Series six of Antiques Road Trip started on 7th January 2013
This article was first published in the Lichfield Gazette.