This is the peak period for gardening antiques

Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park

Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park

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It was my birthday recently and a busy time for our team. There’s just been a bank holiday at the weekend and this is also half term for many. For some, the bank holiday means a rest, but for us here at the antiques centre, it means lots of visitors.

As always I was at work on my birthday. With it always falling before the bank holiday, I am too busy to take time off. I tend to work now and try to grab a couple of days off in a few weeks’ time, when things lull again before the summer season starts in full swing.

However, I always make time for my family.

We try to arrange a meal in the evening where all the family get together, including my children and their families, too. We go out to eat, normally to The Italian Orchard. It’s a regular haunt of ours, as the food is exceptional, we’ve been going so often we get great personal service, and probably most importantly on birthday nights out, we can all walk home, as it just a few minutes from the house!

It’s been a funny month. Easter was very early and school holidays were different meaning for lots of families it was difficult to go away or cover the child care.

We’ve had Mayday, the Food Festival and now Spring Bank. These long weekends mean visitors have time on their hands to do their spring cleaning, decorate the house and do the garden.

We sell more gardening collectables at this time of year than any other. One of the pleasures of collecting gardening antiques is you don’t need to worry too much about looking after them.

A 100-year-old antique wheelbarrow can be used as a planter and doesn’t need to be renovated, restored or pampered like our indoor antiques.

We are apparently spending more money than ever on our gardens. It’s wonderful to see those items valued and used by previous generations can enjoy a new lease of life in today’s gardens.

Two of our more unusual garden plant holders in the centre have been an old bicycle and an old metal umbrella stand both valued at £50. The bike looked fantastic with plants in the “basket” at the front of the bike as well as plant holders down both sides.