Even more oral history interviews

Martin Beazor 2015

Martin Beazor, 2015. Photo MW (Antique Dealers Project).

One of our latest oral history interviews with members of the British antique trade is with Martin Beazor, of John Beazor Antiques in Cambridge. Martin is the third generation of his family to run the antique business, which was established in Great Yarmouth in 1875.

Beazor antiques Hall Quay great yarmouth

John Beazor Antiques, Hall Quay, Great Yarmouth, c.1900. Photograph courtesy of Martin Beazor. Copyright Martin Beazor.

In a very wide-ranging interview (lasting 2 hours!) Martin told us about the start of the firm, by his great-grandfather John Martin Beazor, in a shop at Hall Quay in Great Yarmouth – the shop is on the left-hand side of the photograph (c.1900) looking up Hall Quay – apparently King Edward VII was once a visitor.

The Beazor family may have started in the carriage trade, before moving on to become antique dealers; they are one of a small number of dealers still trading that were established in the 19th century. Martin’s grandfather, John Beazor continued the business, moving to their current location in Regent Street, Cambridge in 1940 – taking with them, so Martin recalls, a very smart 18th century grand entrance door salvaged from a merchant’s house in Great Yarmouth.

Martin also showed us a rare interior photograph of the Beazor antique shop in Great Yarmouth….a fascinating illustration of the taste for antiques in c.1910.

John Beazor antiques great yarmouth c.1910

John Beazor Antiques – interior of Great Yarmouth shop, c.1910. Courtesy of Martin Beazor. Copyright Martin Beazor.

And here is John Beazor, Martin’s grandfather –

John Beazor martins grandfather

John Beazor, Martin Beazor’s grandfather. Photograph courtesy of Martin Beazor. Copyright Martin Beazor.

Martin had very fond memories of working with his father, Keith Beazor, during the 1970s and 1980s – Martin joined the firm in 1973, when he was in his early 20s – including a fascinating anecdote about how his father managed to acquire an important ‘Hepplewhite’ partner’s desk from another dealer, which was eventually sold by Keith Beazor to Asprey in London.

The interview with Martin also includes reflections on the changing structure and practices of the antique trade over the past 40 years, and recollections on several well known dealers. As with all of the interviews we are undertaking as part of the research project, the interview with Martin will be available via the project websites.


4 Comments to “Even more oral history interviews”

  1. Am following the interviews with a great deal of interest.

    Thank you for making this information available for all.

    One question re: technology. Might you comment on the equipment used for recording and transcribing?
    Or are digital cameras with audio used?

    Thanking you in advance

    • Hi again Valerie,
      we’re using digital recorders, model ZOOM H4n, with label microphones as well – the H4n has two excellent build-in microphones, so you don’t actually need the extra label mics to be honest. As for transcribing…well, we are just start-stoping the digital WAV files and typing into a WORD Doc….pretty prehistoric probably, but that slow process also allows us, as researchers. to very carefully listen to the complete recording and (hopefully) will allow an increased level of synthesis of the material and themes emerging from the project.
      Hope that help?

    • I meant ‘lapel’ mics!…sorry for the typo!

  2. Hi Valerie,

    sure will…I’ll pop a note into a forthcoming blog entry on the interviews….the recorders are at home, so might be tomorrow now…thanks for your interest in the project!

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