New Oral History Interview – Andrew Jenkins

January has been a little bit quiet on the blogging front – I’ve been away on holiday to the USA, but back on the case now. Before I went away we continued with the oral history interviews – and our latest subject was Andrew Jenkins, of Avon Antiques.

Andrew established Avon Antiques in 1963, and remained in the same premises at Market Street, Bradford-on-Avon until his recent (semi-) retirement – I don’t think antique dealers actually retire! Here is Andrew, with his wife Vibeke, in a recent photograph.

andrew and Vibeke Jenkins

Andrew & Vibeke Jenkins, of Avon Antiques. Photograph courtesy of Andrew Jenkins, 2015.

In this fascinating interview Andrew told us about his beginnings in the antique trade, working for the well-known antique dealer David Tron, in King’s Road, London, before setting up his business, with the help of a small loan from his father, in Bradford-on-Avon in 1963.  Andrew also told us about the changes in fashion for antiques in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, as well the development of his business, and his dealings in the mid 1960s with the San Francisco antique dealer Chuck Williams  – who soon after turned his business skills to establish the American multi-store home and interior decoration stores, Williams-Sonoma.  The interview also includes Andrew’s reflections on his activities at various antique fairs – Andrew, for example, played a major role in the establishment of the West of England Antiques Fair in 1976.

As with all of our other oral history interviews, our interview with Andrew will be made available via the project websites in the very near future.


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