Archive for August, 2019

August 19, 2019

New Oral History project, ‘LAPADA Voices’, with Melvin & Shiela Haughey

Our ‘Oral History’ interviews project is continuing to add promiment antique dealers to the growing oral history archives as part of the Antique Dealers research project – thanks to LAPADA, The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers, we have started a new strand of the Oral History interviews, called ‘LAPADA Voices’. These new interviews will be with past and present LAPADA members; and we hope to interview some ‘young blood’, as well as our usual theme of well established and senior members of the antiques trade in Britain.

We intend to undertake at least another 5 interviews as part of this initiative – and we’d like to thank Freya Simms, CEO of LAPADA, and the whole team at LAPADA for this very generous funding support for the new LAPADA Voices.

Our first in this new series is with long time LAPADA member Haughey Antiques, of Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria.

Melvin & Shiela Haughey of Haughey Antiques, Kirkby Stephen. Photograph, Antique Dealers Project, University of Leeds 2019.

Melvin & Shiela Haughey established their well-known antique business in 1969. Melvin initially began his career as antique dealer working for his father’s antique shop in the early 1960s, before taking over the business in 1969.  Melvin’s father, Michael J. Haughey, opened his antique and second-hand furniture business in Kirkby Stephen in 1947; the Haughley family had business operations in the town since 1919.

In this hugely engaging and informative interview, Melvin tells us that he initially wanted to be a jockey and racehorse trainer; he started working at the stables of Ryan Price in Sussex, the famous trainer of the Grand National winner Kilmore, which won the ‘National’ in 1962, before working in his father’s antique business.  In the interview, Melvin and Shiela, who married in 1971, reflect on the changing tastes for antique furniture and of Melvin’s regular buying trips to Scotland.  He used to call and buy from many high profile Scottish antique dealers such as Alexander’s in Barclay Street, Glasgow and from Bill Beaton in Perth.

Like many antique dealers in the 1970s, Haughey Antiques initially operated as a wholesaler of antiques, supplying dealers from the South of England. Kirkby Stephen was also on a regular route for many international antique dealers; Dutch dealers, for example, made regular buying trips once a week in the 1970s.  Melvin also recounts the extraordinary tale of how he bought a rare 18th century Irish mahogany sidetable, which he acquired in England and sold to an Irish buyer, only to discover that the pair to the table was already in that private collection back in Ireland.   Mevlin also tells us of his memories of many well-known antique dealers from across the UK.

Melvin and Shiela continue to trade in Kirkby Stephen, and this year (2019) celebrate 50 years in the business.

Our interview with Melvin and Shiela is now part of the rich series of antique dealer interviews at the Antique Dealer Research project archive at the University of Leeds.

Thank you again to LAPADA for all their help and support to the research project.


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