Pat takes the helm of Hexham antiques business
PAT EGLIN is taking over the reins of a business many have long associated with her.
One half of Malcolm Eglin Antiques in all but name, she has been her husband’s mainstay for the past 15 or 16 years.
Now, as Malcolm rolls towards the era in life that signifies retirement for most, Pat is taking control of the antiques business that takes the intrepid pair all over the country.
Besides continuing to accompany him to antiques fairs and run the digital and social media elements, she is picking up responsibility for the rest of the administration side of things too.
“Malcolm’s at the stage he should be taking things a bit easier and I’m not quite there yet,” she laughed. “But it’s been a natural evolution really, me getting more involved.
“Although in the past I always had part-time jobs elsewhere, I’ve been deeply involved here as well. It’s become too much for Malcolm to maintain the whole business on his own though, so it’s much better that both of us work here full-time.”
The number of antiques fairs alone the couple take part in each year has reached 32, meaning 32 long weekends of loading up vans, hitting the motorway, setting up trade stands and then packing up again afterwards.
Malcolm said: “We also purchase over 90 per cent of our pieces from the south of England – mainly the south-west and Norfolk – so that takes time, picking up stuff, too.
“People say ‘where did you get this?’ and you say ‘we got that in Somerset on Tuesday and then something else in Norfolk on Wednesday’.
“They can never believe it, because lots of dealers won’t travel more than 20 miles, but we love it.”
Pat adds that it’s unusual to have a couple working and travelling together in the antiques trade. “Most of the wives of the dealers we meet work in other jobs, so they’re envious of what we’ve got,” she said. “We’re very fortunate that we both love the business so much.”