Antiques were going for a song at Tuffins' shop; Living over a shop gave Jimmie Tuffin the chance to garner many memories, as he told Remember When back in 2000.
Byline: Jimmie Tuffin
ANTIQUES were going for a song in Middlesbrough long before Arthur Negus came along with a TV programme of the same name.
Anyone walking down Victoria Road between 1944 and 1964 would have seen Tuffins' antique shop selling articles at unbelieveable prices.
For between PS3 and PS5, you could buy a longcase clock, with chaise longues at PS6, Linthorpe pottery pieces selling for around PS1.10s and Goss ware at around a shilling. Jimmie Tuffin recalls that his parents Arthur and Nancy (nee Poole) regularly attended house sales to ensure a plentiful stock of bargains.
He recalls sales at Hilton Hall and Brackenhoe House - where the The Ladle pub was - and of his mother regularly attending sales at Dickinsons' salesroom in Saltburn and Fred Consett's salesrooms close to Middlesbrough's Tower House. Jimmie's father usually transported smaller buys back home in his Standard car, but haulier Bill Maud regularly provided his lorry for larger items.
Other antique dealers traded in the Teesside area, including Jim Phillips, of Linthorpe Road and Bruce Yuill of Hartlepool -the latter had a share with his father in a shop on Linthorpe Road before buying the old Barclays Bank on the Headland at Hartlepool. Living over the shop in Victoria Road left Jimmie with many memories of his boyhood days in Middlesbrough.
Life in the antique shop for Jimmie's mother was not an entirely new experience as her father James George Poole had established a butchery in Cannon Street. Indeed, before she and Arthur Tuffin moved into 9 Victoria Road the shop had been owned by her brother Tom and his Norwegian-born wife Selma, selling Indian and Persian carpets.
Jimmie's father left the Army after the First World War to work at the rolling mills at Lackenby, before taking the post of manager for corn merchant T O Harrison at North Ormesby.
Later, he he took a job as a representative for the Birmingham-based ice cream firm of Taccino, later to become Mr Whippy.
As for the antiques shop, the trade had changed by the time the Tuffins moved, accelerated by TV programmes like Going For a Song, which ironically diminished the chances of finding bargains, certainly not warming pans at PS1.10s or Staffordshire dogs for PS3 a pair.
| Jimmie's mother Nancy at the |counter of the family's Victoria Road antique store, above, and the exterior of the family business, right