Jon White, left, who has opened an antiques centre in a former bank building in the centre of Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire, pictured with TV antiques shows presenter Paul Martin who cut the ribbon on the centre’s opening day in late November.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Dealer Jon White is so passionate about the survival of independent high street shops that he has opened his own.

He launched Old Bank Antiques in a former bank building in the market town of Royal Wootton Bassett, near Swindon in Wiltshire.

White said: “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to bring back into use the former HSBC building in the high street which was originally the Royal Oak Hotel.

“Royal Wootton Bassett sees many visitors to the town and if our high street is to survive we need to offer them a diverse range of independent shops and businesses.”

He would like the town to become “a destination point for antiques and collectables, much like Tetbury and Hungerford are”.

White, who deals in silverware, jewellery and coins, currently has 21 display cabinets plus space for clocks, barometers and small items of furniture and – with an extra room which will soon be brought into use – still has a few cabinets left to rent at the time of writing.

Look north


Sharon Jackson, left, who has opened Vintage North in Brampton, pictured outside the building with her daughter Jessica who is also involved in this family business.

Meanwhile, much further north, a former restaurant that had lain empty for years has reopened as a centre selling vintage.

Vintage North is in the small town of Brampton, near Carlisle in Cumbria and close to Hadrian’s Wall.

Owner Sharon Jackson runs this centre which is open seven days a week with her daughter Jessica.

“We had been looking for premises for two years and had driven past the building many times which is right on our doorstep as I looked for places further afield,” said Sharon. “But it suddenly clicked and although the shop is still a work in progress with lots to do, we have lots of ideas and we’re getting there.”

Jessica added: “Brampton has such a good little vintage and antiques community that we wanted to support that.”

Charlotte Tyson, whose business sells vintage on the top floor, said: “Sharing the costs of a building makes it a more affordable way of having a small business and the place is now so full of life.”

The three-storey building has nine rooms with 15 mainly local dealers selling lots of vintage and retro pieces including textiles plus some Mid-century furniture and antique pieces.

A basement is available to open up as well and the Jacksons are keen to attract a dealer in architectural salvage.

Vintage North is on Facebook or call 07711 175263.

If you are launching a new antiques or vintage centre or have recently opened one we would love to hear from you. Email us at