“It’s the old poor house,” he explains. “It was burnt down, then rebuilt and split into two units. The front is 70 and the back is 56 but is rated as one building.”
No sooner had Blackall opened Chairman Antiques in October in the Wiltshire town, than he had to close it when the second lockdown kicked off at the beginning of November.
He grew to love antiques when he visited stately homes as a child and now specialises in furniture from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Blackall deals online via a selling platform, which is what he did before opening. “Quirky items seem in vogue,” Blackall says. “I’ve sold abroad to the US and Middle East and a lot seems to go to Scotland. Film companies buy around 15% of my stock.
“Dressers and chairs and other furniture have been selling online throughout lockdown. Brown furniture is coming back, if indeed it ever really went away.”