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Keith opened his shop in the market square of Stow-on-the Wold, Gloucestershire, in the beginning of the 1980s with his wife Pat.

He will be remembered for his great depth of knowledge of early pewter, brass and oak; also his association with Danny Robinson of Key Antiques, Chipping Norton.

The pair travelled tens of thousands miles a year attending auctions in every part of the UK – such was their regular presence that they were known as the ‘Bookends’ by their fellow dealers.

Keith was a BADA dealer for nearly 50 years, his stock reflecting his love of colour and surface and originality.

I knew Keith for 45 years. I’m not going to pretend he was always an easy man to do business with – he could be rather blunt and stubborn at times – but if he respected and liked you then he could be very kind. Under his gruff Nottinghamshire exterior he was quite sentimental and keen to encourage and help young enthusiastic dealers in the trade.

For the last 10 years of his life he had been in some discomfort and pain from his illness but he never wished to give up trading. Even when he was in hospital for the last time he was phoning around the trade to see if anyone had found anything of interest for him to buy.

His loves in life were his wife Pat and family, jazz (he was a very good and enthusiastic jazz trombonist) and the antiques trade.

What a wonderful lesson to take from Keith: never give up, never retire.

From Terry Sparks, Red Lane Antiques