A group of antiques’ dealers who were made homeless from the grounds of Woburn Abbey are celebrating the opening of a new venture in the heart of the village.
Antiques Roadshow pundit, journalist and dealer John Bly and 30 others have banded together to form The Antiques Association in a fabulous five storey Georgian townhouse in Market Place.
And on Friday morning the dealers, who have taken over two floors, opened its doors to the public.
They had all, along with others, been long term residents of the Woburn Antiques Centre, which operated out of former stables on the Abbey estate.
Earlier this year the dealers were given the shock news that the building was closing on Sept 1.
The Centre was opened in 1967 by Nicole Milinaire, wife of the 13th Duke of Bedford.
“She rescued a load of shop fronts from businesses being torn down in the Old Kent Road and had them taken to Woburn where they formed the shop windows of the various antiques outlets,” said John.
“But I love this new building. I used to pass it and hope that one day I could open a business there.”
Anna Maggs, one of the longest residents, decided to find new premises and ask many of the other dealers to join her.
“I’d had a shop there for 23 years and it was a shock to be given our marching orders. We didn’t want to go anywhere else. We all love Woburn.
“This is an ideal location for us. We’re on the main road, opposite the auction rooms so this has become the antiques quarter of Woburn”.
The Antiques Association is open seven days a week.