Antiques Road Trips Roo Irvine gets goosebumps as she recalls finding poignant antique

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Roo Irvine opened up about discovering a poignant antique when she was shadowing another Antiques Road Trip expert during a candid interview on the podcast, Things I Forgot Were Good For Me. The BBC star revealed she once discovered a wristwatch which stopped the moment an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, in Japan. As she recounted the story of how she found the antique, she started to get “goosebumps”. 

During the podcast interview, Roo explained: “I find more of a connection with nature sometimes than I do with people. 

“But with antiques, I really believe each piece takes on the memories of that person and as they are passed from person to person to person, which is the nature of an antiques because they are preloved.

“I think the item itself gets richer because it’s not layered in memories and experiences and joy.”

She went on to say one of her favourite things in the world of antiques is Georgian glass which could be 350 or 200 years old.

Roo exclaimed: “I have a few pieces myself but what I love about drinking is that it is very much an emotive thing, so you can imagine about 300 years ago with the beautiful glasses which have survived, people would be drowning their sorrows or toasting to good news.”

“It’s very much an emotional connection as people drink for a reason, so it’s like the emotions are within that glass to me,” she added. “I guess I kind of see the magic in antiques.” 

Roo also revealed one of the first-ever antiques she owned was when she was shadowing another Antiques Road Trip expert in a barn in the middle of nowhere. 

Describing the item, Roo said: “Tucked away in a glass cabinet was a watch in a glass box, it was a wristwatch, and it stopped at 8.16am on August 6, 1945, the exact second that Hiroshima was hit. 

“Even now, talking about it, I have goosebumps. If ever there was a moment frozen in time, it was that moment. 

“We will never know who the wearer was or what was going through their mind at that second.” 

Roo recalled the price tag for the item was huge but said “you cannot put a price on something like” because “it’s a reminder of what happened”. 

She joked saying many people believe antiques are just items people’s grandparents have in their attics but stressed that is far from the case. 

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“Even brass candle sticks, we don’t realise some are 250 years old and were the only way to provide light,” Roo explained. 

“They could have provided light to a widow in the 18th Century or used to write love letters or letters of sadness through the candlelight. 

“It’s far too easy for people to see things like wallpaper and gloss over them.” 

The antiques enthusiast said it was too easy for people to walk by treasures and not realise their significance. 

Roo said: “In a way, we become richer ourselves because the memories and I always think we are born a blank canvas and everyone we meet adds a brush stroke of colour to your canvas.” 

“With antiques, you have to look at the world they were created in,” she added. 

As well as starring in Antiques Road Trip, Roo owns Kilcreggan Antiques in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. 

Antiques Road Trip episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer. 

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