Anita Manning - Entrepreneur and West Ender extraordinaire.
Now a familiar face on the BBC's antique show Flog it, Anita Manning has had considerable impact in a predominantly male oriented trade, where she has fought to introduce a new philosophy into the auction rooms. A dealer with 20 years 'know-how' she had plenty of experience of the auction world and wanted to introduce the private buyer to something more accessible - bringing a new dimension into buying.
This she has done with great success and much aplomb, surrounded by a willing and knowledgeable (if slightly eccentric) team and including her lovely daughter Lala. Whether you are one of the dealers, who flock from all parts of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales with serious aims in mind, or if you are just there for the fun of it, you will not be disappointed.
Valuations are carried out at Great Western Auction saleroom any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 10am-4pm. No appointment is required. Simply bring your items and the appropriate valuer will be happy to meet with you. So if you have treasure in the attic dig it out.
Anita was made for this stage, winning and witty, glamourous and gritty, she has not been labelled the 'Golden Gavel' without cause. The toast of the Fred McAuley Show (every morning on Radio Scotland) she put her talents to good use - pulling in the punters and making the sales user friendly and pure theatre. There has been an elimination of the rarefied atmosphere of the bigger auction houses. You can relax and enjoy the sale and bid for anything from a box of pots from a house clearance to a Georgian Bureau. Spend a fiver or five thousand - you will always go away happy and be back for more.
The special picture sales are a major attraction and Great Western Auctions is the largest non-specialist seller of paintings in Great Britain. You can find late 19thc and early 20thc paintings and many of the works of Scottish contemporary artists such as John Byrne, John Bellamy, Peter Howson, Mary Gallagher and Des Gorman.
The choice of goods at the auctions is exhaustive with approximately 1000 lots - jewellery, silver and plate, ceramics and collectables, rugs and furniture. The catalogue provides a guide to pricing if you are uncertain and staff are very friendly and helpful. They are enthusiastic and really love what they are doing. Anita says "We love the stuff and we love the job". You will love Anita - a Scotswoman with a vision.
A bonus is getting to see other interesting West Enders - Dorothy Paul is a regular and Robbie Coltrane bought a settee there and Val Atkinson from 'World in Action' was thrilled with a Rennie Mackintosh style bedroom suite.
Better than the best soap on the box and you get to join in the fun - don't risk being anywhere else when the auction is on.
Great Western Auctions, 1291 Dumbarton Road, Whiteinch, Glasgow G14 9UY
Tel : 0141 954 1500
Fax : 0141 954 8866
Pat Byrne, 2005
In February, 2016, Jim and I spent a lovely evening with Anita at OranMor at the Unveiling of Portrait of David MacLennan
Catch Anita and her daughter Lala on their trip to Iceland in Scottish Passport (2012) You Tube