Vintage Surf meet 2019 coming soon !

Vintage Surf meet 2019 coming soon !
Free to take part
We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines .
Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive

Monday, 11 July 2011

Jason at the Antiques roadshow

Well done to Jay for being the first to get vintage boards featured on that last bastion of Britishness the Antiques roadshow. More known for showing 18th century teacups and granny's jewels, the show must have had a wake up call when Jay arrived with not one but twenty boards ! for the collectors slot, which was filmed last weekend at Hartland Abbey in north devon. This show is well watched by the generation which has dusty old boards in the attic or shed so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Jay picks up the story ......

'A few weeks ago while reading the local news paper I noticed an advert for the 'BBC Antiques Roadshow' which was to take place at Hartland Abbey, near the North Devon coast.
Hartland Abbey is most recently famous for hosting Prince Williams stag night, with Prince William spending a bit of time surfing at semi-secret spot near the Abbey.
I decided to send the BBC an email asking if they would be interested featuring some vintage surfboards, and to be honest I didn't think anything would come of it, how wrong I was!
They got back to me with a standard email asking for pictures of the boards and informing me that a research team would be in the area soon and might get in contact me. Friday night (the week before the show was to be filmed), a very nice lady called Penny from the Antiques Roadshow rang me to ask me if she could view my boards the following day. Although I was two hundred miles away at the time, I hastily re-arranged another meeting ( only three days before the Roadshow).

I arrived at Hartland Abbey at 10am with my partner Lisa and the Mother-in-law Sue (who had been dragged to the Roadshow on her birthday!) with my appointment card in hand, (there was no three hour que for us), we met up with the producer and other BBC staff who had a quick look at the surfboard loaded van, sized me up and said I was going to be the first person to be featured on the Antiques Roadshow with vintage surfboards, and suddenly I got a feeling of excitement and total nausea all rolled in to one.

We were invited into the' BBC staff only' tea room inside the Abbey where we spotted Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce, and I had to go into the make-up department, yes I said make-up (don't tell anyone), and off I was to meet the set manager and decide which was the best way to display the boards, and after a bit of toing and froing they decided to use the my rusty trusty van as a prop.

Once the boards where ready the lovely Hilary Kay, the 'miscellaneous expert' of the Roadshow strode on to set and charmed everybody. There were three camera's in place, the sound lady had put my microphone on, the technical people had done technical things (?) and a crowd of around seventy people encircling us, well that’s when the nerves really kicked in, at that moment a drop at maxing Pipeline seemed more appealing! I suddenly had a very dry mouth and the uncontrollable shaking began. I needn't have worried as Hilary was a true professional and had done enough research to know the difference between a Gun and a Fish, and it wasn’t a detailed talk on all aspects of British surfboard design, more a general overview, whats's least/most I have paid for a board, what's my favourite board, what's the Holy Grail in British vintage surfboard collecting ( The Britannia Bilbo of course!) .

Hilary didn't attempt to value the boards and freely admitted I problay knew more about the boards value than her. After twenty minutes of filming, which will be condensed to 3-4 minutes for the show, it was all over and Hilary very kindly said yes to joining me and one of the Bilbo's in a quick photo. Show how I had survived!

I would like to thank all the Antiques Roadshow staff we met who were so helpful and friendly to us, and to my long suffering partner Lisa and her Mum for spending another sunny day surrounded by vintage surfboards. I just hope that with a lot of careful editing they may stop looking the kook I really am!'

Nice one Jay, sounds a full on day but well worth it !


  1. The board with the full mural if it has two ding repairs on the bottom that don't match the colour, I did that some time in the mid 70's
    good to see some recogintion to british surfing

  2. hi thats a Circle one by Jeff townsley, with twin keel/ bonzer type fins if that helps your memory, and it has a bum on !

  3. Alas not, mine was identical mural but a single fin with real hard down rails the length probably 7-2 / 7-4.