Antiques enthusiast Derek Clark, who along with his family owns Setch-based Beers of Europe, has followed his passion and opened a massive new centre devoted to treasures from the past.
The Warehouse Antiques and Collectables opened this week and its 15,000sq ft premises boasts stands and displays of more than 100 dealers while more are on waiting list. There’s already been interest from the BBC to include it as a destination on its Antiques Road Trip programme.
It is the biggest centre of its kind in Norfolk and, in East Anglia, it’s the largest to be located on a single floor, said Derek. “It’s a very attractive space with heating, carpeting and a very homely atmosphere. Because it’s on one level it also means there is access for disabled people.”
In addition to the displays the centre has a dedicated Steiff shop. Work is underway on a bar and restaurant due to be up and running early next year.
The site along Garage Lane, just off the A10 is in an ideal location, said Derek, and there is free car parking for around 100 cars. “Beers of Europe usually gets between 50-60,000 visitors a year and we are aiming to attract around 50,000 to the Warehouse too,” said Derek, an avid antiques collector himself.
The idea for the centre was prompted by his PA Fiona Harris after the warehouse next to Beers of Europe became available two years ago. “She suggested it could be used for antiques and without hesitation I put in for planning permission. This is a dream come true for me,” said Derek, who runs the family business along with wife, Carol, and sons Jason and Daniel and his wife, Kate.
“I have been interested in antiques all my life and I have a collected all manner of things from coins, stamps, ceramics, bronzes, pictures, prints, books and carved wood. What attracts me to something most is if it has been handmade and if it is an object of quality.”
Derek’s father, Reg, founded Setch business Maxview Aerials in 1964 and the business is now run by Derek’s brother Allan. Beers of Europe was founded in 2000 and occupied the building formerly owned by Maxview, but three years ago the brothers decided to split the businesses so they were operating independently.
The Warehouse Antiques and Collectables is open Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm and on Sundays and bank holidays 10am-4pm. It can be contacted on 01553 812000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org