How long have you been in the antiques and vintage business for?
A thousand years [laughs]. It feels that way sometimes. I’ve been in the business since I was seventeen, so it’s been around forty years now.
It really is a life-long passion then! Have you always sold at markets or have you owned your own storefronts in the past?
I was a trader at Ingliston Market back in the day, which was a whole different world. I did also own a few shops; at one point I was operating three, two of which were in the New Town in Edinburgh.
That must have kept you busy! I know that your brother, Johnny, is also in a similar business here at Errol, so the passion for antiques must just run in the family. How is that working relationship?
Yes, we’re totally separate with our own clients, but back in the day we did trade together!
And you recently had an exciting purchase from a particular celebrity (that we’re not allowed to mention yet)! On the day you mentioned to me that you’ve been involved in a few televised projects regarding your business. What have these experiences been like?
To be completely honest, behind the scenes it can be quite staged. They make you do the same takes over and over again. The main benefit is not so much the publicity, but the amount of interesting people I’ve been able to meet. I mean, I have clients I can’t even name!
One I can name is Tim Wonnacott [TV presenter of shows such as Bargain Hunt]. He was actually also a regular client of my brother. He’d always come up to his stall and buy bits and pieces off him- he’s a great fan of fossils.
Sounds like you’ve got some friends in high places! So what’s been your most memorable item in your collection that you’ve sold on?
There’s been so many. One that sticks in my mind is a painting I had by a man named Jack Hoggan, who you might know better as Jack Vettriano [British painter of best-selling images such as The Singing Butler]. This was 23 years ago, and it was an original, signed before he’d changed his name.
That’s so cool! Do you remember what the painting was of?
Yeah, it was of a little boy pushing around a small boat- I think it was called “Boating”.
You’ve had a very extensive and interesting career clearly, so can I ask what it was that was it that originally attracted you to trade with us at Errol?
To be honest with you, I just wanted to try it out! And I’m still here!
A very candid answer, and as good a reason as any! So finally, what’s your fondest or funniest memory at Errol?
Probably when I tried to put up a picture in my unit and fell on top of all of my stock.
[Kevin’s partner interjects: Soapstone palace!]
Oh, yeah, I had a wee soapstone palace that needed restoration. There were only a few things that needed patching up, but in my infinite wisdom I decided to press on it while the glue wasn’t quite set and squeezed it to pieces. We’re still finding bits of it in our unit now!