Couple take the plunge and open an antique bath business
Stewart and Kim Joyce have taken the plunge, and opened an antique bath business in Marlborough.
Antique Bathrooms of Ivybridge & Marlborough buys and refurbishes cast iron roll top bathtubs before selling them on to plumbers, interior designers, hoteliers, Lords and Ladies, and regular homeowners looking for an authentic tub for an older home.
"The baths all date from the late 19th or early 20th century," explained Stewart, and are English or French in origin.
"The baths are re-enamelled, primed, and polished. The finish colour is the customer's choice."
It’s a lengthy process: the 12 steps take around four weeks to complete.
The firm, which also sells antique and reproduction bathroom accessories, has been trading since 1991 and is well established in the South West. Stewart and Kim, who live in Swindon, moved the business to Marlborough after they bought the company from friends earlier this year.
Marlborough was chosen as a location because of the number of period properties in the area, and to benefit from easy access to London, where many of the finished baths go.
Around 15 to 20 baths pass through the firm's hands every month, and they aren't always in the best condition when they arrive.
"Recently we had a French double-ended bath which had been in a barn for 25 years. We've found baths used as planters in gardens and cattle feeders in fields, but it's not often we can't restore these working antiques."
The showroom can be found at the Elcot Lane Trading Estate in Marlborough. For full details, log on to www.antiquebaths.com