What's driven our passion
Damon Blandford Antiques has been 50 years in the making. Born the son of a design engineer, I guess I've always had an eye for design. In the early years my parents built their own house, although my memories relate more to them building a home. Whether by choice or necessity I can recall quite a few fairs, auctions, boot sales and best of all, visits to Vosper's antiques (Priory Antiques) in the nearby village of Minchinhampton. I can vividly remember the maze of rooms over several floors. It was absolutely crammed with all manner of things, furniture stacked high, countless boxes and trays of bits and bobs everywhere. It certainly wasn't like any showroom you see nowadays, it was a real treasure hunt! The narrow stair cases, the dust, the smells and the excitement of what you might find, I still get the same feelings now.
I was privileged to spend my childhood growing up in a rural environment that was best described by our then neighbour, the poet and author Laurie Lee in his book 'Cider with Rosie'. The natural environment became central to my world, fishing, walking, climbing and above all, exploring. My favorite teachers were those who told stories like the local landlord and former WW2 fighter pilot Richard Covington. I started to learn a few life lessons. I quickly discovered that being paid to clean shotguns, whilst listening to stories of aerial combat animated by various artifacts, was more enjoyable than digging up tree stumps at the farm on the other side of the valley. The link between these treasured possessions, the people and the stories that surround them fascinated me.
At 16 my rural existence and love of the outdoors led me to work on a sporting estate in the North Cotswold's but after a few seasons I started to feel isolated and decided to join the police. During the subsequent years I saw the best and worst of human nature. I became acutely aware that environment has a huge impact on the way people experience the world around them, their health, happiness and general wellbeing. I saw it fundamentally change the way people behave.
Motivated by this, I became increasingly involved in environmental design and worked for many years with architects, planners and housing providers to create places that are not only safer, but healthier, happier places to live and work.
With the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners I had the opportunity to take this work further with a focus on supporting community based activity and the rebuilding of neighbourhood policing. I retired from Gloucestershire Constabulary in 2020 with a real belief in the power of community.
The next chapter of my journey isn't entirely new, it's a passion that has been quietly developing; some would say an obsession. I retired into the global pandemic and was very quickly joined by my family working and schooling from home. It wasn't quite like Vosper's, but lets just say we had plenty of chairs for home workers. Floor space however, was becoming a little more limited!
Of course we have now had time to further develop our plans, we have a workshop, a little more storage space, a small network of highly skilled artisans, a growing network of trade contacts and people who, we aim to intrigue.
We love the community we have become a part of. We take exceptional pride in our handpicked collection of antique furniture and other decorative arts. And we hope they go some way to creating a better environment.