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Antiques expert quits to tell tale of Indian princess

By Nick Humphreys | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

An antiques expert is hanging up her magnifying glass after more than 40 years to write about her Indian princess great-great grandmother.

June Pettitt of Gemini Antiques and John Ridgway from the Old Mill Antiques Centre

June Pettitt, 83, has been a familiar face in the world of historic collectables in Shropshire and the Black Country for many years, having had her own shop in Wolverhampton city centre and having traded out of a Bridgnorth store for many years.

She will now be focusing her time on writing more novels, including her next tale Just Jessie.

"My great-great grandmother was an Indian princess and my great-great grandfather was in the army there when he met her," she said,

"They came across to live in the Black Country. I'm writing her life story. They were quite poor here and found it difficult because there were no Indian people her back then."

She has already published three novels and several books of poetry. Her first novel, Last of the Strawberries, will very shortly be followed by its sequel, Apples in the Dust.

As she brings down the hammer on her antiques career, June looked back on how it all started.

She said: "I was an artist and I kept making a mess in the house, getting paint on the TV knobs and everything. So I opened a shop in Bilston Road in Wolverhampton as a studio. People started bringing things in and it ended up becoming an antique shop. We sold all sorts, we used to do house clearances."

After several years, she eventually set up within Old Mill Antiques Centre in Low Town, Bridgnorth, and became even more well known within the industry, once meeting TV expert David Dickinson, but she wouldn't let him get his hands on any of her finds.

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She said: "We talked about whether I'd picked up anything that I wanted to sell at auction, but sometimes I like to keep things I like."

She added that she will miss the Old Mill and owner John Ridgway, saying that the staff were "like family" to her.

June, of Wightwick, Wolverhampton, is also known for her charity work, and once received an award for being inspirational from disability charity Scope for breaking through the pain barrier to walk the Great Wall of China 20 years ago. Her now husband James popped the question and they became engaged at the highest point of the wall.

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Bridgnorth.

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