WHAT potential treasures and knick-knacks should we be looking out for around our homes? Angus Ashworth, presenter of the new STV series Clear Out, Cash In, shares his top tips about what is hot and what is not.


Dark wood sideboards, bookcases and tables – or undesirable "brown furniture" as it has been dubbed in some quarters of interior design – have spent recent years languishing in the doldrums.

"When people talk about 'dark furniture' and how they wouldn't want it in their house, that probably gives you an indicator of the current market," says Ashworth.

Is dark furniture still out of fashion? "It is, but there are tentative signs of recovery," he reveals. "It has started to sell again. Prices aren't going up, but it is easier to sell than what it was a couple of years ago. That is encouraging.

"I hope it does come back because there are some great value and solid bits of furniture that quite often are 100 to 150 years old. From an environmental point of view, they are incredibly green. You are not shipping new furniture around the world or manufacturing it. That is good reuse."

What are people snapping up? "Mid-century is very popular at the moment, 1960s and 1970s items, that retro look. Then the weird and wonderful. Anything quirky or a bit different is always good."

HeraldScotland: Mid-century furniture is popular Mid-century furniture is popular


"The area that people overlook is outside in the garden, sheds and garages," says Ashworth. "Quite often you will go round a house and there will be a few bits. You ask if there is anything else and people say no. Then you walk into the garden and go, 'That's a really nice planter …'

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"People seem to forget about the garden. There can be a lot of money in the outside. Ceramic and terracotta planters. Proper stone troughs. We had one job in the new series where there was a boat."


"There is a lot of nostalgia involved from a collectables point of view," he says. "Most people, when they get into their forties and fifties and their children have left the nest, that is when they start to have a bit of disposable income.

"This is often where you see the new collectible markets because that age group then starts buying back what was hot when they were kids. What we are seeing now is the early games consoles becoming very popular.

"Early Nintendo games and ZX Spectrums – that first wave of computers. They are becoming sought after and saleable. It makes sense because if you think, 'Oh, when I was a teenager …' there will be that one thing you wanted."


"Coins are a good example of what most households have tucked away," he says. "I remember as a kid, holidays before the Euro, when every country had their own currency, everybody had this pot of foreign money.

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"That in itself is probably not worth anything, but you would be surprised by how pots of money get handed down for a long time. There have been jobs where we have pulled out hugely valuable coins.

"On episode two, there were some coins that had a lot of value. If you find a gold sovereign or earlier coins that were made from silver rather than copper or nickel, there can be a lot of value. There are still a lot of coin collectors out there.

HeraldScotland: A medal and coin collection featured in new STV series Clear Out, Cash In. Picture: STV StudiosA medal and coin collection featured in new STV series Clear Out, Cash In. Picture: STV Studios

"Stamp collecting is still popular too," adds Ashworth. "Not so much the first day covers that everybody has from the post office – we see those on nearly every job we ever go to – but certainly the Victorian stamps, there is still a very strong market for those.

"There is a lot of niche market collectible areas, such as militaria and medals. Not that I advocate selling family medals, but you will find that most properties have a bit of military interest because people's grandparents or relatives will have served in the war or military at some point."


Many of us have ageing Pyrex at the back of the cupboard. Is that worth anything? "Probably not just yet but it might do in the future," says Ashworth. "With kitchenware, the TG Green Cornishware with the blue and white stripes is popular. Retro 1950s through to 1970s – bits of that are collectable."


"Vinyl has had a massive resurgence," he says. "It can sell very well. But it has to be the right names. Nearly every house will have a stack of old 78s. But it is the big names, such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, that people are after. There is a good market for vinyl if it is the right vinyl."

HeraldScotland: Vinyl records are enjoying soaring popularity. Picture: Getty ImagesVinyl records are enjoying soaring popularity. Picture: Getty Images


"Probably 95 per cent of books we see just aren't saleable," laments Ashworth. "It is sad. I am a big book lover. We have only had a telly for three years and our house is full of books. But sadly, general books don't do anything – they all end up at the charity shop.

"Leather-bound books can do OK. If they are not particularly sought-after titles because of the subject, people do buy them as a dressing piece because they look nice."


"Because my passion has always been militaria, a Victoria Cross medal group or something like that would be out of this world.

"I love a collection. It doesn't necessarily matter what that collection is, but if I go into a house and see a huge collection – it could be Regency furniture or it could be medals – I love that. When somebody has put all that time and effort into collecting something, I think that is special.

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"We have sold a few collections. That is always a bit of an honour when people want to sell their life's collection through you."

Clear Out, Cash In continues on STV, Wednesdays, 8pm. Catch up now on STV Player