Antique shop officially opens in Roscommon this Saturday
“The most valuable antiques are really dear old friends” is the message on the glass door which separates Yesteryear from the outside world.
Beyond the door lies a different world entirely. A world where images of Princess Diana appear on plates close to Queen Elizabeth and Charles and Camilla.
My eyes are drawn immediately to a globe, which has been opened up along the Equator to reveal a drinks cabinet, before my attention is seized by the old cash register at the counter.
“It’s from 1905 and it’s fully functioning,” says owner, Pat Reid, after he catches me looking. “It took two of us to lift it out of the car,” he adds. Pat is originally from Dublin but made Roscommon his home almost two decades ago. He noticed my Dublin accent and asked me where I was from before apologising for my troubles when I told him. A character who will no doubt become well known amongst customers in Roscommon town!
Another adopted Rossie and Pat’s business partner, Jerry Doran, who originally hails from the horseracing town of Newbury in the UK, directs me to a piece on the nearby wall. It’s a piece of coal from the Titanic and Pat is quick to explain how it came to arrive on the Circular Road in Roscommon.
“When the Titanic sank, it broke in two around the engine room and 60,000 tonnes of coal were dumped onto the seabed. The recovery crews weren’t allowed to touch the Titanic wreckage because it was classed as a grave site so they brought the coal up instead,” he told me.
Behind the counter where Pat is sitting, I notice a small room through the glass. Pat and Jerry tell me that the shop used to be a florist’s and that they were in the process of turning the chill cabinet into a storage and display area for rare wine and champagne.
That’s the thing about Yesteryear, every nook and cranny – and there are many – has a story. Even the till has an old-style anti-fraud device to prevent turn-of-the-century rogues swindling business owners!
To describe every piece the shop has to offer would deprive visitors of the unique experience of walking through the fascinating showroom. Just some of the items on sale include China sets of all shapes and sizes, African carvings, tea sets, antiques and collectables from across the globe as well as furniture and household items such as lamps and cutlery.
“We source the items from across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe,” says Jerry. “As you can see, it’s a wide range of quality collectables at affordable prices,” adds Pat.
The shop will be officially opened by UK-based antique expert Stewart L. Hofgartner this Saturday at 12 noon. There will be refreshments and a selection of finger food available on the day and everyone is welcome to come along and see the collection of treasures for themselves on the day.