Knick Knacks have appeared on TV again, this time in an episode of Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. Former members of Blue, Duncan James and Anthony Costa were the celebrities. (BBC 2 Series 11 Episode 8)
Duncan James was paired with Ochuko ‘Chuko’ Ojiri and Anthony Costa with Arusha ‘Roo’ Irvine.
Duncan purchased a decorated metal Indian vase from Knick Knacks’ owner Brian (above). Unfortunately the vase failed to get off the mark at the auction.
The celebrities also visited nearby Clearwell Caves, where owner Jonathon explained the ancient custom of Freemining to Duncan and Chucko – who were then kitted out with helmets, lights and overalls.
Duncan tested his skills with a hammer and chisel on a cavern roof to mine a little ochre. The ochre is a great source of natural colour and is now used mainly by artists.
A ”Colour Works” that used at least some of the local ochre operated in nearby Milkwall in the 1900’s employing a handful of people.
These days, no iron ore is mined in the Forest of Dean as all viable deposits have been exhausted.