Antiques Roadshow expert to speak on history of wine glasses at Southwold Arts Festival

Andy McConnell will speak at the Southwold Arts Festival. Picture: Courtesy of Southwold Arts Festiv

Andy McConnell will speak at the Southwold Arts Festival. Picture: Courtesy of Southwold Arts Festival - Credit: Archant

For fans of Antiques Roadshow and curiosities made from glass will be in for a treat at Southwold Arts Festival with Andy McConnell due to speak at the event.

Mr McConnell will be recognised by many from his regular appearances on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow as their specialist expert on antique glass.

He is due to visit the festival with a talk on the story of wine on Monday, June 25 at 7.30pm, with his talk entitled Bottoms Up! The Story of Wine, it's Rituals and Glasses'.

Once a student at Framlingham College and a regular visitor to Southwold to meet up with fellow students at St Felix School, Mr McConnell knows the area well.

Chris Ure, publicity manager for Southwold Arts Festival said: 'Andy will be visiting the Southwold Arts Festival this year to provide a fascinating talk on the story of wine, and also the way in which creative art relates to the design, value and prestige of drinking vessels.'

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Mr McConnell and his wife, Helen, run a shop called Glass Etc in Rye, Sussex, which sells antique and 20th century glass and is housed in a former Salvation Army chapel.

It draws on Mr McConnell's collection of around 30,000 pieces, spanning between 1750 and 1980 and reflects his attitude to life.

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He said: 'Misery, moaning and frowns are officially banned at Glass Etc. Our policy is to avoid the pompous 'do-not-touch' atmosphere of old Fogey antique shops.

'Chairs are provided to take the weight off your feet, tea or coffee is provided when things are quiet, and the music is tuned just loud enough to allow discreet conversations.'

On his specialism he said: 'Glass is serious stuff but, boy, it can be a dry subject so I love to have fun with it, and try not to take myself too seriously.

'I'm a trained journalist who studied English, Art and History at school and I find it amazing that I'm still studying exactly the same subjects past retirement age!'

Full details and tickets are available online at, over the phone on 01502 722572, or can purchased at the daytime box office at Southwold Arts Centre, Cumberland Road, Southwold, which is open Monday to Saturday from 12 noon until 3pm.

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