Local Face: Sally Turner

  |  Published: Jan 1st 2009
Sally Turner

Sally Turner "ran away" from her Cheltenham home and ended up running her own antiques shop in Wendover High Street.

It has been a fascinating journey. "I was 22 at the time" says Sally. She was encouraged by her father, who with Sally's mother, had an antiques business and thought it would be good for her to get out on her own. He was proved to be right. Sally went to London where she slept on the floor of a friend's mother's house. The day after her arrival she landed her first job in antiques at Halcyon Days in Brook Street. And although the owner ran it like a "finishing school" and was very strict, it was good training. Two years later she opened her first antiques shop in Chelsea Pimlico Road borrowing all the money. They had to put in offers as there was a race for the lease, and Sally won by £500 and laughs that the people who lost out to her now run a fabulous shop in Bond Street. Running the little shop proved very hard work. She did all the big fairs and many one day fairs, working until two or three in the morning, sleeping on the shop floor and then was up at five to pack the van for the next fair. But Sally has no regrets and she certainly wouldn't want to be in Bond Street today.

Her home is definitely in Wendover where she lives with her daughter and their rescue dog, Mollie, who is also a familiar Wendover face.

By 1988 she had left Pimlico and via Haddenham moved her business into Hogarth House, High Street, Wendover, where, once again she was occasionally sleeping on the floor as she started to build the now familiar business which had previously been run as a map and print shop.

A year later, in 1989 Sally's life took a happy and dramatic turn when she met the man who was to become her husband: Georgian furniture expert Robert Major, who ran his own business in Kensington.

However, her happiness was cut short when Robert died in 2000. Sally says they had a great time together and were very happy. For two years after Robert's untimely death, Sally not only ran her own Wendover business, but continued with her late husband's West London shop.

She got Mollie as company at that time. Mollie had been found in a shed with three other dogs that had been shot dead, so she is well and truly a rescue dog. Sixteen year old Mollie can be seen in the village regularly with one of her walkers, Alan Cebula, who has been working for Sally Turner Antiques for almost all of its 20 years in Wendover. Norman Hillwood (now retired) volunteered his services each morning and evening. "It would have been very hard to manage without them and my wonderful team."

As the "runaway" Sally Turner now enters her 21st year in the village, It is a long way from her first job at Halcyon Days and the 'finishing school.'

"Wendover has been great for me. I have always loved this shop though for the first few years it was very tough." There comes a time when you have to re evaluate your life and Sally stopped the fairs in 2002. She has made some great friends here and looks forward to another 20 years in the village.

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