Meet the Preston duo who supply props for TV dramas ranging from Peaky Blinders to Brassic

Yesteryear is an ever present reality for Preston siblings Jane and Simon Plum.

By Fiona Finch
Friday, 11th February 2022, 9:31 am

They grew up surrounded by memorabilia from days gone by and they've made a career out of travelling down memory lane.

The brother and sister followed in their father's footsteps in the family business Plum & Co, which specialises in vintage props, pub decor and architectural salvage.

If you watch TV you're likely to have a caught a glimpse of some of their vintage goods. Over the years Jane,60, and Simon,53, have provided props for productions ranging from Peaky Blinders, (old bottles, a load of old milk crates and carts), to Shameless, Born and Bred, Gentleman Jack and comedy drama Brassic. For Born and Bred, which was filmed in Downham, near Clitheroe, prop buyers saw the business's own junk pile and asked could that be transported and used for the series' scrapyard scenes.

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Jane and Simon Plum pictured at work Photo: Neil Cross

Plum & Co, which has been established for more than five decades, also supplied goods for the chandlery shop in the remake of the film Swallows and Amazons.

The business was started by David Plum in 1963, initially as a landscape gardening business. He soon saw the opportunity to sell antique garden furniture and ornaments too and then began buying up the interiors of about to be demolished pubs. In the early 1970s the business developed further selling architectural salvage and pub paraphernalia.

With thousands of items available to purchase or hire it's no wonder the Grimsargh based business attracts customers from home and abroad, not just from prop seekers and designers, but from individual customers too.

In their younger days the five Plum siblings all helped in the business, but now Jane and Simon run it. Simon does most of the buying and said he tends to know what people are looking for, but adds: "There's room for creativity as well in deciding what to buy, but it's usually better off knowing what people want beforehand. It's satisfying when I buy something and it goes the same day or the next day, another thing might be here for 20 years!"

Simon Plum caring for vintage stock photo: Neil Cross

Meanwhile he said: "Jane is good at all the administration and running the business."

From nautical memorabilia and stained glass to kitchenalia, books to signs, fireplaces to lampposts and vintage sports equipment, the business serves a wide if niche market. The items have been well used and are perhaps best described as "pre-loved".

Simon, a former pupil of St Cecilia's school at Longridge, is also an artist and has a fine art degree from the University of Northumbria. He said: "It was something different from what I do here."

But in recent times the vintage vibe has informed his art work too which can be seenat www.simonplum.co.uk or here. He said: "As I've got older a lot of things (from the business) here have started to come into my art work."

Jane examines glassware Photo: Neil Cross

Jane, who attended Lark Hill Convent school in Preston and took a combined science degree at Preston Polytechnic, said: " I enjoy the job. It's the interest of the things we buy and sell. A lot of the things - you can imagine the story behind them. We do have such a variety of stuff and we have such a variety of customers. I started working here in the holidays and just started working with my dad and never stopped really. We got on well, I tended to organise him a bit really, or tried to."

Growing up they were certainly surrounded by the unusual. Jane recalled: " We had an old horse drawn hearse on our lawn for a while. That went to Canada eventually."

Meanwhile barrels stored in a field by their father, who died in 2007, also provided good play equipment - despite his repeated warnings about taking care.

The duo have been in in the business long enough to see trends come and go and return, particularly in pub decor.

Part of a painting by Simon Plum inspired by the family business

But with the range of goods they stock the pair also try to be be ready for coming trends - and with their own Grand Tour of memory lane there will always be plenty to choose from.

For more about Plum & Co (website bricabrac.co.uk) see here or on Instagram see here or at www.instagram.com/plum_n_co_vintage/

For more about Born and Bred see hereTo subscribe to the Lancashire Post see here

Part of a pen and ink drawing by Simon inspired by their collections
Plum & Co founder David Plum