Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Article in this week's Antiques Trade Gazette.

London’s Green Party candidate has recycled antiques for years

HAVING conducted over 2000 sales, freelance auctioneer Noel Lynch is used to standing on a platform. But on May 1, he will be looking for votes rather than bids as he aims to win a seat in the London Assembly for the Green Party.

A swing of just 1.5 per cent would see Mr Lynch returned as the party's third candidate. He sat in the assembly for 13 months before losing out in the 2004 election where the Greens took 8.5 per cent of the vote.

But with environmental issues now taking greater prominence and with the Green Party averaging 13.5 per cent across the London borough elections in 2006, he is confident of returning to the chamber.

Mr Lynch told ATG that as a member of the London Assembly he would do all he could to support small shops including art and antiques traders. He described the threats to the London's antiques areas from chains and high-street fashion outlets as a scandal.

"Every bit of individuality in our city is being hammered away," he said. "If we don't do something now London will become a clone town."

He also pointed out that the antiques trade could make more of its green credentials as it has been a cornerstone of the recycling industry for centuries.

When not on the campaign trail, Noel Lynch conducts sales for Hornsey Auctions and other salerooms on a freelance basis. He also runs a collectors' charity shop in Archway Road called The Green Room, which he opened in 2005. Although primarily offering books and records, the curiosities currently on offer include a Victorian haemorrhoid removal device. Time Out described it as the "most unusual shop in London".

Having originally trained as an auctioneer in his native Ireland, Mr Lynch has lived in Britain for 21 years and been a member of the Green Party for 19 years.

He spent 12 years running The Bargain Centre in East Finchley, where he was a founder member of the East Finchley Traders Association.

"Small businesses are essential to a thriving local community," he said. "They are the glue of a community. It has even been shown that where there are many small businesses, there is less crime

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