Saltburn antique expert who overcame brain surgery celebrates shop's milestone

An antique expert who overcame brain surgery is celebrating one year since opening her shop.

Clare Smith, of Saltburn, opened Vintage by the Sea in 2023 after completing a masters in antiques at Lancaster University in 2016. The 57-year-old took the plunge and opened the Marske store on April 29 after previously operating online.

Despite undergoing surgery for intracranial hypertension (a build-up of pressure around the brain) in 2014, Miss Smith is looking to the future and has plans to expand she shop. The ex ICI worker left her job as a legal advisor several years ago due to her poor health and is now thriving.

She said: "I left due to ill health and and became self employed in the antiques trade. At the same time I was caring for my mam for about 15 years, but she sadly passed away a couple of years ago. It's been hard as the antiques trade is going through a difficult phase especially with the cost of living but It's a good spot to be in.

"The reaction has been really positive and it's going really well. I'm thinking in the next year I might make part of the shop into a coffee area and expand it.

Miss Smith is following in the footsteps of her great grandfather who was an antique dealer in Scotland. The antique shop owner specialises in silver but says The Wynd shop has a variety of antiques including jewellery, furniture and collectibles.

Last August, the shop was even filmed for the BBC's Antiques Road Trip for a Children in Need special. Expert Margie Cooper selected items to go to auction which included an 18th century gold locket and antique broaches.

Miss Smith is now keen to expand the dog friendly shop and is developing a new website. She would also like to open a shop in Saltburn in the future.