No sooner had the antique desks in Cumbria’s salerooms been put back on show than down came the snow – again.
At the end of November, the heavy snow made auctions impossible in many parts of the country. Now, it’s happening all over again, putting a further dent in sales. However, those hoping to buy or sell Victorian dining chairs in Preston before Christmas shouldn’t give up hope yet. Auctioneers in the North are a resilient lot, after all.
Sometimes, though, a determined gavel isn’t enough. On December 4th, Border Auctions was forced to postpone their sale at Hawick following 14” of snow in one night. A.E Dowse, of Sheffield, were forced to cancel a sale for the first time in the company’s 95-year history. Like Border’s, it went ahead on December 11th.
Others were more resilient. In West Yorkshire, Calde Valley Auctioneers left a message on their phone saying their weekend sale was going ahead no matter what. It had to be an automated message – no-one could get in to man the phone lines.
In Colwyn Bay, Roger Jones and Co had a problem with the intense cold during their marathon auction of 560 lots, so they brought in several powerful electric heaters. Unfortunately, this blew the fuses, causing a power failure. The auction continued in the café across the road until the problem was fixed.
Antique dealers in Cumbria with Victorian dining chairs and antique desks to sell are taking a leaf out of Edinburgh auctioneer Thomas Roddick’s book. When he heard the road to his winter sale was blocked, he cleared it himself, with a shovel. It took him three days – but he didn’t lose a single bidder.
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