AUCTIONEERS across Britain showed a remarkable degree of stoicism as they battled to hold sales while knee-deep in snow. Fortunately it was a relatively quiet time of the year for the sales calendar.
The hard-hit south of England saw Lawrences of Crewkerne forced to close their doors on Wednesday, January 6, in the wake of close to 20 hours of snowfall. They announced that they would re-open the following day and rescheduled their antiques and general sale for January 13.
Godstone Auctions of Surrey expected to put off their weekly sale on Thursday and were contacting clients to let them know, while Greenslade Taylor Hunt of Taunton anticipated a postponement of their antiques and collectors sale until January 21.
“The poor pre-Christmas weather affected consignments and current conditions mean we haven’t had many people into view,” said a spokesman. Likewise Gorringes of Lewes announced the cancellation of their general sale at the Garden Street salerooms scheduled for Monday, January 11. While the weather might have improved by then, access to the building had been severely compromised in the days before the sale. It will now be held on January 18.
George Kidner of Lymington in the New Forest – a particularly hard-hit area – remained upbeat.
“We seem to better off than most of the people around us, as far as the snow is concerned,” they said. They went ahead with their Thursday, January 7 sale, having brought in more phone lines and taken a lot more commission bids.
Orpington Sale Rooms in Kent announced that they would be going ahead with their Thursday sale “regardless”, while Dickins of Middle Clayden in Buckinghamshire – one of an increasing number of UK salerooms offering live bidding via the internet to clients who choose not to attend a sale in person – thought that they should be able to hold their two-day sale on the Friday and Saturday.
In Cirencester, Moore Allen and Innocent declared the roads “passable” with care on Wednesday, and hoped to be able to go ahead with their Friday sale, but over in Kent, auctioneers were less certain. With heavy snowfall predicted for Wednesday afternoon, Rye Auction Galleries thought they might have to postpone their Friday sale until Monday, while Canterbury Auction Galleries said they would review plans for their Saturday sale.
ATG advises those readers planning to attend fairs and auctions to phone ahead before travelling.
THE following salerooms have been affected by the recent adverse weather conditions:
• Clevedon Salerooms have had to cancel their fortnightly sale of antique and quality furnishings, collectables and jewellery on January 21. Weather permitting, they will be back on track for February 4. Tel: 01934 830111.
• Dreweatts’ Godalming rooms have postponed their January 20 sale until January 27.
• Toovey’s of Washington in West Sussex have condensed their scheduled January three-day sale of antiques, art and collectors’ items into a two-day sale on Thursday and Friday, January 28-29.
• Gorringes of Lewes are to move their fine sale back by one week from February 3-4 to February 10-11 with viewing now on the 5th, 6th and 8th.