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The Whitby salerooms had been run by veteran auctioneer Des Burton, but his sudden death last November gave Mr Duggleby the chance to purchase the freehold from Bairstow Eves for an undisclosed sum.

“David always had good connections in Whitby and this was a wonderful opportunity for us to expand the business, although it is sad for Des and his family,” said Jane Duggleby.

The auctioneers have retained the services of the Whitby saleroom manager Paul Hutchinson and recalled Rosie Newlyn to her former job as auction administrator. The schedule of sales will be unchanged at Scarborough, but Mr Duggleby will introduce monthly Victoriana sales at Whitby, as well as biannual picture sales focusing on local artists, such as the Staithes group.