Kent auctioneers Hobbs Parker are to close in the New Year. After more than 50 years selling antiques and fine art in Ashford, the parent company have chosen to close the division in the face of rising rent and external competition.

The final antiques sale at Ashford Market is scheduled for Thursday, December 13, with a final clearance sale following on Thursday, January 17. The department is expected to close on January 25.

The situation appears to mirror that of North West Essex auctioneers Mullocks Wells who, as reported in the ATG, November 17, have also been dropped by their parent company of estate agents.

Other parts of the Hobbs Parker Group, who are estate agents, property consultants and plant auctioneers, remain unaffected.