North west Essex auctioneers Mullocks Wells are to close by the end of the year. Their Monday, November 19 sale of fine art and antiques will go ahead as planned but is likely to be the last at the Dunmow Sale and Auction Rooms.

Mullocks Wells, estate agents and chartered surveyors who have offices in Bishop’s Stortford, Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Thaxted, merged with Trembath Welch of Great Dunmow in 2004. Trembath Welch, a typical country multi-practice firm of surveyors serving Essex and the surrounding counties, had been holding sales since 1886 when the firm was called JM Welch and Son.

However, Mullocks Wells’ chairman Tim Trembath told ATG that the auction business had struggled in recent years and now represented only four per cent of the firm’s total business. He said that a slimmer operation, that did not have to carry the overheads of a larger corporation, is currently being considered by some of the outgoing staff.

The saleroom, a valuable site in the middle of the Essex market town, is owned by a trust.

By Roland Arkell