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The West Midlands auctioneers say they are unaware of any vendor difficulties and categorically denied rumours that the Cosford Auction Rooms are to close.

Acting in response to calls from readers, who said they consigned items to the June 24-25 sale and remained unpaid, ATG contacted Trading Standards associations across the West Midlands. Shropshire Trading Standards say they have received seven complaints from consignors via Consumer Direct (of which one has now been retracted after goods were returned).

Wolverhampton Trading Standards told ATG they have had one complaint from an unpaid vendor.

Proprietor Chris Sidebotham, whose company retains the name of Randle Walker, Wolverhampton’s first auctioneering business established in 1780, said he was unaware of any unpaid vendors, but he refused to say whether or not his company used a client account to keep buyers’ and sellers’ money separate from general business accounts.

He attributes the uncertainty over the future of the firm to the landlord who has chosen to place a ‘To Let’ sign on the building in Long Lane, Cosford where they have been for ten years.

Mr Sidebotham said that while the company would be vacating the premises at the end of the year, the landlord’s preemptive actions had been “misleading and detrimental to his business”.

He anticipates his next sale will be in October.