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Jeremy Lamond.

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He decided to resign from the Shropshire auction house to relocate from Shrewsbury to south-west England with his wife Jessica, who is a professor at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol.

Lamond, 55, said: “It was not an easy decision but if I was going to move at all it had to be now. We will miss it hugely. Shropshire is a beautiful place to raise a family but our children are grown up and have recently left home so it is now time to change my wife’s commute.

“It is an unusual move for someone but this is a carpe diem moment. I will resurface in the new year after a break but I am certainly not leaving the world of fine art, antiques or auctioneering. I hope to remain on the SOFAA national committee.”

Halls is currently recruiting for a fine art director to replace Lamond who will leave the firm at Christmas.

The fine art division of Halls has 16 staff and the company is searching for someone with 10 years’ senior management experience, preferably RICS qualified.

Lamond added: “Halls is a great company to work for and I have made lasting friendships. But I am planning a new and different life.”

Lamond, previously at Phillips in Chester, joined Halls in 1996 and became head of its fine art department in 2005.

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Jeremy Lamond recently took up long distance cycling and in June completed an 86 mile ride to raise funds for children’s hospice Hope House.