Auctioneers hold their last sale
MORE than a century of history came to an end in Dunmow on Monday as Mullucks Wells auctioneers held its last antique and art auction in Chequers Lane. The auction rooms will close on January 1 because the company has decided to put more resources into ho
MORE than a century of history came to an end in Dunmow on Monday as Mullucks Wells auctioneers held its last antique and art auction in Chequers Lane.
The auction rooms will close on January 1 because the company has decided to put more resources into housing to profit on the boom in the area.
The auctions have become synonymous with Great Dunmow's history as the site has been trading since 1886, said chairman Tim Trembath.
"It's a sad day mainly for the staff," he said. "From small beginnings when we used to do three sales a year, the place has grown into what it is today. But the figures read the same as they did 10 years ago, indicating that there is no growth in the market."
The auction site was originally used as a cattle market before it was closed in 1969 due to a lack of business.
Mr Trembath said: "Just like when it was a cattle market, the product value dropped and it came to a natural end, the same is happening here and with auction rooms all over the country as well.
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"There are now no auctions in Braintree, Chelmsford or Dunmow.
"The building's lease had run out, but we made the decision to close purely on economic reasons."
The internet is largely to blame according to Mr Trembath, who said: "It is a sign of the times as technology takes over, sites like eBay are taking over.
"I'll be sad to see it go, but business wise it's the right decision to make."
Jobs at the company are now rumoured to be in the balance when the closure happens on January 1.
Mr Trembath has worked at the site for 35 years and has seen people come from all over the country to attend the auctions.
He recalled: "I think the most expensive item I remember selling was a Silver Charles II tankard that sold for £28,000."
The sale rooms also hold fond memories for many people said Mr Trembath: "I remember selling a Chinese Imari plate 20 years ago.
It dated back to the 1600s and fetched £7700.
"The seller cried when she heard how much because it saved her from moving home."
News of the closure appeared to have spread to many punters already as the crowd swelled for the final auction.
"We must have had more than 250 people there, not everyone could get in," said one.
The usual crowd for an auction of this type would be about 150 Mr Trembath told The Broadcast.
"We will continue do business in Great Dunmow. It is sad to lose the tradition but it is a wise business decision," he said.
- DO YOU have fond memories of bygone years at the auction rooms? Have you ever sold or bought anything there?
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