This memoir, written by a former partner of Peacocks, the Bedford firm of estate agents, auctioneers and surveyors, covers the years 1902-1988 and draws on a wide variety of sources, many from his own collection, including property instruction books, business ephemera and auctioneers' handbooks. The volume is introduced by Richard Moore-Colyer. Moore-Colyer explores the history of auctioneering in England from the seventeenth century, when auctions were conducted very differently. The so-called 'English Method' of auctioneering, noted by Samuel Pepys in 1660, involved an inch of lit candle. The person offering the final bid before the candle burned to its base and the flame gutted became the purchaser of the item under auction. Moore-Colyer also discusses topics such the growth of the art market, the dispersal of the great country estates, the development of livestock markets and Second World War Ministry of Defence sales. Of lasting value to local, family and social historians is the appendix of all known property auction records undertaken by Peacocks. KEITH LAZENBY was born in Bedford in 1932. His father had come to the town in 1917 to work for W. H. Allen Sons and Company Ltd as a draughtsman. His father knew Harry Peacock of W. and H. Peacock, and Keith was articled to the company in 1948. This was the start of a fifty-nine-year career with the business. Keith was made a partner in 1964.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Auctions and Auction Houses in England: a brief history The Beginning Horne Lane Sale Yards, Bedford10 Lime Street, Bedford The Sale Rooms, Lime Street, Bedford6 Dame Alice Street, Bedford58 St Loyes Street, Bedford26 Newnham Street, Bedford Baldock and the A1 Offices Property Auction Sales Surveys Lettings and Property Management Advertising and Publicity Fun and Games Ministry of Supply Sales, Peacock, Merry and Swaffield The Egg Packing Station, Bedford The Rutland Road Store, Bedford121 - 123 Midland Road, Bedford, Bartle Potter & Son The Surveyors 1921 Club W. & H. Peacock Reborn Appendices Works Cited