The hammer is to fall for the last time at a long-established Eden auction house later this month.
As part of a restructuring process, the board of directors of Penrith Farmers’ & Kidd’s Plc has agreed to suspend the company’s auction department, based in the town’s Skirsgill.
The company blames the challenging business environment created by COVID-19.
The decision also follows the imminent departure of Michael Roberts, head of department, PFK Auctioneers, who has accepted a new role as head of fine art and furniture at Mitchells Auction Company, based in Cockermouth.
No new auction consignments, valuations or house clearance instructions are being accepted, these are instead being referred to Mitchells.
All existing consignments held at the Penrith saleroom will be sold at a final timed auction on Monday, 31st August.
Andy Blundell, of Penrith, who runs a restoration and antiques business, has used the PFK auction house to buy and sell items for the past 15 years, and described the news as very sad.
“It means that locally we now have to travel to other auction houses,” said Mr Blundell.
“I have friends who work for that auction house and I don’t know what their futures are.
“It is a place that people travel to from all over the north of England, and some even come up from the south, and for me it was one of the only times that I got to meet up with my mates.
“We are going to have to look at things differently from now on. It’s not just a five minute drive to the next auction house and some are better than others at selling certain items.
“PFK was good at selling 20th century design items, at least in recent years, while Mitchells at Cockermouth have a more antiques business while Tennants at Leyburn you would put in things that you knew the trade would want to buy. No two auction houses are the same.”