ALAN: Q’s & A’s

Q1. When did you start working at Biddle & Webb and what was your job role?

Ans. ”I started working at Biddle & Webb 47 years ago (1969) on an Easter Tuesday. When walked through the door I was given a pen, pad and chalk and started cataloguing! The first thing I catalogued was a van filled with brand new shoes.’’ 

Q2. How old were you when you started?

Ans. ‘‘I started working at Biddle & Webb when I was 21 years old.’’

Q3. What were your first thoughts when you walked into the auction house?

Ans. ‘‘I had one whole room to catalogue and was thinking how fast can I get the job done as I couldn’t catalogue too slowly. When I was 15 I worked in a little antiques shop after I left school. Then one day I came to Biddle & Webb to purchase furniture and was approached with a job at the auction; and I accepted.’’

Q4. How has the auction changed since?

Ans. ‘‘When I first started, customers came in and helped one another and knew of each other; now customers are on the internet and new faces always enter the auction house. There was more of an atmosphere, internet has changed everything.’’

Q5. What was the first thing you valued?

Ans. ‘‘I started valuing 25 years ago, I was mainly valuing contents in houses’’

Q6. What is the strangest thing you have valued?

Ans. ‘‘when we went into one house there were two small marble busts which sold for 6,000! A formula one speed boat with a lorry sold for £15,000 about 20/30 years ago. I’ve seen E-Type Jaguars enter the auction, Rolls-Royces, Lotus cars, many good things over the years.’’

Q7. What was your best experience?

Ans. ‘‘Everyday was different but the best part was meeting people, you learn more by speaking and listening to people.’’

Q8. If you were given £1000 what would you spend it on at the auction house?

Ans. ‘‘Anything Religious’’

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