THE owner of Ryedale Auctioneers is aiming to build on a year which “exceeded all expectations” when he holds his first major sale of 2012.
Angus Ashworth is expecting up to 200 visitors at the auction house in Kirkbymoorside later this month with a further 200 customers online for the Militaria and Sporting Sale and Toy and Train Sale.
The scale of interest is a phenomenal achievement for the former Ryedale School pupil who started the business at Cook’s Yard on New Road just over a year ago.
Originally operating as a one man band, demand was such that he has since employed three people full-time with a further six working on show days.
“The first year exceeded all expectations,” said Angus, 27. “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits with the level of stuff coming in and the amount of buyers. We had nearly 3,000 clients on the books which is a lot for a first year.
“We thought it would take a few years to get to the level we are at now – not a few months.”
The auction house holds general sales every second Saturday while Angus is determined to continue building on specialist sales which attract internet bidders from as far afield as China, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Russia.
First up is the Militaria and Sporting Sale on Saturday, February 18.
Among the lots are six motorbikes, including a Harley Davidson, farming bygones and railwayana such as a station clock with a double fusee movement.
The next day will see Ryedale Auctioneers’ first ever dedicated Toy and Train Sale, the highlight of which is a private collection of O Gauge and OO Gauge model trains from companies including Marklin, Hornby, Bing and Trix.
“It’s an interesting sale with a great mix of items to suit everybody,” said Angus, “We have some superb examples of model trains. It’s really a privilege to be an auctioneer and get an auction like that. You don’t get many jobs like this in a career.”
But who knows what the future will bring with two more Militaria and Sporting Sales planned this year along with a second Toy and Train Sale and three Antiques and Fine Arts Sales – alongside the regular General Sales.
Businesswise, the finishing touches are being made to a first floor extension where more lots can be held and Angus is looking to tweak certain areas to make it run more smoothly.
“This year will be spent fine tuning the business,” he said. “We have learnt some lessons and will now look to improve, make it a slicker operation.”
Gone are those early days where Angus would often be found putting in a 6am to 2am shift and, although the occasional all-nighter is still called for, the new staff are helping to carry the load.
Sale days, however, still see him stand at the podium for up to seven hours straight and complete around 100 sales an hour.
But it is just desserts for working in an industry which first sparked his imagination as a 12-year-old who would buy militaria at local auctions.
Part of his success, he believes, are the business’ low charges and the laid back and friendly atmosphere on auction days where novice bidders are encouraged to mix with more experienced counterparts, find a nearby seat from where they can enjoy a bacon sandwich and a cuppa from the cafe and take part in the action.