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Oakham auctioneer Jeff Dale celebrates 50 years in the business

Oakham antiques auctioneer Jeff Dale is celebrating 50 years in the business.

The Uppingham-born 68-year-old left school at 18 and joined Messrs Royce Chartered Surveyors, staying with them for seven years before joining Norton’s and running their saleroom.

In 1983, he and wife Margaret set up Oakham Auction Centre, now based in Pillings Road, Oakham, where they still hold sales most Mondays.

Jeff Dale with his cattle (15298986)
Jeff Dale with his cattle (15298986)

During his time, Jeff has sold more than two million lots and has never missed a sale.

The highlight was in 2001, selling the contents of the estate of the late Miss Joanna Spender where a pair of William Kent Mirrors sold for £48,000. Many other items raised more than £10,000.

“The job has the excitement of going to people’s houses. You never know what you are going to find and seeing what it sells for gives such a buzz.”

Over the years, the business has changed, with the main one being online sales, which began two years ago. Bidders come from all over the world and periodically the business will sell much police lost and found property.

Jeff has met many characters through his work and says this is what keeps him going. He will carry on while he can, adding his daughter Emma is keen to keep the business going.

“Hopefully, we will be around another 50 years.”

Jeff is also vice-chairman of Rutland County Council, president of Oakham Allotment Society, and he also breeds Highland cattle with daughters Emma and Fiona.

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