Bruce, 80, shares five decades of memories at Beccles auction house

Bruce Peirson, aged 80, has worked for Durrants in Beccles since 1964. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Bruce Peirson, aged 80, has worked for Durrants in Beccles since 1964. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

He's seen everything up for sale from horses in a paddock to prestigious wartime medals.

Durrants Auction Rooms, Beccles
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Durrants Auction Rooms, Beccles PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

In fact Bruce Peirson's knowledge of an auction house has been well honed over five decades after working at Durrants in Beccles for 53 years.

And at 80 years old he has no intention of retiring while there's still a 'lot' to be sold.

Mr Peirson, who lives in Ilketshall St Andrew, has seen three generations of the Durrant family pass through the business, as well as a change of location from Gresham Road to Peddars Lane.

He said: 'I have a smallholding and in 1964 I was at a farm sale in Ringsfield when the owner Charles Durrant came over to me and said he knew I did casual work and would I be prepared to do casual work for them.

Bruce Peirson at work at one of the auctions. Picture: Archant.

Bruce Peirson at work at one of the auctions. Picture: Archant. - Credit: Angela Sharpe


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'When I first went down to Durrants when it was at Gresham Road they still had livestock for sale so I would clean out the pig pens and help with the inventory to prepare for a sale. There were two or three horse sales and many farm sales and about an hour before a sale I might have to help with any corrections or alterations.

'When the animals finished they asked me how I would feel about going into the furniture room. I said okay but that I didn't want to be regular as I had my farm but then at 60 I ended up doing five-and-a-half days a week unloading and unpacking furniture and helping out.'

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After the company moved to Peddars Lane the sale days decreased to one or two a month and Mr Peirson decided to reduce his hours.

'I now come in on sale days and then to help give things out to people after they have bought them.

Durrants Auction Rooms, Beccles
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Durrants Auction Rooms, Beccles PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

'Of course a lot has changed now, lots of selling is done online which never used to happen.

'I've loved the company and I love the job. I always loved going to the sale and when Charles Durrant said to me about helping out I thought why not.'

Mr Peirson said he had many great memories of sales and items selling for up to £8,000 for a small piece of collectable glass.

'There's always been something happening and I have some nice memories,' he said.

'I've thoroughly enjoyed my working life and I wouldn't alter it for a king's life. People talk about going to work to live but I go because it's fun.'

Have you worked in the same job for a long time or celebrated a special milestone? Email the details to louisa.lay@archant.co.uk or call 01502 712060 to speak to a reporter.

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