End of an era as hammer is put down on Garry Emms auction house in Great Yarmouth

Garry Emms closes his auction for the last time.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Garry Emms closes his auction for the last time.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth's last auction house is shutting its busy saleroom after more than 20 years of brisk bidding.

Tables and display cabinets have become lots themselves bought up by other retailers as Garry M Emms edges into selling history.

The saleroom in Beevor Road regularly sold up to 500 lots every Wednesday drawing buyers from across the country for its array of items from fine art to fridges.

But after the land was acquired by Great Yarmouth Borough Council for its new energy park the hammer came down for the final time last month.

Garry Emms who has run the enterprise from the two acre site for 23 years said it was 'a great shame' for the people of Yarmouth and beyond who now had further to travel to sell their wares.


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For anyone emigrating, de-cluttering, or needing to clear out a relative's house the auction house sold the lot from pots and pans to tools, jewellery and furniture.

For Mr Emms and his wife Rosalind, who live in Caister, it means the end of an era but also a new start from premises in Runham Vauxhall where they will continue the valuation side of the business and sell to trade.

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At the time of the last auction the saleroom was busier than ever he added, the closure coming as a blow to many of the regulars who had become friends over the years and enjoyed the social side.

Having the closure forced upon him was difficult, the 62-year-old said, but without the deadlines and demands of running a saleroom he had more time to pursue his other passion - music.

Instead of wielding the gavel Mr Emms is spinning discs as a DJ at various locations including The Talk in Norwich - setting his decks on his auctioneer's rostrum.

Reflecting on his career Mr Emms said he had sold many fine items in Yarmouth, often beating London prices.

One of his greatest finds came from a farmhouse in Filby some ten years ago.

A false panel lead to a secret room housing two Georgian gaming tables which had not seen the light of day for 50 years. They went on to fetch over £15,000.

Although paintings were his special interest, over the years fine art had given way to more general items.

The fashion for all things 'retro' meant that 1950's furniture achieved more than beautifully turned Victorian pieces, and white goods eclipsed old-fashioned chests.

Mr Emms added that he was leaving with mixed feelings. 'I was mighty upset to start with because it cut off my livelihood with no choice in the matter. At 62, I do not want to start another auction room. But what has come out of it is that I have been able to go back to DJ-ing which is a wonderful unwinder.'

Mr Emms will quit his saleroom site by the end of the year ready to start at Runham Vauxhall in January.

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