Fun Auction Experience

I do not go to auctions often. In fact, hardly ever. I tend to visit places and look around, viewing it as more of an experience. I do not always have the need, specifically, to keep anything. However, attending an auction can be the best way to indulge my Anglophile tendencies on a dull weekend. I read about one in the paper. This particular auction promised to present some items from a long ago-resident of Failsworth among the auction items. This mention of Failsworth intrigued me enough to make the 200 km drive to check it out.
Upon my arrival at the address listed, I discovered it was not an upscale auction house as I had imagined. Instead, it was a very large barn. At first, I thought I was incorrect as to the location, but then I realized that a venue of this type was actually an ideal location. There was quite the crowd for this particular auction; there were much more people than I would have thought. They were streaming through the large open doors and into folding chairs placed in two rows down the length of the barn. There were so many rows that I quickly lost count. All of the seats faced the other end of the barn, where several items were already on display.
The day was rather cold and wet, but the auction house seemed to have planned for this. There was a nice garage heater, large enough to heat the majority of the barn, set up near the front. It was keeping most of the chill out of the space, which was impressive. A gray and damp day here can chill straight to the bone, even in the middle of spring. However, I remained warm and cozy for the duration of the auction.
There were a few items of interest to me. There was an overcoat worn by a British soldier in World War II, a leather and wood armchair that looked straight out of the lobby at Claridge’s, and a screen made by the incredible Eileen Gray. Those items all quickly went out of my price range, alas, but those things were not quite the reason I had gone to the auction in the first place.
About halfway through the auction, they brought it out. It was a piano, made by John Broadwood & Sons. It had been in the home of a Failsworth resident for several years. I really just wanted to take a look at it, imagine it as it would have been in the house and what it must have sounded like. I couldn’t help myself; I placed several bids and eventually lost out to someone who was kind enough to let me take a look at it after the auction’s end as he discussed with the auction house how to get it sent to his home.
One other item up for sale was a batch of letters from the same Failsworth resident to his son, who was studying at Cambridge back in the 1950s. I bid on the batch, and these I did win. I was very pleased with them, as they give much information about the goings on of the family and neighborhood. It gives a very good feel for what things were like in the early 50s and was just the kind of thing I was looking for.
That’s it for me today. I think I am going to go read through those letters again.