Richard Winterton Auctioneers 25th anniversary

‘Emotional’ milestone as Richard Winterton Auctioneers celebrates 25th anniversary

RICHARD Winterton Auctioneers has celebrated a milestone 25th anniversary.

The Winterton name has been a driving force in the auction world for seven generations, yielding gavels across Staffordshire since 1864.

Now the current incarnation of the lineage – Richard Winterton Auctioneers Ltd – has marked a quarter of a century since Richard Winterton and his wife Janet took over the family business in their own right.

Since opening at The Schoolhouse in Burton in 1997, more than half a million lots have gone under the hammer with the firm, which operates from The Lichfield Auction Centre at Fradley Park and the Grade II-listed Tamworth Auction Rooms, the latter opening in October 2021.

The anniversary was marked by a celebration ball for all staff and their partners at The School House, Weeford – the venue’s name giving a coincidental nod to those first premises in Burton.

At the start of the evening, Richard spoke of his ‘immense pride’ in the past 25 years and summed up the milestone as ‘emotional’.

“The important thing for us very early doors was to do things properly and that continues today,” he said.

“The world of auctions has completely changed. Back in the days before the internet we would wait for buyers to turn up!

“Now the internet has now taken over but something doesn’t just go from someone’s home to online – the work involved is huge.

“And that’s what we are all about – doing things the right way.”

Richard Winterton Auctioneers 25th anniversary at The School House, Weeford, April 14 2022. The family firm celebrated the 25th anniversary in style with a glittering celebration ball for all staff and their partners at The School House, Weeford. Photo: Fraser Hinch Video
We celebrated our 25th anniversary with a ball for all staff and their partners at The School House, Weeford. Photo: Fraser Hinch Video

Remembering viewing the first premises in 1997, Richard said: “It was a huge place which hadn’t been used for about five years.

“There were wires everywhere and it was a complete mess.”

A substantial clear-up operation later left the place shipshape – but rather empty…

“There was Jan, sitting on a bare floor with nothing, waiting for the phone to ring,” he added.

Twenty-five years later, with sons Tom, Ben, James and Harry all part of the business, Richard Winterton Auctioneers has gone from strength to strength.

The firm ‘revolutionised’ itself during Covid and subsequently employed a further 10 staff. Its bespoke estate service has also grown – in March alone, Richard visited 82 houses to give quotations and the team cleared 62 properties.

Alongside his day job, the auctioneer is a familiar face on television programmes such as BBC Bargain Hunt and Dickinson’s Real Deal on ITV.

Away from the limelight, he is a huge believer in community.

Richard is chair of governors at Holy Trinity CE Primary School in Burton and is especially proud of the partnerships forged between the firm and local charities and organisations including We Love Lichfield, Burton Albion Community Trust, Burton YMCA, The Hub at St Mary’s in Lichfield, the Lichfield Garrick and Support Staffordshire’s Volunteer Star Awards.

Richard Winterton Auctioneers is also headline sponsor for both Staffordshire’s Best Kept Village Community Competition and Lichfield Cathedral’s Christmas illuminations.

Richard Winterton Auctioneers 25th anniversary at The School House, Weeford, April 14 2022. Presentation of Doug Hyde picture to RW and Jan by Tom, Ben, Harry and James
Richard and Janet Winterton were presented with a surprise gift at the celebration – a work by favourite artist Doug Hyde. They are pictured with sons Tom, Ben, James and Harry.

The 25th anniversary celebration on April 14 saw Richard and Jan presented with a surprise gift from staff by Tom Winterton.

Tom said: “Where you have taken the business is nothing short of remarkable. The hard work, dedication, endless hours – the list goes on.

“To get where the business is today makes us all proud and we are honoured to work for you.

“None of this would have been possible without the fantastic team of our staff – you’re the oil to our engine, so thank you.”

Guests at the event included first employee Brenda Hodgkinson.

Richard added: “From the start we wanted everyone to feel part of an extended family. That was so important to us.

“What we’ve gone through since that first day we opened at The Schoolhouse and the hours and hours of work, going from just a handful of staff to 40 people to build what we have now, it’s almost impossible to put into words – it’s just huge.

“I am so proud of what we have all achieved. Yes, it’s been hard, but we believe in doing things the right way and always going that extra mile.

“The 25th anniversary itself was an important and emotional day for myself and Jan and I want to say thank you to everyone who has been with us on this tremendous journey.”

Richard Winterton Auctioneers 25th anniversary at The School House, Weeford, April 14 2022. The table settings showed the company's journey over the past 25 years.
Table settings at the 25th anniversary event showed the company’s journey since 1997.

Richard Winterton: ‘An Emotional Milestone’

25 years! A quarter of a century. Or, as someone recently told me, 9,125 days, 219,000 hours, 13,140,000 minutes or 788,400,000 seconds!

But as we mark 25 years since Janet and I took over the family business, the word is ‘emotional’.

Our special celebration evening was just wonderful – we danced the night away to ABBA and Jan and I were surprised by some special gifts!

Since opening at The Schoolhouse in Burton in 1997, more than half a million lots have gone under the hammer with us and the world of auctions has completely changed.

But right from the start the important thing for us was to do everything properly and that continues today.

There’s no getting away from it, it is tough when you’re running a business.

It’s not been easy but I am proud of where we have come to, going from a handful of staff to 40 people to build what we have now.

And it seems we are busier than ever! I think we’re busy because we do it the right way.

All this doesn’t happen by chance. Jan is the rock. She is the one that drives the business and makes everything work.

I also want to say thank you for the support and advice we’ve had over the years from my mum and dad and Jan’s parents.

And with Tom, Ben, Harry and James all now part of the business, I am excited for the future.

Thank you to everyone who has been with us on this tremendous journey, especially loyal staff and clients who have been with us for years.

With great teams in place across all departments at Fradley and our new premises in Tamworth, we look forward to continued expansion and the next 25 years – all 788,400,000 seconds of it!

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