End of an era as auction gallery closes its doors

Rye Auction Galleries 3/12/13
Rye Auction Galleries 3/12/13

RYE Auction Galleries is to close its doors.

The Rock Channel business, which employs five staff, blames the closure on online auction and internet shopping sites.

There has been an auction gallery in Rye since 1872 and the business is something of a local institution.

T.Bourne & Son Ltd have owned Rye Auction Galleries since 1992 and have operated as an independent brand providing services to a range of private and trade buyers and sellers.

The company stopped receiving goods for sale as of November 18.

A statement on the Auction Gallery website reads: “As a long standing local business the decision to close Rye Auction Galleries was not taken lightly, however, due to the changing face of the industry, demand for services and a lack of potential for future development, have led to T.Bourne & Son choosing to focus its efforts on the future developments of other businesses within the group which also owns and operates a number of companies in the Removals and Storage industry serving both the private local markets and international customers and also in the Global Relocation Industry through the ‘Bournes’ brand membership of UniGroup Relocation Network, providing relocation services to corporate entities.

“We would like to thank all our past and present customers for their support throughout the years and apologise for any inconvenience caused by this closure.”

An announcement will be made soon with regards to a process for closing the auction rooms, including details of any final sales.

A local man, who did not wish to be named, said: “This closure is a very big thing for Rye.”

One of the last items to be auctioned were three items of framed ephemera relating to Sir Henry Stephenson of the Arctic Expedition of 1875 printed on board HMS Discovery, including a signed greetings card by Queen Alexandra 1916, which made realised £5,200.