A FAMILY-run firm of auctioneers is celebrating 60 years in business.

Summersgills Auctioneers, one of the oldest auction houses in North Yorkshire, is toasting the milestone after a successful year with a number of big sales and interesting oddities going under the hammer.

Founded by Geoffrey Summersgill in 1959, its roots were in the Hambleton district village of Stillington, before moving to sites in Huby and Alne, with a saleroom and offices then opening in Easingwold and Acomb. The firm now has more than 10,000 local and international registered customers.

Managing partners Tim Summersgill and Nicola Fletcher remember their father Geoffrey’s commitment and drive in developing the business when they were children in the 1980s.

“We remember Dad doing so much when we were kids, and we didn’t quite appreciate how much of a big job it was to manage the auction, but we definitely know now,” said Nicola.

During the past year Summersgills has enjoyed individual results in excess of £30,000, to the delight of sellers, across a range of Chinese ceramics, sales of Mouseman rarities continuing to sky-rocket and musical oddities, such as Beatles autographs and bagpipes.

Tim, lead auctioneer, said he had seen a lot of changes to the industry since the early 2000s, with the impact of the internet and online bidding, but he was still surprised by the types of treasures that customers bring.

He said: “Every sale has its surprises as do most of our private appointments and home visits, our November 16 event especially so with a 19th century Meissen figure achieving over four times its estimate, eight times the seller’s reserve and being sold to a very happy buyer over in Germany.”

Summersgills is looking forward to next year and will be welcoming free valuations across December and January.

It is hoping for a bumper start to 2020 with their first auction sale on Saturday, February 1.