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This created the opportunity for Mr Byrne, who has run Booth Mansion in Watergate Street for Halls since they took over the rooms three years ago, to set up his own firm, to be known as Byrne’s. He will keep to the Halls format of monthly sales, adding specialist sections throughout the year.

It will not be a complete parting of the ways, however: “We will continue to work closely with Adrian and support him especially in our more northern territory,” said Mr Allen.

Mr Byrne said: “I am delighted that Halls have agreed to my purchase of the business and look forward to continuing a long tradition of auctioneering at Booth Mansion. My colleagues and I have gained invaluable experience with Richard and his team and will strive to offer the same levels of professionalism and expertise to clients throughout the North West as they have come to expect from Halls.”