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They started by postponing their December 11 sale at Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse until the 18th because of the snow, only to find their way to the course barred by a road block on the revised sale day after a van driver crashed into and ruptured a gas main.

"Up to 200 people had to be evacuated and none of our staff could get anywhere near the course, where we hold sales in The Paddock Suite," explained Penny Hopkinson of the auctioneers.

A new date for the Fine Art & Collective auction - likely to be mid or late January - will be announced as soon as possible.

Contact: 07778 595952.