Staff and their partners celebrating 25 years of Richard Winterton at a ball at The School House, Weeford.

Photo: Fraser Hinch Video.

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The auction firm can trace its heritage back seven generations when it started out in livestock auctions in Staffordshire in 1864.

But its recent foundation was in 1997 when Richard Winterton opened in The Schoolhouse in Burton.

Since then, more than half a million lots have gone under the hammer and it now operates from The Lichfield Auction Centre at Fradley Park and the Grade II-listed Tamworth Auction Rooms (the latter opened last October).

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

Winterton, who runs the firm with his wife Jan, summed up the milestone as “emotional”. He added: “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.”

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

Sons Tom, Ben, James and Harry are also part of the business.

Winterton added: “The 25th anniversary was an important and emotional day for myself and Jan. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been with us on this tremendous journey, especially to loyal staff and clients who have been with us for years.”

The company’s first ever employee, Brenda Hodgkinson, was also a guest at the April 14 celebration event.