Pride of Peacocks

Pride of Peacocks

A Memoir of a Bedford Firm of Auctioneers, Estate Agents and Surveyors

Keith Lazenby

Introduction by Richard Moore-Colyer




A volume of lasting value to local, family and social historians.
This memoir, written by a former partner of Peacocks, the Bedford firm of estate agents, auctioneers and surveyors, covers the years 1902-1988 and draws on a wide variety of sources, many from his own collection, including property instruction books, business ephemera and auctioneers' handbooks. The volume is introduced by Richard Moore-Colyer. Moore-Colyer explores the history of auctioneering in England from the seventeenth century, when auctions were conducted very differently. The so-called 'English Method' of auctioneering, noted by Samuel Pepys in 1660, involved an inch of lit candle. The person offering the final bid before the candle burned to its base and the flame gutted became the purchaser of the item under auction. Moore-Colyer also discusses topics such the growth of the art market, the dispersal of the great country estates, the development of livestock markets and Second World War Ministry of Defence sales.
Of lasting value to local, family and social historians is the appendix of all known property auction records undertaken by Peacocks. KEITH LAZENBY was born in Bedford in 1932. His father had come to the town in 1917 to work for W. H. Allen Sons and Company Ltd as a draughtsman. His father knew Harry Peacock of W. and H. Peacock, and Keith was articled to the company in 1948. This was the start of a fifty-nine-year career with the business. Keith was made a partner in 1964.


November 2014
7 colour, 4 black and white illustrations
482 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Publications Bedfordshire Hist Rec Soc
ISBN: 9780851550800
Format: Hardback
Beds Historical Record Society
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Auctions and Auction Houses in England: a brief history
The Beginning
Horne Lane Sale Yards, Bedford
10 Lime Street, Bedford
The Sale Rooms, Lime Street, Bedford
6 Dame Alice Street, Bedford
58 St Loyes Street, Bedford
26 Newnham Street, Bedford
Baldock and the A1 Offices
Property Auction Sales
Lettings and Property Management
Advertising and Publicity
Fun and Games
Ministry of Supply Sales, Peacock, Merry and Swaffield
The Egg Packing Station, Bedford
The Rutland Road Store, Bedford
121 - 123 Midland Road, Bedford, Bartle Potter & Son
The Surveyors 1921 Club
W. & H. Peacock Reborn
Works Cited


Those with a direct interest in Peacock's will find this book invaluable. For the general reader the social history observations on Bedford will be the most useful. HISTORY IN BEDFORDSHIRE

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