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About W and H Peacock

W&H Peacock in Bedford

Founded in 1901, W&H Peacock have been conducting weekly auction sales in and around Bedford for over a century. Our Eastcotts Park salerooms are among the largest in the country and sell anything from a tray of bedding plants to a Range Rover, JCB’s to Georgian chairs.

Bedford is unique amongst provincial towns in having a busy and thriving auction every Saturday. In fact it has four auctions all conducted simultaneously in a 35,000 square foot auction centre.

The History

Edward VII had just acceded to the throne when the Bedford firm of auctioneers; W&H PEACOCK was founded. It was 1901 and Walter Peacock had just returned from the Boer War to find that he’d lost his job at Stafford, Rogers & Merry auctioneers. Outraged by his former employers’ behavior he founded the company as a direct rival to them and held his first sale at Bedford cattle market in September of the same year, In April 1902, Walter’s brother Harry became a partner forming W&H Peacock which continued as a partnership until the late 1980’s. As the business has developed and grown, the Peacock family has retained close links with the company. Walter’s son Robert joined the company in 1921 and he went on to be its longest serving member of staff. And Walter’s grandson, Mr Dudley Peacock, was with the firm for almost 50 years. Under independent ownership, W&H Peacock along with Locke & England employ more than forty staff at their three auction centres in Bedford, St Neots and Leamington Spa and can offer more than 375 years of auction experience.

W&H Peacock in St Neots

Over 150 years and still going strong!

Auctions were first held in New Street, St Neots in 1863 and have been taking place ever since on the same site.

Huckle & Shaw

In 1924 chartered surveyor and auctioneer Len Shaw, and local businessman, Joe Huckle took over the auctioneering business. John Shaw continued the work his father had started, becoming sole proprietor when Mr Shaw senior died in 1966.

In those early days, Huckle and Shaw’s auction rooms and yard was primarily an egg packing station with a brisk trade in poultry and vegetables. The successful partnership continued until 1955 when the name was changed to L Shaw & Son.

W&H Peacock

When John decided to retire in 1995, W&H Peacock took over the business and continue to hold auctions in St Neots every week together with a calendar of specialist machinery, catering, 20th century design and other auctions throughout the year.

Locke & England in Leamington Spa

Locke & England held their first auction sale in Leamington Spa in 1834 and have continued to hold regular antique and general household sales since as well as carrying out a full valuation service.

These busy weekly auctions are complimented by bi-monthly Fine Art and Antique sales, a regular calendar of specialist auctions and commercial sales via W&H Peacock both on company premises and in house at both Bedford and St Neots.

In addition, our offices in Bedford and St. Neots also hold weekly auctions. This means that we are amongst the largest provincial auction companies in the UK and are the automatic choice for private and professional clients requiring chattel auction and valuation advice.



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