John Pye Auctions Weekly Story – ‘Behind every successful man…’

It was business that first brought the pair into contact in 1967, when Ann needed houses cleared for probate and John was only too happy to do the work. But as the relationship developed, John decided to give her a surprise.

‘I told her that we had been invited to a sherry morning on The Green in Southwell and advised her to dress up in something special,’ he said. ‘

Instead I drove her to the Southwell Register Office, where the Banns had been posted without her knowledge. I told her we could pick up the forms for getting married before going on to the sherry morning.

‘At first she refused to go with me, but knowing how hopeless I am with all kinds of paperwork, she relented. The Registrar, who was a friend and was in on the surprise I’d arranged, greeted us and ushered us in through a door where friends and members of staff were waiting to witness our surprise wedding. Obviously, I blocked the doorway behind her so she could not escape! What a wonderful day that was.’

The pair worked closely together building up the business and moved house from time to time, including living once in an old butcher’s shop in Southwell.


Buy the book, titled ‘An Auction of Laughs’, which is now available to order, priced £6 (£7 with postage) with all profits to be donated to the British Red Cross.

You can now order your copy of ‘An Auction of Laughs’ by John Pye by simply dropping a email to and we will happily arrange postage or via Waterstones (Nottingham)

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