John Pye Auctions Weekly Story – ‘I’m Backing Britain’

When he launched the business, John Pye and Sons, in 1968, pipe- puffing Harold Wilson had just begun his ‘I’m Backing Britain’ campaign and The Beatles’ film ‘Yellow Submarine’ had opened in London.

In those days, he was still virtually a one-man band with a newly- bought horse and cart doing the small property clearances that other auctioneers would not touch.

Within weeks he had enough furniture and other pieces to hold his first auction at the city’s old Cattle Market in Meadow Lane, in the shadow of Notts County Football Ground.

By 1969, he was in the Corn Exchange at the Cattle Market and had expanded to livestock, as well as selling chattels and probate items. Along the way have been auctions at other properties, including the city’s Low Line Railway Station, where a devastating fire in 1966 destroyed John’s diaries and other historic records of the business he had nurtured to success.

More than half a century later, he lives in a manor house in the South Derbyshire countryside with his wife Ann, a leading businesswoman in her own right who was the country’s first female Building Society Manager.


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)

You also can make a single donation to Disaster Fund if you click here.