My Life: Angus Ashworth

It was watching Sean Bean in Sharpe which gave Angus Ashworth his love of military memorabilia.

Auctioneer Angus Ashworth

At the age of 12 he would go to antiques fairs and auctions and buy as many powder flasks as he could find.

“I was just fascinated by them,” says Angus who went on to open his own auctioneers in North Yorkshire two years ago. And he has just been chosen as the latest expert to join Cash in the Attic on line – an off shoot of the popular BBC television series. His love of antiques from an early age landed him a work experience placement at David Duggleby’s Auctioneers in Scarborough.

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After leaving school at 16, he went straight to work for the firm as a porter in the sales rooms before going on to become an auctioneer and valuer.

But by the age of 20 he decided he wanted to do something else. He went into the family engineering and deep sea fishing business and also joined the Territorial Army.

“I still kept an interest in auctions but then in 2005 I got called up to serve in Iraq.”

He was an infantry solder and as he puts it “was at the sharp end”.

In 2009 he was called up again and served in Afghanistan.

“When I came back from Afghanistan my dad said it was a shame that I couldn’t get back in to auctioneering. I thought about running some from a village hall and then this site came up.

“It was big and has car parking for 60 cars but I though ‘why not?’”

Angus set up Ryedale Auctioneers in Kirkbymoorside, on the 
edge of the North York Moors, two and a half years ago.

Since its first sale in December 2010, it has gone from strength to strength.

He now has three sales rooms as well as outdoor sales and does both general sales as well as specialist events such as military and sport.

“I have been surprised by how well we have done, but one of the reasons I think we have done so well so quickly is the internet.

“Some auctioneers haven’t embraced the internet as much as we have. Everything we have up for auction goes on the internet and so we get bids from across the world.”

Angus says there has also been an increase in the number of people wanting internet valuation for their antiques and that is where Cash in the Attic came in.

“I saw an advert that they were looking for on-line valuers and so I applied and got the job,” says Angus.

“I am really enjoying it. People send their photos to the Cash in the Attic site and they send them on to me and I have 48 hours to give a valuation of what I think it might fetch at auction. The more information we have about something the better.

“I have valued things from £5 to £900 on the site.”

More unusually, Angus recently had some pharmaceutical equipment to auction which included19th-century condom moulds made of Bristol blue glass.

“There was a lot of interest and the Science Museum bought a set of three.”

Other unusual items have included a full-sized taxidermy white lioness.

“As an auctioneer you are always learning because you are always seeing different things and that’s one of the things I love about it.

“More often than not the things people think aren’t worth anything are the valuable things. The most important thing really is their condition.”

Cash in the attic in digital era

The much loved BBC TV series Cash in the Attic has entered the digital era with the launch of an interactive website, CashInTheAttic.com and app. Users can now enjoy first-hand the “Discover, Value, Trade” experience seen on the show, as well as a suite of other services and functions. For a small fee, enthusiasts can upload images and videos of their own objects to CashInTheAttic.com, or via the app, which will be sent to a specialist expert valuer for examination.