January, 2017

Auction house celebrates record-breaking year – Junction 36 of the M6

AN AUCTION house on the Cumbria and Lancashire border has recorded its most successful year yet thanks to a decision to hold weekly sales, offer Saturday viewings and improve its marketing.



Now its weekly auctions are split into collectors’, general and fine art auctions; regularly topping 600 lots for the former and 1,000 lots for the latter. The auctions attract as many as 600 registered bidders, many of whom buy online. 40% of lots are generally bought via the internet although it can be as much as 90% on occasion, demonstrating worldwide interest in the saleroom business. Whilst global interest has increased, opening up for Saturday brunch viewings (10am-1pm) has also brought more people to 1818 Auctioneer’s bricks and mortar saleroom at the J36 (M6) Rural Auction Centre premises.

The firm, the first in the area to provide a virtual saleroom experience, has kept ahead of its rivals by making all of its auctions available online – listings are accompanied by a photograph, description and estimate and the facility to bid in advance or live. It is a move which has helped it to attract record prices for collections of pens, postcards and vinyl records. Three respective collections each made at least £25,000 in the last six months. And single lots including a tin plate car, with a missing wheel, made £1,200, an album of postcard depicting great disasters sold for £1,400 and a yellow metal double row diamond tennis bracelet which made £3,400 were amongst other highlights of the year.

This increase in business has seen the team of seven expand to 10 to include extra porters and specialists in valuing and selling books, medals, coins and records. It has also provided development opportunities for staff like Jackie Rothwell who has progressed from an admin role to becoming the firm’s in-house jewellery valuer. And David Hunter, who started as a saleroom assistant, is now an auctioneer and a specialist toy and railway valuer.

Bringing in outside expertise has brought benefits too said Bill Nelson:
“We’ve used a local PR and marketing firm, Ten Stories High, to boost our marketing efforts. This has given us a 450% rise in referral traffic from Facebook, vastly improved the click through rate to our online catalogues from our weekly emails to a 10,000 strong database and our website has topped one million page views over the year. They also helped us rethink our advertising approach, extending the geographical reach and using specialist and trade media for specific sales, as well as securing editorial for us.

“2016 has been nothing short of an incredible year” added Mr Nelson.

“We have offered, and sold, more items than ever before – but we won’t be resting on our laurels.

“Our next steps include improving our website, continuing to attract those looking to sell, and growing our reputation for expertise and customer service.”


Image, taken by Steve Barber, is of Bill Nelson Saleroom Manager.

For further information please contact Bill Nelson on Mobile 07785542738. Tel 01539566225

Work starts on Cumbria’s largest exhibition hall ahead of first event

Picture © Steven Barber

Picture © Steven Barber

Work to create Cumbria’s largest Exhibition Hall has begun at J36 Rural Auction Centre, next to the M6 on the Cumbria Lancashire border.

Owners, the L&K Group have just seven weeks to get it ready for its first event, the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show which this year runs on the 1st & 2nd March. This annual event is the focal point for the region’s hospitality industry, their 42nd show will bring together over 1,000 people from Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and further afield.

Work to clear the site started on Wednesday 5 January and the first phase of the project, to lay the floor and erect the walls and the roof, will be completed in time for the show organisers to set up.

Once all the building work has finished this Summer, the 1,400 square metres space will include a reception area, toilets and a mezzanine floor. As well as coach spaces and parking for 800 cars, catering facilities will be available from the existing onsite providers who operate the popular Cafe Ambio.

L & K Group Company Secretary Katie Black explained the thinking behind their latest investment. She said:

“Serving the agricultural and rural community lies at the heart of all that we do. Since moving to our J36 home almost four years, this modern Rural Auction Centre has become a thriving agribusiness hub for the region. And it all came about because of a need to relocate Kendal’s old auction mart. We are proud of our livestock roots and that we are a leading operator in the North West.

“This exhibition hall will be a great space for everyone onsite to use and not just our livestock business. Given its superb location, we also expect to attract a whole range of exhibitors including livestock and machinery events, antique fairs, wedding fairs, model exhibitions, food shows and even to meet a recent request for a green screen facility for filming companies.

“We would love to hear from people who are interested in using the new Exhibition Hall, as well as the other facilities we have hear” added Katie.

The 14-acre site is home to the group’s businesses including 1818 Auctioneers, North West Auctions, NWA Professional and NWA Property and a diverse array of other agri-businesses including accountants, lawyers, agricultural merchants, tyre specialist, vet, insurance brokers and even a hair salon. It also has some great meeting spaces to host 2-250 people with ample free parking for visitors.

Anyone interested in the new Exhibition Hall can contact L&K Group,

Information about the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show can be found at


New safety training partnership announced – South Lakes

Jan 2017 Beehive & Brathay - Back- Andy Gill, Head of Consulting, Brathay, Mark Sykes, Director, Beehive, Front- Godfrey Owen, Chief Exec, Brathay, Sara Lodge, Director, BeehiveA NEW partnership between two experts in organisational development will create a greater impact on culture in safety critical organisations.

Ambleside-based Brathay, which has over 70 years’ expertise in people and cultural development will partner with Conwy based Beehive, a North Wales firm at the forefront of safety education. They say their collaboration will increase capacity and capability in safety education and culture. Together, they will work with highly regulated organisations such as energy providers and nuclear construction to transform culture.

As Mark Sykes, Beehive Director explained:

“There are several factors driving the partnership. There’s a clear message from the nuclear sector, for example, towards using the local supply chain where possible. To ensure both sufficient capability and capacity, the supply chain needs to develop alliances and partnerships – this is an example of that.”

Fellow Beehive Director Sara Lodge added:
“We also know that many organisations have gone as far as traditional safety training can take them and a new approach is needed. One that focuses on people development and the creation of safe working cultures. There’s also an external driver in the shape of the new ISO 45001 standard. This will replace the existing OHSAS 18001 and will focus more on leadership, worker engagement, continuous improvement and the idea of safety being built into organisational systems rather than bolted on.”

The new partnership will build on the experiential approach that both Brathay and Beehive use to develop organisations and people. It also makes the most of their respective links to Cumbria’s West Coast and new developments in North Wales and Deeside.

“This is the first such partnership that we have entered into in the 71 years of Brathay’s existence” said Brathay’s Head of Consulting, Andy Gill.

“We are excited at the prospect of partnership with Beehive, who we’ve known and worked with for many years. It combines Brathay’s strengths in people and culture development with Beehive’s depth and specialism in changing safety culture”.


Notes to Editors

Beehive’s original research into safety culture with the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change at Bangor University informs their practice.

The partnership was formally agreed on Tuesday 10 January at Brathay’s Ambleside office.

Image shows, a new safety training partnership is announced between Ambleside based Brathay and North Wales firm Beehive. Pictured here signing the partnership is (left to right back) Andy Gill – Brathay’s Head of Consulting and Mark Sykes -Beehive Director (front row) Godfrey Owen Brathay’s Chief Exec and Sara Lodge – Beehive Director.