William Todd and Co auction house closes

William Todd and Co auction house closes

An iconic Invercargill auction house closed its doors today after 151 years.

William Todd and Co held its last auction at its Don St site since the company was established in 1865.

With the final bang of his hammer, long-time auctioneer Lynzy Francis sold a piece of history - the last item to be bid on at the Don St auction house.

"A little bit sad – had all my friends around me that have been here for years," says Mr Francis. "They supported us right to the end."

But before they bid farewell to the building, there was some other bidding to be done.

"Good today to see the old people turn up, the old customers," says Mr Francis. "Had a chat, bought a lot of stuff, cleaned the building out. It's fantastic."

Customers have been coming for decades. Todd's auctions began in 1865, selling horses and livestock. Since then it's passed through four generations of the Todd family, including Bill Todd, who wasn't there today.

Friday auctions were a hit but they've struggled to compete with Trade Me and op shops.

Today it was a bit like the old Fridays, as people young and old crowded in to bid on items like a rocking horse from England that's been in the same family for two generations. Sarah and Phil McArthy were the highest bidders.

"Definitely a bit of character going from the town, so just happy we snapped up a wee bit of it," says Mr McArthy.

The building is expected to be demolished, but the hammer is yet to fall on the company. The auctions will still take place, as the auctioneer said there are plenty of sheds in Invercargill.