Update regarding Covid-19 cases at Wessex Auction Rooms

Dec 18, 2020

Message from Tim Weeks, Director – PLEASE READ


Update regarding Covid-19 cases at Wessex Auction Rooms

As you are most likely already aware from our previous mailouts and website updates, we had two members of staff come down with illness this past weekend. This resulted in a positive test for Covid-19 late Sunday 13th and early Monday 14th. Since then, 14 members of staff have been tested for Covid-19 and 7 members have tested positive.

Due to the vast majority of Wessex Auction Rooms Staff now being in isolation, we will be closed until January 4th.

I personally tested negative on Monday and have shown no symptoms, but some members of our team are severely ill and are currently bedridden.

Since Monday we have received in excess of 2,500 emails. As I am sure everyone can appreciate it is impossible to respond to such a vast number of emails, particularly while legally not being able to attend the auction house and whilst most of the administrative team who could respond are either suffering symptoms or have no remote access to emails.

The vast majority of the emails are asking when collections can be made, requesting postage quotes or the shipping of recently purchased items. This is not the situation any of us would have wanted to finish an incredibly busy year in, and I can assure you that we want to get your items to you as quickly as possible.

In an attempt to do this as quickly and most importantly as safely as possible, I am highlighting the plan to you below.

Myself, Martin Hughes & Ben Lockwood will be going to work on the 28th, 29th & 30th December to send postage quotes and book packed parcels on with our couriers. Both Martin & Ben are currently very unwell, so this does require their full fitness. If they are nothing but fully well, I will not be expecting them in. Also, whist I myself currently feel as fit as a butcher’s dog, I am currently still within the incubation period. Here are some FAQs…

How can I get my items sent to me ASAP?

Make payment for your items via bank transfer at the earliest opportunity. Put as a reference the initials PO followed by YOUR SURNAME AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR INVOICE. For example, POWeeks. This will tell us that you have paid for your items and now require postage - and from the 28th December we will be calling and emailing postage quotes IN ORDER of when those payments are received for items purchased.

As we will have a huge number of shipping requests to deal with, we would ask that if you require your items urgently you instruct one of our recommended shippers to collect from us and pack and send for you. They will be able to schedule a collection date from us to collect a large number of purchaser’s items. We recommend:

MAILBOXES (CHIPPENHAM) info@mbechippenham.co.uk / 01249 446141

J G TRASNPORT - sales@jg-transport.co.uk / 07807 132783

Can I Collect in person before January?

We will offer appointments via collection on the 29th & 30th December. This is strictly BY APPOINTMENT ONLY and be limited by the number of collections we can physically and logistically deal with in that period of time. In order to book one of these appointments you must email me directly at tim@wessexauctionrooms.co.uk and I will contact you from the 28th December to arrange a time slot. In the subject of the email please put nothing other than APPOINTMENT.

I have already paid for postage. When will I receive my items?

These items will most likely already have been packed and either booked on with couriers or about to be booked on. Obviously, courier companies have been unable to get access to them as we have been closed. We will allow access to our couriers from the 28th December.

I am relaxed about when I get my items, can I just wait until January?

Yes. Yes you can. That would be very helpful and we will be open for collections BY APPOINTMENT ONLY from January 5th.

I am not able to pay for my items via Bank Transfer. What do I do?

Please note that any payment over £500 must be made via bank transfer and these terms have always been in place unless paying and collecting in person. This policy will remain in place.

Please send us an email to enquiries@wessexauctionrooms.co.uk with nothing but the word PAYMENT in the subject line. In the body of the email please do one of the following:
1. If you purchased via TheSaleroom.com please say ‘Charge my saleroom card for **/**/2020 auction’ we can then simply go online and get that payment taken.

2. If you purchased via EasyLive Auction please say ‘Please call me on ***insert telephone number*** to take payment for **/**/2020 auction.

I am hopeful that over the next week the team will be gaining fitness and I will be able to increase the numbers of staff that work on those days in between Christmas and New Year as well as being able to load the auction house from January. However, at this moment in time I have sick members of my team as well as concerned members of staff who fall within the vulnerable age range and their wellness is the current priority.

To conclude, I would very much ask for your understanding while we deal with this unprecedented situation. For us, like many businesses, 2020 has been a battle and this was not the end to the year any of us needed. I am personally distraught to have members of staff in this position of uncertainty and illness. I would also like to thank those of you that have emailed your well wishes to the sick staff members. I am old and ugly enough to accept that there will be individuals that are not so understanding and will be greatly put out by not being able to collect their items before Xmas. To those of you, I can only apologise and say that I understand your frustration and would love to not have an auction house full of uncollected items as much as you would like to be able to collect your items. I will be doing everything humanly possible to get you access to them ASAP.

I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas and wish you a happy and healthy New Year