Sworders Saleroom Manager, responsible for coordinating both salesrooms in Hertford & Stansted
Frank has been at Sworders for 11 years, working for Phillips and Bonhams for 25 years before that, and is an integral part of the company. He and his team store lots safely as they come in, create room sets and displays for each sale, and ensure safe collection of goods after the auction has taken place.
‘I started out as a porter, then became a valuer and an operations manager. My father worked in a factory for 40 years pulling a lever and hated every minute of it. I thought that was very sad and vowed to enjoy my work – I’ve been in the auction business for 35 years and the thing I love most about it is that every day is different. ‘House contents sales where we run the auction on site at the property, for example at North Mymms Park this April, are especially good fun. I remember all of our landmark sales fondly.
‘Teamwork is very important in an auction house – once a wardrobe has been valued, for example, it has to be moved as well. Although it has been 10 years since Sworders’ new premises were built, we’ve subsequently extended it with a huge purpose-built store, where we can carefully house furniture and paintings. I’m 57 years old and have been moving furniture for a long time, so it’s taken its toll. Sack barrows and trolleys do not get tired, however, and we have two younger and fitter porters, who do most of the strenuous work. While a jewellery sale can be carried in and out of the salesroom in five minutes, the bigger sales are much more challenging and can take up to two weeks to set up.
‘Displaying the lots for The Anniversary Sale will be my favourite part of this project. Firstly, you need an artistic eye to create room sets, but there are other factors to consider too, from what you position around a piece to what you place on top of it. Good lighting is important as well. If all our processes are in place and adhered to, there will be no potential pitfalls on the day – it will all go as smoothly as clockwork.’