A meeting of two local businesses at the Ludlow Women in Rural Enterprise summer exhibition resulted in the discovery of a major auction held in the town more than 80 years ago. The sale of furniture and household goods at The Cliffe Hotel in May 1928 was so big that bidding for the 636 lots took two days to complete. Contents included early English furniture, silver, Sheffield plate, antiques and paintings as well as many items of Indian and Burmese origin collected by the owners during their travels. Ludlow solicitor, Humphrey Salwey, built the house in the mid-19thcentury and it was his daughter who arranged the sale prior to letting the property to tenants.
Today’s owner of The Cliffe Hotel, Helen Jones, was delighted with the find. ‘I was thrilled to discover so much about The Cliffe especially as the auction catalogue included a room-by-room description of its contents. The history has really brought the house to life and is already proving of great interest to my guests.’
Jill Ming of Building Beginnings who carried out the research said, ‘The sale proved a fascinating record of a wealthy Ludlow family’s belongings in the early 20th century. The descriptions were so detailed I was able to picture the house with all its furnishings which really helped with writing its history.’ Another WiRE member Julie Mellors was on hand to photograph Helen and Jill with the completed history at the network group’s summer meeting at The Cliffe Hotel.