Emsworth auctioneer’s eyesight problems are going, going, gone...

Hilary with grand-daughter Evalyn. C111603-2
Hilary with grand-daughter Evalyn. C111603-2

Imagine going to an auction to be told by the woman in charge she won’t be able to see your bid numbers.

You might think you stood no chance of buying anything.

But Hilary Bolt, who owns Emsworth Antiques in West Street with her husband Michael, has battled through cataracts in both eyes over the past year conducting auctions every month ... in a rather unusual manner.

The 55-year-old has started each of her sales in Emsworth with a warning that bidders need to shout out their numbers and not wave at friends in the room so as not to make her think they’re bidding.

Her operation has come just in time for a big fundraising auction for St James Church tomorrow (Saturday, October 15).

“There were points when I could not read the bid numbers with any certainty,” she said.

“So people were having to call out.

“Everyone has been very well-humoured about it, because I explained before it started what the situation was.”

They are hoping to raise between £2,000 and £3,500 at the fundraiser, which is in aid of the upkeep of St James Church.

Anyone with items to donate or wishing to find out more about the event can contact Mrs Bolt by calling 01243 376 403, or emailing room_101@messages.co.uk

The auction takes place in St James Church Hall, in Church Path at 2pm.

Viewing starts at 11am, and a catalogue of lots is £1.