King’s School pupil calls time on old problem

Ridley Partridge with dad Adam
Ridley Partridge with dad Adam

An inventive 11-year-old auctioneer in Macclesfield has called time on a problem that has dogged the antiques industry since the turn of the millenium with a new electronic block.

King’s School pupil Ridley Partridge, who is eldest son of TV antiques expert and auction house owner Adam Partridge, has developed an auctioneer’s block that finally synchronises the online and auction room bidding process.

The concept has now been developed by ATG Media, a global pioneer in live and timed webcast auctions, and will be used in hundreds of auction houses not only in the U.K. but overseas.

Ridley, who lives in Congleton, said: “I was running an auction for my dad and brought the gavel down on the block to sell the object in the room only to find that it had been sold to an online bidder instead.

“I thought I had done something wrong and was a bit worried about asking my dad. But he explained it happened quite a lot because it was hard to synchronise the timing out of the online auction with the gavel coming down in the room.

“I immediately thought that this wasn’t such a problem and you just needed an electronic device to synchronise the online and auction room process. I don’t like to say it, but really it was child’s play.”

So with the help of the King’s School design and technology department, Ridley quickly devised a prototype which his dad passed on to ATG for development.

Dad Adam, who has been in the business for 25 years, is a regular face on BBC’s Flog It and a host of other TV antiques programmes and who now owns auction houses in Macclesfield, Manchester and Liverpool, said: “The first thing I thought was brilliant, that’ll take off, great idea, son.

“The second thing I thought was, why on earth didn’t I think of that. I mean it’s so simple and come to think of it, obvious.”

ATG has given Ridley £250 for his idea but as Ridley said: “It’s not the money, it’s the satisfaction to think that something I dreamed up and worked on in school will be used all over the world.”

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