One of the region’s longest-serving auction room employees, whose career spanned almost six decades, has died aged 86.

Bruce Peirson, who was originally employed on a casual basis at Durrants Auction Rooms, Beccles, began working for the company in 1964. He remained there ever since, working as a porter on viewing days.

From horses in a paddock to prestigious wartime medals, it is fair to say Mr Peirson saw his fair share of almost everything go under the hammer including a small piece of collectable glass that sold for £8,000.

Anna Paulding, the auction rooms' manager, said: “He had so many marvellous yarns about the old days from the livestock, farm machinery, and anything and everything auctions, to his ‘carting-around’ days of collecting and delivering items to and from the auction rooms.

“In fact, sometimes it seemed people came in to see him as much as the antiques.”

As a young man, Mr Peirson left the countryside to spend time in London driving the famous red Routemaster buses in its centre. And while he enjoyed it, he discovered that city life was not for him and returned home to help the family on their smallholding.

He was well-known as a local fountain of knowledge for the surrounding villages of Beccles and saw many changes and faces at the auction rooms in his life, including the introduction of online auctions.

Ms Paulding added: “But [he] took everything in his stride and always kept his bids literally under his cap.

“He was a kind and gentle man - ‘a proper toff’ he might say - who recently told me that he had a long and happy life and to me, you can’t get better than that.

"He had worked at the auction rooms for over 50 years and will be missed by so many people.”

Speaking to this paper in 2017, Mr Peirson said he had many great memories of sales, adding that he had enjoyed his working life and would not have altered it “even for a king's life”.

Mr Peirson, of Ilketshall St Andrew, died unexpectedly at home earlier this month.