Heaven & Hell: Edward Crichton

Edward Crichton

Edward Crichton - Credit: Phil Morley

Edward Crichton, partner and head auctioneer at Lacy, Scott and Knight. Ed has overseen the growth of the auction centre from 19 to around 40 sales a year, trebling the turnover along the way, selling everything from classic cars to modern art and everything in between.

Married to Clare with four children, he finds time to indulge his passion for Ipswich Town Football Club, is a patron of Geewizz charity and conducts numerous charity auctions each year. Here he talks to Gina Long 

What’s the impact of COVID-19 and how are you adapting?

We have been one of the lucky industries. Pre-pandemic, around 40% of all lots sold to online bidders, now it’s around 75% and rising. Local buyers generally view in person and then bid from home, or the gym as one lady told me the other day. In the first lockdown, a lot of people had a good old-fashioned clear out. We’ve since sold some wonderful collections over the last 18 months - from taxidermy to cigarette lighters, and just about everything in between from across East Anglia. 

What is your connection to East Anglia? 

My parents moved here from Scotland in 1970 so dad could become a livestock auctioneer. He wanted to be a farmer or actor but with no money this career path allowed him to do both. It’s a great place to raise a family and there are still many untouched houses full of antiques and more, particularly in the wilds of Norfolk. 

What is your East Anglian Heaven? 

Most Read

It’s chilled - in a good way. People have time and once you get to know them are generally lovely. And there’s a lot of very good pubs. 

What is your East Anglian Hell? 

The roads aren’t great and sometimes we do ourselves down. I like the optimism you find in Essex, which is harder to find as you travel north. 

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark? 

Portman Road. 40 years of going and it still puts a spring in your step as you approach. 

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year? 

Latitude - it gets better every year. 

What is your favourite restaurant? 

Pea Porridge cannot be beaten, but The Angel is my go-to, as there’s always a lovely atmosphere and stylish setting. There are so many great restaurants throughout East Anglia. 

What your specialist Mastermind subject? 

The football grounds of England, or the 92 as we call it. The idiosyncrasies, atmosphere and environs of the old school grounds are wonderful. 

What is always in your fridge? 

According to my kids there’s ‘never anything to eat in this house’, let alone the fridge, although there is usually a Ghost Ship or two in there. 

What’s your simple philosophy of life? 

Always remember how lucky you are as storm clouds always clear. 

What’s your favourite film? 

Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America, an epic mobster tale told over four hours. 

What was your first job? 

Lifeguard at Stowmarket leisure centre, a job with many advantages for a teenager. 

What is your most treasured possession? 

Family. 

Edward Crichton with a Tom Murray Beatles photographic print during a 2017 auction

Edward Crichton with a Tom Murray Beatles photographic print during a 2017 auction - Credit: Archant

Who do you admire most? 

From the age of eight I’ve always been a huge fan of Sir Bobby Robson, both as a football coach and man. Our third child was born the day before he died and I was convinced we would have a boy and he was to be called Bobby. Of course, we had a girl so settled on Blue as a middle name in honour of Bobby’s Blues. To later be instrumental in the Sir Bobby’s fundraising auctions was an honour along with meeting both his family and so many of his old players. 

What is your biggest indulgence? 

I’m half Scottish and not sure that we really do indulgence. 

What do you like about yourself most? 

I always see the best in people and love giving people a chance whenever possible. 

What’s your worst character trait? 

I can’t say no, my wife gets quite grumpy when I tell her I’ve agreed to do a charity auction on a Saturday night on the other side of London! 

Where is your favourite holiday destination? 

Tavira in Portugal - we go every year without fail. 

Best day of your life? 

The day Oscar our firstborn was safely delivered, something that at times seemed like a pipe dream. 

What’s your favourite breakfast? 

I never eat breakfast, keeps the weight off. 

What’s your favourite tipple? 

Real ale. From a Wherry to an Abbot, I cannot resist. 

What’s your hidden talent? 

Getting blood from a stone, better known as selling at some (but not all) charity auctions. 

What’s your earliest memory? 

Playgroup in Rattlesden village hall, roaring around on scooters. 

Tell us something people don’t know about you? 

I hold the record price for anything sold on Antiques Road Trip. It was £20,000 for an 1869 French sub miniature camera bought in a junk shop for £60. It then featured on Gogglebox which was both fascinating and hilarious in equal measure. 

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you? 

'There’s no heartbeat.'

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else? 

I’m completely invested in the region both personally and professionally. There is nowhere else for me. Plus I spent three years at college living in Watford, and if that doesn’t highlight the advantages of Suffolk nothing will. 

What do you want to tell our readers about most? 

In recent years my firm has hosted an online charity auction in conjunction with Geewizz, with last year’s Ed Sheeran Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction raising a life-changing £409,000.

This year we are hosting the ‘LoveAll’ auction, a global online auction created in memory of former British number one tennis player Elena Baltacha, to raise money for grassroots and community tennis programmes in the UK and international screening and research into women’s cancers and palliative care for young adults with cancer and life-limiting illnesses in East Anglia, along with supporting a SEND’s tennis programme with the LTA Suffolk. 

The auction will feature memorabilia, artworks and unique experiences from the worlds of tennis, sport, music, entertainment, visual arts and hospitality. There are 130 fabulous prizes and I would urge all readers to consider supporting this where they can.

The auction can be found on our website lskauctioncentre.co.uk, and bidding closes on Sunday November 21. To find out more, visit loveallauction.com 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter