Clare/Stowmarket/ Saffron Walden: Leading Suffolk surveyor and auctioneer dies

Paul Gooderham, former chairman of regional surveyors and auctioneers Cheffins, died on Saturday, December 15, age 72.

A resident of Clare in Suffolk, he started his career in Stowmarket working for R C Knight and Sons and joined Cheffins in 1960 which then operated from a single office and the cattle market in Saffron Walden

Although he retired from Cheffins in 2004, he continued as a consultant and was wielding his auctioneer’s gavel at the Cheffins monthly Machinery Sales up to five days before he died. He was with Cheffins for 50 years having served as chairman from 1981 to 1996.

Bill King, chairman of Cheffins said: “Paul was the architect of the modern firm of Cheffins having led the diversification of the firm when the cattle market side of the business declined in the 1970s. He set up our Vintage Sales in 1975 and our Fine Art department in 1982 – both of which now have national prominence. He oversaw the rapid growth and diversification of the firm which now has some 120 directors and staff, six offices across the region and leading residential, commercial and rural departments, in addition to the Vintage and Fine Art activities, and the world’s largest monthly machinery sales, in Sutton, Ely.”

Paul was the son of a Suffolk farmer in Bacton, Suffolk. With his elder brother inheriting the farm, Paul chose an alternative career in agriculture as a surveyor and auctioneer.


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He was a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.

He was chairman for many years of the local Macmillan Cancer Support fund raising committee.

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He leaves a widow, Stella, seven children and 15 grandchildren.

A private family funeral will be held early in the New Year and a memorial service will be held at a date to be announced.

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