Nearly 30 years after selling his first car and more than 250,000 sales later, leading Newport businessman Jon Collingboure is hanging up his gavel for the last time and retiring from the auctioneering business.

The managing director of Newport Auctions helped launch the family-run business in 1983 as a young teen when his dad hired a tent on wasteland next to his MOT centre to run a car auction from.

The business quickly grew and by 1995 Jon and his wife Fay had taken over the running of the company leading it to become one of the UK’s most successful car auctioneering businesses selling thousands of vehicles every year.

Part of the Collingbourne Group, the company has been sold to another family owned business, Wilsons Auctions, which has nine branches across the UK and Ireland.

Nearly 30 years after selling an Austin Princess at his first auction, Mr Collingbourne has been in-charge of the gavel at more than 5,000 auctions selling everything from a Mini to a Ferrari.

He is now planning to expand his other business divisions in the Collingboure Group, which include Practical Car and Van Rentals Newport, The Storage Group, and Collingbourne Properties, as well as continuing his charity work.

He said: “I have been very fortunate to have enjoyed a long and happy career in the auctioneering business and met lots of wonderful people along the way. When I started at just 14 I was a sticker boy placing the sold stickers on the cars my dad sold. I learnt a lot from him and started auctioneering when I was in my early 20s and at 27 took over as managing director. I have lots of happy memories and will still be keeping a foot in the automotive industry with Practical Car and Van Rentals Newport. As difficult a decision it was, the timing was right to move on from auctioneering, but I will miss it.”

He said: “I have been aware of Wilsons Auctions for many years and I’m delighted to be handing Newport Auctions over to such a well-established family business. I am confident that under their ownership this auction house will continue to provide a first-class service to both customers and clients alike, whilst maintaining the ethos on which Newport Auctions has been built as a local employer.

“I would like to thank all of my customers and staff for the loyal custom and support over the years. I’m looking forward to the new opportunities ahead, but there will always be a fond place in my heart for auctioneering.”