This has prompted me to look out the paperwork for the items that I bought from the sale.
The sale was actually in July 1996. My receipt, complete with a full set of legal terms for the sale, shows a David Wood as the vendor, whom I seem to remember being described at the time as a solicitor who was a family member - the husband of a neice I think. There were others present, also described as family members, to oversee the sale. I bought several items for cash and used the prepared offer sheets to leave 'sealed bids' on other machines and various promotional material and ephemera. I visited on two days of an open 'garage sale'. No lot numbers were attached to anything and no auction house was involved, although many items were probably bought by dealers and may have found their way into mainstream auctions shortly thereafter. It was just a case of picking items out of the mess and making an offer, or leaving an offer on items considered by the vendors to be more valuable. If an offer was considered high enough it might be accepted and the 'valuable' items could be taken away there and then. I know that some dealers bought job lots of items left over after the open sale, and that the remainder was eventually cleared for scrap.
There were quite a few Lambrettas, but Burnetts had no basement. When I started visiting in 1986 there were over 400 old machines in storage, including batches of ex-police Velocette LE's with consecutive reg. numbers. The quantity of machines had dwindled, mainly due to interest from registration number dealers over the preceding few years, but there was still a significant quantity of bikes at the sale. There were several NOS British bikes at Burnetts which had been remaindered due to parts having been taken from them for repairs and never replaced. These may possibly have been sent to auction by the family ahead of the open sale, as I don't remember them being there. I got on well with Les on an old fashioned customer/shopkeeper basis. I bought many interesting items over the few years when I was a regular visitor, and didn't mind paying a fair price. Some of my most treasured possessions have come from Burnetts.
Any further info about Burnetts is of interest to me. Does anyone have further information on the Brunette?