Brief History

Thomas R Callan Ltd (1933-2019) celebrating over 85 years in business.

During the late 19th century the Callan family were dairy farmers and farmed the lands of Fenwickland Farm, where Belmont in Ayr stands today. Thomas Callan decided to leave farming after the First World War and he started an apprenticeship with Dewar’s Auctioneers in Ayr’s Kyle Street.

Dewar’s fell into liquidation in 1933 and Tom was quick to start up his own auctioneering business at 108 High Street, Ayr.

Thomas R Callan’s first auction of furniture and napery was held on 17th November 1933. The sale total was just over £22. During the Second World War Thomas served in the Navy leaving his mother to run the auction hall in his absence. On his return in 1946 Thomas decided to expand his business and purchased his first removal van and started a local removal service.

In 1956 his son David Callan joined the business and together they opened a carpet retail show room selling quality carpets such as Axminster. In 1971 Thomas died leaving David to continue the business.

David Callan married Ruby Stevenson and had a family of four sons and one daughter. Although all four sons worked at Callan’s for varying periods it wasn’t until 1998 that Michael Callan returned to the family business and set up a new partnership which permitted David Callan to retire in 2003.

With the redevelopment of Ayr’s High Street, Thomas R Callan relocated to its current address at 22 Smith Street, Ayr.

In 2011 the family partnership transferred to a Limited company and Michael Callan became managing director.

Today Michael Callan continues as Managing director of Thomas R Callan Ltd which now celebrates over 85 years in Business.

Removals and Storage

Thomas R Callan Ltd continues to manage a thriving removal and storage business and operates a fleet of purpose-built Mercedes Benz removal vans. Callan’s conduct domestic and commercial removals throughout the UK, and provides safe and secure storage in its 12,000 square foot storage centre.

House Clearances

The Removal teams work in close association with the auctioneering and valuation services. Callan’s specialise in House clearances and provides a comprehensive service which includes valuations and appraisals, packing services, uplifting goods to be sold at auction and disposing unsalable items to various charities and recycling centres leaving houses ready for the property market.


Thomas R Callan Ltd conducts weekly interior auctions of general household furnishings and quarterly sales of Fine Art and Antiques. The quarterly sales are reproduced in quality colour catalogues. In 2010 Callan’s held their first live online auction utilising an auction platform which boasts 6 million customers across 120 different countries. The new technology allows customers to bid live from the comfort of their home anywhere in the world. This has transformed Thomas R Callan Ltd from a local Scottish saleroom into a successful UK auction house with a growing national and international clientele.