UNITED Auctions’ staff overcame stormy adversity yesterday (Thursday, December 8th) to see the highest ewe trade this season, with a top price of £156.50.
A ‘wartime spirit’ reigned at Stirling Agricultural Centre as storm-force winds knocked out power lines around 3pm, plunging the market into darkness with more than 8,000 sheep to go through the ring and another five hours of selling ahead.
Aided by floodlights hired in preparation for the event, auctioneers, George Purves, Richard Close and Ross Fotheringham, battled on at the busier-than-usual weekly sale, speaking even louder to allow buyers to hear the bids over the noisy generator.
Meanwhile, a fast-thinking member of staff dashed to the local hardware store for headlamps to enable yardsmen to continue drawing sheep for the sale.
Around 7pm, Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers brought in 60 fish suppers for staff and remaining buyers to help keep spirits high and fingers warm.
Said Matt Stevenson, sales manager/auctioneer at UA: “Despite adverse weather conditions, the ewes were the dearest I’ve seen the whole year. While we were prepared for the possibility of the power cut, staff did exceptionally well, thinking on their feet. Everyone knuckled down to the task while sellers and buyers were incredibly patient.
“Although the weather had an impact on the economy with many businesses closing early, we actually relied on the local traders to help us stay open and finish the sale strong.”
The sale ended around 8.30pm and a number of staff who were unable to make the trip home stayed the night at the local King Robert hotel.
Power was restored this morning (Friday, December 9th).
Notes to editor:
United Auctions – www.uagroup.co.uk
- United Auctions (UA) are a leading livestock auctioneer and procurement specialist. We operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban
- The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree sheep and cattle, and provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services
- Group turnover is in excess of £100 million and in 2008 we celebrated our 150th year in operation
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