Your online local news from Lanark

Cabinet Secretary hails Lanark auctioneers’ 150-year celebration at Royal Highland Show

Lawrie & Symington’s Brian Dickie presented Fergus Ewing MSP with a commemorative tie

The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, celebrated the 150-year anniversary of livestock sales at Lawrie & Symington at the Royal Highland Show.

Mr Ewing was welcomed to the Lawrie & Symington stand at the event by chairperson Brian Dickie and managing director Hamish McCall, where he was presented with a specially-commissioned 150-year anniversary tie to mark the occasion.

The auctioneers welcome farmers and rural communities from across Scotland, the UK, and Europe to numerous high-profile events at their sites in Lanark and Forfar every year, having held regular livestock markets since 1867.

Mr Ewing said: “I’m delighted to be here to help Lawrie & Symington celebrate their 150th anniversary. That is some achievement. I can’t begin to picture in my mind how many cattle and sheep have passed through the firm’s doors in that last century and a half!

“It’s reassuring to know, despite the huge technological and social changes we’ve seen during that time, that a business with such a fine heritage can survive and thrive. Here’s to the next 150 years and more.”

In a typical year around 20,000 cattle and 200,000 sheep are sold in the auctioneers’ Lanark mart, and a further 7,000 head of cattle and 55,000 sheep in the Forfar mart.

Hamish McCall, managing director of Lawrie & Symington, is delighted to have reached the milestone and is optimistic that the business will thrive in the coming years.

He added: “Clearly, the demands of the agricultural sector are changing, not just here Scotland but around the world. However, I’m pleased to say that this has been a strong year for Lawrie & Symington and we’re absolutely planning to be around for another 150 years.”