BYGONE DAYS: Top price of 200gns is paid at Balmoral show and sale in Belfast

Pictured in September 1939 at Messrs Robson's show and sale of crossbred lambs, first prize and champion pen, exhibited by the McCurry Brothers of Ballycastle, Co Antrim. Mr J Lyttle, the judge, is pictured standing second from left
Pictured in September 1939 at Messrs Robson's show and sale of crossbred lambs, first prize and champion pen, exhibited by the McCurry Brothers of Ballycastle, Co Antrim. Mr J Lyttle, the judge, is pictured standing second from left

It was reported this week in 1956 that a top price of 200 guineas was paid at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s show and sale which was held at Balmoral.

The fee was for Mr William Warren, Carnmoney, Co Antrim, for his first prizewinning Aberdeen Angus bull, Elusive of Warrenton, which was sold to Mr S Calvert, Portadown.

The next highest price was 135 guineas, which was paid for Fairview Winnie 2nd, a British Friesian heifer, which was unplaced in its class in competition with 44 other animals.

It was sold by Mr W Clenaghan, Magheragall, Lisburn, to Mr T J Hutchinson, Moneymore, Co Antrim.

The third highest price was paid by Mr H Gillespie, Killylea, Co Armagh, for Dairy Chancellor, owned by Mr T H Brown, Stewartstown, Co Tyrone.

This dairy shorthorn bull, which fetched 150 guineas, was winner of its class, in which there were eight entries, and also the champion prize for the best dairy shorthorn bull in the show.

Prices around the 100 guineas mark were commonplace, noted the News Letter’s correspondent, as most of the 263 cattle on show that year (the previous year there had been 167 cattle) came under the auctioneer’s hammer and figures were also high in the private sales which took place outside the rings.

The best female animal in the dairy shorthorn section was Taringa Beauty, owned by Mr George Martin, of Banbridge. In the Aberdeen Angus section the best bull was Elusive Warrenton, owned by Mr William Warren, Carnmoney, Co Antrim, who also exhibited the best heifer, Georgina of Warrenton. Messrs J and R Millar, Castlereagh, Belfast, won the prize for the best heifer in the Hereford section with Lisleen Myrtle, and the award for the best bull went to Dunshaughlin Vanguard, owned by Mr W M Bolton, Kilrea, Co Londonderry.

Welcome home reception for plough world champion

Mr Hugh Barr, Curragh, Aghadowey, Co Londonderry who had recently won the world ploughing championship for the third successive year, was the guest of honour at a “welcome home” reception in Ballinteer Orange Hall this week in 1956, reported the News Letter.

The reception was attended by a large number his neighbours and friends.

The manager of the Northern Ireland ploughing team, Mr T Reid, said that this year Hugh Barr had won the championship by an even larger margin of points than on either of the two previous occasions.

Mr Ivan Wilson, Coleraine, said that when Mr Hugh Barr was retiring Mr Jack Barr was “going to show us that he is ready to take over”.

Potato harvest holidays

It was reported by the News Letter that the Tyrone Education Committee received a resolution at their meeting this week in 1956 from Cookstown Rural Council appealing that schools should be closed during potato harvesting operations.

The chairman said the difficulty was that the potato harvest did not occur at the same time in the various areas. It was decided to inform Cookstown Rural Council that after discussions with the Ulster Farmers’ Union and the Teachers’ Unions it was apparent that the fixing of a suitable fortnight’s holiday for harvesting operations in any area of the county was impracticable.