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

Pictured left to right are: Hamish McCall, managing director of Lawrie and Symington; the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Mr Fergus Ewing, and Brian Dickie, chairperson of Lawrie and Symington
Pictured left to right are: Hamish McCall, managing director of Lawrie and Symington; the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Mr Fergus Ewing, and Brian Dickie, chairperson of Lawrie and Symington

The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity has hailed the 150-year anniversary of livestock sales at Lawrie and Symington, Scotland’s premier auction marts.

Fergus Ewing MSP was welcomed to the Lawrie and Symington stand at this year’s Royal Highland Show 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.

I’m delighted to be here to help Lawrie and 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.

Fergus Ewing, The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy

The seasoned 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.

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.

The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Mr Fergus Ewing said: “I’m delighted to be here to help Lawrie and 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.”

Welcoming the Cabinet Secretary to their stand, Hamish McCall, managing director of Lawrie & Symington, said: “We as auctioneers sit at the very heart of Scottish farming are very pleased to welcome Fergus Ewing to our stand at this year’s Highland Show to help us mark this important milestone for the business.

“It is great to see so many people in attendance today, many of whom have dropped by to talk to us about livestock sales in Scotland and the state of farming more generally.

“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 and Symington and we’re absolutely planning to be around for another 150 years.”