Tales From The Fields: Famous herd comes under the auctioneer’s hammer

The dispersal sale of the Purdysburn herd held in October 1970 by R J Allams Ltd attracted a large attendance of buyers
The dispersal sale of the Purdysburn herd held in October 1970 by R J Allams Ltd attracted a large attendance of buyers

Thirty-six years after its establishment, the Purdysburn Hospital herd of pedigree Friesian cattle was dispersed this week in October 1970.

The sale of the herd, renown for its successes in the show-ring, attracted a large attendance of buyers from all parts of Northern Ireland and south of the border.

Prospective buyers look over some of the heifers prior to the dispersal sale of the Purdysburn herd held in October 1970 by R J Allams Ltd

Prospective buyers look over some of the heifers prior to the dispersal sale of the Purdysburn herd held in October 1970 by R J Allams Ltd

Messrs Sean O’Neill Ltd, The Wood, Lurgan, paid the top price of the day - 400 guineas - to secure one of the bulls, three year old Fenagh Knockout.

Two of the females, Purdysburn Sadie, a three year old in-calf cow, and two year old Purdysburn Greet, changed hands for 300 guineas each. The animals were purchased by Mr Robert Gray, Craigantlet, Newtownards, and Mr Joseph Linton, Linmore, Killylea respectively.

Mr Gray again entered the bidding, going to 280 guineas for another three year old cow, Purdysburn Gillie, while Purdysburn Gymkana was knocked down at 270 guineas to Mr John J McDowell, Lisnabreeny, Castlereagh, Belfast.

Crossnamuckley, Newtownards buyer Mr James Mawhinney went to the same figure to secure a four year old cow Purdysburn Gyp and to 240 guineas for Purdysburn Gym.

“I have not made any firm plans for the future. After all I have been here since 1941 and it will take time to get used to the change.”

Purdysburn Hospital farm manager, Mr David John Campbell

The present stock bull, Parkhouse Anther, was purchased by Mr F H Allen, Laurel Hill, Lurgan, at the latter price.

Bids of 220 guineas from Mr Robert Gray and Mr J W Walker, Ravernette farm, Lisburn bought Purdysburn Noon - a three year old cow - and Purdysburn Hurry, also a three year old springing cow.

Purdysburn Bounce, a two year old heifer, went for 210 guineas to Mr D McNeilly’s Bruslee, Ballyclare farm.

Mr F H Allen paid 200 guineas for Purdysburn Kew, as did Bushmills buyer Mr Robert Blakely for Purdysburn Gladden. A third animal, Purdysburn Vinnie, attracted a bid of 200 guineas from Mr W H Mawhinney, Glengormley.

Heifer calves sold to 67 guineas each.

Speaking on the day of the dispersal sale Purdysburn Hospital farm manager, Mr David John Campbell, said that it was sad to watch 30 years of work come under the hammer of the auctioneer.

He said: “I have not made any firm plans for the future. After all I have been here since 1941 and it will take time to get used to the change.”

Commenting on the sale, Mr Campbell said that he was very pleased with the trade, and the efficient way the auction had been conducted by Messrs R J Allam Ltd.

Members of the Hospital Management Committee had high praise for Mr Campbell. One senior member said: “The success of the farming enterprise is due entirely to him.”