20 December 1996

At a time when more livestock markets are closing than opening, Northamptonshire Auctions has bucked the trend …

Last week saw the opening of the new 5ha (13-acre) £1.3m site on the edge of town. MLC chairman, Don Curry, arrived in unconventional fashion, before selling the first beast. The £3500 it raised went to charity.

With the marts 103rd primestock show also taking place, it was certainly a busy day. In total, 127 cattle and 863 lambs were entered for the opening sale.

The new site boasts penning for 700 cattle and 1800 sheep. The events sheep championship went to a pen of three Charollais-sired lambs from W G Payne and Son. The best made £500, with the other two at £150 apiece. But it wont be just livestock you will see at the new centre; sales of fine arts, antiques, horses and machinery are also planned.

Say cheese… Ann Badrick tries a sample of Christmas Stilton.

For those wanting to get away from the hectic ringside, a visit to the new restaurant was one option.

New market, but familiar faces… Roy Russell (with pipe), who is 80 next year, has been coming to Northampton mart for 75 years.

Keith Davis applies the finishing touches to one of his cattle. The supreme championship went to K B Daviss 450kg Limousin cross heifer. It made £3.55/kg, and grossed £1597.50. Buyer was the CBC Meat Co.