By Stan Clare

THE north of Englands major annual sale of mule gimmer lambs at Lazonby this week attracted some of the heaviest crowds seen for many years.

Customers were so plentiful that many buyers went home empty handed and the 26,568 sheep sold averaged £30.19 per head.

The prices were higher than at Lazonbys first sale and the regions average sheep values which have generally ranged from £24-£28.

Michael Bowe, one of four auctioneers who man the sale said he was very pleased with the huge turnout of buyers.

Interest from right across the country resulted in better than expected prices, he said.

The North of England Mule Sheep Associations William Armstrong Trophy was awarded to Ron and Frances Wilson of Low Tipalt Farm, Greenhead, near Carlisle.