10 April 1998

Dispersal marks end of an era

A 30-year dairy farming career inside the London county boundary with Holstein Friesian cattle ended this month when John and Rosemary Silver took their entire Beechbarn herd for dispersal at Crewe, Cheshire.

The 163-mile motorway haul from home to the north-west milk field began at the breeders South Barvin Farm, The Ridgeway, Enfield, Middlesex.

"The one thing for certain about the morning after this sale is that we wont be milking," said Mr Silver as the cattle were prepared for their journey.

High spots of the sale bidding were a top price of 8200gns for a Hanoverhill maiden heifer of Canadian breeding – plus seven prices of 4000gns or more, and a final overall average of £1485.66 for 175 head.

Despite prevailing gloom in many markets elsewhere, both mature and youngstock in the Crewe dispersal sold readily. The 89 cows levelled at £1816, the 47 served heifers at £1266.92, and 39 maiden heifers averaged £994.90.

A flow of high bidding from herd owners farming at Nantwich, Oswestry, Kidderminster and in Warwickshire clearly justified choice by Mr and Mrs Silver of the Crewe market. The top price for the Canadian heifer, however, came from Catherine Moody, a member of the Essex and Herts regional Holstein Friesian club, buying for her Radleygreen herd near Ingatestone, Essex.

Mr Silver said the reason for the dispersal was that there was nobody in the family to follow on. "It is all right if something goes wrong when you are young enough to deal with it, but all the relief milking as well as work every other weekend for 30 years now leave their mark," he said.

Sharing rostrum duties at the Crewe dispersal were Wright-Manley with Norton and Brooksbank. &#42

John Silver says goodbye to 30 years in dairy farming.