ROY Gibson has retired after a career in the industry spanning some 67 years, much of which was spent in the auctioneer’s rostrum.
A retirement lunch was held at Corick House Hotel when Roy recalled some of the highlights of his career.
“I started work aged just 14 at R J Allams in August 1954 as a junior office boy. I ran errands, made tea, and any other small tasks I was asked to do.
“In those days Allams was a very busy livestock market, with sales five days a week. After a year I was allowed to supervise the reception of livestock, lot numbering, and got to record the name and address of the owners.
“Not long after, I was given the job of clerk during the auctions. This is where I learned my trade, listening to some of the finest auctioneers in the business. Finally, aged 19, after some of the top auctioneers had left to run other marts, I got the chance to sell my first livestock in the ring. It was thrilling to be in charge of the ring and sell dropped calves.
“From that moment on I began to sell all sorts of livestock in the old Oxford Street Mart.
“In 1972 Allams was purchased by the Johnston brothers, who also owned Ulster Farmers’ Mart in Enniskillen. I began to travel to Enniskillen every week to sell at their Thursday cattle sales. I enjoyed every moment of my time at Allams and Enniskillen.
“Sadly, the Oxford Street Mart closed in 1992. We moved to the market town of Crumlin, and then Massereene.
“One of the outstanding moments was not, in fact, the highest price paid for an animal I sold, but the moment when two buyers fell out over buying a cow. One man pulled out his cattle marking scissors and cut the other man’s tie off just below the knot – it was priceless!
“If my career has a highlight it was that for 24 years I sold the champions at Allams Christmas sale of fatstock at Balmoral. I finally retired in December 2021 due to ill health.”
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