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Stackyard News Jan 2010

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Auctioneer Bill is Top of the Class!

Part time auctioneer and part time farmer, Bill Nelson has come out top of the class in the first year of a four year auctioneering foundation degree course, receiving the Dick Harrison Trust Award.

Left to right, Dick Harrison Trust chairman Nick Utting, Bill Nelson with his award and Andrew Wright, secretary of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers Scotland with last year's first year students.

Bill Nelson with his award

Bill, who at 52, is probably the oldest student to win the award made by the Dick Harrison Trust which was set up to help budding auctioneers in memory of the late auctioneer and managing director of Harrison & Hetherington, Dick Harrison who founded Borderway Mart, Carlisle.

Bill farms 200 acres at Low Sorbies, Bewcastle, north of Carlisle, running pedigree British Blues and sheep. He started working part-time for Carlisle-based Harrison & Hetherington in 2000 as a fieldsman as well as working in the pedigree office in an administrative role.

An ambition he has held since childhood to be an auctioneer was fulfilled five years ago when he began conducting tree and shrub sales at Borderway. Since then he has also auctioned implements and taken over as the main vehicle auctioneer at Borderway Motor Auctions. He sells sheep at the annual NSA Builth Wells ram sales.

“Ever since I was small I wanted to be an auctioneer but it never occurred to me that I would get the chance,” said Bill. “I enjoy all aspects of my work and my ultimate ambition is to regularly conduct livestock auctions.”

Bill received his award from from Dick Harrison Trust chairman Nick Utting at the start of a week’s tuition at the University of Cumbria’s Newton Rigg Campus on Monday (January 25).

The remainder of study for the four year degree course run with the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association and the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers Scotland is carried out remotely throughout the year.

Bill’s first-year course last year (2009) involved 20 students from across England, Wales and Scotland. Numbers have been increasing year on year.

As well as making the annual top student award, the Dick Harrison Trust provides modest grants to aspiring auctioneers from Cumbria, Northumberland and Scotland towards their costs, including books, computers and travel.

Anyone seeking further information can contact the trust secretary Robert Addison on 01228 406200, e-mail or visit the website

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The Dick Harrison Trust