Next generation of Northumberland farming family takes up the gavel as a livestock auctioneer

The next generation of a well-known farming family is following in their footsteps.

Saturday, 30th November 2019, 1:40 am
Jack Walton, left, with Hexham and Northern Marts’ managing director Rob Addison.

Jack Walton has been appointed as a livestock auctioneer with his first full-time role at Hexham and Northern Marts.

Jack, 21, recently joined the auction company as trainee auctioneer after graduating in rural land management from the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.

“I have always wanted to be like my grandfather Michael Walton and one of my big aims was to sell Suffolk tups in front of him which I was able to do at Hexham in October,” said Jack. “He had a big smile on his face so he must have thought I did a good job.”

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The Walton family, originally from Roseden, near Wooler, has been synonymous with auctioneering - and Suffolk sheep - another tradition Jack aspires to with his own flock one day.

His father Peter trained as an auctioneer but pursued a career in professional rugby, playing for Scotland and Newcastle Falcons and now head of academy at Gloucester.

His uncle Andrew is a part time auctioneer and his second uncle Micky runs the pedigree Roseden Suffolk flock for Lilburn Estates at Wooler.

Jack’s involvement with auction marts began in his home area at Worcester market when he was just 13.

“I love having the adrenalin rush when you are selling and working for the vendor - but it’s not just about the selling, it’s the whole aspect of auctioneering - the community spirit. I really enjoy going to farms and talking to farmers,” said Jack.

His first try at auctioneering was when he was 14 selling a gold pocket watch which topped the sale of household goods for Howkins and Harrison in Rugby where his mother Diana, now head of shows at the Three Counties Showground, previously worked.

When he was 18 he raised £7,400 for the RABI and RSABI (Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution) by visiting 25 markets from Dingwall to Truro, selling a pen of sheep at each market.

Rob Addison, Hexham and Northern Marts’ managing director, said: “I’m pleased to welcome another young auctioneer to our team and Jack is a great addition with his experience and enthusiasm for the job.”