John Thomson Snr, of Annan, received the prestigious Auctioneers Lifetime Achievement Award at the Farmers Guardian Mart’s The Heart Awards in Birmingham last Thursday night. And it was a double celebration as he turned 94 the following day.
Mr Thomson spent 55 years as a livestock auctioneer with Thomson, Roddick and Laurie, working in the company’s busy marts at Annan, Dumfries and Thornhill and selling thousands of pigs, sheep and cattle during his career. He was the third generation of his family in the role and his grandson Matthew is today still carrying on the tradition.
Retirement came in 2000 when the firm joined with Longtown Mart and he turned his hand instead to writing books – his latest on the markets of Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire is due out in the new year.
However, in 2014, Mr Thomson came out of retirement to take over the management of Longtown Mart with his two sons. It was refinanced as C and D Mart Ltd and has become a flourishing family firm. Congratulations have been flooding in from far and wide since news broke of his achievement award and he said this week: “It came out of the blue. Although it comes late in life, it’s a deeply appreciated honour.”
And discussing the highlights of his many years in the industry, he added: “There are so many highlights, every week was a highlight. “If I lived my life again, I would do the same thing.”
Mr Thomson is a past president of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland and their current president Scott Donaldson said: “John Thomson Snr is a hugely respected and well-liked figure within the auction community and we’re delighted his commitment and passion for our industry has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award. John has dedicated over half a century to furthering the aims of marts and advocating the role livestock auctioneers play in the agricultural industry as key players in the marketing chain from farm to farm and farm to end user. He is extremely well deserving of this award.”