FARMING MATTERS: The day of the farm sale arrived

The family on the day of the farm sale
The family on the day of the farm sale

Last week I wrote about the preparations for our farm sale and how my son and I took time off from our day jobs to help.

On the night before the sale my daughter arrived home, having been given the day off work to be here for such a momentous occasion in all our lives.

My husband’s sisters and brother also came – this had been their childhood home, and we all appreciated their presence.

Thame Market was conducting the sale for us and had brought their mobile office and portable toilets. There was also a mobile food van serving fabulous bacon rolls amongst other things.

A member of Thame Market staff patrolled the farm overnight to protect all the items and his colleagues arrived early in the morning, then the first members of the public arrived from 8am to begin viewing before the selling started at 10.30am.

The day of the sale was forecast to be overcast and very wet but we were fortunate that two spells of rain were short and occurred during the morning when the items in the barn were being auctioned. By the time we got to the fields the rain had dried up.

Our daughter followed the auctioneers and watched every single item sold, whilst my son and I filmed the day for the final video in our series of DownOnTheFarmEngland videos which appear on YouTube. We took so much footage it could be some time before the video goes online, as it’s going to take a lot of editing.

Lots of neighbouring farmers attended the sale, and it was good to catch up with them, but as with all farm sales it also attracted visitors from across the whole region, and some of the lots ended to the other end of the country.

Lots of people ask how this is affecting my husband - surely the most important person to be considered in all of this. He is very philosophical and feels, for several reasons, there was no other option at this time, but he has retained some land and will continue with a smallholding, concentrating on sheep rather than his suckler herd of cows and calves. He is as satisfied as he can be with the new owners, family farmers who share a similar outlook to his own, and who have been very understanding of the enormity of the situation.