LETTER: Auction mart is vital to town’s prosperity

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In reply to your recent letter from “A Station Road resident” regarding the local auction mart, I found it, quite frankly, pathetic. How long has it taken this individual to realise the large premises next door is a thriving livestock market?

It has been there since the mid-1800s, serving the local area and providing a significant amount of full- and part-time employment.

The anonymous scribe, along with a minority of farmers, may not be aware but the live auction system is one of the biggest assets to any farmer’s business. The sale to which the letter refers is the annual two-day calf sale that is the largest of its kind in the UK, with a turnover approaching £2.3 million. Any town in the country would be delighted to conduct such a sale.

With regard to “several cars being scraped”, was this reported to the police? I am doubtful that cattle trucks merrily pulled up and parked at traffic cones without being moved on as the local police are very much in evidence at the busier sales.

Having been involved with the market since the age of 16, I have seen the demise of many markets in places much bigger than Newton Stewart so we should be thankful that it continues to exist.

In this economic climate, in what is a deprived area, all small businesses should be encouraged and supported or we shall end up with a main street of charity shops, a bookie’s and maybe a deserted pub. Some people should look past the end of their nose at times and realise that other people have their lives to lead and their living to make.

Brian Vance,

Mid Skeog, Whithorn.