Tractors and harvesters sold as farming family retires after 100 years
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Hundreds of bidders eagerly snapped up tractors and agricultural machines at an auction marking the end of 100 years of farming heritage for a Norfolk family.
Auctioneers said the sale at Park Farm in Heydon, near Aylsham, "exceeded all expectations" as more than 400 lots were sold following the retirement of Paul Buxton, whose family has held the tenancy there for three generations since the early 1920s.
More than 300 buyers gathered for the outdoor event to bid for lots including a vintage Foden lorry and trailer, originally used to transport beet to the Cantley sugar factory in the 1950s. They were sold for £11,000.
Other top lots including a Landini 135T3 tractor which made £24,000, a Case International 5130 tractor which made £16,200, a Case International 856XL tractor which made £12,800, a Case International 1056XL tractor which made £19,400, and an Agrifac WKMN 9000 sugar beet harvester which made £14,000.
Auctioneer Simon Evans, of Arnolds Keys - Irelands Agricultural, said the event was also a landmark for the company, being its first in-person live auction since lockdown.
And he added it was a privilege to conduct the "very successful" sale for the Buxton family, which the firm had worked with throughout their 100-year tenure on the Heydon Estate.
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"Effectively, the firm of Irelands has been working with the Buxton family since they took the tenancy in the 1920s," he said.
"I would like to say that although the next generation have decided to make their careers elsewhere, we were very privileged to carry out the auction as the family moves on from farming.
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"The Buxton family were always considered to be very forward-thinking on their farm, and that can be seen in some of the items that were for sale.
"The beet haulage was originally done with their Foden lorry and trailer, which was quite a unique outfit, and it sold for £11,000.
"There was also an International Case 'axial-flow' combine, registered in 1987, which was quite a revolutionary design when they came out, and the Buxtons would have been one of the first families to buy one of these.
"On the tractors, one of the comments from the machinery dealers was there is an indication of farmers' willingness to have tractors that can be mended a bit more easily from home, without the reliance on electronics and computers.
"The tractors here were of that ilk, as they were a little bit older. But the prices exceeded all expectations."