More than £2,000 changed hands for a “very average Mule lamb” at Kirkby Stephen mart on Tuesday evening as livestock buyers produced a spontaneous display of generosity at the weekly sale of sheep.
Andrew Teward, Fair View, Middleton-in-Teesdale, offered his final prime lamb of the year to be sold for charity – a not uncommon practice at Cumbrian marts during the festive period, but the results on this occasion exceeded all expectations.
The lamb was initially bought by 21-year-old prime sheep buyer Morgan Helliwell, Rochdale, who then put it back on offer, with the next buyer being Arthur Slack, Hilton.
What happened in the next 10 minutes was a spur of the moment display of human kindness as all 12 prime buyers present bought the charity lamb and then offered it for sale once more.
Lambs of that type normally sell for about £90.
With a grand total of £2,150 raised, Morgan Helliwell nominated the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to receive the money for its children’s cancer ward 84, where he spent six months while battling cancer 10 years ago, for which he feels deep gratitude.
Harrison and Hetherington auctioneer Mark Richardson said the bids came thick and fast, with clerk Brenda Armer only just being able to keep up, and that there was a sense of real emotion around the ring.
He thanked the purchasers, Morgan Helliwell, Arthur Slack, Andrew Phillips, Paul Bartholomew, James Blenkhorn for Yorkshire Halal Meats and Lancashire Direct Halal, Glen Lomax, Phil Burton for West Scottish Lamb, Gerallt Roberts for Field Fresh Trading Ltd, Simon Jenner, Dan Kemp, Dan Towers, Ben Gray for Andrew Atkinson Livestock, James Birkbeck for J. A. Jewitt Meats and Harrison and Hetherington.
The figure were rounded up by Mark and Brenda.
Mark added: “In light of all the turmoil regarding looming Brexit fears and the coronavirus epidemic, this was a truly heart warming display of generosity which occurred at Kirkby Stephen auction mart and we applaud the great support from all concerned.”