ONE of the best auctioneers of his time, David Thomlinson from Harrison and Hetherington (H&H), has sadly died as a consequence of a tragic accident on his farm. 

Mr Thomlinson will be remembered for his outstanding dedication to the livestock auctioneering world, within H&H, throughout the UK and across the world.

The auctioneer was born and brought up in Cumbria and after leaving Carlisle Grammar School in 1962, he began working for livestock auctioneers Harrison & Hetherington as an office boy based in Botchergate, Carlisle.

During his early career he took and passed his Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor exams, then moved across into auctioneering and rose through the ranks to Managing Director.

Mr Thomlinson's career with Harrison & Hetherington spanned over 57 years, during which time he made a huge contribution to the success which H&H is today. 

Although there are many successes and highlights during his work as an auctioneer, one of his first proud moments was the sale of a Texel Shearling Ram, Loosebeare Imp, in 2003 which sold for 120,000gns. Another was the sale of the prize winning Limousin bull, Haltcliffe Vermont, who sold for a then world Limousin record price of 100,000gns in 2006. Mr Thomlinson started the bidding for this exceptional animal at 10,000gns before seeing the price rise to make this highest priced breed bull ever sold at that time.

Throughout his career, the auctioneer maintained his passion for farming, livestock, and rural issues. Along with his wife Sheila, he farmed their 200 acre farm, Park View at Scaleby, Carlisle from where they started their pedigree herd of Limousin cattle in 1978. The farm produces quality bulls and females for sale both in the ring and privately. The Beeches herd has enjoyed success in the show ring with Beeches French and Beeches Georgette – two of his favourites.

Mr Thomlinson had been a former Chairman of the North West Limousin Cattle Breeders Association and had made a hugely important contribution to the British Limousin Cattle Society, serving as a Council Member for a number of years, concluding with a two year Presidency in September 2018. He was instrumental in the creation of Borderway being recognised as The National Limousin Centre and always put the needs of farmers first.

Outside of work and commitments to his farm and livestock, Mr Thomlinson was Chairman of the Cumberland Show, President of Cumbria Young Farmers Federation and held numerous other roles within the main Cumbrian show societies. For a six-year period, which included the outbreak of BSE, David was also Chairman of the Livestock Auctioneers Association.

In 2011, he was presented with the Blamire Award for services in promoting the Cumberland farming industry. Plus having served for six years as Chairman of the Pedigree Breeders Committee.

In 2017, Mr Thomlinson was awarded the prestigious Farmer’s Guardian Lifetime Auctioneer Achievement Award in recognition for the vital role he has played in the market system and in recognition as an inspirational model; he was praised as a deserving winner who has influenced the lives of others, supported communities, pushed for change and contributed to the positive promotion of the agricultural industry as a whole.

There are two things which Mr Thomlinson said he would pass onto the next generation, to always be honest and to always remember the little man, David has certainly passed this on to our teams here.

He will be a great miss to his family and all the H&H team, but his hard work over the years will live on through the next generation for many years to come.