We must stay vigilant…

12th June 2020

The continued edition of Richard Rankin’s weekly diary as homeworker during the lockdown … I must admit when I started this diary, I didn’t expect to be still writing so many weeks later.  On the one hand, lock down has been a long drawn out and sometimes scary experience that has impacted so many in so many ways, but on the other, we must acknowledge just how far we have come in such extreme and unprecedented circumstances.  It has shown the true grit and camaraderie of a nation.

This week the message I wanted to get across to all our companies and people was one of vigilance as we start to interact with our customers once more.   Everyone’s safety is our paramount priority and whilst we can control our working environments, making them all COVID safe with signage, screens and new working practices, we still have to work together to ensure these standards are maintained with the right communications and behaviours in place to ensure we are doing everything possible to stop the virus spreading any further.

On that note, my spirits were very much lifted when reports this week showed that the number of people dying each week linked to coronavirus has dropped to its lowest levels in the UK since March.  This has been such welcome news.  It is also pleasing to see the government graphs, that I’ve been watching every day, continue their decline and follow the expected trends.

Something in the news going up rather than down this week, however, was the manned Space X rocket launch to the International Space Station, the first in 9 years.  With all the headlines being dominated by COVID-19, this was history in the making, appealing to the inner geek and such a fantastic experience to watch amidst a news reel dominated by a pandemic.

Back to business and news this week from our livestock auction mart is that we continue to trade well in spite of restrictions.  Our prime sheep sale at Kirkby Stephen was evidence of that as we saw an entry of 2,663 sheep put forward consisting of 1,208 spring lambs, 703 prime hoggs and 752 cast sheep.  Topping the spring lambs at £134 and 335p/kg were a pen of three 40kg Beltex cross lambs from Messrs Lyle, Staingills, Penrith. A pen of 20 38kg lambs from this home sold to make £123.30 (324.5p/kg). The whole consignment of 300 lambs from Staingills sold to average 40.8kg and a mind blowing £111.75 (273.9p/kg)!

An exciting turn of events also happened for our land and property division when a hill farm in the West Lakes, which had sadly fallen through during the crisis, was put back onto the market and sold the same week!  This is a great result for our clients and goes to show that the market is emerging victorious beyond the house sale lock down.

Finally, World Milk Day was celebrated this week, which given the challenges that the milk industry has suffered of late, was an opportunity to recognise and give thanks to all those keeping the supermarkets stocked.  So, on that note, I thought I would end by giving the dairy men and dairy women out there a big shout out for keeping us supplied with the white stuff and keeping us healthy in these difficult times.  To everyone else, once again, stay alert and stay safe 😊

Richard Rankin
CEO