Towards the middle of the last century, two Cumberland farmers turned their backs on their farms and set up business as livestock auctioneers, one in Kendal and the other in Penrith. Though, at the time, they were completely unknown to each other, the moves sowed the seeds of a company that was to grow into one of the foremost livestock auctioneering partnerships in Europe.
The second annual Christmas Fatstock Show at Mr Harrisonís Auction Mart, Botchergate, Carlisle, was held yesterday. The attendance of farmers from the neighbourhood of Carlisle and different parts of the Northern counties was very large throughout, and the show proved a great success.
Mr Hetherington of Kendal, having purchased the auctioneering business on Earl Street, would like to inform the public that he will reopen the auction mart on 21 January 1897 for the sale of all kinds of stock.
Between 1906 and 1913 nothing startling happened to upset the day to day business of Harrison and Hetheringtonís Auction Marts Ltd through the depressed state of the farming industry. During periods of uncertainty, the board took a tough line on wage increases but were always concerned about the welfare of the staff. The Directors agreed: employees are allowed to take one dayís staff outing at a date considered suitable to the manager.
In 1913 the Directors purchased a Vulcan motor car to give canvassers an advantage over their competitors.
A cow's wild career in Botchergate caused some excitement on Monday morning. The cow was inside the entrance to Messrs Harrison & Hetheringtonís Auction Mart yard when it got out of control and ran into Botchergate dragging with it John Crighton who was in charge of the animal. The cow then dashed into the grocers shop of Mr Ernest Bell. It was caught, blindfolded and led uninjured into the Palace Theatre yard.
CARLISLE JOURNAL, FEB 1931
1943 - H&H Auction Marts Ltd becomes Harrison & Hetherington Ltd
Borderway Mart opened on Friday 23rd August 1974. The opening week sales were a resounding success, but it took a lot of hard work and ingenuity on the part of the staff of Borderway to have the catalogues ready on time. The Autumn of 1974 was the start of the ëWinter of Discontentí, when the power industry employees were flexing their muscles by staging a series of strikes, and printers were so plagued by powercuts they were forced to turn work away.
"Our present premises at Botchergate and Earl Street are perfectly adequate for our requirements and we therefore wish to continue indefinitely in these premises... Nevertheless we appreciate that it is the desire of the Corporation that we move... subject to suitable financial arrangements we are prepared to move... but it is not in our best interests and we do so solely at the request of the corporation."
1973 - Harrison & Hetherington get a 99 year lease at Rosehill and building begins on a new mart.
A new venture was undertaken on Friday by the Carlisle based auction company of Harrison and Hetherington, when the firm held a restocking sale. A record entry of more than 700 head of dairy cattle were on display before a large quantity of buyers from far and wide, especially from Cheshire and Shrewsbury, where farm stock has been killed due to the foot and mouth epidemic which struck more than 2,000 farms. Many farmers from the Midland counties did not actually take up the bidding themselves, but they had local friends in the ring to give a nod or a wink.
FARMER & STOCK BREEDER - MAY 1968
In April 1998 the untimely death of Dick Harrison brought to a close the ëHarrisoní day to day management and control of the company that had lasted for nearly 130 years. H&H Group Plc is formed in 1999 with the development of businesses offering a diversification of services - not solely based around livestock auctioneering.
In addition to auctioneering of livestock, vehicles, antiques and fine art, companies within the H&H Group now encompassed insurance, finance, chartered surveyors and estate agency services.
1987 Borderway Insurance opens
1990 H&H Print opens for business
1993 Harrison & Hetherington hit a £1m profit
1994 Primestock Electronic Auctions go live
1995 Borderway Finance opens
1999 Broughton Mart joins H&H
1999 H&H acquires Julie Kingís Estate Agents
and Alan Bowe, Chartered Surveyors
1999 The H&H Group is formed
On the 29th June 1987 Harrison & Hetherington wins a landmark case against Cumbria County Council for compensation of the compulsory relocation from their Botchergate site with an award of £860,00 being awarded by the judge. This legal battle had begun in May 1974 and could be deemed eligible for the countyís longest legal battle.
March 1996 - BSE outbreak rocks the UK and had a major impact on the business. As a consequence Cattle Passports for bovine animals were introduced in 1998.