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170 years of service at H&H Group

This week saw five staff members from Harrison & Hetherington team receive long service awards after reaching major career milestones.

Together their shared experience marks 170 years with the company.

Heather Pritchard and John Clarke mark 40 years, and David Holliday, Alan Threlkeld, and Michael Styth ring in 30 years of service at H&H.

They were presented with their award by Richard Rankin, chief executive of H&H Group.

Looking back on his four-decade long career, John, of Castle Carrick ,said: “I have loved my time with H&H.

“I joined H&H in February 1968 as a temporary yard’s person helping with the calves for just one day a week.

“I was supposed to only help until they found someone else at Christmas, but I’m still waiting to find out which Christmas they meant!”

Heather, one of the most important figures in pedigree auctioneering in the UK, has spent her whole working life at Harrison & Hetherington.

Joining the company 40 years ago, she came straight from school to start as an office junior, building and growing her career with the company today she is pedigree sales and marketing manager, overseeing over 150 sales a year.

She said: “I really have been very lucky in my role, and have seen how things have changed remarkably since my first days.

“When I joined H&H who were then based in the centre of Carlisle, there wasn’t much of a pedigree operation, so it’s been very satisfying to grow our presence in this area and become of the foremost pedigree sale auctioneers in the country.”

The story of long and rewarding careers for these five H&H employees is an antidote to modern times.

Unlike the world of work today, Alan and David – who is now an auctioneer – started out straight from school, and Michael worked his way up from being an office junior to now concentrate on the financial administration side of the business.

All are local to the area, born and bred in the region around Carlisle, and all have tales of how things used to be.

John said: “Things have changed so much, I remember on one particular day back in the 70s when six calves were sold.

“We were told to just put them in a hessian bag, wheel them quarter of a mile down to the road to put them in the boot of the bus for the buyer to pick up at the bus stop!

“This year has been difficult like no other, but I hope 2021 we will get back to normal again, seeing the famers and everyone we have missed.”

Mr Rankin said: “This really is a remarkable achievement and it is a real privilege to see such commitment and long service from our staff, who are now pretty much like family.

“It’s rare nowadays to have such long-standing members of a team, covering decades of a company’s evolution and growth.

“We couldn’t be happier to mark their collective 170 years’ experience with these awards, and hope we can celebrate properly together next year.”

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