It’s not uncommon for farmers staying overnight in Stirling (or previously Perth) for the Bull Sales to have to leave their room at some ungodly hour of the morning because the fire alarm went off ...

Hopefully, no-one had to vacate their rooms this past weekend, though the fire brigade had to be called to the Golden Lion, in Stirling, recently.

But it wasn’t because of smoking in the toilets, burnt toast in the kitchen or even some over inebriated prankster. Oh no, our Irish friends over for the Blackface ram sales at Stirling had enjoyed the social pre-sale banter, not to mention the customary ram-a-dram that go hand in hand with these events. So, it took some longer than normal to get to their beds in the Golden Lion.

When they did decide to throw in the towel, they vacated en masse, which was a huge relief to the bar man at 1.30am, but not so for the hotel lift. It was made for five, so was left groaning at the seams when nine big, burly Irish sheep farmers and quite noisy ones at that, piled in.

They were, though, very soon silenced when the groaning lift came to an abrupt halt almost as soon as the door had closed, and the sardines were left stranded in darkness. Hilarity was soon replaced with sweat and almost tears as our boys and indeed their underwear, had to stick it out for a good two hours before the fire brigade appeared. It must have been messy!

A busman’s holiday

You know that saying: A busman’s holiday? Well that’s what Inverurie farmer, Willie Brown, had recently on Islay.

Away for a relaxing few days with his wife after the harvest and before the winter cattle feeding season gets properly underway, he was there to soak up the quiet atmosphere, maybe sample a bit of the local ‘brew’ and generally relax.

Well, that was until he found out there was a UA sale on in the wee mart at Bridgend. So, his ‘relaxing’ time was spent at the sale, talking coos and sheep – he seemed to enjoy it enough to buy some cattle too.

He was due to leave the next day but the Happy Farmer at Persabus, where he was staying, managed to change his ferry booking for another day, allowing Willie to also attend the Cally Marts on farm sales.

I fear that the holiday turned into an expensive busman’s holiday, for while he was buying cattle, his wife was on a shopping spree. It’s a wonder he had any money left!


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Boom boom!