Obituary: Jimmy Weir

Auctioneer who worked to great acclaim in livestock industry for nearly half a century

Born: 3 February, 1927, in Kirkcaldy.

Died: 6 March, 2010, in Stirling, aged 83.

JAMES Weir was a leading livestock auctioneer and managing director of United Auctions, one of Scotland's leading auction firms. He was a fine ambassador for the agricultural sector, showing unstinting dedication and commitment in a career which spanned almost 50 years.

Born in 1927 in Fife and educated at Bell Baxter High in Cupar, he trained as a livestock auctioneer with Speedie Brothers, which was also based in Cupar.

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In 1945 he was called up for National Service and he joined the Artillery garrisoned at Fort George near Inverness. Just as the war was ending he was posted to Java and Singapore. He turned down the chance of taking officer training, preferring to leave the army to restart his life as an auctioneer. In 1953 he received the first of many promotions and was transferred to Speedie Bros in Stirling.

It was at this time that he met his future wife, Betty Loudon, at a farmers' dance at the McClintock Memorial Hall in Balfron. They were married a year later in Killearn Church.

Jimmy was a dynamic and colourful character who had connections throughout the UK livestock industry.

He specialised in the sale of store and prime sheep, and in this area he built up sales to record levels of more than 10,000 head per week at Speedie Bros mart at Wallace Street in Stirling.

In 1966, Jimmy continued his successful career when moving to the new United Auctions mart at Kildean, where he remained instrumental in further developing the business. Jimmy was also widely recognised as being a leading arbiter and was involved in many sheep stock valuations throughout the country.

On his retirement in 1992, he was managing director of United Auctions and a main board member of the UA Group. He had a very special affection for the west coast, especially the Dalmally area, where he received much acclaim for the development of the quality of stock in the area. When he retired the farming community at Dalmally organised a ceilidh and presentation in recognition of his achievements and all that he had done for the local mart and the surrounding area.

Outside of work he enjoyed travelling, gardening and horse racing, and he was a popular guest auctioneer at major charity events.

He is survived by his wife Betty, his two sons and a daughter.