"What Am I Bid?" The Life and Times of an Agricultural Auctioneer in Herefordshire by Julian Gallimore



In this talk, Julian Gallimore will recall a compendium of anecdotes, observations and revelations from a career spanning 46 years as an agricultural auctioneer across England, Scotland and Wales, much of which was at the Old Cattle Market in Hereford. In tandem, Julian will talk about the love of his work, Hereford Cattle, and their unique virtues which have stood the test of time for over 200 years.

The talk is for anyone who has experienced the thrill of the auction, in agriculture or otherwise, for those intrigued by the inner workings of an auction house or curious about the techniques used in bid calling. Why do auctioneers talk so fast and why the rhythmic monotone? What do they actually say?  Julian elucidates this vital link in food journey from farm to fork and gives a first-hand account the drama leading up to the final bid.

Julian was born and bred in Herefordshire. In his formative years, he accompanied his father, also an auctioneer specialising in Herefords.  In 1960, having decided to follow suit at Russell, Baldwin and Bright, Julian set out with his father and together they travelled across the country to sell at markets and on-farm. In 1963 he qualified as an Auctioneer and Estate Agent and later became a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Throughout, Hereford market was a regular haunt for him where he sold sheep or cattle at the weekly auctions.

He rose through the ranks of Russell Baldwin and Bright Markets to become Chairman and with the decreasing popularity of the breed from the 1980’s until a resurgence following the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in 2001, worked for insolvency practitioners, was an arbitrator appointed by the Lord Chancellor for agricultural disputes, and carried out estate management and other professional work. He retired in 2006, when, as luck would have it, the demand for Hereford Cattle was picking up and a new Market in Hereford was becoming more than a pipe dream. On his retirement, Julian became chairman of Herefordshire Country Fair, a post which he relinquished in 2017.

There will be a party after the talk with free drinks and canapés.