Trainee auctioneer Stuart wins award

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Aberdeen & Northern Marts trainee auctioneer Stuart Slesser has won a top award for being the best student in Scotland and the north of England.

Stuart, 21, from Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, received the Dick Harrison Trust Award for the best first year student in his course for budding auctioneers at the Harper Adams University College in Shropshire.

The Trust was set up in memory of the late auctioneer and managing director of Harrison & Hetherington, Dick Harrison who founded Borderway Mart in Carlisle.

It gives an annual top student award to trainee auctioneers from Scotland, Cumbria and Northumberland and also provides modest grants to students for their costs.

Stuart is currently studying for the Certificate in Higher Education in Professional Studies - Livestock Market Operations and Management at Harper Adams, which leads to membership of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers Scotland. He already has a BA in Rural Business Management from the Scottish Agricultural College. He admitted to be shocked at winning the award and added: “I was very surprised to come top and to get such a prestigious award. The course is hard work but enjoyable and interesting.”

Stuart, who was presented with an auctioneer’s gavel and a textbook, has always wanted to be an auctioneer since childhood when he went to sales with his farmer grandfather, William Rollo, of Thistleyhillock, Kininmonth, Peterhead. Robert Addison, secretary of the Dick Harrison Trust, said: “We are delighted that someone from the north-east of Scotland has won this award. There is a lot of competition for it and Stuart has done really well to come top.”