Robin Screeton

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ROBIN Screeton, an East Riding livestock auctioneer who came from a farming family and went on to develop his business into one of Yorkshire’s successful independent estate agents, based in Howden, has died aged 80.

He always took a keen interest in the livestock industry and from an early age wanted to be an auctioneer. He was so successful that he and colleagues were later to save Selby livestock market from near closure and turn it into the success it is today.

As a young boy, he would stand on the granary steps at home auctioning chickens, calves and any other livestock that was around to his younger brothers, Geoffrey and Derek, and neighbouring children, who would bid for them.

In their teenage years, Mr Screeton and his brothers reared and prepared cattle to show at agricultural shows across the East Riding, and won many trophies over the years.

He was born at Newland House Farm, Eastrington, near Howden, the eldest of three sons of local farmer and cattle and sheep dealer Walter Screeton. As a boy he would accompany his father to many local markets, as well as in Scotland and Wales, buying cattle and sheep to send back to East Riding farmers.

He was educated at Howden School and Goole Grammar School, and at 18 took the tenancy of Parks Farm, in the neighbouring village of Newsholme where he lived and farmed for more than 40 years. In 1991 he retired from farming and moved to Howden.

At the same time he worked for auctioneers and valuers Frank Hill & Son at Patrington, near Withernsea, auctioneering livestock at the Hull and Beverley markets and organising farm stock sales throughout the Holderness area.

He stayed with the firm for 17 years until, in 1966 at the age of 33, he started auctioneering and valuing in his own right, operating from Parks Farm. His son Ian joined him in 1979 after being articled under Harry Cundall, of Cundalls at Malton. Shortly after Screetons’ Howden office was opened, broadening the business and developing it into the successful estate agents it is today.

During his career Mr Screeton, who was well-liked and respected, was also auctioneer at Doncaster Market for 38 years, after going to help one Saturday, and at Newark for 30 years as well as brief spells at Brigg, Hellifield and Thirsk.

For 30 years he was involved as auctioneer and chairman of Selby Livestock market and, after he and his colleagues saved it from closure, retired from there in 2005.

He was also a long-time member of the Lower Ouse Drainage Board, and latterly its chairman.

Having lived in and around the area all his life he had a particular interest in Howden Show having attended every year as a young boy showing cattle, then judging and later as a spectator. Almost fittingly he died on the day of this year’s show.

His main hobby was fly fishing for trout and salmon, especially in Cumbria and Scotland.

As a young man he was a motor enthusiast and a member of Goole motoring club. One of his proudest moments was owning a Sun Beam Rapier with a Darrington conversion.

Mr Screeton is survived by Val, his partner of 20 years, son Ian, wife Jean and brother Geoffrey. His brother Derek predeceased him.