Recent PR

Fire Engines Up for Grabs

Great Response for Fire Engine and Equipment Sale


H&H Motor Auctions received huge interest at their most recent Plant and Machinery Sale. The interest was sparked mostly by a number of ex fire service items that were up for auction, including two fire engines. The engines were both purchased by the same bidder and went for an impressive combined total of over £5000.


The sale, held on 11th October within the exhibition hall at Borderway Mart attracted an excellent turnout with bidding exceeding the auctioneers’ expectations. The bidders were thought to be mostly traders looking for equipment to sell on. The fire brigade equipment included generators, lighting systems, cutting equipment, cabling and of course a number of ladders.


The ex fire service items came from Cumbria Fire and Rescue and the auctioneer, Bill Nelson tells us why this equipment makes such great buying;


“With the fire and rescue services, equipment has to be 100% spot on because there are so many people’s lives resting on it. It also has to be kept up to date with latest technologies and machinery making older items redundant.”


Best of all he says,


“Because of the nature the equipment is used for, and the regulations applied by emergency services, this equipment has been incredibly well maintained over its life time. Meaning that as it retires from the fire service it is generally still in excellent condition and ready for another life elsewhere”.


The two fire engines were of course the highlight of the day, one engine first registered for service in 1990 sold for £2500 and the other from 1995 went for slightly more at £3080. It is a mystery just what the new owner had in store for them.

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Dalhousie Castle purchased by owner of Northumberland Hotels

It has been announced that entrepreneur Mr Robert Parker and his wife Gina have purchased Dalhousie Castle near Edinburgh for an undisclosed sum. Dalhousie, a luxury 13th Century Scottish castle, was formerly owned by Von Essen Hotels.

This new acquisition adds to the Parkers’ existing portfolios of properties which also includes Doxford Hall Hotel, Eshott Hall and Guyzance Hall in Northumberland, as well as the Tedsmore Estate in Shropshire.

Located on the outskirts of Edinburgh in West Lothian, the multi award winning Dalhousie Castle was converted into a hotel in 1972. Today with 29 guest bedrooms it is a much sought after venue for conferences and weddings and is celebrated for its hydro spa and 16th century ghost.

Robert Parker spent many years at the start of his adult life as an Anglican clergyman and still remains very active in the church.  A career change saw him developing a chain of care homes which he sold for in 2006.  Since then he has focused on the development of high end country hotels and rural estates.

In these difficult economic times it is reassuring to see someone committed to investing in the local and UK economies. Commenting on his purchase and his aims for the future of Dalhousie Castle Robert said:

“I am delighted with the purchase as it fits perfectly with our existing businesses.  As with our other properties we intend to invest in both the hotel, and its staff.  Our aim is to become a truly luxury location, through attention to details in every aspect of the property – whether it be dining, decor or service, or through the events we hold for guests and visitors. Our policy is to invest in the local economy, through buying locally, and providing opportunity and employment.”

The three properties in North Northumberland which have seen millions of pounds worth of investment over the last three years and have already established a reputation for service and luxury. All bespoke wedding and conference venues, and lead the way in providing a perfect venue for the occasion. Each Hall offers a different experience for those attending. These range from the rural grandeur of Doxford and Guyzance, to the intimate comfort of Eshott.

  • Doxford Hall, with a luxury spa, extensive grounds and close to Bamburgh Castle, was awarded “Best Small Hotel of the year in the region” in 2011. Its ballroom is capable of hosting the largest events.
  • Eshott Hall with a rating of five star guest accommodation and an AA rosette restaurant,  is a boutique property offering the highest levels of service accommodation. Guests are welcomed into a property that still feels, from the very front door, like an elegant private country house
  • Guyzance Hall is another elegant estate property. Robert and Nina’s Northumbrian home, the Grade II listed house is available to hire for holidays, weddings and special occasions on an exclusive use basis.

There are also a number of self-catering properties on all of the estates, which are looked after to the same standards of furnishing and décor.

In investing in their properties, and their staff, Robert and Gina Parker are committed to sustainability – upholding and extending the role their properties have always played in the local economy. In addition, they believe in bringing new ideas and developments that will enhance each Hall and extend their regional and local impact.  Last year Robert and Gina hosted the inaugural Northumberland Music Festival,, with international performances brought, for the first time, to rural Northumberland. They ahave just announced details that it will be held again this November.

Northumberland and the North East have obviously benefitted from the day in 2008 that Ribert, and his wife, Gina, who is a native Northumbrian, bought Guyzance, and fell under the county’s spell and continuous heritage . Now they have extended their attention to Scotland, emphasizing that borders can mean very little when it comes to generating wealth and opportunity, and respecting local needs and traditions.

Dalhousie’s illustrious history has seen visits from at least three English “monarchs” – King Edward 1, or Longshanks as he is known in Scotland, and Oliver Cromwell, who used it as a base in Scotland, and thus saved it from demolition by his own troops. Finally Queen Victoria stayed there in 1842, during a Scottish Tour. With someone like Robert Parker behind the helm who knows who will be the next Royal visitors.

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Burning Ambition

A group of 15 budding young entrepreneurs from Longridge Towers School near Berwick are hoping to prove they have what it takes to make it in the world of business. Next month, their candle company CC & Co, will attend a Trade Fair at the Metro Centre as part of the HSBC Young Enterprise Innovation Awards.  Lead by Managing Director Blair Hutchison from Kelso they are hoping to impress the judges with their business acumen and win through to the regional finals.

Longridge Towers School is keen to encourage students to develop their business skills and they   regularly take part in the competition which is designed to give secondary pupils a taste of how it feels to work in a business. Having conducted research at a school Open Morning, they hit of the idea of making candles in attractive china tea cups.They have been running the business since September Financial Director Ryan Thomas The Business is delighted that they are already in profit. Their aim is to make £250 by the end of the academic year.

Blair explains: “Young Enterprise has been very enjoyable and a great learning experience, we have had to work as a team and outside our comfort zone. One set back was the cancellation of the Christmas Fayre due to bad weather leaving us with lots of stock and nowhere to sell it. We decided to run a stall at the nativity plays and Christmas carol service and were able to make money at these events instead.”

The scheme closely reflects the A Level business and economics course that is run at the school and is overseen by Business and Economics Teacher Mrs Notman and their business mentor Mr Richard Simpson. The trade fair will take place on February 6th at the Metro Centre in Newcastle and teams that perform well are then invited to take part in the regional finals.

Mrs Notman explains, “This group of pupils has worked extremely hard looking at all aspects of their business from marketing and branding to financial control. The fact that they are already in profit is a great testament to how well they have worked as a team to run their company and we wish them every success at the trade show.”

Longridge Towers School is the only independent school in Northumberland and The Scottish Borders offering education for boys and girls aged between 4- 18 years. Set within its own magnificent grounds, it is also the only school in these areas to offer weekly and term boarding.  Longridge is, for the second year running, placed top of the league tables for GCSE results in Northumberland.

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