THE farming community is mourning the death of a popular auctioneer and pillar of the community.

71-year-old John Henderson from Barrasford had a long association with Scots Gap Mart as well as the county’s other auctioneers.

Family and friends gathered at St Giles’ Church in Chollerton on November 5 to remember the life of John, also known as ‘Hendy’.

Born in Newcastle, John grew up on Cocklaw Walls Farm at Capheaton and quickly took to farming, following in the family’s footsteps.

But his days working on the farm were soon behind him after he stepped into the auction box for the first time.

Wife, Margaret Henderson, said: “He took to auctioneering straight away and there was no looking back.”

As a respected auctioneer, John played a vital role at Scots Gap Mart for more than 50 years while also working at Hexham and Bellingham.

It is from his time at the marts that John became a local celebrity for his hard work and determination, while also becoming well-known amongst buyers all over the country.

In his late teens, ‘showman’ John fronted local rock band The Colorados and toured the districts village halls to great fanfare.

And as a great supporter of everything local, John helped raise money for Tynedale Hospice at Home, Northumbria Blood Bikes and the Great North Air Ambulance Service through the Barrasford Marrow Show.

Every Monday, locally known as ‘grass day’, John kept the village of Barrasford tidy out of his own goodwill by trimming the hedges and cutting the grass.

Margaret said: “Whenever he thought he could help he would. You would see him every Monday morning sitting on seat opposite the bus stop.”

Dedicated to his work, John worked up until the day he died, maintaining his attitude of selling for the highest prices in the county.

Margaret, son John and daughter-in-law Rachel thanked the Rev. Sarah Lunn, James and Sally Dickinson for the funeral arrangements, which included a moving eulogy from close friend Bruce Walton.

Tributes poured in for John after his death and saw Barrasford Football Club hold a minute’s silence and wear black arm bands before a 7-1 win.

After the burial at Kirkheaton, more than 400 people turned up to the service where a total of £2,500 was raised for St Bartholomew’s, Kirkheaton and St Giles’ churches.