Tributes have been paid to well-known South West auctioneer Charles Clark, who has died following a battle with cancer.
Mr Clark worked at Greenslade Taylor Hunt for 35 years and was auctioning calves at Sedgemoor Auction Centre up until Christmas last year.
He was among the farming community on market days right up until recent weeks.
Richard Webber, partner in South Molton, said: “He was a remarkable man, totally unique. If there was a medal for bravery in battling illness the way Charles did, he would be awarded the equivalent of the Victoria Cross.”
A statement on the firm’s website said: “The spirit in which he fought his illness characterised his personality. Nothing would keep Charles from the buzz of the auction room, the livestock market and most importantly, being around the West Country folk he worked with and worked hard for.”
Mr Clark was on the examining board of the CAAV (Central Association of Agricultural Valuers) and acted as a mentor to young professionals in his field.
James Wotton, agricultural surveyor and auctioneer, added: “Until you sit beside a man of that calibre you do not realise how much you have to learn as a young auctioneer; it truly is a privilege to say I have been trained by him.”
Mr Clark’s colleagues also remembered his wit and repartee. When he was once asked what he did as a job, he replied: “I’m a second-hand cow salesman.”
He also raised more than £2 million for charity during his auctioneering career.
Andy Clements, agricultural auctioneer and valuer, added: “He taught me everything I know on the calves. He had respect and authority with dealers, buyers, vendors, staff and all farmers alike. His approachable manner and quick wit always meant he conducted every auction with professionalism, precision, speed and entertainment.”