HUNDREDS of buyers, sellers and holidaymakers swarmed to the picturesque Beaulieu Road sale yard on August 6, 1998.

It was the start of the autumn run of five monthly sales.

Behind all the colour, the bidding and the scores of healthy animals on sale was fear for the future of the event.

The society lost £1,000 on the sales the previous year and losses were running at around £400 per sale.

“If we went on losing at this rate, there is a real danger that the sales would have to finish,” said society secretary Dionius Nacnai at the time.

Thankfully the sales continued and are still held regularly.