Our 144 year heritage is built on serving you
Serving agriculture since 1874, L. S. Smellie & Sons is still family owned and locally managed to this day. Demonstrating a commitment to product and service innovation, the business has enjoyed steady growth to become a trusted pillar of excellence within the farming community. Take a moment to learn more about our rich and colourful heritage.
1874 – 1876
On September 15th 1874, Lawson Stewart Smellie placed his first advert as an independent Auctioneer and Appraiser in the Hamilton Advertiser newspaper.
From selling cattle and horses to houses and land, Lawson’s business ability was evident – so much so that within 2 years he had transferred his headquarters to larger premises in the nearby larger town of Hamilton. Here begins the story of L.S. Smellie & Sons Ltd.
The first Robert Smellie to join the business was born in 1867, joining L.S. Smellie & Sons Ltd in 1881. In the same year, Robert also joined Hamilton Academical FC, playing in a Scottish Cup tie at the age of 14 years! In 1885 he joined Queens Park FC and captained Scotland on several occasions, including for a famous 3-2 victory over England in 1889. He was a player and director of Queens Park FC for over 52 years and oversaw the construction of what would become Scotland’s national stadium.
Acquisition of Grain Mills, Hamilton
A complimentary business arm to the Auctioneering business, Grain Mills in Hamilton was acquired by the business in 1911.
The grain milling and feed mixing business experienced steady growth under the L.S. Smellie & Sons operations, and it is this which forms one of the key pillars of the business today.
1894 – 1970
Between the years of 1894 and 1970 under the stewardship and guidance of (name1, name, 2) the business grew exponentially into a shape not dissimilar to what you see today.
Locally based out of Strathaven, L.S. Smellie and Sons became a true success story not just for Strathaven, but for wider agricultural business community in Scotland.
1970 – 2009
In 1970 the company sold off their Hamilton Livestock Market and associated 10-acre grazing site, to leave only the furniture sales arm of the business are located in Hamilton. The rest of the business moved to Strathaven Market – a more flexible space in a time of urban growth in Central Scotland. From 1970 Strathaven Market grew in scope and was attracting livestock buyers and sellers from all over Scotland. To accommodate growing demand, in 1993 the company bought 33 acres of land for overnight grazing intended for livestock inbound for auction. Throughout this time the grain business was experiencing steady growth. In 1999 an additional storage warehouse was added at Strathaven Market, bringing the total storage space up to 20,000 feet. Sadly the foot-and-mouth epidemic in 2001 spread throughout much of the area served by L.S. Smellie, and forced the closure of many famous names in livestock marketing. At this time, the L.S. Smellie livestock business was passed to Lawrie & Symington in Lanark, and Robert Smellie (2nd) remains on the board of directors at Lawrie & Symington to this day.
2009 – Present
Strathaven Rural Centre
The demand for bulk animal feeds has continued to grow, and in 2004 the business again began the search for larger premises, with the decision being taken to build at the former livestock grazing area at Whiteshawgate.
With the idea of creating a one-stop-shop for the rural community, the complex would house areas for the bespoke feed mixing and agricultural supply trading, to have state-of-the-art storage and work space for add-on activities whilst also re-siting the plethora of value added businesses that had located at Strathaven Market, such as the Veterinary Centre.
What was created has been named the Strathaven Rural Centre, designed and built at a cost of £5 Million. This impressive facility caters for the very wide-ranging needs of the rural communities in this part of Scotland.
The Strathaven Rural Centre
- 50,000 ft of warehouse and storage space
- Hamilton House, the L.S Smellie & Sons HQ
- Serviced office / meeting space for other rural-related local businesses
- A well stocked farm shop, within which resides the ever-popular Country Bake Coffee Shop
- Lanarkshire NFU offices
- Avondale Veterinary Centre
A bustling rural community space, the centre also has ample landscaped parking facilities. The Strathaven Rural Centre was officially opened on July 3rd 2010 by NFU President Jim McLaren, and L.S Smellie & Sons Ltd welcomed over 1,000 visiting guests from the farming community for the opening ceremonies on that day.
A Royal Visit
The company’s achievements were given Royal recognition and on September 6th 2010, Princess Anne toured the Centre with her staff. During the visit, the Princess also presided over a ceremony to present long-service awards to Robert Smellie (ii) and Jimmy Stewart, who had each worked for the company for over 50 years.