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It has just been announced thatAppleby based H Pigney & Son is a finalist for the ‘Agri Business’ and ‘Retailers & E-Tailers’categories of the North West Family Business Awards 2024.

In their 200th year in business H Pigney & Son beat strong competition with a record number of family businesses entering the awards from across the North West region.

This year’s event will be held at Bolton Football Stadium, co-hosted by Dave Clarkson and Sue Howorth of The Family Business Community, alongside renowned food and drink writer, and presenter Nigel Barden, and will take place on Friday 10th May 2024.

H Pigney & Son was founded back in 1824 in the Eden Valley originally starting out as Blacksmiths. The family business has continued to grow and evolve within the local farming community from shoeing horses in the 19th & 20th century to now selling and servicing agricultural machinery, as tractors and machinery replaced horse power. Still to this day we are a fully independent family-owned business and in the last 60 years have expanded to serve the Horticultural and Forestry industries. We also have a fully stocked showroom of Garden Machinery, Agricultural stores, a proper old fashioned attended fuel station and the Tardis that is our extensively stocked Hardware & Ironmongery Shop!

Records show the Pigney family business goes back to 1824, and potentially even further but with no evidence! At this time the blacksmiths would be run by John Pigney (43 years old). In 1842 John’s Son Nicholas Pigney is mentioned as the blacksmith at King Meaburn in an article, other articles also mention the village of Newby as previous premises. in 1871 Nicholas’ grandson, also called Nicholas, was born, who was to carry on the family business then known as ‘N Pigney’. In 1902 Henry Nicholas’ 4th child was born who was to be the 5th generation to enter the business. Henry joined the business and in 1931 and ran a blacksmiths out of Crosby Ravensworth as the business ran as ‘N Pigney & Son’. From an invoice found from 1932 our invoice header says ‘Agricultural Implement Makers and Dealers, Shoeing & General Smiths’ as the business evolved with the changes in farming. Henry moved the business ‘H Pigney’ to Howgate foot in Appleby, and his son Maurice joined the business in 1950 and we became ‘H Pigney & Son’ as we are still known today. We moved to our current retail premise in Appleby in 1961, and in 1972 we bought the adjoining St Lawrence’s Church School to accommodate our horticultural showroom and agricultural stores. In 1981 Maurice and his wife Ena expanded into the old Kingdom Hall next to the Agricultural Stores and our Hardware & ironmongery shop was born – a natural development to support our engineering workshop. In 1997 Maurice’s son David took over the family business along with his sister Margaret. In 2002 we built a purpose built warehouse on the outskirts of Appleby to house our growing range of Agricultural Machinery. Storm Desmond put our premise under 6ft of water in parts in 2015, causing a massive sort out and rethink for the premises and future of the business. The re-design & expansion of the hardware shop, agricultural showroom and agricultural stores was complete in 2017 and we have been growing from strength to strength ever since with David’s children Anna & Chris and Margaret’s son Isaac all involved in the business.

Now in the 8th generation, the family firm still runs strong – your traditional store with modern values. Generations of the farming community and public have relied upon our products, services and unparalleled knowledge throughout the years. We have built your one stop shop and pride ourselves upon giving our customers the full experience from knowledgeable sales to quality services and repairs.

‘We were extremely humbled to have been nominated for an award and we are honoured to have been recognised and shortlisted for not 1 but 2 family business awards.’ Said Anna Pigney ‘It feels like a great sense of achievement to be part of such a long-standing family firm, and when looking back in the archives it is great to see local farm names that are still going strong today. It is apparent there is still a great sense of loyalty and sense of family in the community. Some say that you shouldn’t work with family and although it can be difficult at times, I’m sure none of us would have it any other way – we all have our own roles and along with over 20 other staff members, it just works.’

Having evolved with the local farming community over three separate centuries, Pigneys are looking to celebrate 2024 in style and are holding an open day and celebration evening on Saturday, September 21 for all their customers, suppliers and friends

Co-Founder and Director, Sue Howorth said: “With another year of increased entries we have been working with our 23 judges which are representing all 5 counties of the North West, and we know they have had extremely difficult decisions to make. Our finalists should be extremely proud of themselves for being recognised in this years shortlist.

Co-director, Dave Clarkson said: “A huge thank you to everyone who has invested time filling in their application forms. We’ve been absolutely blown away by the strength and diversity and attention to detail in the applications.”

Sue Baguley from Siemens UK, and who were the hosts of our Judging Day, said: “The number and quality of applications from across the North West region has been outstanding, the businesses are clearly proud to be family businesses and the detail in many of the entries has demonstrated that they are very progressive and innovative.

Fellow judge, Tom Mathew, Group Commercial Director of Dunsters Farm, said: “As always, it was fantastic to hear the stories of the resilient and ambitious businesspeople working in family-run businesses across the region. The judging day is an opportunity for me to contribute to the vibrant family business community but also to go away inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by the applicants. “

The finalists will now receive a visit from our specially selected panel of judges from across the region before the judges make their final decisions. The winners will be announced at a vibrant and entertaining awards celebration on Friday 10th May. You can find out more at North West Family Business Awards – North West Family Business Awards

The North West Family Business Awards are organised and run by The Family Business Community and provide a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate with family businesses from across the region. Our 2024 awards will be held on Friday 10th May at Bolton Football Stadium.

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