A FARMER can look forward to retirement after his agricultural equipment sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds at auction.

Richard Bullivant sold almost all his machinery at an auction held at his Moor Leazes Farm, near Lanchester, County Durham, on Saturday.

The top earner was a New Holland tractor, which raised £51,800. A New Holland combine sold for £51,200. A JCB truck brought in £49,000.

An iconic 1974 Ford 7000 tractor sold for £16,000 - 50 per cent more than its expected price and thought to be a record-breaking figure.

Tom Oates, from auctioneers George F Whites, said the prices were ‘phenomenal’.

Mr Bullivant, 60, had already sold his 350 acres of commercial arable land and farmhouse and moved, with his wife Lynden, 54, to nearby Maiden Law.

Despite suffering from a bad back, he plans to keep six vintage tractors, do some wagon driving and exhibit his American-made Kenworth truck.

Mr Oates said: "This was a fantastic and fitting finale for the family, who I know are absolutely delighted with the results."

Bidders travelled from across the UK for Saturday’s auction. A 110-year-old Ruston Hornsby straw threshing machine sold to an enthusiast for £1,300.