Taking Time To Talk

George Shanks & Son

Thompsons value their network of merchants, who work tirelessly to ensure that their customers have the feed they need, when they need it. One such feed store in Newtownards has been a loyal customer of Thompsons for many years, with the kind of working relationship that is rarely seen in today’s business environment. It has been ten years since we celebrated this, so we thought it was about time there was another look at a shop doorway in Newtownards, where a warm welcome always awaits.


Feeding everything from a ‘Budgie to a bull,’ - George Shanks & Son


Born in 1924 the fourth generation of George Shanks was to be the founder of a successful family agricultural merchants and animal feed delivery business. George started out with Tommy Boyce in Pound Street Belfast in 1944 delivering meal, which in later years he did with his good friend James Robinson.


Over time, history has repeated itself and following the change of the company from Murphy and Shanks in 1976 to George Shanks & Son, George Shanks ‘the fifth’ now delivers feed with his friend and neighbour, Leslie Robinson, son of the late James Robinson.


Giving good customer service in the Ards Peninsula has been the ethos of the company for more than six decades and six generations of George Shanks. The husband and wife team of George and Anne have seen many changes over the years while raising their four children and building up their business in Newtownards.


Nowadays, daughter Christine works in the store alongside Gary Munn - who has been with Shanks for over 40 years and newly started last year, Matthew Semple. George junior shares the partnership, but also works with his mum Anne in her own self built success story ‘Agri-Web’ which supplies customised rubber matting for a variety of agricultural uses. So the acumen for business seems to run through the Shanks family like Blackpool through a stick of rock, making sure they always go the extra mile.


Over the years they have seen some tough times in the feed trade, like when George slept in the lorry at Thompsons’ gates to make sure he got meal for his customers at a time when it was scarce. Tough times or not, George did it without thought and the farmers got their animals fed. Nothing seems to be too much trouble, like the range of feed Gary has brought into the store which as George says, “Can feed everything from a budgie to a bull”, but it ensures that everyone’s tastes are
catered for.


Respect for family life and putting a value on the health and wellbeing of those in their community makes George Shanks & Son a solid foundation of the agricultural industry, which provides much more for its customers than animal feed, coal and fertiliser.


Posted 31,07,23 by allison.

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