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Norfolk poultry auctions offer a chance to bid for a champion Christmas turkey

The annual TW Gaze Christmas poultry auction in Diss in 2016. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The annual TW Gaze Christmas poultry auction in Diss in 2016. Picture: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

The chance to take home the finest and freshest centrepiece for Christmas dinner will bring hundreds of bidders to traditional poultry auctions across Norfolk this week.

More than 400 turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens will go under the hammer on Wednesday, as a festive tradition continues for the 65th year in Aylsham.

The annual Christmas poultry sale, run by auctioneers Keys at the salerooms off Palmers Lane, takes place from 10.30am, with viewing of the birds from 9am.

Keys director Kevin Lines said: “It is really nice to bring together local producers and local consumers, especially in these days when people want to know where their food has come from.”

Later on Wednesday, the annual Christmas poultry sale at Norwich Livestock Market in Hall Road will open at 5pm for customers to view 500 lots including ducks, chickens and turkeys, with a selection of oven-ready as well as rough-plucked and long-legged birds. The auction will start at 6pm.

Chairman Stephen Lutkin said market staff would help anyone who had never bought from an auction before.

“The poultry for sale at our market is reared locally in the time-honoured way,” he said. “It can be an exciting way to buy your Christmas food and a great way to start the festive season.”

On Thursday, about 280 birds including Bronze, Norfolk Black, White, Lavender, Narragansett and Bourbon Red turkeys, will be sold at Diss by auctioneers TW Gaze.

Public viewing at the Diss Auction Rooms on Roydon Road is from 4pm, and the sale starts at 5pm. As well as the time-honoured turkeys, chickens, geese and ducks from East Anglian farmers, the sale will also feature guinea fowl, which proved very popular last year.

The sale will follow a poultry show, where champion birds will be selected by this year’s honorary judge – retired chef Freddie Jones, now based in Diss, whose career included stints at the Savoy Hotel in London and Maxim’s in Paris.

There will also be two special seasonal sales with Fabian Eagle at the Swaffham Poultry Auction. The first will be at Eldon Farm, Holywell Row, from 10.45am on Wednesday and the second – at The Racetrack in Swaffham from 11am on Saturday December 23, will offer a last-gasp chance to snap up a champion turkey, goose, duck or cockerel before the big day.

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