Which Christmas turkey auctions are going ahead?

Keys’ annual Christmas Poultry Sale in Aylsham

Keys’ annual Christmas Poultry Sale in Aylsham, pictured here in 2019, is one of the traditional Norfolk turkey auctions taking place this year under special coronavirus safety measures - Credit: Keys

The festive tradition of bidding for a farm-fresh Christmas turkey is still going ahead at some Norfolk poultry markets this year - under strict coronavirus safety precautions.

Despite the restrictions enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, there will still be opportunities to claim a locally-reared centre-piece for the festive dinner table.

In Aylsham, of hundreds of turkeys, geese, chickens and ducks from small local producers will go under the hammer at Keys’ annual Christmas Poultry Sale on December 21.

Organisers said the sale will take place in a large, well-ventilated, open-sided building from 11am on December 21, with viewing of the birds on offer from 9am. 

The annual auction dates back to 1953 and has taken place at Keys’ saleground off Palmers Lane in every year of the Queen’s reign.

“This is a Christmas tradition we wanted to retain in this year of all years,” said Keys' director Tim Blyth. “With appropriate precautions, we can hold the sale in a way which keeps everybody safe.

“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."

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Norwich Livestock Market, on Hall Road, is also going ahead with its annual Christmas Turkey Sale at 6pm on December 18.

The decision was taken after confirmation from the Livestock Auctioneers' Association that the event could proceed, and a raft of strict safety measures will be enforced including face masks being worn at all times.

Market chairman Stephen Lutkin: "It is not going to be the same as it normally is, but a lot of people like to come and buy their turkey from the sale every year, so we are trying to go ahead and keep things as normal as possible."

Fabian Eagle's Christmas Poultry Auctions are also going ahead, at Eldon Farm in Holywell Row near Mildenhall at 10.30am on December 16 , and at Swaffham Racetrack at 11am on December 19 - although it is not able to sell live birds due to the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declared across the UK as a result of recent outbreaks of bird flu.

However, the traditional TW Gaze Christmas Poultry Show and Sale at Diss Auction Room is not going ahead this year.

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