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Turkey Show Celebrates 50th Anniversary

2 December 2011, at 6:08am

UK - Fifty years on from formation of the Anglian Turkey Association (ATA), one of the founder members, David Grove Smith, was triumphant at its anniversary Christmas show at Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel, Colchester, Essex.

An oven-ready turkey from the Grove Smith's family farm at Shalford, near Braintree, was judged by ATA president, Derek Kelly, the best in show at an event now unique in this country.

Eighty turkeys, 'show plucked' in a traditional style which leaves the bronze or white feathering around the neck, provided a spectacular sight competing for an impressive array of silver trophies dating from the 1950s.


above: Show organiser, Paul Fields (left) with ATA president, Derek Kelly, judging the entries
below: David Grove Smith with the trophy for best in the show, with (left) Len Goodman and Derek Kelly

ATA chairman, Richard Beanland, said that where once there were similar shows organised by associations in Wales, Wessex and Yorkshire, their own show was now the last survivor attracting ongoing support and a 'fabulous entry' for the anniversary event.

The ATA now has around 150 members from around the country. The show and banquet, attended by a record number of almost 250 people, featured the piping in of roast turkeys in grand style reminiscent of a Burns Night haggis supper.

Len Goodman has been the ATA secretary since retiring from Nitrovit in 1994 and attributes its success to its programme of autumn events which include marketing and technical meetings as well as the show and banquet.

Winners of the trophies were:

  • Stag under 11kg – William Weeks, Billericay, Essex
  • Hen under 5.5kg – Mick Binder, Rumburgh, Halesworth, Suffolk
  • Hen 5.5-8kg – Cottage Farm, Badgers Mount, Sevenoaks, Kent
  • Hen over 11kg – Ian Wylie, Newmarket, Suffolk
  • Brace of white turkeys – Grove Smith Turkeys, Shalford, Braintree, Essex
  • Brace of bronze turkeys – Ian Wylie
  • Oven-ready under 11kg – Grove Smith Turkeys
  • Retail presentation – Cottage Farm
  • Goodchild trophy for services to turkey industry – Martin Shea, Hockenhull Turkeys.