Butchers buy Smithfield winners

Three butchers who trade within a stone’s throw of each other in the same Lincolnshire town bought the best beef cattle at this month’s Smithfield Festival, the latest incarnation of the famous Royal Smithfield Show.

Trevor Fairburn, Nigel Wrisdale and John Lakin have shops within a few hundred yards of each other in Louth. Fairburn bought the Show’s reserve supreme champion in show, Wrisdale bought the champion British native purebreed, and Lakin purchased three of the best Lincolnshire reds. The Festival’s supreme champion, a Scottish bred Charolais heifer weighing 604kg, was sold for £9,000 for breeding.

Fairburn bought the reserve champion, a Limousin cross steer, from Lincoln meat wholesaler L.Brown and Son who had paid £4.35/kg for the animal at the festival. For his purchase Fairburn got two sides weighing 186 kg each. “It has an E2 conformation and the beef is a really lovely colour” he said. Of his fellow Louth butchers he said “We’re all really friendly with each other and help each other out. There’s a friendly rivalry.”

Wrisdale, who runs Jacksons Butchers in the town, said the champion native purebreed - an Aberdeen Angus steer weighing 630kg - was one of the finest looking animals in terms of fat to meat ratio he had seen. It had killed out at 400kg deadweight. He agreed with Fairburn that the  town’s butchers got on well together. “There’s no price wars or anything like that, and there seems to be enough trade for us all, in fact the queue is out the door and round the corner of my small shop as I speak.”

Both Fairburn and Wrisdale are former butchers for well known Royal Smithfield Club personality Lakin.
The inaugural East of England Smithfield Festival, was held at Peterborough.