Norfolk Auction Firm To Round Off 70th Anniversary Year With Historic Christmas Poultry Sale

Norfolk Auction Firm To Round Off 70th Anniversary Year With Historic Christmas Poultry Sale

12/12/2023     Latest News

A historic Christmas poultry auction which first took place 70 years ago and which has happened every single year since will round off a year of celebrations for Norfolk’s leading auction house.

Turkeys, geese, chickens and ducks will be up for auction at Keys’ annual Christmas Poultry Sale in Aylsham on Wednesday 20th December.

The annual sale dates back to 1953, when Geoffrey Key held the first Christmas sale just months after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  The auction took place at Keys’ Aylsham sale ground in every year of the Queen’s reign, and now that tradition is continuing into a new royal era.  The Poultry Sale is traditionally the firm’s last auction of the year.

“Our Christmas poultry sale is a wonderful Christmas tradition, which brings together local producers and local consumers,” said Tim Blyth, director at Keys, who is the grandson of founder Geoffrey Key.

“2023 has seen us celebrate our 70th anniversary with a hugely successful year which has seen 110 sales take place, and it is entirely appropriate to round off our birthday year with the Christmas poultry Sale, which harks back to where it all began.”

Traditionally the Keys Christmas Poultry Sale attracts hundreds of people – mostly private individuals there to buy the main attraction for their Christmas lunch.

The majority of the birds, which include Norfolk Black and Bronze turkeys, and free-range geese and ducks, have been raised by small-scale local farmers.

Keys started out in 1953 as a small livestock market selling mainly poultry, and by the end of the 1950s had become one of the largest of their type in the country.  A young Bernard Matthews purchased his first turkeys from the firm.

The Keys annual Christmas Poultry Sale takes place on Wednesday 20th December from 11am.  Viewing of the birds on offer starts at 9am on the morning of the sale. 

Newsletter Signup