The Annual Easter Show and Sale of Spring Lambs at Chelford usually heralds the start of the new lamb trading season and, despite the very early Easter this year, yesterday’s show and sale was no exception, with vendors from Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire putting together an entry of some 60 newly reared lambs.
In addition, the market’s usual weekly entry of in excess of 1000 old season lambs attracted the usual quota of wholesale and butcher buyers from far and wide.
Local breeder, John Gate chose a strong 34kg Texel Cross Lamb from Robin Smith, who farms at Basford, Nr. Leek as his champion.
The reserve champion, a 36kg Texel Cross, also came from Robin Smith, while third place in the Individual Lamb Championship went to Alan Read’s son, Paul, with a 32kg Texel Cross.
After spirited competition from a number of customers, the champion exhibit eventually knocked down to Mike Nevitt, buying on behalf of Congleton Butcher Raymond Moss, for 390p/kg (£132.60). The reserve made 325p/kg to David Kidd, purchasing for Nigel Wilcox, Butcher of Park Green in Macclesfield.
The third place lamb, from Messrs. Read, made 310p/kg to Roy Williams of Wrexham, buying on behalf of Garbetts, Wholesalers of Wolverhampton.
In the Pairs Class, Messrs Read swept the board, winning all three first prizes. The first placed pair weighed 43.5kg and made 315p/kg to Mike Nevitt, for Raymond Moss, whilst Sale, Manchester, Butcher Frank Taylor.
Messrs Read also dominated the group class, for pens of at least four lambs. Their first placed pen, weighing an average of 38.2kg made 305p/kg to Ken Sheldon, for another of Chelford’s regular buyers, Samuel Howarth, Wholesaler of Diggle, Nr. Oldham.
The buoyant trade seen in recent weeks, continued once again on the Old Season Lamb section from the very first pen, when a total of 1052 Old Season Lambs made to a top price of 199p/kg, for 41.4kg Texel Crosses from Roger and Simon Bailey of Rushton Spencer, Nr. Leek, with nearly 20 pens in excess of 180p/kg and returning an overall average of 150.2p/kg.