Smithfield Christmas Eve meat auction

It’s become a Christmas Eve tradition – the meat auction by Harts of Smithfield on Christmas Eve. They sell off all the meat they have left in stock before the Christmas break. Suckling pigs were going for £50 or free if you won the toss of a coin, hams for £15, more smoked gammon that one person could physically carry for £20 (I know because I had to carry one home!) and turkeys – lots of turkeys.

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

There was a great atmosphere there this morning. People were handing money to complete strangers who were nearer the front and the meat was passed back. That’s how I got mine.

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

And all accompanied by “oohs” and “aaahs”, cheers, rounds of applause and lots of friendly banter.

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

It’s a tradition that goes back at least to the 1950s, if not longer. And long may it continue.

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

Some people bought more than others! And had a little trouble getting it away. This box did hit the ground but a very kind fellow auction attender helped them to pick it up.

Harts Butchers selling meat to the crowd at the meat auction at Smithfield on Christmas Eve 2014

And there was plenty of clearing up to be done at the end.

Happy Christmas!

9 thoughts on “Smithfield Christmas Eve meat auction

    1. I know! They do offer free butchery though, at the end of the sale, so that you can get your meat cut up into more manageable sizes. I didn’t take up the offer and spent Christmas Eve evening with my Dad and youngest brother trying to cut up a huge gammon joint into pieces we could actually fit in the oven and the freezer!

  1. Great photos of a very interesting event. I like the two featuring the young lad. I must look up where Smithfield is in London.

  2. I think this is amazing work Nikki, I love all the images and you really get the feel of what is going on. Bravo!!!!! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, did you go away or stay in London? Have any fun plans for the New Year? Have a great day and like always I look forward to your post.

    Keep in touch Best Regards Gerry

    1. Thanks Gerry. Hope you all had a good Christmas. I went to my Dad’s in Norfolk. Did you stay in NYC?
      New Year’s Eve was quiet – again outside London.
      Ive been away from London a lot recently and I really miss it when I’m away! I plan to stay here for the whole of January – only days outside London, no overnights!

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