London's Christmas meat auction risks the chop at historic site | Singapore Informer

Waving banknotes in the air, hundreds of shoppers braved the rain for an open-air Christmas Eve meat auction at London’s Smithfield Market on Thursday for what could be the last time in its historic setting.Butchers in white coats shuttled along two runways outside Harts of Smithfield handing out turkeys, racks of beef and legs of pork to eager customers wheeling rolling suitcases and shopping trolleys.The auction was led by 66-year-old Greg Lawrence, who has worked at the market for 49 years and is chairman of the Smithfield Market Traders Association.”You’re wonderful people who’ve come into the city of London to see us. Best city in the world. This is the beginning of Christmas!” Lawrence told the crowd to loud cheers and shouts of “Merry Christmas!”As his staff showed off cuts of meat normally sold wholesale to London’s hotels and restaurants, Lawrence shouted to shoppers: “Everyone must get something! These prices are unheard of! Unheard of!”With six kilogramme rumps of beef at £25 and turkeys and giant legs of pork at £20, many buyers agree. The diverse crowd of shoppers at the two-hour sale included hipsters in thick-rimmed glasses, working-class men in tweed flat caps and camera-carrying tourists curious to witness a slice of London history.One man could be seen wearing a Sherlock Holmes-style deerstalker hat, while another had a bicycle helmet topped by a fluffy reindeer head.”I’ve been coming here for five years… It’s fantastic value and I love the atmosphere,” said Annie Maloney, 62, as she wheeled away a trolley crammed with gammon, turkey, rump steak and pork.Maloney said she was…

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