This film is part of Free

Christmas Dinner Goes to Market

Christmas is coming and the Norfolk turkey's getting fat...

Non-Fiction 1930 1 mins


These 5,000 turkeys seem blissfully unaware of their fate. Turkey farming is a longstanding Norfolk industry, alongside cider brewing and brush making. Attleborough turkey market was held annually on the first Monday of October, and was a landmark in the East Anglian agricultural calendar. When this film was made, turkeys were still regarded exclusively as a Christmas treat for the well-off.

The centrality of the turkey trade to Attleborough's prosperity is reflected in the two black Norfolk turkeys that adorn the town's sign. The town's turkey market was a staple in contemporary seasonal newsreels, including British Pathe and Movietone, but this Gaumont film's cameraman beautifully captures the sense of occasion that the event clearly inspired in the local community. More recently, the mass production of turkeys and related processed foodstuffs, such as Norfolk-born Bernard Matthews' infamous Turkey Twizzlers, made the bird a year-round, low-cost menu choice.