Buckwells of Southsea in Osborne Road picked up two gold awards for its breakfast sausage and its lamb and winter vegetable pie.

A total of 479 products from 54 butchers nationwide, virtually half of the national membership of the Q Guild, were entered for the eight categories in this year’s awards, the annual national product evaluation competition. They were judged by independent panels of food and meat industry experts.

Awards were announced and presented at the Butchers Hall in Smithfield, London.

Judge and Guardian journalist Matthew Fort said: ‘I’ve admired butchers all my life.

‘There’s something about the skill, watching butchers break up a carcass with their calm assurance – it’s like watching a magician at work, it’s like the finest theatre.

‘The knife coming down, even sharpening the knife, the noise and the crunch when the cleaver comes down with such precision. To someone like me this is absolute magic.

‘I’ve spent many hours watching butchers going about their business and every time there’s something to be learnt. I’ve never had a serious conversation with a butcher where I haven’t learnt something.

‘I think the future can be extremely positive for the Q Guild butchers; the emphasis on quality, precision and wisdom – you can’t put too high a price on that.’

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