The Bacon Pig Show

Vol.I No.7 May 1932
WHAT a day ! Rain, rain, rain from morning to night. It was wet underfoot, wet overhead and cold with it. Even at lunch people sat and shivered with coats and hats on. Never has the show been held under more depressing weather conditions, and never has it been held under such depressing financial conditions due to the extremely low prices for pigs and bacon.

In spite of all these adverse conditions, the exhibits at the show were in excess of those of last year, and the quality of the pigs was as good as ever. The exhibits at the show were an answer to the question whether we in this country, given a fair trading chance, could produce the pigs which would make bacon to satisfy the public.

The show once more proved the superiority of the Large White Breed of pig for bacon purposes. The championship of the show was won by Messrs. Stafford Allen and Son, Long Melford, with an excellent pen of Large White Pigs. These exhibitors have now won outright the Challenge Cup offered for the best pen of pigs in the show. It was a well deserved win and it is a fitting thing that the winning of the Challenge Cup outright should crown the efforts of Messrs. Stafford Alien and Son, whose breed of Large White Pigs have had a very great influence in improving the type of pig bred in Suffolk. On receiving the Cups and prizes, Mr. George Stafford Alien paid a very generous tribute to Mr. S. Orger and to the pigmen for the part they had played in assisting to achieve such a satisfactory result by the exercise of their skill and by the work they had done.

The competition in the other classes was good and particularly keen in the class for “First Cross from any Pure Breeds” and in the class for “Any Cross Breed.” These are the “commercial” pigs of Suffolk; the pigs which are either suitable for pork or bacon. The competition is so keen in those classes that it takes an extra good pen of pigs to get into the prize list.

But after the show and the awarding of prizes to the live animals, comes the carcase competition which is the final test. The true value of a bacon pig is not what it looks like when it is alive or even what it weighs when dead, but what percentage of the dead weight carcase eventually is produced as bacon and what grade the bacon comes into. All this is gone into most thoroughly in the case of each pig. Points are awarded according to a scale and prizes are given to the pens of pigs obtaining the most points.

A more complete description of this competition will be given in our June number when the results of the competition will be known. The pigs were judged by Mr. J. B. Pitchford, Newport, Monmouth, and Mr. J. Butler Ormond, Epping. It is the third time that the former has acted as a judge at this show and the second time that the latter has officiated in a similiar capacity. Considering the excellence of the exhibits they had an arduous and difficult task to perform and it was carried out under the most disagreeable weather conditions it is possible to imagine in the month of May in Suffolk. On that account special thanks are due to the judges and with them can be included the stewards, for they were heroes. From early in the morning they had been at it ” mucking and messing ” about in the rain, separating the pigs out and seeing that each of the 60 lots were put in their right pens, and pigs are not the easiest animals to persuade which way they should go.

The prizes were presented by Major G. Muirhead, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture. It was expected at one time that the Minister of Agriculture himself would be able to attend the show, but pressure of parliamentary duties and preparations for the Ottawa Conference rendered this impossible. Major Muirhead who came in his stead made an excellent substitute. He has first hand knowledge of farming as be owns some 2,500 acres of land, and farms some of it himself. He is thus well aware of the difficulties the agricultural industry has to contend with during this time of extremely low prices, and it is good to know that there are men like Major Muirhead at the Ministry of Agriculture, and in the House of Commons with first hand knowledge of the industry’s need. Major Muirhead holds a very influential position at the Ministry, and thus is able to bring his knowledge to bear on the policy of the Government

During his visit to the show, Major Muirhead made a tour of inspection of the Factory. The various processes were explained to him (as far as time would permit) from the time the live pig is unloaded at the Factory till the bacon is cured, smoked and ready for despatch. He entered into discussions on the relative merits of tank cure versus dry salt cure, etc., and he showed by the questions he asked that he was intensely interested in the possibilities of a revived bacon curing in this country in the near future.

Major Muirhead is an interesting and entertaining speaker. He spoke good sound common sense. He made no rosy promises as to the future but he spoke in high terms of the work which the Pig Industry Council had done during the last few years in connection with the pig and bacon industries and said that the large amount of information collected and the various reports which had been made by the Council would be of immense value to the Pig Re-organisation Commission in the task which lay before them. He spoke with confidence of the work of the Pig Re-organisation Commission to whom had been committed the duty of working out a scheme for the organisation of the pig and bacon industries which would enable the Government to put in force some quantitative regulation of imports. Not only did he speak hopefully of the work of this Commission, but he said he was so confident in it that he was increasing his own breeding stock of pigs to meet the better times which he felt sure were coming.

And so the meeting closed with a note of optimism which should be taken advantage of by those with foresight.

The prize winners were as follows :—Large White Breed.—1—(silver challenge cup, presented bv Messrs. I. Beer and Sons, Ltd., London, and £5) and 2,—Stafford Alien and Sons, Ltd., Long Melford, 3—H. R. Davidson, Harpenden, Herts., r.—J. W. Turner, Needham Market.

Pure Black Breed.—1—(silver challenge cup, presented by Mr. A. Corner, London, and £3) A. C. Barker, Elmswell, 2—D. G. Barker, Elmswell.

Any Pure Breed.—1—(£3) Brig.-Gen. B. Atkinson, Mistley Hall (Middle White). 2—A. C. Barker, Elmswell (Essex), r. – Brig.-Gen. B. Atkinson, Mistley Hall (Middle White).

First Cross from any Pure Breeds.—1—(silver challenge cup, presented by the Directors of the G.E.R.. and £5) S. P. Turner, Stonham Aspal (L.W. and L.B.), 2 and 3—J. W. Turner, Needham Market (L.W. and L.B.), 4—J. Land’s Exors., Cockfield (L.W. and Essex.), 5—A. C. Barker, Elmswell (L.W. and L.B.)

Any Cross Breed.— (£— 5) J. W. Turner, Needham Market, 2—S. P. Turner, Stonham Aspal, 3—David Black, Bacton, r.—J. W. Turner, Needham Market.

Champion Silver Cup, presented by the Committee of Management of the Factory, fur best pen of three pigs in all classes.—Messrs. Stafford Alien and Sons, Large White, r. Mr. S. P. Turner’s Large White and Large Black cross.

Vol.II No.3 February 1933
on Friday, May 26th, 1933.

The Schedule of Prizes and the Rules and Regulations for the Show will be found in this issue. An Entry Form is enclosed herewith, and this should be returned without fail before Saturday, May 13th, 1933. No Entries can be accepted after that date.

The Committee have again decided to give cash prizes in the various classes on similar lines to last year. A new class has been added ; this is for pigs fed solely on Silcock’s Pig Rearing Meal or Nuts. Messrs. Silcock’s have kindly offered the prizes for this class. In view of the prospects in the Pig Industry under the Scheme for Pigs and Pig Products, the Committee hope that the Show will have more than usual interest to Breeders and Feeders, and confidently expects that members will support the Show, by entering pigs for competition and by their presence on the Show Day. Any friends or neighbours you may care to bring with you will be welcome.

Rules and Regulations for the Show.
1.—The Show is open to members only. (This rule does not apply to pigs entered in Class 6.)

2.—All pigs must be the bona-fide property of the exhibitor at least 30 days prior to making the entry.

3.—All pigs must be on the Show Ground (Bacon Factory Elmswell) not later than 8.30 a.m., the Show day, Friday, May 26th, after which hour none will be admitted. Exhibitors sending their Show Pigs by rail must fill in the Entry Form accordingly. The pigs should be railed the day before the Show and the Factory pays the Freight if pigs are sent in a horse box by passenger train. Where exhibitors intend sending Show Pigs with Pigs for slaughter on the Thursday, arrangements should be made for despatch on Wednesday, May 24th. Unless specially instructed the Factory will transfer the pigs from the railway trucks to the Show pens, but at owner’s risk.

4.—All pigs sent to the Show must be accompanied by the usual Swine Removal License.

5.— All pigs will be slaughtered at the Factory on Saturday, May 27th, and paid for at the ruling Factory price.

6.—No second prize, except when specially recommended by the judges will be awarded unless there are 3 entries in the class.

7.—’No third prize, except when specially recommended by the judges will be awarded unless there are 5 entries in the class.

8.—No prize will be awarded unless the pigs are certified by the judges as being of sufficient merit.

9.—The entry fee will be 5/- for each pen of 3 pigs in all classes from 1 to 6. The entrance fee must accompany the Form of Entry, which must be made as early as possible, or no later than Saturday, May 13th.

10.—The Challenge Cups for Classes 1, 2, 7 and 8 when won three times in all by the same exhibitor will become his absolute property. The Challenge Cup for Class 4 circulates perpetually and cannot be won outright. Each holder of a Challenge Cup should give security that it will be forthcoming and delivered up to the Factory in good condition at least 28 days before the next Show.
Class I.—For the best pen of 3 Bacon Pigs of the Large White Breed. (Live Weight from 9 to 11 score of 20 lbs.)
First Prize Silver Challenge Cup and .£5.
Second Prize £3
Third Prize £2
Class II.—For the best pen of 3 Bacon Pigs of the Pure Black Breed. (Live Weight from 9 to 11 score of 20 Ibs.)
First Prize Silver Challenge Cup and £3
Second Prize £2
Class III.—For the best pen of 3 Bacon Pigs of any other Pure Breed other than Large White and Large Black Breeds. (Live Weight from 9 to 11 score of 20 Ibs.)
First Prize £3
Second Prize £2
Class IV.—For the best pen of 3 Bacon Pigs, being the First Cross from any Pure Breed. (Live Weight from 9 to 11 score of 20 Ibs.)
First Prize Silver Challenge Cup and £5
Second Prize £4
Third Prize £3
Fourth Prize £2
Fifth Prize £1
Class V.—For the best pen of 3 Bacon Pigs, being” the Cross of other than Pure Breeds. (Live Weight from 9 to 11 score of 20 Ibs.)
First Prize £5
Second Prize £3
Third Prize £2
Class VI.—For the best pen of Bacon Pigs, any breed or Cross. (Live Weight from 9 to n score of 20 Ibs.)
Pigs in this Class must have been fed solely on Silcock’s Pig Rearing Meal o’ Nuts for the last two months before the Show. A Certificate must be signed by the exhibitor to that effect and stating name of agent the meal was bought from.
First Prize £5
Second Prize £2
Class VII.—No special entry or entrance fee required.
A Champion Silver Challenge Cup will be presented for the pen containing the 3 most typical Bacon Pigs in the Show. All pens of pigs entered in Classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 automatically compete for this Cup.

Class VIII.—Carcase and Bacon Competition.
No Entrance Fee but exhibitors wishing their Pens of Pigs in the Live Show to compete in this Class, must state definitely on the Entry Form. This Competition will be conducted most systematically throughout the whole process of killing, butchering, curing, smoking, etc., etc. Points will be given for the result after each process. The result of the Competition will be published and the prizes will be given to the winners about a month after the Show.
First Prize Silver Challenge Cup and £5
Second Prize £4
Third Prize £3
Fourth Prize £2
Fifth Prize £1
This is the most important Class in the Show, because your aim should always be to produce and fatten pigs yielding as little offal as possible and as much lean and best quality bacon (long sides) as possible.
Vol.II No.6 July 1933
THE “Notes” of last month contained an account of the Factory’s Bacon Pig Show. Below we give a report of the Carcase and Bacon Competition of the Pigs entered in the Show. The object of this competition is to ascertain which pen of pigs, from a bacon point of view, is the most valuable.

In judging the pigs for this competition points are awarded for the structure of the pigs, the shrinkage from carcase to “green” bacon weight, and from “green” to smoked bacon weight, for firmness of fat and for the general appearance of the bacon when it is smoked. One of the most important points and the one that counts most in the disposal of the bacon is the thickness of back fat. (Members who attended the Pig Show at the Factory or the Suffolk or Norfolk Shows had the opportunity of seeing sides of bacon graded in accordance with the standards laid down in the proposed Pigs Marketing Scheme, and these sides showed clearly how important it will be to select breeding stock to produce long lean carcases if bonus payments are to be obtained for bacon pigs supplied to the factory under the Scheme).

The thickness of the streak or flank is also of great importance, but whereas the back fat must not be too thick, the streak and flank should be thick and well streaked with lean meat. (This also was indicated by the sides shown at the Factory and the two County Shows). The size and the leanness of the shoulder is also of great account, this part of the pig, being always low in price it is evident that a fine and small shoulder in proportion to the rest of the side is required. The ham as a rule making a good price should be full and lean.

1st Prize.—Silver Challenge Cup (Presented by the late Mr. T. E. ROBINSON) and £5 Pen No. 60.—(Second Cross Pigs).

Mr. G. T. INKPEN, Bressingham.—These pigs obtained 90½ points out of a possible 100. They gained maximum points for back fat, and shoulder measurements, and they were good in the streaks. The sides were very uniform in size and appearance and were very firm. The main fault- with the pigs was in the shrinkage from carcass to bacon weight. In this respect they did not compare with some of the other entries.

2nd Prize £4.—Pen No. 23.—(First Cross Pigs).

Mr. S. W. ARMSTRONG, Wortham.—These pigs obtained 87 points. They were fine in the shoulders, had excellent streaks and flanks, hams were good, and the shrinkage from carcase to bacon weight was con- siderably below the average; they were however, not quite so uniform ia thickness of back fat as the first prize winners.

3rd Prize £3.—Pen No. 70.—(Silcock’s Special Class).

Mr. L. V. CHUTE, Wissett.—These pigs obtained 86 points. They gained maximum points for hams and shoulders, the thickness of back fat was very good, without however, gaining full points, the shrinkage from carcase to bacon weight was considerably below the average. The main fault was in the thickness of streak and flank which was not equal to the best standard.

4th Prize £2.— Pen No. 44.—(1st Cross Pigs).

Mr. D. M. Sinclair, Abington Pigotts.—These pigs obtained 85i points. They were pigs of high quality and gained points in all respects, without however, gaining maximum points in any.

5th Prize £1.—Pen No. 29—(1st Cross Pigs).

Messrs. Campling & Son, Lt. Clacton.—These pigs obtained 84½ points. They gained maximum points for hams and shrinkage from carcase to bacon weight; they were good in the shoulder and streaks, but they were thicker in back fat than the other prize winners.

It will be noted that 6 points only separated the first and fifth prize winners.

A comparison of the average number of points obtained by the various classes in this year’s competition with the average for ten years is given below :— [not reproduced here]