A LEADING butcher from East Lancashire has been gearing up for Easter in more ways than one.

George Cropper Jnr, who runs Sanderson's in Baxenden, paid out £1,442 at the latest monthly show at Skipton Auction Mart for a 10-month-old British Blue cross-heifer.

His champion purchase, from Yorkshire Dales father and son John and Joe Fawcett, is now destined for his Manchester Road shop in the near future, after the meat has been fully matured.

Mr Cropper's acquisition follows a previous Skipton highlight last Christmas, when he forked out £500 each for a supreme champion pen of lambs reared by Ian Lancaster, of Wiswell.

At the same sale, he also made a four-figure deal for a first prize Parthenais-cross steer, also bred in the Yorkshire Dales.

This came around the same time as he also secured the prime lamb supreme champions at Clitheroe Auction Mart's festive gathering.

He said: "Our customers deserve the best prime meat that money can buy all year long and we do our best to provide it."

The butcher has also been asked to judge the Easter prime lambs show at the auction mart today and there is always the possibility the businessman will like what he see and plump for another major purchase.