Tyne & Wear

Bamburgh feathered friends Ozzy and Sharon spared Christmas gobbling

Sharon and Ozzy Image copyright PAul Norris
Image caption Ozzy and Sharon were named after the Black Sabbath frontman and his TV personality wife

A turkey destined to be gobbled for Christmas at a retirement home in Northumberland is instead now a pet.

The reprieve came after the manager of Armstrong House in Bamburgh ordered a free-range rare breed bird for the meal, but changed her mind when the flamboyant Cröllwitzer arrived.

Another turkey was then bought in to stop it being lonely.

Now named Ozzy and Sharon, after the Black Sabbath frontman and his wife, they are much loved by residents.

Image copyright PAul Norris
Image caption The birds are now "part of the family"

Paula Lingwood, manager of the supported housing facility, said: "I saw the turkey pardon carried out by President Trump at Thanksgiving, and I couldn't stop thinking about the turkey we'd ordered for Christmas.

"Christmas is about forgiveness and compassion, so I decided as it's the season of goodwill to all things, we should 'pardon' our turkey too.

"Of course, you can't just have one, so we've now got the pair of them.

"They'll be gobbling up their festive dinner along with the rest of us safe in the knowledge that they won't be the main focus of the Christmas Day - or any other day's - menu."

Image copyright PAul Norris
Image caption Paula Lingwood decided to "pardon" the Christmas dinner

She said they were named Ozzy and Sharon because of their flamboyant appearance and fondness for strutting around as if they already rule the roost.

Rennie Porteous, a 90-year-old resident at the home, said they really helped to "lift the spirits".

He said: "They are quite sociable and inquisitive, and come up to you to be fed, they're part of the family now."

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