Saturday, July 18, 2009

Talking Of Butchers

Asda opened last week near Keighley station. The local councillors decided that a town of barely 60,000 souls couldn't manage with just a Sainsbury, Aldi, Morrison's, Netto, Iceland and umpteen local Co-op Food Fairs. Nope, the needs of the town could best be served by allowing in the rottweiler of retail, part of the 'Wal-Mart Family'. Goodbye independent shops of Cavendish Street, farewell market. Those entrusted with your future have decreed that what Keighley needs is more boarded-up shops, fast-food outlets, tanning salons and estate agents

Despite the state of the modern British high street, butchers' shops, along with pubs, are often great survivors. Passing through Appleby-in-Westmorland the other week, It was all I could do to wait for the car to stop before rushing over to this gem, Ewbank's. It's a very simple place - plain, painted walls and a window area with the cuts plonked onto bare tiles. It looked like the shop you'd find in a model village.

"How long has this been a butcher's?" I gasped.

"Oooh - at least a hundred years" came the reply. "Not changed much".

No pies for sale, though. Maybe I'll suggest that when I send Mr Ewbank a print.


Affer said...

What a great looking place! In the tiny Norfolk village where I am marooned, there is a superb butcher's shop, and I regularly buy excellent meat, superbly prepared, from them. "You don't sound like a local" I said to the owner last week. "Nay lad," he shot back. "I'm from Scarboro', me!"

I felt almost at home.

As to ASDA in Keighley, words fail me. The poor town deserves a better fate.

Leigh said...

You're right - Butchers are the most ignored, and most affected by the rise of supermarkets. My family are butchers (or rather, were) so this is close to my heart. It says a lot that probably the most safe market for young butchers job-wise is now probably working in Morrisons at the meat counter (not that I endorse that). So please support one - if you can find one!!

freedom lover said...

Ah yes, we need to prevent modern efficient businesses from opening to keep inefficient old-fashioned ones going. Good plan.

TIW said...

Your preferred future is what 'Freedom Lover'? I'm interested.

And I'd love some evidence that 'old fashioned' businesses are especially inefficient - and even if that's necessarily a bad thing.