Thursday, 17 November 2011
Let's have a butchers...
At one time Saltaire had shops on most of the street corners, but nowadays only a handful remain outside the main parades of Victoria Street and Gordon Terrace. No 14 Katherine Street has always been a butcher's shop. In 1974 it was taken over by Harry Hodgson and remains today in the care of his son Eric. At its peak, the shop had six full-time and two part-time staff and was open six days a week. Now Eric does most of his business supplying restaurants, pubs and nursing homes and the shop only opens on Friday and Saturday mornings. Apparently most of the difficulty stems from the huge burden of rules and regulation and the associated paperwork, much of it stemming from the foot and mouth crisis in UK in 2001/02 which resulted in increased regulation from our own government and the EU. It's not to say that this regulation is unnecessary but it does present a large administrative burden that is particularly hard for a small business to carry. I imagine that the shop will one day close completely, perhaps when Eric chooses to retire, but it will be a loss for the village and its history. I'm fond of the rather endearing signage and hope that stays even when the shop is gone!
By the way, many of you will know that 'To have a butchers (hook)' is Cockney rhyming slang for 'To have a look'. Not very Yorkshire, for sure, but it seemed a good title!