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!

9 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny - so pleased to read about the butchers ...bureaucratic bumph is really irritating - I don't know how businesses manage, I must say.

    I'm pleased Hodgson's is still going and have adapted to the times .. I agree with you - I hope they stay, and I hope the shop retains its character within the village.

    To have a butchers .. Cockney slang - so many epithets from the cockneys ..

    Thanks Jenny - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  2. I still remember my twice weekly visit to the butchers in Eccleshill many years ago. Saturday for sausages and the week-end joint . . . oh! and "a nice bit of roast ham", for Sunday tea, and then once more on Tuesday for the cheaper cuts of meat to make stews and casseroles.
    I know many folk lament the decline of the local buthcher and many reasons maybe evidenced for this, but really the over-riding factor is us, the consumer, having taken our custom elsewhere . . . to the super-markets. Only when we begin using the local butchers again and do not mind spending a tad extra on a superior product, expertly and bespokly prepared will this fine trade once again claim it's righful place within our local communities.

    ReplyDelete
  3. With regards my previous comment, I would suggest that there is a place or the "specialist" butcher within communities if the locals want it . . . take for example the many thriving, and reasonably priced Halhal butchers within our Asian communities.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We've just lost a 'quality' butcher's in our nearest town. Now, there's only one left. For how long, is anybody's guess.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here's to Mr Hodgson (and his son). If you have a butchers at my blog you'll find a small token of appreciation for your excellent blog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting photo, showing the shop is on a hill, but no front door... The red and green suggests Christmas is coming. No turkeys hanging outside yet!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a pity Jenny for small privately owned shops to close - I'm sure your community would miss it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good you explained your title... didn't know that. It's so hard to balance between safeguarding the needs of consumers and regulation that strangles private enterprise. I'm of the mind that governments have gone too far and it's hurting small businesses - and hence the economies - everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We don't see much of these private shops here anymore either. ~Lili

    ReplyDelete

No WV here but I've enabled comment moderation on older posts so I don't miss any of your messages. I love reading them - thank you! And thanks for visiting my blog.