Home » For the Coffee table.The Best of British and, Did King Harold really burn the cakes? » The inevitable re-emergence of the traditional, High Street Butchers Shop

The inevitable re-emergence of the traditional, High Street Butchers Shop

Every cloud has a silver lining, at least that’s what my mother would tell me as a child.

Each time disaster struck my little world; a buckled wheel on my new bicycle, the loss of the spanner for my Meccano set and so on, it would quickly reduce me to tears, and she would comfort me by saying “Never mind dear, every cloud has a silver lining, I’ll speak to your father about it tonight…”

As childhood passed into adulthood, it’s an old adage that I have carried with me, indeed, I often quoted it to my own children when their fragile little lives took a turn for the worst.
Another fond childhood memory is the Saturday morning’s trip to the local Butchers with my mother to choose the Joint of Lamb or Beef for the weekend roast and, more often than not, we would both leave the shop a little later quite satisfied, she with a succulent leg of Welsh Lamb, or a tender Topside of Beef in the shopping basket, and me with a free copy of the “Beano”, a children’s comic which my parents didn’t subscribe to. It wasn’t so much that I had developed a macabre interest for butchers shops, rather, it was the friendly nature of the butcher himself which seemed to impart a feeling of goodwill into our Saturday morning shopping and consequently, I always looked forward to a visit to “Harry’s, the High Street Butchers Shop

Good morning Mrs Bresco, and you, young James, are you being a good boy for your Mum? Now what’ll it be this weekend Mrs B…, I have some beautiful free range Buxted chickens this weekend, ready dressed for the oven. Or how about a nice rib of Angus beef? And very tender it is too,” he would add reassuringly.
Since the advent of the ubiquitous Super market, the traditional High Street Butchers Shop has been steadily declining, due entirely to our dependence on Supermarket shopping, at least in the cities, that is, as some of the smaller rural villages who haven’t been blessed with a Supermarket, still manage to hold their own, maintaining an age old tradition of providing the local residents’ with, fresh, safe and locally produced meat products. However, since the recent food scare and, frighteningly revealing, DNA sampling  across the whole range of meat products, quite soon the tide will turn, as more and more shoppers return to trusted, traditional establishments’ like; “Harry’s,” where fresh, wholesome and unadulterated meat products are for sale amidst an atmosphere of convivial geniality and, a warm welcome, something else that the supermarkets have denied us for so long.

Does, “Every cloud have a silver lining?” in this particular case; I believe it does.

James A Bresco

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