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Last butchers shop gets the chop

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  • by Ellen Beardmore
 

This traditional family butcher is the last shop standing.

And at the end of the month Ellis Butchers in Rawmarsh, Rotherham, will also close its doors after almost 61 years of stalwart service in the community.

Little has changed in the bustling shop over the decades.

Dedicated co-founder Mary Ellis, aged 92, still works behind the counter every Saturday morning and some loyal customers have been coming since the very first day back in May 1953.

“We’ve even been using our sausage recipe since 1956,” said Mary’s 64-year-old daughter Kath, who now runs the shop with butcher husband Paul Harrison.

“There are pictures from the old days of mum holding a tray of sausages and they look exactly the same.

“Over the years we have seen the industry shrink and shrink - there used to be six butchers just in Rawmarsh, and now we are the last one.

“We are still a traditional shop and butcher from the carcass - there’s not a lot who do that now.

“There are customers who have been coming to us from the very start and now they are second or third generation customers as well.”

The butcher is shutting up shop on January 25 as the shopping precinct where it is based on Bellows Road is to be demolished for housing.

Mary, who will turn 93 the day after it closes, first ran the shop with late husband and butcher Eric.

The farmer came across a small shop that was shutting on Dale Road while completing a milk round and ended up buying it for £100.

Sprightly great-grandmother Mary, a former wartime clippie who lives in Rawmarsh, said: “It was a hard deal because when you’ve not got any money you wonder how you will make it work.

“We bought a second-hand fridge and a counter, it was very meagre but it got us going.

“I have a lot of great memories here and I’m certainly going to miss it - it’s been my life and the life of Kath and Paul.

“Now I go in for those few hours on a Saturday to help out and chat to customers. I can still reckon up and I don’t use any of those gadgets, just my brain.

“To all our customers we’d like to say thank you, it has been our pleasure.

“I think our life revolves around the people who come in, there’s always something to say and have a laugh or a gossip about.”

 

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