End of an era for town butcher shop

It is the end of an era for a Kimberley butchers shop which has traded in the area for almost 60 years.

MB and R Woodcocks in James Street has closed its doors to customers following the retirement of Michael Woodcock, one of the two brothers who have run the shop since 1987.

But 65-year-old Michael, of Watnall, has chosen to hang up his apron several years after cousin Ivan called time on his 40 years helping them with the business.

He has received several good luck cards from grateful customers.

He said: “It has been a wonderful journey and I wouldn’t change a thing. I shall miss seeing the customers who have been so appreciative of our efforts.”

Brother Ronald on the other hand is looking forwards to continuing his career at Barlows Butchers In Newthorpe.

Michael and Ronald Woodcock have worked in the family business since they were young boys.

Their parents Sydney and Violet set it up in the 1950s aided by their relative Gladys Walker. At a young age their sons were encouraged to help out before becoming masters of the trade themselves.

“It was such a natural thing to do to help mum and dad in the shop both before and after school,” said Ron

“We would wash and clean equipment to earn a few coppers and as we got older we rode around the area on butchers carrier bikes delivering orders.”

“We would run up yards and side streets shouting ‘butchers’ and customers would appear like magic! We worked from morning ‘til night and our mobile shop became very popular. We were still selling produce in those days at 10 o’clock at night!”

Betty Watson, a customer for more than 40 years, said the butchers was ‘first class’.

“You could always rely on them. Come rain or shine. Even thick fog didn’t deter them. You could always rely on them and the produce has always been first class.”

Local businessman Roy Plumb paid a glowing tribute to the Woodcocks.

“Running a business is very demanding and this family has built its reputation on quality, customer satisfaction, teamwork and hard graft.”

As well as selling a wide variety of meat products the butchers shop has kept pace with the times introducing the sales of bread, cakes, cheeses and tomatoes.