Much-loved Shrewsbury butcher hangs up cleaver after 51 years

A community turned out in force to celebrate a butcher who has finally hung up his cleaver after 51 years.

Butcher Granville Elson gets cards from Coleham Primary School pupils
Butcher Granville Elson gets cards from Coleham Primary School pupils

Granville Elson, owner of G O Elson Family Butchers in Coleham, Shrewsbury, has closed his shop and retired after more than five decades of keeping locals stocked with sausages, steaks and chops.

Youngsters from Coleham Primary School surprised him with farewell cards and presents, while residents also visited to share their memories.

John Ingham, chairman of Belle Vue Community Action Group, did a speech for 75-year-old Granville.

A humorous old tale was told about when Granville's partner Jason Coslett forgot the safe keys when he was locking up, so he decided to hide the week's takings under some meat waiting to be minced. He forgot to tell Granville, who proceeded to mince the money along with the meat the next morning.

Both of them spent most of the day and evening piecing together the serial numbers of the notes in order for them to recoup the loss.

Belle Vue councillor Kate Halliday said the butchers had been "such an important part of the community" and that Granville and colleagues had "gone above and beyond" what was required.

"They will be really sorely missed, and we wish them all the best in their next steps."

Granville is hopeful the shop will be taken over as a butchers or something valuable to the community.

With the busy Christmas season coming up and a recent broken hip, Granville said that it is time for a change.

Butcher Granville Elson received cards on the day he retired

The father-of-one said: “I am 75 now and I think it’s time to get a few holidays in – my wife wants to go on holiday.”

He started at the shop just after the Christmas period in 1970 and has been the owner of the shop for around 24 years.

His partner Jason came to the shop as a teenager – a 17-year-old – and was made partner around 26 years ago, while July Elson, Granville's wife has worked “very long hours” as the butchers' accountant.

Over the years, Granville and his partners have worked long hours providing the local community with their meat and at Christmas time would often work from six in the morning to 12 at night.

He started in the industry at the age of 13 when he worked part-time on Saturdays and Tuesday evenings, delivering orders for a butchers located at Castle Gates, Shrewsbury.

Reflecting on the last 51 years, Granville said: “I have enjoyed all my time here. I’ll miss the people, but nothing goes on forever.

“Our customers are lovely. A lot of them are like family and nearly all are regulars.”

“I would like to see it go as a butchers shop, but I want someone to keep it going for the community, whatever it be.”

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