Support your local butcher and celebrate National Butchers Week.
From March 9 to March 13 butchers at Stoke-on-Trent markets will be showcasing their skills and celebrating the history of butchers at the markets.
Stoke-on-Trent markets are currently home to nine butchers, the majority of which have been trading for over 20 years and come from a long line of family butchers.
Graham Stubbs, butcher at Meat Direct at Hanley Indoor Market said: “I’ve been a butcher since I was 15 and have been working in Hanley Indoor Market for 33 years. I started working at Hanley market when it was located at what is now Wetherspoon’s. We source all our meat direct from livestock markets.”
James Ede, a new butcher at Longton Market said: “I have followed family tradition as my father was a butcher. I had a 15-year break from butchering working as a restaurant manager but I thought it was time to return to my roots. Now I feel at home returning to what I love doing.
“I have always wanted my own business and the markets gave that opportunity to follow what I wanted to do without the expense and high rents of the high street. Working at Longton Market, I have noticed there is a community feel between the traders and everyone seems to love what they do and what they are selling, I like that that’s not something you could get anywhere else.”
Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for environment, said: “Our markets are packed full to the brim of history, for over a hundred years butchers have traded in our markets. Many of the butchers source the meat they sell by choosing the best quality livestock locally before they go to the abattoir.
“Our butchers offer competitive prices compared to supermarkets, plus you are supporting a local, independent business at the same time. We should all celebrate our market traders especially in a time where we are more conscious about what we buy.”
In recent years at the markets the hunt has been on to find out how a meat cleaver awarded to a Staffordshire butcher, possibly early in the 1900s, ended up more than 3,000 miles away in Vermont, U.S, before finally being returned to Stoke-on-Trent in 2018. The inscription on the cleaver reads: ‘Presented by David Shemilt Esq for cleanest and best dressed stall of meat in Longton market, awarded to Thomas Rushton, Fulford’ and the mystery has yet to be resolved on the cleaver’s transatlantic history.
Stoke-on-Trent markets are open both weekdays and weekends with Hanley Indoor Market open Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm and Stoke indoor market, Longton indoor market and Tunstall indoor market open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9am-5pm.
For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 236703. (journalists only)