Crowds gather to save Islington butchers

Around 60 people gathered outside a century old Islington butchers on Saturday (January 7) to try to save it from closure.

E Wood Butchers, in Liverpool Road, opened in 1909 and has served the community through two World Wars, but may be forced to close after the council gave permission for a sub-station to be built next door.

The station would be right next to where the food is stored and owner Maurice Wood, 69, would rather close than expose his customers to meat he fears may be contaminated.

But people in the area are determined not to let that happen and following a 300-strong petition to the council, the protest was arranged.

Mr Wood said: “It was remarkable - really amazing. It was quite touching for everyone to support me like that, I feel quite overwhelmed. A lot of them had been in the shop the day before and didn’t say anything about it.

“Now we have to take our complaint to the council before we go to the ombudsman. I don’t think they will be too happy about offering us any help.”

A Facebook page has been set up in support of E Woods, which has been “liked” by around 240 people.

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Louis Leigh, 33, a customer at E Woods who set up the page and organised the demonstration, said: “It went really well, considering how short notice it all was and with Christmas and so on.

“I think the council has completely underestimated how strongly the community feels about this. Hopefully they will sit up and take notice now.”

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: “I am as sorry as anybody that Maurice is going to close, but there is not a shred of evidence that having a small sub station next door pose a health risk.

“If the council had been shown any evidence whatsoever, it would have been considered, but we haven’t.”