Historic Islington butcher’s could be forced to close

A POPULAR butcher’s shop is facing an uncertain future after more than 100 years trading in Islington.

E Wood has been selling fresh produce on the corner of Liverpool Road and Barnsbury Street since 1909.

But current owner Maurice Wood said the economic climate and a lack of parking for customers could force him to shut up shop.

He said: “The problem is a combination of factors. There’s nowhere for people to park around here and parking can also be expensive. Trading is difficult in general for small shops and so the parking situation does not help. There can be too much enforcement. The delivery drivers get parking tickets when coming down from Scotland. The shop is in a secondary position and we haven’t got the footfall to make enough profit. It is a shame. My dad was here for 70 years and my granddad worked here before that.”

Customers are being urged to continue supporting the shop which sources all its beef, pork and lamb from Scotch Premier in Scotland.

Mr Wood, who has a daughter Anne and granddaughter Molly, buys most of his produce from Smithfield Market, the largest open air market in Europe, which is based in Clerkenwell.

Most days he wakes up at 3am for deliveries and he can still be working at around 8pm in the evening.

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Mr Wood said: “I am at the age of retirement now and it is hard work doing this on your own. I still enjoy the job but it does not leave much time for a social life because you are just concentrating solely on the business. If you do something like this, it has to be done wholeheartedly.”

Mr Wood said he has not made a final decision on closing the butchers and that he is taking it week by week.

Islington resident Fergus Doyle, 63, who visits the butchers shop three times a week, said:

“I come here because of the quality of the food. It is miles ahead of any supermarket. It would be a loss if the shop closed.”