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Sadness as Norwich market stall set to close after 90 years

PUBLISHED: 10:15 27 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:30 07 August 2019

Jordan Skeet, 22, works at the R.S. Baker & Sons LTD market butchers stall in Norwich which is closing down. Photo: Archant

Jordan Skeet, 22, works at the R.S. Baker & Sons LTD market butchers stall in Norwich which is closing down. Photo: Archant

Archant

The owner of a Norwich market stall closing after nine decades in the meat business has blamed a lack of interest in the career from young people.

Norwich market butchers stall is closing after ninety years in the meat business. Photo: Norwich Market/Norwich City CouncilNorwich market butchers stall is closing after ninety years in the meat business. Photo: Norwich Market/Norwich City Council

R S Baker & Sons Ltd butchers stall is shutting up shop on the city's market after 90 years on Sunday (July 28).

Owner Carl Baker, 53, said: "A lot of the customers when I've been there have been crying.

"People have been going there for years. I had a man when I was on there the other day say he remembered us being a shop on Prince of Wales Road."

Mr Baker, who has been working at the family business since he left school at 17, added: "My grandfather started it 90 years ago and built up a firm and had one or two other shops.

John Walpole, former manager of R S Baker and Sons, on Norwich Market. Photo: ArchantJohn Walpole, former manager of R S Baker and Sons, on Norwich Market. Photo: Archant

"He bought an abattoir where we had a fire in 2000 so we shut that down.

"The stall was not really profitable so it wasn't really viable to keep going.

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"The main thing was people not coming into the industry.

An abbatoir fire gutted R S Baker & Sons in 2000. Photo: Keith WhitmoreAn abbatoir fire gutted R S Baker & Sons in 2000. Photo: Keith Whitmore

"There's no young butchers coming into the business. The lack of staff is the problem."

Mr Baker, from Elsing, added that the company had tried to launch recruitment campaigns but had no luck with boosting their staff number.

And the lack of young people in the meat industry also meant it was not possible for the lease to be handed over to another butchers to continue on the market.

"I wanted to leave it to another butchers," he said.

"But I ended up letting the lease go. I offered it to other butchers and they couldn't take it on."

The stall, which occupies a four stall space on Norwich Market, will be taken over by food outlet Bun Box, who are expanding from their one stall space elsewhere on the market.

"I wish them all the best but its a shame it won't be a butchers," Mr Baker added, and said that three or four jobs were being lost from the company, which also runs property and cold storage ventures in Norfolk.

Staff at the butchers said they were told of the stall's closure a week ago, and a sign on the market informing customers of the news states: "We thank you for your loyal custom over the years."

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