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Butcher retires after 46 years with family firm

PUBLISHED: 10:54 30 September 2020 | UPDATED: 19:04 30 September 2020

Robert Seppings hopes he can continue helping out at the family run butchers after he retires. PHOTO: Simon Buck

Robert Seppings hopes he can continue helping out at the family run butchers after he retires. PHOTO: Simon Buck

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For 46 years, if you wanted a string of sausages or a pork chop in Beccles, Robert Seppings was your man.

Robert Seppings pictured with his cousin Richard and Richard's son William. PHOTO: Simon BuckRobert Seppings pictured with his cousin Richard and Richard's son William. PHOTO: Simon Buck

He was known to everybody in the town, greeting and serving countless customers at WJ Seppings Butchers.

Now, having started work for the family business as a teenager in 1974, Mr Seppings is heading to a well-earned retirement.

He has lived in the Beccles area for most of his life and began to run the business in 1991, 29 years ago.

The firm was established in 1919 and at the end of 2019 it celebrated its 100th year of trading.

Robert Seppings is retiring after forty six years working for the family business in Beccles. PHOTO: Simon BuckRobert Seppings is retiring after forty six years working for the family business in Beccles. PHOTO: Simon Buck

It coincided with Christmas 2019 and people from across Beccles and the wider area queued up to buy their meat for the festive season.

Mr Seppings reflected on a long career.

He said: “It will be strange not getting up early in the mornings anymore and it will be strange not running the business anymore.

“I will be involved in some ways still though. I will help at Christmas, I just won’t be running things anymore.

Queues outside the butchers during Christmas 2019 to mark the 100th anniversary since opening. PHOTO: Simon BuckQueues outside the butchers during Christmas 2019 to mark the 100th anniversary since opening. PHOTO: Simon Buck

“I was really shy when I first started 46 years ago but now I really enjoy the customer-facing side of the job so I will miss that a lot.

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“The business has definitely changed in many ways over the years. There’s definitely a lot more red tape and paperwork that goes with the job now.”

Mr Seppings said that while this year had been a challenge because of the pandemic, they were one of the lucky Beccles businesses.

He said: “To start with people were going crazy and bulk-buying meat. We are one of the lucky ones - we haven’t had to furlough anyone.”

Mr Seppings’ nephew Andrew Wells will be taking over the family business once Mr Seppings steps down on Saturday, October 3.

Mr Wells joined the company full-time at the age of 20 and joined in 2002 after completing a degree in chemistry at the University of Leicester.

For now, Mr Seppings is looking forward to a relaxing retirement.

He said: “We were planning to do some travelling but can’t really do that at the moment because of the pandemic. I’m a keen golfer and gardener, so I’ll be playing golf and doing some gardening in the meantime.”


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