Butcher closes shop after 66 years behind the counter

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working as a butcher in his Wymondham shop. Picture: Victoria

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working as a butcher in his Wymondham shop. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

A stalwart of Wymondham has hung up his apron and retired after 66 years at his family-run butchers.

From left to right: Jane Parke, Peter Parke, Jill Taylor. Mr Parke is retiring after 66 years workin

From left to right: Jane Parke, Peter Parke, Jill Taylor. Mr Parke is retiring after 66 years working at his Wymondham butchers. Picture: Victoria Pertusa. - Credit: Archant

Peter Parke is set to enjoy a well-earned rest having worked his very last day at Peter Thomas Parke butchers on Saturday.

Since first getting behind the counter at the age of 19 in 1954, Mr Parke has been in the shop almost every day - becoming a firm favourite across Wymondham in the process.

Now 85 years old, he has taken the difficult decision to say goodbye to his loyal customers and close the business.

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working as a butcher in his Wymondham shop. Picture: Parke Fa

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working as a butcher in his Wymondham shop. Picture: Parke Family - Credit: Archant

As he was inundated with well-wishers on his final day, Mr Parke said: “It’s been a hard decision but it had to happen one day and now feels like the right time.


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“My customers were the main reason I kept going until now, but Covid has meant I can’t have my usual chats and laughs as customers are served outside. Age has caught up with me and I’m not as fast as I was when I was 19.

“I can’t say I’m looking forward to retirement as I have always enjoyed working, but I’m sure I will soon get used to it. I expect my wife will have lots of jobs lined up for me.

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working as a butcher in his Wymondham shop. Picture: Parke Fa

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working as a butcher in his Wymondham shop. Picture: Parke Family - Credit: Archant

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“I will miss all my customers and would like to thank them for their support over the years and for all the gifts, cards, drawings, poems and handmade animals from the children. It’s been overwhelming.”

Mr Parke’s commitment to the business over the years has been clear for all to see, famously only ever taking one holiday - to Clacton-on-Sea for his honeymoon in 1957.

And on Saturday, in recognition of his tireless service, he received a civic award from the mayor of Wymondham.

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working as a butcher in his Wymondham shop. Picture:Victoria

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working as a butcher in his Wymondham shop. Picture:Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

Mr Parke’s daughter, Jill Taylor, said bidding farewell to the shop was tough for the whole family.

“My grandad started the business and dad worked with him before going into the army to do national service,” said Mrs Taylor. “Dad then carried it on and it stayed in the family.

“My grandmother worked in there, my sister works there. As a baby, my sister would be parked in the shop in her pram - we grew up there and we have always been in the shop, so it’s a very sad day.”

From left to right: Jane Parke, Peter Parke, Jill Taylor. Mr Parke is retiring after 66 years workin

From left to right: Jane Parke, Peter Parke, Jill Taylor. Mr Parke is retiring after 66 years working at his Wymondham shop. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working in his butcher shop in Wymondham. Picture: Victoria P

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working in his butcher shop in Wymondham. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working in his butcher shop in Wymondham. Picture: Victoria P

Peter Parke is retiring after 66 years working in his butcher shop in Wymondham. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

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