A Barnstaple butcher is hanging up his apron after serving the town centre for almost 50 years

John Pile is retiring after more than 45 years as a butcher in Barnstaple town centre. Picture: Matt SmartJohn Pile is retiring after more than 45 years as a butcher in Barnstaple town centre. Picture: Matt Smart

John Pile, who works in Robert Withecombe Butchers, retires on Christmas Eve.

The 65-year-old has worked in butchers shops almost all his life, and has spent the last three years at the shop in Joy Street.

Before that he worked for 46 years at Grattons Butchers in Butcher's Row until it closed in 2016.

John said he had 'loved every bit of it' and will miss the customers.

"I've been doing it all my life," he said.

"Even when I was a little boy I used to ride the delivery bike with my apron pulled up so I could pedal.

"I love the customers, that's what I will miss the most in this business, the customers and these boys.

"They are the best bunch of boys you could wish for."

John said he would be finding the time to relax in retirement, and will be spending time painting, decorating and gardening.