End of an era as last butcher leaves butchers Row

THE last butcher in Butcher s Row, Bideford, hung up his apron at the weekend. Fred Babb and his wife, Barbara, had run a shop there for more than 40 years, continuing a family tradition in the same premises stretching back at least 90 years. Having pass

THE last butcher in Butcher's Row, Bideford, hung up his apron at the weekend.

Fred Babb and his wife, Barbara, had run a shop there for more than 40 years, continuing a family tradition in the same premises stretching back at least 90 years.

Having passed retirement age - Mr Babb is 69 - the couple have ended their long association with Bideford Pannier Market, but are continuing with their butcher's shop in their home village of Buckland Brewer, where they also farm.

Fellow traders at the market presented Mr and Mrs Babb with a framed picture of a rainbow arch over Bideford and its two man-made bridges by local photographer Graham Hobbs and a bouquet.


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Mayor of Bideford Cllr Andy Powell paid tribute to the couple and recounted his own early days as a butcher's boy.

He said: "In these days of obscene pressures on family life, where both parents have to work and where our children have so much less time for innocence, it is thanks to butchers like Mr Babb that families can still come together and be a family. They do so for that greatest of English traditions, Sunday dinner. I have worked it out, Mr Babb, that in 40 years, you have prepared Sunday dinners for the families of Bideford 2,080 times.

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